Texas Tech University

iThenticate: Frequently Asked Questions

View the iThenticate website or contact us for issues not covered here.

What is iThenticate?

iThenticate is a Web-based service that identifies material that matches text from documents found in an extensive database. Highlighted text will include text that has been properly quoted and cited so it is not necessarily plagiarized. You'll just need to verify that every highlighted section has been properly quoted, summarized or paraphrased. As a result, iThenticate makes it easier for you to identify and attribute any material in your manuscript that you may have unintentionally plagiarized.


How can faculty submit a document to iThenticate?

Faculty can submit a document to iThenticate by using the submission form on the Library website. The iThenticate similarity report will be emailed to you within two business days. You must be the author or have the author's permission in order to submit documents. Acceptable document types are: Word(.doc), Word XML(.docx), Text(.txt), PostScript(.ps), PDF(.pdf), HTML(.htm), WordPerfect WPD(.wpd), or RTF (.rtf).


Can graduate students submit a document to iThenticate?

Graduate students may submit research manuscripts, grant proposals, and other non-thesis/dissertation documents. However, upon advisement from the graduate school, graduate students will not be able to submit thesis or dissertation documents through iThenticate independently. Instead, they should ask their committee chairperson or advisor to submit the document on their behalf. The similarity report will be returned to the committee chair, who should review the report with the student to address any areas of concern.


How complete is iThenticate?

In addition to current and archived Internet content, submissions are compared to more than 60 billion web pages and 105 million content items from leading academic publications, including Ebscohost, Elsevier, IEEE, Nature, ProQuest, and Wiley-Blackwell. 


How do I interpret the iThenticate similarity report?

The bold, highlighted color-coded text in the report reflects the words that matched other published works in iThenticate's database. The color and number corresponds with a source listed in the “Sources” section of the report. Black, non-bolded text did not match sources in the iThenticate database.

iThenticate calculates an overall similarity index percentage for the report. Naturally, the lower the percentage match, the better; however, acceptable match percentage levels can vary significantly for each document. Authors should pay more attention to the strings of matching text (bold, highlighted color-coded) than to the overall percentage match. The main function of the report is to help catch phrases or passages that may not have been cited and used correctly.

The iThenticate website gives additional information about understanding the similarity percentage.


Are submitted documents kept confidential?

Yes. iThenticate does not exploit, resell or share submitted manuscripts. iThenticate does not add your manuscript to any databases.


What about copyright?

You retain all rights to your work. iThenticate does not exploit, resell or share submitted manuscripts. iThenticate does not add your manuscript to any databases.


Why can I only submit my own work?

Ethical use of iThenticate requires that it be used only for an author's own work.


How long does an iThenticate report take to generate?

iThenticate reports can take anywhere from a few minutes to a full day to generate, depending on the total nationwide volume of documents being submitted to iThenticate. For this reason, Texas Tech Library guarantees a two-business-day turnaround for iThenticate reports. However, most of the time reports are generated and returned within the same business day.


Where do I go for technical help?

Contact us if you experience technical problems with iThenticate.