The Crossref Curriculum

Understanding your Similarity Report

How to interpret the Similarity Report

iThenticate does not check for plagiarism - it checks for similarity. Where a section of the submission’s content is similar or identical to one or more sources, it will be flagged for review. This doesn’t automatically mean plagiarism, however.

It’s perfectly natural for a submission to match against sources in the database. A high degree of overlap may indicate a well-researched document with many references to existing work, and as long as these sources are quoted and referenced correctly, this is perfectly acceptable.

The Similarity Score simply highlights areas of overlap with existing content, and it is editors and reviewers who decide if the match is acceptable or not, as part of their general review process.

Take particular care when checking manuscripts against the Crossref Posted Content repository, as it may include a preprint by the same author. It is possible for an author to submit to a journal an article already made available as a preprint, and a high degree of similarity between the preprint and author’s accepted manuscript would be expected.

How is the Similarity Score calculated?

To calculate the Similarity Score, iThenticate checks your submitted document’s text, and checks it against each of the repositories you’ve chosen. The system takes the number of matching words found within the document and divides it by the document’s total word count to produce the Similarity Score percentage for the report.

If you apply exclusion options to the document, the system recalculates the Similarity Score percentage and removes all matches excluded by the exclusion option logic.

Learn more about exclusion settings when setting up a new folder, editing filters and exclusions in existing folders, filters and exclusions within the Similarity Report, and URL filters for account administrators.

Last Updated: 2020 April 8 by Laura J. Wilkinson