Q: I'm concerned about the similarity percentage of my plagiarism check report. Please advice.

Detailed Question -

Hi, I am a Ph.D. scholar. I want to know about Turnitin plagiarism similarity report. Please can you guide me, I checked my manuscript's plagiarism online from different paid websites. They show a lower percentage of plagiarism. But Turnitin shows 23% similarity. Should I worried about it or is it ok?

1 Answer to this question

Journal editors do not rely completely on plagiarism detection software. They understand the limitations of these tools and in most cases do not reject a manuscript outright based only on the results of the plagiarism detection software unless the percentage of plagiarized content is very high, at least above 30 per cent.

In most cases, editors use their discretion in consultation with the peer reviewers to judge whether a paper should be rejected on account of plagiarism. Journal editors are also aware of the fact that in some cases rewording content would be very difficult, and they tend to make some allowances in such cases. This is particularly true of the Methods section of the manuscript, and generally editors have a more lenient attitude towards content similarity in the methods section.

Thus, more than the overall percentage of similarity, what actually matters is which section of your manuscript has the maximum similarity. If you check the detailed report provided by Turnitin, you will find that the parts where similar content has been detected have been marked. If most of the similar content is in the methods section, you have nothing to worry about. If the introduction or discussion has more of similar content, you should try to reword it as far as possible. If the results section has similar content, you might be in trouble. You should be very careful to avoid similarity in the results section. Having said that, I personally feel that 23 percent is not very high in terms of content similarity. However, to be of the safe side, try to reword the text in the similar parts as far as possible.

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