Using Plagiarism Software in the Publishing Process

Using Plagiarism Software in the Publishing Process


He there. I am John Bond from Riverwinds Consulting
and this is Publishing Defined. Today I am going to discuss the potential
use of plagiarism checking software in publishing. I am going to be addressing its use by publishers,
associations, or organizations as opposed to its use by individuals. Publishers and associations have a vested
interest in ensuring that the journal articles, book chapters, and other scholarly material
they publish is original and free of plagiarism. While one would hope that this should not
be an issue, experience says otherwise. There is little question if an organization
should be incorporating this step into the publishing process. It is only the details and the particular
software that matters. A point to start with is that with many groups
use the term similarity instead of plagiarism, the later coming with a judgement in place. Similarity check or a similarity review may
be more appropriate terminology than plagiarism check or review. If you are an association whose journal is
being published with a publisher, first check with them that this step is not already taking
place on their end, perhaps unbeknownst to you. Larger publishers have embraced this step
and may routinely be running manuscripts through their chosen software. Also, it may be incorporated into the manuscript
tracking system or it may be soon. Another point to consider is whether all manuscripts
will be reviewed prior to or at peer review or whether the step will take place only after
manuscript acceptance. There are valid points for either option. Most systems produce a report that lists the
percentage of a document that matches other content and where that content comes from. Think through which staff member will run
the manuscript through the system you use. For those manuscripts that have a high similarity,
who will then make the more nuanced and educated decision if there is a cause for concern. Many times it is subjective. Then consider the stance you might take with
an author and what that correspondence would look like. It can be a very touchy email or call, that
will likely vary greatly by the particular circumstance. As for software, there are many types out
there. Some are free and low cost and many are geared
toward the individual. Before you invest your time with any software,
ask the developers or owners how many publishers or associations are currently using their
product. If they cannot provide that information or
references, you should shy away from them. Remember, free is not always better. For those that provide a product to the publishing
market, it is a very small list. iThenticate has a significant presence. iThenticate states that it has checked over
50 million documents for plagiarism. They also say that “80% of high Impact Factor
Journals have access to iThenticate.” See their website for more information about
how their service works include helpful videos. CrossRef, the not-for-profit, well-respected
reference linking group, created a product called CrossCheck. CrossCheck has since been rebranded as Similarity
Check. Similarity Check might be considered a separate
option to iThenticate, however, Similarity Check is “powered by iThenticate.” Similarity Check states that “members benefit
from a tailored service that includes read-only access to the full text of articles in the
Similarity Check database for comparison purposes” only. FYI the Similarity Check service is only available
to members of CrossRef who are depositing DOIs with them. There is other software to consider. One site lists other commercial options as:
Attributor, Copyscape, Copyleaks, PlagScan, and I am sure others that I missed that work
with publishers and the like. Let me know about who you have worked with,
how you like them, and anything else that is connected. The key points to consider are: the cost of
the software, if it is geared toward the institutional publishing market, what it compares a manuscript
to (such as published works with a DOI or the like), impact on staff time to run the
check, and who would contact the authors about questions on originality. Well that’s it. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel or
see the link below for my playlist of more videos on using plagiarism software. And make comments below or email me with questions. Thank you very much and take care.

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