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Overview of the new Similarity Report experience

In this guide:

Highlighted matches are instances of text similarity; they do not always indicate plagiarism. The match could be a quote or cited material listed in a bibliography. We aim to provide as much information for each match as possible to assist in your assessment of its legitimacy.

Overall similarity

The overall similarity is a percentage showing how much text from the submission matches to sources in our database. We calculate this percentage by dividing the number of matching words by the total number of words in the document. Matched text is highlighted in the submission. 

What are submissions compared against?

A submission (with at least 20 words or more) made to an assignment generates a Similarity Report. The Similarity Report is the result of comparison between the text of the submission against the search targets, or databases, selected for the assignment.

Depending on your settings, these databases may include:

  • billions of pages of active (and archived) internet information, previously submitted works,
  • tens of thousands of periodicals, journals, and publications.
  • Any matching or highly similar text discovered is detailed in the Similarity Report.

Match Groups

The Match Groups view divides the overall similarity into four categories based on the usage of in-text citation and quotation marks. Viewing instances of similarity grouped by common characteristics can help you identify issues (as well as non-issues and teachable moments) faster. 

Highlight colors and criteria

Each match (a string of text in a submission that matched to a source) is highlighted in its corresponding match group color. The color and criteria for each match group are:

  • Not Cited or Quoted - The number of text matches that are not written as a quotation or has no citation to its original source.
  • Missing Quotations - This text is cited, but the match is so exact that it may also require quotation marks.
  • Missing Citation - This text is written as a quote, but lacks a citation to its original source.
  • Cited and Quoted - This text contains a quotation and is cited to a source. You may want to review them for your preferred formatting.

Source number

Each highlight in the document has a source number appended to it, which is indicated in the top row of its corresponding source card. Selecting a highlight in the document will bring its corresponding source card into focus in the right-side panel.

Selecting a match group

To review matches of a particular group, select one of the four match groups to bring matches with that criteria into focus in the right-side panel.

Viewing Matches with Source Cards

Source cards contain details about the highlighted match and its source material. Expand a source card for more options.

The top row indicates the top matching source ranking number (this number also appears next to the corresponding highlighted match in the document), the database type, and the match group criteria.

The second row contains the name of the top matching source and the percentage matched with the document.

The third row indicates the number of matching text blocks to that source and match group, as well as a total word count for all matches with the same criteria.

Exploring a source card

To view the source's full url, along with more actions, expand the source card by selecting either:

  • A highlighted match in the document,
  • or a source card in the right-side panel

Navigating multiple matches in one source card

When there are more than one match to a single source within a match group, you can skip to each one in the document using the < and > arrows inside the source card.


Sources provides a list of sources organized in descending order by highest total similarity percentage. (These sources are the same as those detailed in source cards in the Match Groups tab.)

What are overlapping sources?

It is possible that similar text can be found within multiple sources. When text is similar to more than one source, whichever source has the most matched words will display first.

When multiple sources are found matching the same exact words, the report will prioritize sources as best match, or top source, in this order:

  1. Internet
  2. Publications
  3. Submitted Works (student papers)

Viewing other sources matched to the same text

  1. When there are overlapping sources matched to the same text, you will have a View other sources option at the bottom of the source card for that match.
  2. Selecting View other sources will expand a list of all overlapping sources matched to the same text in the submission, with the current top source at the top of the list. To close the list, select Hide other sources.
  1. Selecting another source from this list will display a snippet of that source’s text where the match was found and the number of words matched.
  1. If an overlapping source is matched to more text in the submission, use the arrows above the snippet to preview the rest of the matches to that particular source.

Show overlapping sources list

  1. To display individual source cards for every match, including sources matched to the same text, navigate to the Sources tab. 
  2. Select the Show overlapping sources option at the top of the Source list. Selecting a source card will highlight the matching text in the submission.

Excluding the current top source

  1. Selecting the Exclude Source button at the top right-hand corner of the source card will exclude the top source matched to that text. 

  1. When multiple sources are matched to the same text, the next source in the View other sources list will replace the source you just excluded. 
  2. The previous top source will appear in the Exclusions list.

Refining the Report: Filters and Exclusions

Make use of Filters and Exclusions to refine a Similarity Report and hide any matches that are irrelevant to you.


Applying filters

Use filters to customize the report to display or hide certain matches and sources, depending on their relevance to your review. For example, checking the Exclude bibliography filter will hide all matches found in the bibliography or list of references typically found at the end of a submission. 

  1. To view filtering options, select the Filters button located next to the overall similarity.
    Screenshot 2024-03-15 at 10.05.11 AM.png
  2. Use the checkboxes to change the filter setting. All match criteria and databases are included by default, unless otherwise specified in assignment settings.
    Screenshot 2024-03-15 at 9.27.52 AM.png
  3. Select Back to Similarity Report to view the overall similarity panel with the applied filters.


Exclude specific matches or sources to remove them from the report.

Excluding a match

  1. While in the Match Groups list, select a highlighted match in the submission or a source card from the list.
  2. Choose the Exclude button that appears next to the selected text in the submission or in the source card.

Excluding a source

  1. Navigate to the Sources list.
  2. Select a highlight in the document to bring that source into focus in the right-side panel; or choose a source card from the list in the right-side panel.
    Exclude Source.png
  3. Choose the Exclude icon in the source card to exclude all matches to that particular source from the report.

Viewing and modifying exclusions

Whenever exclusions are applied, the number of exclusions will appear directly beneath the overall similarity.
Screenshot 2024-03-15 at 11.19.03 AM.png

  1. Selecting this link will display the complete list of excluded items.
    Exclusions_Include Source.png
  2. From this list, you can choose to restore an individual match or source by selecting the Include icon, or you can restore an entire category of exclusions by choosing the Include All button for that category.

Applying filters and exclusions may or may not change the overall similarity score percentage depending on several factors, such as overlapping sources for one match.

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