Your thesis or dissertation is the culminating experience of your graduate program and provides a permanent record of an important scholarly accomplishment. You should take great pride in completing a document that demonstrates your own unique work. Unfortunately, sometimes the work of others is improperly used in theses and dissertations, and the number of plagiarism allegations is growing. If plagiarism is found to exist in a thesis or dissertation after it has been accepted by the Graduate School, a number of serious outcomes, including dismissal and/or degree revocation, can result.
The Graduate School wants to help you avoid those serious consequences. In order to accomplish this, we are providing a way to scan your thesis and dissertation before submitting it for approval to the Graduate School. This is done using iThenticate, a plagiarism detection solution, which allows documents to be scanned to detect potential plagiarism.
Getting Access to iThenticate
Signing into iThenticate is done through your NetID. Use the iThenticate login to begin the login process. If you have not logged in with your current web browser before, you will be taken to a page that asks you to select your institution. Select “University of Tennessee” and you can choose to remember your selection in the future on your current browser. Then, you’ll be taken to a UT login screen where you can provide your NetID and password to get access. Once you’ve logged in, you will be taken directly to your iThenticate account dashboard. If you have any difficulties with getting access, please contact Donna Ford (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Office of Research and Engagement.
Once you have access to iThenticate, you can:
Scanning a Document
Once you’ve logged in to iThenticate, you will have the opportunity to scan a document. This may be your own work, or a document provided to you to scan.
If you are a researcher, scanning your document can be a valuable check before submitting your work to an advisor or a journal. Early detection of any potential issues can save time and trouble down the road.
Creating a Folder
Folders are where you organize your scanned files and retrieve reports. Each folder has settings that determine how files uploaded are scanned by iThenticate. It is recommended that you do not exclude any material in your document to ensure the most complete scan, but the settings will allow you to exclude parts of your document or limit searches to specific repositories during the scan. Use the “My Folders” dialog on the left of your iThenticate screen to create and organize folders.
If you want other users to be able to view scans of a document or set of documents, you can share the folder with selected users. Create a folder for all of those scanned documents and use the “Sharing” tab to select the users you wish to have access to it.
Uploading a Document
Once you upload a document into a folder, iThenticate will begin scanning it, according to the settings on that folder. To upload a file, select “Upload a File” from the “Submit a document” menu to the right of your iThenticate screen.
iThenticate has some requirements about what kinds of files it can take, and how big they can be. They are listed right under the “Submit a document” menu.
You will be provided with a form to help identify your document. You’ll need to choose which folder you’re putting the document into and then provide the author’s first name, author’s last name and the title of the document.
Once you click “Choose File,” the file will upload and it iThenticate will begin scanning the file.
You can also upload multiple files from a single author by putting them all into a zip file and uploading that using “Zip File Upload” from the “Submit a document” menu.
Viewing and Interpreting a Report
Once a file has been scanned, a report will be available. This report will provide you with an overview of all potential matches that iThenticate has found when it scanned its repositories of published works. Each match is an area of the scanned document that might represent significant overlap with another published document. This is a possibility of plagiarism only, and requires that users look closely at the instance to determine if the instance is correctly cited, if the instance represents an accidental match, or if the instance needs amelioration to avoid ethical conflicts.
Viewing a Report
To view a report, view the contents of the folder where a document was scanned, and see if there is a score available. This overall score is based on the matches found in the document.
If you’ve been asked to view an existing report that you did not scan, look at your “My Folders” menu at the top left to find the folder that has been shared with you.
Interpreting a Report
The viewer has the paper in the left portion of the screen, with a list of sources on the right that contain potential matches to investigate. You can view the match in context within the document or view the original source. For a detailed walk-through of the Document Viewer and how to view matches, visit iThenticate’s training resources.
If you are interpreting the report, but find yourself uncertain about the implication of some matches, there are resources on campus that can help you. The UT Libraries has the Scholarly Publishing Toolkit, which has information on research conduct, plagiarism and copyright, among other valuable topics. If you’d like to speak with someone directly, the UT Libraries’ Subject Librarians are available for consultation about publishing in your particular area of research. You may also contact Dr. Robert Nobles in the Office of Research Integrity.
Downloading a Report
In some instances, you may wish to download the report as a PDF. To download the report as a PDF, go to the Document Viewer for the report, as shown above. Click the printer icon in the lower left part of the screen. iThenticate will prepare the PDF and start the download process.