[visionlist] Plagiarism checks in Empirical Manuscripts

Prof. Michael Bach michael.bach at uni-freiburg.de
Mon Jul 10 10:37:14 -05 2017

Dear Malte + All: 

> … The request was triggered by an automated plagiarism check using CrossCheck. The whole process left me so puzzled that I thought I‘d share my experience here, combined with a humble request for a broader debate about the issue of plagiarism in empirical research. …

I was once bitten by such an occurrence, which all-in-all I found quite jarring. In my case, I had labeled the (very lengthy) sources section as “Literature” rather than “References”, so the automatism flagged all my citations as plagiarism :).

> 4) Is it common consensus that automated plagiarism checking without editorial oversight …
absolutely not, editors must _always_ check to avoid my example above. In my case it was, even after we identified the problem, heavy uphill work. I never received an apology … never mind. 

To be more helpful: I looked at many plagiarism articles at that time, and found this one
most helpful, specifically the “28 guidelines”
although they go somewhat overboard methinks. [2 years ago, there were only 26 guidelines :)]

As an associate editor myself, I know we have a typical plagiarism rate and of course methods weigh in heavily. So everything below a threshold (which is below 20%) is seen as irrelevant, higher values are usually discussed between all editors.

Best, Michael
Prof. Michael Bach PhD, Eye Center, University of Freiburg, Killianstr. 5, 79106 Freiburg, Germany. 
Michael.Bach at uni-freiburg.de   <http://michaelbach.de>

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