Similarity Programs and Interpretation of the Results

Dear Author(s),

In this article I would like to briefly give you some information about the interpretation of the index results of iThenticate or similar programs. First of all, iThenticate or other similar software is utility programs which basically provide SIMILARITY checking to both writers and editors for control purposes. So the main function of the programs is not to detect plagiarism. In addition to that the program does not work with 100% accuracy. There are many reasons for this (restrictions: not scanning books or offline resources, etc.).

However, the program is very useful in terms of demonstrating the similarity of the study to other studies. The program identifies/reveals the uniqueness of the work with the similarity report obtained within constraints. So the more sentences/paragraphs are taken with copy-paste from somewhere, the more you appreciate the lower the originality of the work. At this point, rules of citation are engaged. The method is different whether we transfer it as if it were the reference of a person. In this case the method is showing it in quotes (of course it has to be taken partially). And we can ignore it in the program, so we can reduce the similarity and increase the authenticity.

However, we noticed that our authors are particularly complained in this regard. For example, ''a paragraph is taken from another source and finally cited. Where does this say wrong/plagiarism?'' say our authors. They are right, but this is not a plagiarism but a citation fault. Why?

As we have just mentioned, if we transcribe the words which another author had said, this should be in quotation. Otherwise, as a citation error, the antagonism occurs and the similarity ratio increases, thereby reduce the originality of the work. Instead, the right method is to transfer the other author's opinion by commenting with our own opinion along with showing the source at the end. To avoid these and similar situations, the referencing rules must be obeyed.

At this point, it is also necessary to talk briefly about the tricky points of quoting. There are basically two types of quotes (as a source

1) Direct, (quotation, full quotation);

Such quotations are taken as they were from the source work and require a page number. The name of the author and the title of the work must be specified for this purpose. The quotation must be in quotation marks ("...").

Both the ideas and words in the quotation are in the article belong to the mentioned author. The researcher is the only transporter. Therefore, showing the page number is mandatory.

2) Indirect, (in-text citation, nomination, referral, citation).

Such quotations are made for the idea mentioned by the author.  The source is still indicated and it does not require quotes ("...").

There should be only one idea in the indirect citations. The idea refers to the article while the words refer to the article. The writer adapts this rule to respect someone else's idea. A source can be a journal, a whole book, or a section of a work. The idea may have been expressed all or part of these works. Sometimes page numbers can be given by specifying page ranges.

If we return to our main subject; another benefit of the program is that it allows us to detect missed / forgotten references. In the case of the absence of a source falls into the crime of plagiarism, which we do not want to experience this situation not only   with our authors also as a journal itself. It is a situation with serious consequences and sanctions.

As a result, it should not be forgotten that iThenticate or similar programs do not have a direct plagiarism program (the final decision on this matter is given by the legal authorities) and that the program(s) is a utility program for control purposes.


Kind Regards,

Dr. Kazim Saricoban


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