What's Wrong With Students Reusing Papers?

from the double-standards dept

Copycense points us to a story by English professor, James Lang, who notes that many universities and professors say that it’s unethical or against school rules for students to reuse papers for multiple courses, but the more he thinks about it, the more he wonders why this is wrong, noting that professors do this all the time, reusing papers, presentations, research and lesson plans. Even if the idea is that students are supposed to “do work,” it’s not clear that there’s anything wrong with a student reusing a paper, as long as it suffices for the assignment:

But–practically speaking–the opportunity to reuse a paper might arise only once or twice in a student’s career, thanks to the diversity of our course assignments and disciplines. A paper assignment that a student gets in my English class on 20th-century literature won’t be anything like her assignment in Renaissance literature–much less from psychology or sociology. Because the content of courses differs so much, the opportunity to use the same paper will happen only rarely.

But when it does, why not allow a student to take advantage of the opportunity? Suppose a student writes a final research paper for an introductory psychology course in the fall semester of her freshman year, and receives helpful suggestions on it from the professor. That same student then takes an English-composition course with me in the spring, and I assign an open-topic research paper to finish the semester.

Why should I not encourage the student to revise her psychology paper, according to both the guidance she received from her previous professor and the new writing principles she has learned in my course? She couldn’t merely turn in her old paper; it would have to fulfill the requirements of my assignment. The student would not only get the opportunity to return to a set of ideas she thought she had finished, but the assignment would also reinforce the interdisciplinary nature of knowledge and the curriculum.

The article is based around the question of whether it’s okay to “plagiarize yourself,” but I worry that even that’s a bit misleading. You can’t plagiarize yourself. Plagiarism is about passing off someone else’s work as your own. Reusing work is not the same thing at all, but is a separate issue — and one that doesn’t really seem to be much of a problem once you think about it.

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Comments on “What's Wrong With Students Reusing Papers?”

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MrWilson says:

When I was in school, I reused a paper once or twice. Of course it was necessary to tweak the paper for the second usage since instructor requirements might vary. But since everything a student creates ultimately comes from research they’ve conducted or experiences they’ve had and is filtered through their brain, why does it matter if the particular ideas happen to be viable for more than one assignment or have previously been articulated by the student in written form prior to the assignment being assigned?

Instructors sure as hell reuse ideas. In fact, a lot of my instructors reused obsolete ideas. Try taking a computer science class from a guy who stopped learning new technology when he quit working at IBM twenty years ago in order to teach.

Andrew (profile) says:

I've done it

My freshman year my history and English classes both assigned an open topic research paper for the end of the semester. I chose the same topic for both and used the same paper as it met the requirements for each. I did ask the professor for the class which had a later due date if it was acceptable and he saw no problem with it. I think most professors would understand that as long as the student did the work it doesn’t matter whom it was done for. Students have enough work as it is, if they can find a way to knock out two papers with one stone why not?

Robert Ring (profile) says:

Yeah, I actually did this once in college, using just a paragraph or so from one paper in another paper, not realizing it was even considered “self-plagiarization” until I read about it a few months later in the MLA handbook.

Guess I got a way with it.

I can actually see the argument against this for academic purposes, though — that it lessens the student’s ability to learn from the class. But, as the article says, people do this frequently in the professional world, so I would think it should ultimately be considered okay for students, since part of college is preparing students for careers.

MrWilson says:

Re: Re:

“that it lessens the student’s ability to learn from the class”

This is where my problem lies with a lot of what goes on in higher education.

It’s all based on assumptions.

There’s an assumption that you actually learn something in a class, but this doesn’t account for the possibility that you had already learned what you might have otherwise gotten out of the class. If you already learned what you needed to know to write a paper that fit the requirements of the course because you’d already written the paper, why should you have to “learn” what you already know?

There’s a grand assumption that you will have gained something valuable after taking so many courses. There’s an even grander assumption that having a piece of paper that indicates that you took a bunch of classes means you’re competent on some level. I’ve met people with masters degrees and even PHDs who have no common sense and all the book-learning in the world won’t help them to function in society.

The greatest value generated by college is that of the value of the student loan debt you’ve taken on for someone else’s financial benefit.

The piece of paper gets you the interview. Your future boss’ incompetence gets you the job. And then you realize that if you could have gotten away with lying about having a degree, you could have done just as well in the job 4-6 years ago and saved yourself the hassle and debt.


Robert Ring (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well, considering that the act of writing, not just obtaining knowledge, is part of what is involved in composing a paper, even if you do have previous knowledge, you still learn by developing your writing skills in forgoing so-called self plagiarization.

I’ve met people with masters degrees and even PHDs who have no common sense and all the book-learning in the world won’t help them to function in society.

That’s not news. Many, many PhDs, in my experience, lack common sense and social skills. That’s not what the academic program is meant to develop.

Ryan Diederich says:

Re: Yea but


I use Wikipedia every time I write a research paper. You can never cite wikipedia, but cite the sources that wikipedia cites. It is, by far, the most complete collection of topics and citations and information. I hate when teachers tell people not to use it.

The situation has not yet arisin for me to use a past paper. Even if it did, I doubt I would be able to find it anyways.

Different classes do have different requirements. As long as you are doing the things required, it doesnt matter.

For example, my english class requires me to write a narrative essay on the topic of my choice. Obviously, the goal is to get experience writing a narrative essay. I wouldnt (and shouldnt) turn in a narrative essay that I had already written on a topic, where the goal of the assignment was to learn how to use dialogue, for instance.

Then again, if it is college, you should simply do whatever you please. It is your money, and you decide how much you get for it.

Jesse says:

This is something I’ve said for a long time now.

A) You can’t plagiarize yourself. At least pick another word.

B) If, by some chance, you can reuse a paper, what does that say about the course, that overlaps so much with other courses that a student could use the same assignments? And you are calling ME unoriginal? I’m just supposed to pretend so that you can get away with lazy assignment creation?

CharlieM (profile) says:

You 'can' plagurize yourself... sort of

Mike, while you may be correct in that plagiarizing “is about passing off someone else’s work as your own”. It is also understood to have an additional component, in that the work you are presenting is ‘original’.

Take for example a paper where I prove ‘fact A’, and publish that fact. Five years later, I do additional work on the subject; if I was to represent the work as proving ‘fact A’, without citing my previous work, then that would be ‘self-plagiarizing’, as I would be taking credit for proving the same thing twice.

Now, the simple way around this (and would work for the academic examples presented in your post) would be to simply cite your previous work. Even if it was not published, you can still cite yourself.

Andrew (profile) says:

Re: You 'can' plagurize yourself... sort of

Even if it was not published, you can still cite yourself.

This isn’t necessarily true. For my thesis, I was only able to cite my published papers.

And I’m not sure I buy your taking credit twice argument. The context of the article is different (getting marks twice for the same work), but in your example I have only proved that thing once, no matter how often I talk about it. To me, it seems more like self-promotion than appropriation.

Colin says:

Re: You 'can' plagurize yourself... sort of

The idea of ‘original’ content is sort of ridiculous in and of itself, isn’t it? There are no truly original ideas, only further expansion of the work of someone else.

Also, you cannot cite something that was not published or documented in some way, because the idea of citing sources is for others to be able to find it later and corroborate the idea. If I wrote a paper on a subject and cited ‘My unpublished article’ and said you can find it ‘in my desk drawer’ who would take that seriously?

Brett says:

Re: You 'can' plagurize yourself... sort of

well, if that were entirely true, authors of published books wouldn’t come out with different editions or volumes of the same book to create a bigger revenue cap.

They take the same unoriginal material, change around the order and add a very small portion of new material or edit various portions of the previous material.

I never really checked, but do text books or other academic materials site previous volumes, editions, etc.?

Yogi says:

Why not?

If I am interested in a certain subject than obviously I will try to learn about it and write about it every chance I get, and sure, some of the papers will use the same material, adapted to the requirements of each specific course.

I did this constantly and I have no idea how this could be a problem.Certainly no one ever said anything to me and my papers were always very well received.

Not to mention that if researchers could not recycle their work they would probably be out of work.

The whole issue is academic nonsense.

Steve (profile) says:


The problem is that self-plagiarising leads to being a bad academic.

Lecturers at a good university aren’t preparing you to be a . They’re teaching you skills that will make you a good academic in your field. Any real world competence gained is a side effect.

Self plagiarising is bad for many reasons. Consider a freelance journalist who breaks a story in the NY Times. They get recognition for producing it. Great. Then they break exactly the same story – not a follow up piece, literally the same thing – 6 weeks later in the Wall Street journal (for some reason, the editors haven’t been reading each other’s papers). Then they do it again elsewhere…

Is this a good journalist? Well, they clearly wrote a good story originally. They did find a good market for it, something they could make a profit from repeatedly. But, like a comic who steals jokes, they aren’t really adding anything new to the conversation.

Apart from the loss of reputation they should suffer for this, it’s an unnecessary waste of reviewers’ time, and placing strain on an already overworked peer review system.

Publishing a follow up piece is fine, but passing the same work off over and over again is just a lazy way to boost your publication count, and not something any good academic would respect.

When you discuss the functional benefits of repeating paperwork and discussing self plagiarism like we are living in the real world, instead of in a university, you are missing the point of the university.

I used to think that self-plagiarism was fine. Learning why it wasn’t was an important step in becoming a good academic.

The idea of making revisions and updates makes sense, but blatant copying of previous work is academically dishonest. Real world be damned – this is the realm of the ivory tower, and here we set rules for our benefit.

Of course, conceding that we were talking about the real world, you have only your own reputation to consider, and in some, maybe even many, cases it makes sense. But we’re at uni – at least try to understand the logic behind it before you criticise it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Because...

1. Knowledge is knowledge – its *all* “plagerised” from somewhere otherwise it wouldn’t be knowledge it would be discovery. If you already had the knowledge, what’s wrong with using yours rather than someone elses?

2. Maybe this is a difference between academia and the “real world”. In business there are whole methodologies dedicated to reusing your work products as much as humanly possible to increase efficiency. (See TOGAF for example) If you can meet the objective of the assignment with “recycling” parts of things you’ve produced before then lucky you… or well done for creating your answers using a robust methodology 🙂

Dave says:

Re: Because...

Sorry for commenting on a long dead topic but for any other future readers Steve is full of it.

This happens constantly in Journalism… It is called the associated press. Journalist will write a story or article put it out “on the wire” and any or all news papers that are apart of the associated press can choose to use the store at their own pace be that now, 2 weeks from now, or 2 years from now.

Granted that it is not likely to go into months or years in most situations because it is “old news” but it has happened on occasions. In particular there was a nuclear test site that was written about several years back and articles occasionally resurface about the site every blue moon.

But to the point, it is not plagiarism to reuse your own work! Whether the work is still relevant is another can of worms.

As far as academics go… The real issue is not plagiarism, it is academic honesty. Professors assign papers/topics/assignments for the purpose of a student creating new work. The problem is that reusing existing work is not fulfilling the purpose of the assignment though it may fulfill the requirements.

That being said if a student speaks with a professor and they permit the student to revise/add-to/enhance a previous work it is perfectly acceptable.

And to be honest any professor that would not allow a student to utilize their own work as a basis of creating more current/updated/improved work on a subject is just being a hard-ass because they can be.

Anonymous Coward says:

Lots of students use wikipedia and do not cite it — or cite the sources it uses, instead. But it’s usually pretty obvious (at least in my field) since wikipedia rarely cites the most important, expert, or influential sources in a field. Instead, it offers a collection of oddities not matched by the contents of your local library….

Little Eddy says:

It works for math...

I had a brilliant math teacher once, whose strategy for educating kids was to mark their assignments, ad then allow them to turn the same assignment in again as long as they showed the work they did on their corrections.

What this meant was a 13 year-old could hand in a math assignment, get a C-, and then once they were shown what they did wrong they could re-submit the same assignment and raise their mark to an A.

I learned more from this teacher than any other, because when I was told I was wrong, I knew I had a chance to improve myself. This is really important for kids – to know that they don’t just have adults saying “you did badly”, but instead to know that they can do better if they look at their mistakes more carefully.

The teacher was, of course, let go – pressure from the parents of kids who already got hight marks.

mikez (profile) says:

old school thoughts

I think part of the problem with this is the thought that submitting a paper is akin to publishing it, therefore, once it’s been published you wouldn’t submit it to another source to re-publish it.

What it leaves out is that revising a paper from one class and submitting for an assignment in another class is really an extension of the writing process. Especially if the author is doing new research or updating their thesis. Writing is a constantly evolving process.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’ve never heard the problem being any sort of moral or ethical problem involving “self-plagiarism”. The problem is how much the student has learned. If I were told to write a paper on the exact same subject as the one I wrote last year, it would be different because in that year I’ve added new perspectives and new information. If I were to simply hand in the old paper, it would demonstrate that I have learned nothing.

Techdirt blasts people all the time (and rightly so) for having outdated ideals, relying on old business models, coming up with “draconian” laws and the like. Why would it therefore be acceptable for the student to do the exact same thing? If they happen to get the same topic and revise their old essay then there isn’t a problem. If they simply hand in their old essay, that’s laziness and a sign of a poor student.

Ben Matthews says:

Purpose of the act

I think we are ignoring the purpose of writing the paper. In real world terms, if the paper is a finished/used product, reuse would be fine!

In education though, the paper isn’t being written for it’s use, but to make the student go through the process of researching, collecting thoughts on the matter, and then communicating them clearly. Reusing a paper defeats this purpose. Rewriting an old paper takes smaller elements of the second and third point, but I see why it would be discouraged. The process is the goal of the assignment, not the actual finished good; thats just a reflection of how well you utilized the process.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Purpose of the act

Even if that’s true – and I’ll grant it is a cogent argument – surely the burden should be in the lecturer to set an assignment that requires new learning? If the student already has the knowledge, they already have the knowledge whether they re-use the same words or find new ones. If the assignment isn’t new why should the answer be expected to be?

Anonymous Coward says:

At the college I attended, it was called simply “multiple submission” rather than “self-plagarism”; the rule was simply that if you wanted to do it you needed to ask for permission from the current professor (who in the sciences would usually grant such permission; I don’t know about the humanities, but I’d guess they’d be less likely to allow it).

Silent Bob says:


the word “self-plagerism” is ill-chosen… perhaps it should just fall under the existing label of “double-dipping”. Basically, you should not get credit multiple times for the same piece of work. And as for the assertion that professors “do this all the time”, no, there is a big distinction between reusing lesson plans and resubmitting a slightly tweaked paper to get a second publication. For promotion and tenure, you get credit for actually teaching the class, not for making the lesson plan. So reusing is OK there. But professors get a bad reputation when they try to push the “least publishable unit” boundary, because promotion should be based on how many good ideas you’ve had, not how many times you published the same good idea.

Self-plagerism in paper publishing is also frowned upon because you’ve typically assigned copywrite for the first publication to the organization that published it… you don’t own the words anymore.

mike says:

I encourage it when I teach

I actually encourage re-use and merging of other work. I teach a class on network security and in trying to get students to look at the impact of security in a large context, I actively encourage them to join a project I assign them to other current or past projects. They can’t simply re-use previous work, of course, but they can apply my project to existing work.

What I care about is a) are the getting the point of the exercise and b) are they getting the point that there is a larger context to work in.

I don’t require them to to merge projects, however.

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

Reusing papers

For grad students, I agree. My profs did allow me to reuse papers when I worked for my doctorate.
For undergrads – think! One of the things school (especially college) teaches is DISCIPLINE, in the form of applying yourself! You don’t get that with “cut and paste” papers!
I had one prof (new prof in an undergrad class) who tried the “cut and paste” route – he was awful! He obviously had failed to learn discipline as an undergrad (and somehow didn’t pick it up as a grad student!).

Peter Quint says:

How about this?

I don’t know why, but no one has mentioned this:
Is it fair to allow a student to reuse material, if other students in the class can’t? In essence, if one student is fortunate enough to have written a paper on the topic in question, they are allowed to do less work than others in the class who have to write their papers from scratch. That’s absolutely and completely unfair.

And to compare this to what professors do is completely erroneous. Yes, professors use the same lectures each semester for the same class, but that’s the SAME CLASS. I suppose if a student failed Freshman Comp, and took it again with the same professor, it would be okay to allow the student to use similar work to what they had handed in the first time. This would not be unfair to other students, since the student in question actually, in a way, had done more work, having to take the same class a second time.

It’s all about holding all students to the same standards.

KenW says:

You 'can' plagurize yourself... sort of

Clever wordplay, but your argument is empty. Yeah, you’re taking credit for it twice, but so what? Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s material as your own. If I have an idea, I can use and re-use it as many times as I want – it doesn’t go bad. If it’s my idea, I’m not falsely presenting it as my own idea, because that’s exactly what it is. Self-plagiarism does not exist, no matter how long you wait to re-present the idea.

Anonymous Coward says:

As it was explained to me when I became a teacher, the problem with turning in the same work (in school, anyway) is that the student is basically getting two times the grades – and sometimes even two times the course credits, which can be even more problematic – for one work. As one of my colleagues put it: “The student already got a grade for this paper.”

Aquaria says:


I had to drop a class last semester at my community college, first year, first semester English Composition, a required course that I don’t need and find incredibly boring. The teacher said and did some extremely unprofessional and downright unethical things that made it impossible for me to continue in the class (don’t even get me started on that hateful hag).

Now I’m taking the exact same class again one semester later with a new professor, and need to turn in only one Process Analysis paper that I honestly don’t want to write again. I don’t have a problem writing any of the others, but the PA paper I wrote before was really good. It was based on first-hand knowledge that I have, not sourced material, and I know that I will never be able to top it. Why do I need to re-do it? I received a 100 on it, so haven’t I sufficiently demonstrated, already, that I know how to write this kind of paper? Why do I need to do it AGAIN? It’s a complete waste of my time and makes me want to punch all English Composition profs for being so bloody boring, repetitive and vacuous.

I’ll do another one, if I must, but I’ll be ticked off about it, the entire time.

I should write a paper about the process that makes English professors such a bunch of annoying wankers. That would be the only way I’d feel better about writing such a stupid paper again.

Kevbo says:

Masters Degree

Had to do a comp exam comprised of 4 questions for my masters degree completion. The first question consisted of a paper I did a year ago. I borrowed from that paper and turned it in. Got a phone call last night that turnit.com said I plagiarized my own paper and being considered for academic fraud. Not only am I not getting my masters degree that I worked on for 2 years with a 4.0 GPA but am getting kicked out of school!

Cerberus (profile) says:


I think the main reason is that students attend university to learn, and the faculty sees writing papers from beginning to end as an important part of that process, both as an instrument of research and as a sub-goal of itself, creating new research.

(This is connected with the idea that grades are not the most important thing: they serve merely to ensure that students at least did some work; but the essence of attending university is experiencing and practising the process of deep learning and research, which activity is in itself not quantifiable, nor even truly gradeable. The system ultimately is not designed to handle people who attend without intrinsic interest and curiosity.)

ozsffan says:


according to the dictionaries , plagiarizing is stealing and passing off someone else’s work as your own, not copying your own work.

Also, this so-called “self-plagiarizing” has been done and is still frequently done in professional circles. It’s known as giving someone or some company non-exclusive rights to publish your material. Then you can also sell the same piece to another company also giving them only non-exclusive rights to publish the same material, then a third company, and so on, etcetera, thereby getting rewarded (paid) for the exact same material multiple times.

AF says:

How about this?

It’s seven years later, but this comment was so ridiculous that I had to.

“Is it fair to allow a student to reuse material, if other students in the class can’t? In essence, if one student is fortunate enough to have written a paper on the topic in question, they are allowed to do less work than others in the class who have to write their papers from scratch. That’s absolutely and completely unfair.”

Let’s examine this in the basest way. Student A gets the assignment and has to write a complete paper. Student B gets the assignment and is lucky enough to have already written a complete paper. Student A writes his and submits it. Student B reviews his for relevance and accuracy, edits it, adds updated or relevant information, and submits it.

In your own scenario, who did more work? Both wrote a complete paper. However, student B spent the time going over it again and working on it a second time. Even if you think fairness is the only thing that should matter (this idea itself is a threat to higher education), student B ultimately did more work. Your argument makes no sense in any scenario.

Anonymous Coward says:


This debate =beautiful merge of knowledge=more knowledge +/-more creating updates everywhere. We code crack and get broken for being smarter we want everyone smart to learn more. Ther is no yin without yang ⚎ ☯ debate and learn argue a point debate learn lose learn win learn we are learning no matter what keep it up we are all family. Remember learn save info reset defrag cut paste organise better faster communication 🙂 ???? ????

Anonymous Coward says:


Really the whole thing is like ‘piracy’ for ‘copyright infringement’ the misuse the term for something else and the sheer absurdity of it devalues the underlying word and the offense in the same way that impossible to enforce laws breed only contempt for it.

Call it what it is – in this case ‘citation failures’ or ‘failure to write their own original paper’. These may be reasons to mark one’s grade down but they are by no means misconduct and shouldn’t be treated as such. I also had one software engineering project where we were explicitly asked to bring in old code to refactor and enhance.

I know that when I was in college there were a few rare students who asked if they could work on a paper simultaneously with another related class. I never saw a professor say no if it met the original parameter son the grounds that successfully writing something for two different objectives shows enough imitative and makes the original task more difficult that even if it winds up saving more time than doing two separate ones it is in no way an easy shortcut.

Alan McGregor says:

re-using one's writing

If I have written something outstanding in the past – or some paragraphs or phrases – and the ideas/facts are still relevant or impressive, I certainly would re-use those paragraphs.

It’s likely though, that they would be used in a different context, or need updating or reformatting to fit the later assignment or publication.

Even an artist writing a piece of music may want to change some portion of their creation years later.

I glean information from many sources – combining it with personal ‘research’ or experience. {I wish to specialise in public transport, but many ‘experts’ have no even attempted to experience it themselves!}

Because one’s personal experience [including surveys etc.] is not looked on as ‘valid’ in some circles, it is annoying to find a relevant published article on a topic that may be [politically interfered with]and have little written about it in the relevant areas.

In this case, one can spend more time being critical of others work, than writing in a positive way.

Elliander Eldridge says:

There are only two arguments I have read about this that makes sense.

1.) Passing off something old as something new.
2.) Violating the copyright of a publisher

In the first case, this can be solved simply be adding in a line stating that it is a revised version. In the 2nd case, it doesn’t apply to students at all (I know I have never signed over right to my papers to any class) and even for researchers it would only apply if the researcher has explicitly signed over the publishing rights of the paper to the journal in question, but even in that case it’s not plagiarism. It’s copyright infringement. Having written articles for a newspaper, if I were to republish the same article elsewhere that wouldn’t be plagiarism, but it would be copyright infringement.

In the case of a student retaking a class, given that the student is going to have their own unique writing style, if they do the same work for the same class and the same curriculum a second time their paper will naturally resemble the first. If the student happened to do perfectly the first time, but struggled in some other area of the class, I see no reason why they should be forced to even revise the paper.

Being a matter of ethics, unless someone is harmed than it should not be considered unethical.

Anonymous Coward says:

Once I was friends with a young woman I wanted to spend some time with, but she had a paper due on a topic I knew inside-out.

She wrote the paper as this: "I have a friend who knows a lot about this topic, and HE said: "

Then she quoted seven pages of my writing, after which she said "I couldn’t have said it better myself."

She got an A+.

Anonymous Coward says:


(This is connected with the idea that grades are not the most important thing: they serve merely to ensure that students at least did some work; but the essence of attending university is experiencing and practising the process of deep learning and research, which activity is in itself not quantifiable, nor even truly gradeable. The system ultimately is not designed to handle people who attend without intrinsic interest and curiosity.)

Congratulations. You just described many people in college. /s

If the whole point of grades isn’t to ensure competence, then what is the point of the degree? To serve as a receipt to a potential employer that you’ve paid, or become indebted to, a certain amount of money prior to filing your application? Without grades saying anything about a person’s knowledge, you’ve effectively set the value of a degree to zero in the eyes of employers and students.

Granted, you’ve said the system is ultimately broken, and that does need to be fixed. BUT a degree needs some purpose. If the knowledge and experience is all that matters, then it shouldn’t be required by anyone as a condition of employment as the knowledge and experience offered by an institution can just as easily be found through other means in life.

Anonymous Coward says:


The purpose of other academic disciplines is often more abstract – what career is a philosophy degree preparing you for?

There in lies the problem: Most people go to college for vocational training to get ready for a career that will carry them through life. Virtually none of them go to college to become an academic. They don’t expect to do research that will be used by others. They expect that they will be pushing buttons, moving materials, and shaking hands made possible by the research of others.

The US, and other nations with similar socioeconomic systems, don’t place a high price on raw research. They place a high price on marketable products made from application of raw research. To what degree is dependent on the nation in question, but true academia is almost universally thought to be a bad life choice in such nations.

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