I want my PhD thesis findings to be presented as a scientific pager and get it published in a journal which uses "iThenticate" as plagiarism detection software. When I present my findings, it's unavoidable that I'll use many exact sentences and exact findings from thesis to the paper. So, as I have already published my thesis to the university (the thesis is not available to the public so, only me, university and the turnitin only knows that the thesis exists in this world), will the iThenticate detect my own thesis as self plagiarism? Does "iThenticate" go through the academic thesises submitted via "turnitin" to the university? Because iThenticate only state following as their databases which is not clear for me

  • 60 Billion Web Pages
  • 144 Million Content Items
  • ProQuest Dissertations
  • Internal Documents

The only option I see is pay $100.00 USD and buy their one paper credit and check if my thesis is detected by them, but it's a waste of money just to check. Can somebody tell me if they go through thesises? And any other advises for me?

  • Have you considered paraphrasing?
    – Ébe Isaac
    Aug 22, 2016 at 10:11
  • @ÉbeIsaac : of course, but, I'm pretty sure I won't be able to paraphrase every single sentence as it would lower the quality of the paper, and since it's the exact data, I won't be able omit those, which will detect by iThenticate if they do go through my thesis. Aug 22, 2016 at 10:43
  • Is the up-front fee for iThenticate? If it's for the journal/publisher, look into them very carefully. Turnitin does add uploaded work to its database unless instructed not to by the institution, and it sound slike there may be some backend sharing between them
    – Chris H
    Aug 23, 2016 at 9:26

2 Answers 2


iThenticate might check your paper against your thesis. Many universities send theses to Proquest, which shares them with iThenticate, as you mentioned. However, you have no problem. Most journals allow you to publish parts of your thesis as journal articles. If iThenticate tells the journal your paper is a copy of your thesis, they will ignore this information.

You should check the policies of the journal before you submit your paper to it.

  • I would add to this answer that on submission, you should mention that there is important overlap with your thesis with the editor. Doing so, even if the policies of the journal seems a bit blurry to you, the editor will know that there is no intent of wrong doing. Aug 23, 2016 at 9:10

You may have to deal with some restrictions on how you publish your thesis. In some fields it's not uncommon to publish a thesis in book form; you may lose this option or get mired in copyright negotiations.

Make sure your name is given in exactly the same form on your paper submission and your thesis; this will make it easier for an editor reviewing the output of the system, and (as said in the comments) tell the editor up-front. You don't want the editor getting the impression that their software has flagged a previous paper.

Some choice phrases crop up again and again. Certain descriptions are the clearest way to put things and any paraphrasing would only make it harder for the reader to follow. These can be recahed independently so you don't have to worry about the odd sentence matching.

The opposite approach also takes place - it's known as a "stapler thesis". A search here might prove helpful. I had published a paper for each of my results chapters before I wrote the thesis, and from that I can say that in general you have to write it in a rather different way. Most of these were short papers, which does affect the writing style. I wrote the thesis with the paper source files open, but I don't think a single whole sentence made it across intact. Some fairly large chunks of text were copied over but then edited to fit the context. The thesis needs more explanation of points that you can just cite in a (short) paper. In a thesis, where you're not subject to a page limit, you can draw out more details from results, including a wider range of implications than would fit with the message in a paper.

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