Scholarly misconduct causes significant impact on the academic community. To the extremes, results of scholarly misconduct could endanger public welfare as well as national security. Although self-plagiarism has drawn considerable amount of attention, it is still a controversial issue among different aspect of academic ethic related discussions. The main purpose of this study is to identify two concerns including what is self-plagiarism in academic journals, conceivable point of contention, based on journal editors’ viewpoint. Between 1990 and 2015, content of 57 editorials indexed in Scopus and WoS and 75 cases of self-plagiarism raised by international editors in COPE were analyzed to explore how journal editors identify these problems. The results show that self-plagiarism can be categorized to four facets, including its identification, types, norm, and remedy. And the editors are concerned about the issues about the detection software, salami-slicing and overlapping publication, the harm of copyright, and the retractions of published articles. Results from this study not only could obtain in-depth understandings on self-plagiarism among academic journal articles but also being applied on establishing academic guidelines in the future.