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When I first submitted an article to a journal, Turnitin showed 10% plagiarism. However, it went through many revisions and each time I added some text, but did not check for plagiarism again, because I somehow could not access Turnitin for some reasons. Now that my paper is accepted, at this stage I have signed the copyright, will it be scanned for plagiarism again?

I have heard that each time we submit the paper (even if it is a revision) it is checked, but not post acceptance. Is this true?

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  • If submissions to turnitin go into their database, the percentage will rapidly increase…
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 17:13
  • No I did not select the option of saving to database in Turnitin and i only submitted once. Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 17:22
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    If you didn’t plagiarise, why are you checking it on Turnitin? Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 17:47
  • @isolatedmatrix as a pragmatic matter you not only don't want to have plagiarized, you don't want to give the appearance of having plagiarized. There is also the problem of unconcious plagarism. Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 17:58
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    Submitting to turnitin does not check plagiarism, it checks word similarity. If someone hasn't written the paper and wonders if it's plagiarized they might use similarity to decide if they should be suspicious. If it's not plagiarized and you know that because you wrote it you shouldn't submit it to any software to check similarity because there is no reason to.
    – Bryan Krause
    Commented Dec 24, 2023 at 19:01

2 Answers 2

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Why would you submit an article to turnitin before you submit it to the journal for review? You know your work so you should know if you plagiarized. Not to mention your manuscript should have been reviewed by co-authors or trusted collaborators before submission to the target journal. You are overcomplicating the process. Frankly you sound unaware and/or underprepared to submit a competitive manuscript.

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  • Jason, some relatively low quality journals use plagiarism checkers. Commented Dec 25, 2023 at 13:10
  • Maybe so and that is why they are "low quality". The peer review process would catch plagiarism, but maybe some journal some where is trying to outsource that process to AI. I personally would feel suspicious of any journal, editor, collaborator or any academic that included such a step in the publishing process for a research manuscript. Commented Dec 26, 2023 at 23:25
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If you are trying very hard to cleverly plagiarize (intentionally attribute to yourself the work of others) by using careful wording (paraphrasing) or other tricks, then you should be concerned. Otherwise, ignore the issue unless the checks indicate that your research is sloppy and you should have done more background research. In the latter case, do that research.

Clever plagiarism might get past a brain-dead checker but it won't, likely, fool reviewers. And even if it does get past them, those in the field finding your work will know.

Yes, the above is rough, and I don't accuse or suspect you of that. Therefore, given that the ideas are yours, relax and present them in the clearest way possible. If people, then, raise issues deal with them as they occur. It isn't a game. It is a search for truth.

If the journal is reputable (as is likely true of IEEE journals) and none of the reviewers have suggested other sources or mentioned plagiarism then relaxation is warranted on this issue. Have a culturally appropriate beverage and do the next edit.


Aside: I'll guess that as things like turnitin merge with things like LLM AI tools, more and more things will get flagged that are not, in fact, examples of plagiarism, though possibly of incomplete background research.

In the current situation, journal acceptance isn't an automated process, though some automation might be used. Papers are published or not based on the informed judgement of reviewers and editors.

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  • I have written a review paper so its very natural that some of my words will match with that in the paper i reviewed. The article is my original idea and my Professor who has worked a lot in that field has approved the idea and why would i copy some other people work I really have no incentive to do so Commented Dec 26, 2023 at 7:29

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