Plagius is a useful tool for detecting plagiarism, but it should be used in conjunction with manual review.

The results of an automated system such as Plagius cannot confirm plagiarism on their own, only a manual scan can confirm the actual occurrence of plagiarism.

The following topics will discuss some tips on how to use Plagius interpreting the results in the best possible way.

How to interpret the analysis results

Despite Plagius brings diverse information in the analysis result, the best approach is still the manual review of the analyzed text: if there are many highlighted phrases together (regardless of color) next to each other means there is high chance of this section have been copied.

Similarly, alone highlighted phrases in the text have little chance of dealing with plagiarism.

In this assessment you need to ignore the quotes.

When there is a suspicion, the highlighted section must be manually compared to the original source to ensure that is a case of plagiarism.

Plagius Result Screen with tips

The Percentage Shown

The percentage represents only a statistical indicator. Reports the percentage of the document sentences that were located on some website. It cannot be considered as plagiarism identification because not always that a phrase already exists on the Internet is plagiarism. A common example is the citations: if there are a high number of citations is higher the percentage of suspected plagiarism, regardless of whether the citations are properly referenced, so the percentage of suspicions will differ from the reality.

Why it is a mistake to use percentage to measure plagiarism

Variation between different analyzes for the same document

In the analysis of a document, the result will always vary because the search phrases are built randomly and search engines are also chosen randomly. The difference between the results does not compromise the result of the analysis.

When is there actually Plagiarism?

Not based on any study but in my own experience, to affirm plagiarism you need to prove it. Usually this is done showing the original text and where this text was inserted into the work/document under evaluation, without proper references.

Colors of the analysis result

In the analysis results, the generated text is displayed in various colors, ranging between black and all shades between blue and red. Summing up, the closer to the red color higher is the number of occurrences found on the Internet for that sentence. In the test result there is also a “Legend” button that helps you remember what the colors means.

Other approaches

In the second tab of the analysis result, “frequently addresses” Plagius lists the addresses found ordered by the frequency which they were obtained. These addresses are strong candidates for a manual review, especially when the similarity percentage is significant.

To assist this individual comparison, Plagius has a feature which helps in this task: Right click on any item in the list and choose “Compare”. This feature will be best explained in a new Wiki topic.

  • en/interpretinganalysis.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/01/12 07:22
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