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The Similarity Report

Viewing Similarity Reports

 

iThenticate Similarity Reports provide an overall similarity index for each submission. This index determines the percentage of similarity between a submission and information existing in the iThenticate databases selected as search targets.

 

To view a Similarity Report click on the folder that the document was submitted to and then click on the similarity index icon under the Report column.


 

Clicking on the similarity index icon opens up the Similarity Report. The Similarity Report is separated into three main areas in the default view. These three areas are: 

 

  • paper information - the top of the report page shows information about the submitted paper. This includes the paper title, the date the report was processed, the word count, the folder the document was submitted from and the number of matching documents found in the selected databases 
  • paper text - the text of the submitted paper. Matching text is highlighted in a color that corresponds to the matching source listed on the right side of the Similarity Report
  • matching sources - the list of matching sources for the highlighted areas within the paper text.

 

The Document Viewer (DV) provides a document’s original format, including images, tables and graphs, within the Similarity Report.

Document Viewer Report Modes

 

The Document Viewer can be viewed in four different modes. These modes allow users to view and sort the information contained in the Similarity Report in any way best suited to their needs. The four modes for viewing a Similarity Report are:

 

Match Overview (show highest matches together): A list of all areas of the paper which have similarity to information in the selected search repositories. Matches are color coded and listed from highest to lowest percentage of matching word area to the submission. Only the top or best matches are shown, all underlying matches are visible in the Match Breakdown and All Sources modes.

 

All Sources: Allows a user to view matches between the paper and a specific selected source in the content repositories. Contains a full list of all matches found rather than the best matches per area of similarity. This listing is exhaustive but will show all matches found, including any that are obscured in the Match Overview by virtue of being in the same or similar areas as other, better matches.

 

Match Breakdown: Displays matches that are obscured by a top source. Allows users to compare the match instance of an underlying source with the match instance for a top source.

 

Side By Side Comparison: An in depth view that shows a document’s match compared side by side with the original source content from the content repositories. Not available on all types of repository matches.

View Mode Icons

 

The view mode icons allow users to switch between the Similarity Report viewing modes: Match Overview and All Sources view. The default viewing mode is the Match Overview (the view mode icon on the left).

 

To change the view mode for an Similarity Report to the All Sources view, click on the All Sources icon (the view mode icon on the right). The sidebar will automatically update to the All Sources view mode.


Match Breakdown Mode

 

By default the Similarity Report opens in Match Overview mode. In some cases, matches to smaller areas of similarity may be obscured by larger matches and not shown on this view mode. To find the underlying sources, hover over the match you would like to view the underlying sources for and click on the arrow icon that appears.

 


 

In this mode all sources that are obscured by the selected top source are listed below the top source. Click on a source to display the highlights for the match. The highlight for the top source match will become lighter and the match to the selected underlying source will be displayed with a darker highlight.


 

To return to the Match Overview mode click on the back arrow next to Match Breakdown at the top of the sidebar.


Viewing Live Web Pages for a Source

 

If a source is available on the internet users can open that source within a new browser tab by hovering over the match and clicking on the view source icon that appears. The only report mode that does not provide this ability within the sidebar is the Match Overview mode.


 

To access the live web page within Match Overview, users can first click on a match within the document.

 

 

Once the glimpse of the match within the original source appears, a user can hover over the blue source title to see if the source can be viewed in a new webpage. If the source is a link click on the source link to open a new web page containing the original source.

 


 

Note: Some Internet sources may link to pages that no longer exist on a website.

Side by Side Comparison

 

Side by side comparison allows users to compare matching text within a document to the source of the match in the content repositories. Users can either view the Direct Source Comparison as a glimpse within the paper or as the Full Source Text within the sidebar. The glimpse only provides the matching text within context of a few outlying sentences from the source while the Full Source Text loads in the sidebar and contains the full text of the source and all the match instances.

 

To view the glimpse of the matching text within the original source click on a matching instance of text within the document.

 

1. Open up the glimpse pop-up window by cllicking on a matching section of text within the document


 

2. Click on the “x” in the top right corner of the pop-up to close the window


 

3. Click on the Full Source View link to view the full source with the matching instances in the sidebar


 

4. The Source’s full text will load in the sidebar with each matching instance to the document highlighted in red.

 

Click on the source title/URL to open up the original source in a webpage.


 

5. If there are multiple matches to this source, click on the arrow icons to quickly navigate through the match instances


 

6. To exit side by side mode click on the “X” button

 

 

Excluding Quoted or Bibliographic Material

 

If quoted or bibliographic material is flagged as similar or matching, this information can be removed from the Similarity Report within the Document Viewer through the Filter settings sidebar.

 

1. Click on the Filter and Settings icon at the bottom of the Document Viewer sidebar to access the Filter and Settings sidebar


 

2. To exclude Quoted or Bibliographic material click the check box next to the Exclude Quotes and Exclude Bibliography exclusion option


 

3. Click on the Apply Changes button at the bottom of the filter and settings sidebar to apply the changes

 

4. Review the revised report. Quoted or bibliographic material can be re-included by deselecting the Exclude Quotes and Exclude Bibliography options within Filter and Settings and then clicking on Apply Changes


Excluding Small Sources

 

Users have the ability to exclude small sources by either the aggregate match word count for a source or by source matching percentage. To exclude small sources within a Similarity Report click on the Filter and Settings icon below the sidebar.


 

The sidebar will load with the exclusion options. Below the Exclude sources that are less than: option enter into either the words or % fields the numerical value for small sources that will be excluded from this Similarity Report. To turn off excluding small sources click on the radio button next to Don’t exclude by size and then click on the Apply Changes button. This feature can be adjusted at any time.

 

Excluding Small Matches

 

Users have the ability to exclude match instances in a report. To exclude small matches within a Similarity Report click on the Filter and Settings icon below the sidebar.

 

The sidebar will load with the exclusion options. Below the Exclude matches that are less than: option enter into the words field the numerical value for match instances that will be excluded from this Similarity Report. Match instances below the set threshold will be excluded from the Similarity Report.

 

To turn off excluding small matches click on the radio button next to Don’t exclude by size and then click on the Apply Changes button. This feature can be adjusted at any time.


Excluding Sections

 

Users have the ability to exclude the Abstract and Methods and Materials sections in a report. To exclude sections within a Similarity Report click on the Filter and Settings icon below the sidebar.

 

Click on the Abstract and Methods and Materials check boxes and then click on the Apply Changes button to exclude those sections from the report.


Excluding a Match

 

Any source can be removed from the Similarity Report through the Match Breakdown or All Sources viewing modes. This allows the user to remove a match from consideration, if the user determines the match is not needed. The similarity index will be recalculated and may change the current percentage of the Similarity Report if matches are excluded.

 

1. To exclude matches for a top match in the Match Overview hover over the match you would like to view the underlying sources for and click on the arrow icon that appears to enter Match Breakdown mode.


 

2. To exclude matches from the All Sources view click on the All sources icon at the top of the side bar


 

3. Click on the Exclude Sources button at the bottom of the sources list to enter source exclusion mode


4. Select the sources that you would like to remove by clicking in the check box next to each source


 

5. Once all the sources are selected click on the Exclude (#) button located at the bottom of the sidebar to exclude the sources


Exclusion List


The Exclusion List contains each source that was excluded from the Similarity Report.

 

To access the exclusion list click on the Exclusion List icon at the bottom of the sidebar.

 

1. Within the Exclusion List a check box appears next to each excluded source.

 

Click on the check box next to the source you would like to include back into the Similarity Report.


 

2. Click on the Restore (#) & Recalculate button to include the source in the Similarity Report


 

3. To restore all of the sources that were excluded from the report click on the Restore All button

 


 

4. If the included source affects the Similarity Index percentage the percentage will recalculate

Downloading a PDF Version of a Similarity Report

 

The Similarity Report can be downloaded in a print friendly PDF to the user’s computer for later reference.

 

To print/download a report, click on the print icon at the bottom of the Originality Report. This will prepare a readable, PDF version of the Originality Report. When downloading a report, the downloaded version created is based on the current view of the Similarity Report. For example, clicking the download icon while using the default Match Overview will create a PDF of only the highest matches.


Accessing the Text Only Report

 

The Text-Only report allows users to view the Similarity Report without the document formatting and displays only the unformatted document text.


Users can navigate back to the Text-Only report by clicking on the Text-Only Report button at the bottom right of the Document Viewer window.

 


 

Note: The Similarity Report will open in the report view that a user last used. For example, if a user viewed a report in the DV and then closed the report window, the next time that user views a report, it will open in the DV.

 

To navigate back to the Document Viewer from the Text-Only Similarity Report click on the Document Viewer button in the top left of the Text-Only report.


 

Clicking on the Text-only Report button opens up the text-only view of Similarity Report. The text-only Report is separated into three main areas in the default view. These three areas are:

 

  • paper information - the top of the report page shows information about the submitted paper. This includes the paper title, the date the report was processed, the word count, the folder the document was submitted from and the number of matching documents found in the selected databases
  • paper text - the text of the submitted paper. Matching text is highlighted in a color that corresponds to the matching source listed on the right side of the Similarity Report
  • matching sources - the list of matching sources for the highlighted areas within the paper text

 

Warning: The similarity indices do not reflect iThenticate’s assessment of whether a paper has or has not been plagiarized. Similarity Reports are simply a tool to help our clients find sources that contain text similar to the submitted documents. The decision to deem any work plagiarized must be made carefully, and only after an in depth examination of both the submitted paper and suspect sources.

Viewing Modes

 

There are four modes in which to view a Report: 

 

  • Similarity Report - this is the default viewing mode for the Similarity Report. Provides a list of all areas of the paper which have similarity to information in the iThenticate databases. Matches are color coded and listed from highest to lowest percentage of matching word area within the submission. Only the top or best matches are shown, all underlying matches are visible in the Content Tracking viewing mode. By clicking on the highlighted area of the text, the matching sources displays the actual source from the website and which part of the original writing was matched with the submitted document.
     
  • Content Tracking - the content tracking similarity report view mode lists all the matches between the databases and the submitted document. Since iThenticate updates its database regularly it may have many matches from the same source. The sources that are the same will specify when they were copied from the internet.
     
  • Summary Report - a simple, printable list of the matches found followed by the paper with the matching areas highlighted.
     
  • Largest Matches - the report shows the percentage of words that are a part of a matching string of words (with some limited flexibility), in the Content Tracking view the report shows the percentage of matching words for a source regardless of whether or not the words are pieces of matching strings. In some cases, strings from the same source may overlap, in which case, the longer string in the Largest Match view will be displayed.

 

To select the view mode, click on the Mode: pull-down menu and select a viewing mode.

 

Changing Viewing Modes

 

By default the Similarity Report opens in the similarity report view mode which displays the highest matches within the matching sources. In some cases smaller areas of similarity may be obscured by larger matches and not shown with this view mode. To find the underlying sources, use the Content Tracking view mode to show an exhaustive list of the sources.

 

When a viewing mode has been changed by selecting it from the View: pull-down menu, the Similarity Report browser window will reload to display this view.

 

The Content Tracking view mode when selected, lists all sources, even those that are obscured by larger percentage matches in the default view. Select a source to display on the student paper to the left by clicking on the radio button next to a source. When printing, this view mode will print only the currently selected source.


 

Users may also view the Similarity Report showing only matching text and source links without the matching sources view. This is known as the Summary Report view mode. This view mode allows a user to view a source in its original format from the internet, or from the iThenticate database if the source is a journal or periodical, by clicking on the name of the source at the top of the Similarity Report. The Summary Report view mode is similar to the printed view of the Similarity Report.

 

The last mode is the Largest Matches viewing mode. This mode is very similar to the default mode but with one main difference, this viewing mode shows the percentage of words that are a part of a matching string of words, so the percentage for a matching source may change in this viewing mode.

Viewing the Matching Source

 

The matching source can either be viewed from the database or from the internet source. To view the internet source simply click on the link under the percentage of similar material found in the submitted document.


 

To view the matching material side by side with the submitted document, use either the similarity report view or the largest matches view. To view the matching content in the Matching sources area of the similarity report, click on the highlighted text within the submitted document. Once clicked the source material will be displayed to the right of the submitted document from the matching database source.

 

To exit the matched database content, click on the x button to the right of the similarity percentage to return to all the matching sources.


Excluding Quoted or Bibliographic Material

 

If quoted or bibliographic material is flagged as similar or matching, this information can be removed from the Similarity Report. When quoted or bibliographic material is excluded form a Similarity Report it may change the percentage of matching text found within the submission.

 

1. Open a Similarity Report


 

2. Click on the Exclude Quotes or Exclude Bibliography links


 

3. Review the revised report. Quoted or bibliographic material can be reincluded by clicking the include quotes or include bibliography links


Excluding Phrases

 

When the exclude phrases setting is enabled for a folder any submission made to that folder will include an option within a Similarity Report to toggle between excluding and including phrases contained in the account or folder’s phrase exclusion list.


Excluding a Match

 

Any source or match source found in the iThenticate Database can be excluded from the Similarity Report in either the similarity report or highest matches viewing modes. This allows the user to find any underlying sources or, if it has been determined a match is not needed, to remove it from consideration. The similarity index will be recalculated and may change the current percentage of the similarity index if matches are excluded.

 

To exclude a match, the user must open a Similarity Report and view it in the similarity report or highest matches mode. To the right of each source listed for a match will be a gray X icon. Click on this icon to exclude the source. Any underlying source, if present, will replace the excluded source.


 

Once a source has been excluded it can be reincluded to the Similarity Report through the content tracking viewing mode. The content tracking view mode lists all sources that have matching content with the submission. The excluded sources will appear with a plus icon to the right of their name within this view mode. To reinclude the source within the Similarity Report, click on the plus icon.


Excluding Small Matches

 

If the Exclude Small Sources option was set for a folder then the Exclude small matches option within a report will reflect that setting. The setting within a report can be adjusted at any time. If the customize match size option was not set for a folder you can set a threshold to exclude small matches from within the report. To do this first click on the Exclude small matches drop down.


 

Enter a value into either the Word Count or Percentage field to set an exclusion threshold. Any source below that threshold will be excluded from the report. Click on the Update button to set the exclusion setting.

 


Interpreting the Similarity Report

 

The Similarity Check does not check for plagiarism in a submission. It checks a submission against the content database, and if there are instances where the submission's content is similar to, or matches against, one or more sources, it will be flagged for review. Thedatabase includes billions of web pages: both current and archived content, a repository of work that has been submittedto iThenticate and Turnitin in the past, and a collection of documents, which comprises of thousands of periodicals, journals, and publications.


It is perfectly natural for a submission to match against sources in the database. If the submission has used quotes and has referenced correctly, there will be instances where there will be a match. The similarity score simply makes the user aware of any problem areas in the submission; the tool can then be used as part of a larger process, in order to determine if the match is or is not acceptable.

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Last modified
10:19, 24 Feb 2017

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