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PolyU Library

Citation & Avoiding Plagiarism

A quick guide to reach library resources and tools for academic integrity

Available Plagiarism Checking Tools

Text similarity checking tools can assist in detecting potential plagiarism. Each tool will check against a collection of papers and webpages from their underlying database. Different tools may serve different purposes and audiences. PolyU has subscribed to Turnitin for checking student works and VeriGuide for checking academic papers and grants applications.

Here is a quick comparison of available plagiarism checking tools: 

Tools Target for How to access User Guide

Turnitin

Checking student assignments & theses

via Turnitin assignment on Learn@PolyU

Student Guide
Instructor Guide

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VeriGuide

Checking academic papers & grants applications (can check both English and Chinese)

via VeriGuide PolyU webpage;
limited to PolyU academic staff only
User Guide

iThenticate

Checking academic papers; used by major publishers

PolyU does not have subscription. Users need to subscribe/ buy credits via its website. Getting started

Apart from these, there are also free plagiarism checking tools. Do check with your instructor or supervisor if it is acceptable to use any of the tools to check your work.

Student FAQs on Plagiarism Checking

1. How can I create an account in Turnitin?

As a student, you will not be able to create an account - your instructor will create a Turnitin assignment link for you to submit your assignment. The link will be available on the course page in Learn@PolyU(理學網). 

Steps to submit an assignment to Turnitin: Quick Student Guide to Using Turnitin with LEARN@PolyU
For technical support on Turnitin, please contact ITS Blackboard Support at 2766 5900 or through IT Online ServiceDesk.

2. How can I check similarity for my thesis in Turnitin?

You may check the similarity rate for your thesis in Turnitin, but you will need to seek your supervisor's help to create a Turnitin assignment for you. The link can be embedded in a course that is designated for checking students' works. For technical details, please check with ITS Blackboard Support at 2766 5900 or through IT Online ServiceDesk.


3. How can I check similarity for my journal article in Turnitin?

Turnitin is mainly for checking student assignments. To check journal articles, VeriGuide will be a better choice since it covers scholarly journal articles and free internet resources. Since VeriGuide is limited to PolyU academic staff only, please seek your supervisor's help to have your article (most likely co-authored with your supervisor) checked on VeriGuide. Alternatively, you may also subscribe iThenticate and check your work there. 


4. What % of similarity is safe?

There’s no official answer. All plagiarism checking tools are text-matching tools and are not able to determine intent. They do not grade paper for instructors; instead, instructors will judge the paper based on information provided in the similarity report.

Always focus on making sure proper acknowledgment is made instead of reducing the text similarity!


5. Can I resubmit my work to get a new similarity report?

It depends on whether resubmission has been enabled by your instructor. If resubmission is enabled, you will need to wait 24 hours to get a new similarity report on any resubmission. For details please refer to Quick Student Guide to Using Turnitin with LEARN@PolyU.


6. I resubmitted my work to another Turnitin assignment and received a very high similarity index. What should I do?

First of all, it is not ethical to submit the same work to two different assignments. If you wish to check the similarity of a revised version, you need to resubmit via the same Turnitin assignment portal. 

If you have submitted the work to two different assignments and wish to keep the latest submission, you may seek your instructor's help to delete the original submission from their database. Your instructor should contact the Turnitin administrator (which is ITS) and provide them with the class ID, paper ID, and the assignment name. ITS colleagues will then request Turnitin Support Team to remove the submission. More information can be read here.


7. Can I exclude references in the similarity report?

You may exclude references by applying a filter “Exclude Bibliography”. Steps can be found here. Most likely this will result in a lower similarity percentage. The similarity report will indicate the filters you have applied. 

Do check with your instructor if this is acceptable for the assignment!