The peer-review process is at the heart of scientific publishing. As part of Elsevier’s commitment to the protecting the integrity of the scholarly record, Elsevier has an obligation to assist the scientific community in all aspects of publishing ethics, including cases of (suspected) duplicate submission and plagiarism.
Investing in plagiarism-detection software
Cases of suspected plagiarism are rarely limited to the same journal or publisher. More often than not, multiple journals and publishers are involved. Software solutions, therefore, ideally require cooperation between (all) publishing houses. In 2008, Crossref and the STM publishing community came together to develop CrossCheck, a service that allows publishers to verify the originality of published works. CrossCheck is powered by the Ithenticate software from iParadigms, known as providers of Turnitin. CrossRef members collaborate to maintain a single database of published articles against which checking can take place.
iThenticate is standalone web-based software, separate from the Elsevier Editorial System (EES), developed and owned by iParadigms. It can be accessed with a username/password combination.
CrossCheck uses originality detection software to compare manuscripts against a unique database of 30+ million articles from 200+ publishers including Elsevier, IOP, Nature, Springer and Oxford University Press amongst others. Elsevier's contribution consists of 9 million articles and 7000 books and is continually increasing.
For a searchable list of all participating publishers, please visit: http://www.crossref.org/crosscheck_members.html
For a searchable list of all journals in the CrossCheck database, please visit: http://www.ithenticate.com/search/
Editors: to request a CrossCheck account, please discuss with your Publisher.
How the software works
The iThenticate system can be used to generate a similarity report at any point during the review process. Running a similarity check is very straightforward. After logging in to the iThenticate account you can simply upload the manuscript(s) and a similarity report will be generated within minutes.
The default similarity report view gives the percentage of the text of the manuscript which has overlap with one or more published articles. Figures and equations cannot be checked at present. This should be taken as a general guide, a high % does not necessarily indicate plagiarized text, it could, for example, be legitimate citation and bibliography. (Excluding these from the report will usually reduce the % figure given).
Elsevier invests in many resources to support our editors in following up on suspected plagiarism, duplicate submissions, or falsifications. We provide support for more than 400 cases per year. We are committed to continuing this level of support. Although we estimate only 0.1% of submitted articles are ever suspect--with considerable variation of occurrence between different academic areas--a workable software solution for plagiarism detection can lower the burden on our editors and pay off in terms of resources required to detect plagiarism. We recognize this burden and are committed to searching for the best solutions.