Bentham OPEN uses the iThenticate software to detect instances of overlapping and similar text in submitted manuscripts. iThenticate software checks content against a database of periodicals, the Internet, and a comprehensive article database. It generates a similarity report, highlighting the percentage overlap between the uploaded article and the published material. Any instance of content overlap is further scrutinized for suspected plagiarism according to the publisher’s Editorial Policies. Bentham OPEN allows an overall similarity of 20% for a manuscript to be considered for publication. The similarity percentage is further checked keeping the following important points in view:
Low Text Similarity:
The text of every submitted manuscript is checked using the Content Tracking mode in iThenticate. The Content Tracking mode ensures that manuscripts with an overall low percentage similarity (but which may have a higher similarity from a single source) are not overlooked. The acceptable limit for similarity of text from a single source is 5%. If the similarity level is above 5%, the manuscript is returned to the author for paraphrasing the text and citing the original source of the copied material.
It is important to mention that the text taken from different sources with an overall low similarity percentage will be considered as a plagiarized content if the majority of the article is a combination of copied material.
High Text Similarity:
There may be some manuscripts with an overall low similarity percentage, but a higher percentage from a single source. A manuscript may have less than 20% overall similarity but there may be 15 % similar text taken from a single article. The similarity index in such cases is higher than the approved limit for a single source. Authors are advised to thoroughly rephrase the similar text and properly cite the original source to avoid plagiarism and copyright violation.
TYPES OF PLAGIARISM:
We all know that scholarly manuscripts are written after thorough review of previously published articles. It is therefore not easy to draw a clear boundary between legitimate representation and plagiarism. However, the following important features can assist in identifying different kinds of plagiarized content.
- Reproduction of others words, sentences, ideas or findings as one’s own without proper acknowledgement.
- Text recycling, also known as self-plagiarism. It is an author’s use of a previous publication in another paper without proper citation and acknowledgement of the original source.
- Paraphrasing poorly: Copying complete paragraphs and modifying a few words without changing the structure of original sentences or changing the sentence structure but not the words.
- Verbatim copying of text without putting quotation marks and not acknowledging the work of the original author.
- Properly citing a work but poorly paraphrasing the original text is considered as unintentional plagiarism. Similarly, manuscripts with language somewhere between paraphrasing and quoting are not acceptable. Authors should either paraphrase properly or quote and in both cases, cite the original source.
- Higher similarity in the abstract, introduction, materials and methods, and discussion and conclusion sections indicates that the manuscript may contain plagiarized text. Authors can easily explain these parts of the manuscript in many ways. However, technical terms and sometimes standard procedures cannot be rephrased; therefore Editors must review these sections carefully before making a decision.
PLAGIARISM IN PUBLISHED MANUSCRIPTS:
Published manuscripts which are found to contain plagiarized text are retracted from the journal website after careful investigation and approval by the Editor-in-Chief of the journal. A ‘Retraction Note’ as well as a link to the original article is published on the electronic version of the plagiarized manuscript and an addendum with retraction notification in the journal concerned.