Q: How to deal with a manuscript that has a high similarity rate?

Detailed Question -

I submitted my revised manuscript to the ACS (American Chemical Society) journal after receiving a a major revision decision. Now, the editor asks me to make minor revisions. The editor also mentioned that the manuscript will undergo iThenticate check. I've heard that ACS does the plagiarism check after accepting the manuscript but will reject if the similarity rate is high. I checked my paper's similarity from an online vendor, it showed 38%. My question is: Do I need to revise it now without informing the editor before re-submit, or I need to mark all the changes and inform the editor in the cover letter?

1 Answer to this question

A similarity of 38% is not alarmingly high if it includes the References Section. You have not mentioned if you have received a detailed report of the plagiarism check from the vendor. If you have, please take a look at the sections which have the maximum similarity. Plagiarism or high similarity is not too much of a concern in the Methods section. However, if you have high similarity in the Introduction and/or Discussion sections, it’s better to reword these sections before you send the revised manuscript to the Editor. However, do write a small note to the editor explaining that you have made some language changes in these sections to avoid a high similarity rate.. Do read this post to understand to what extent journal editors rely on plagiarism detection software?

Related reading:

5 Easy tips to avoid accidental plagiarism