View Document

Higher Degree Research iThenticate Procedure

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this document to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Purpose

Purpose

(1) This Procedure specifies the procedure for:

  1. the submission of text-based research outputs by Higher Degree Research (HDR) candidates (including but not limited to: research proposal, draft manuscripts and theses prior to examination) to iThenticate;
  2. the assessment and interpretation of iThenticate similarity percentages and originality reports by Principal Supervisors; and
  3. the management of potential plagiarism in the research outputs of HDR candidates.

(2) This Procedure supports the Higher Degree Research Thesis Preparation, Submission and Examination Policy.

Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to all:

  1. Higher Degree Research candidates enrolled at Macquarie University;
  2. Supervisors as defined in the HDR Supervision Policy; and
  3. other Macquarie University academic and professional staff providing academic and / or administrative support to HDR candidates.
Top of Page

Section 2 - Policy

(4) Refer to the Higher Degree Research Thesis Preparation, Submission and Examination Policy.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Procedure

Responsibilities and Required Actions

Flowchart

(5) There is an HDR iThenticate Procedure Flowchart available for this Procedure.

Academic and Research Integrity

(6) All researchers (including but not limited to HDR candidates and their supervisors) are responsible for adhering to the principles of academic and research integrity. Roles and responsibilities of researchers in maintaining and managing academic and research integrity are specified in the Academic Integrity Policy, the Macquarie University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (Macquarie University Research Code) and its accompanying standards.

Plagiarism Management Framework

Initial Training in Academic Honesty

(7) Commencing HDR candidates are required to undertake the Central Commencement Program (CCP) offered on-line by Macquarie University. As part of this program, a module on academic integrity must be completed.

Preliminary Assessment using iThenticate During Confirmation of Candidature

(8) At the time of Confirmation of Candidature (CoC), or equivalent, candidates are required to submit their research proposals to their Principal Supervisor for submission to iThenticate. This tool will generate an originality report and will determine a similarity percentage based on the proportion of the proposal that is matched to internal or external sources.

(9) The Principal Supervisor must assess the similarity percentage and the originality report generated in iThenticate and use their academic judgement to determine whether the text-matches indicate a problem with originality that needs to be addressed.

(10) There are no standard or ideal maximum or minimum similarity percentages applicable across all research outputs and disciplines. Even a document with a low overall similarity percentage could contain plagiarised text that needs to be further scrutinised or addressed.

(11) When the similarity percentage and the originality report indicates instances of text-matching for the proposal submitted for the CoC, or equivalent, the Principal Supervisor must discuss the extent and nature of the matches with the candidate and specify the next stages of dealing with the matter.

Text-Matching Outcomes

(12) If the text-matching is deemed low to minor, or appears to be inadvertent / unintentional due to commonly used standard phrases or errors such as poor paraphrasing, the instances of text-matching can be addressed with the candidate and the proposal then re-submitted to iThenticate. The final version of the proposal must then be forwarded with the CoC, or equivalent, paperwork to the Departmental HDR Director / MRes Advisor, or nominee, and to the Faculty for approval.

(13) If the text-matching is deemed to be medium overlap with previous work and / or suggestive of a problem with the originality of the writing, the candidate will be counselled by the Principal Supervisor, and directed to further training material about appropriate incorporation and acknowledgement of the ideas and words of others. A written record of the counselling provided to the student should be kept by the Principal Supervisor. The student will then be asked to rewrite their proposal prior to resubmission to iThenticate. Pending resolution of any minor text-matching, the proposal must then be forwarded with the CoC or equivalent paperwork to the Departmental HDR Director / MRes Advisor or nominee and then to the Faculty for approval.

(14) If the text-matching is deemed to be major (or continues to be medium after initial counselling was provided) the Principal Supervisor will inform the Departmental HDR Director / MRes Advisor, or nominee, who will refer the matter to the Associate Dean, Higher Degree Research of the Faculty (Research Integrity Advisor), or nominee, or in cases where a conflict of interest may exist an alternative Associate Dean, Higher Degree Research, or nominee. It is at the discretion of the Associate Dean, Higher Degree Research, or nominee, to determine if the case requires referral to the Research Integrity Office. Any referral should be accompanied by a record of prior counselling provided to the student regarding text-matching (where applicable).

(15) Cases referred to the Research Integrity Office may be assessed as a potential breach of the Macquarie University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and may result in a research integrity investigation in accordance with the Macquarie University Research Code Complaints, Breaches and Investigation Procedure and / or the Student Discipline Procedure.

(16) If a serious breach of the Macquarie University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research is substantiated the candidate may be subject to disciplinary action which may include having their candidature and / or scholarship terminated.

Submission of HDR Thesis

(17) In accordance with the Higher Degree Research Thesis Preparation, Submission and Examination Policy, candidates must submit their research thesis to their Principal Supervisor for submission to iThenticate. This tool will generate an originality report and will determine a similarity percentage based on the proportion of the thesis that is matched to internal or external sources. The Principal Supervisor will assess the similarity percentage and originality report using their academic judgement.

Text-Matching Outcomes

(18) If the text-matching is deemed low to minor, or appears to be inadvertent / unintentional due to commonly used standard phrases or errors such as poor paraphrasing, the instances of text-matching can be addressed with the candidate and the proposal then re-submitted to iThenticate and the final version sent forward to the Departmental HDR Director / MRes Advisor or nominee for endorsement.

(19) If the text-matching is deemed to be medium overlap with previous work and / or suggestive of a problem with the originality of the writing, the candidate will be counselled by the Principal Supervisor and Departmental HDR Director / MRes Advisor, or nominee, and asked to rewrite sections of their thesis prior to resubmission to to iThenticate. A record of the counselling provided to the student should be kept by the Departmental HDR Director / MRes Advisor. Pending resolution of any minor text-matching, the thesis will be forwarded to the Faculty for approval. If the text-matching persists as medium, the thesis will be treated as having major text matching.

(20) If the text-matching is deemed to be major (or continues to be medium after initial counselling) the Principal Supervisor will inform the Departmental HDR Director / MRes Advisor, or nominee, who will refer the matter to the Associate Dean, Higher Degree Research (Research Integrity Advisor) of the Faculty, or nominee, or in cases where a conflict of interest may exist an alternative Associate Dean, Higher Degree Research or nominee and to the Research Integrity Office. This referral should be accompanied by a record of prior counselling provided to the student regarding text-matching (where applicable).

(21) Cases referred to the Research Integrity Office will be assessed as a potential breach of the Macquarie University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research and may result in a research integrity investigation in accordance with the Macquarie University Research Code Complaints, Breaches and Investigation Procedure and / or the Student Discipline Procedure.

(22) If a serious breach of the Macquarie University Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research is substantiated the candidate may be subject to disciplinary action which may include having their candidature and / or scholarship terminated.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Guidelines

(23) Nil.

Top of Page

Section 5 - Definitions

(24) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Procedure:

  1. Plagiarism means adopting or reproducing the work or ideas of another person, whether intentionally or not, and presenting this as one’s own without clearly acknowledging the source of the work or ideas.
  2. Higher Degree Research output means any record that communicates or makes available the findings of Higher Degree Research. A research output may be in any form (hardcopy, electronic or other) of academic or public communication of the research from any stage of the research process (e.g. including but not limited to: Higher Degree Research proposals or thesis chapters, conference papers, reports, datasets or journal articles).
  3. iThenticate means a text-matching tool which enables a comparison of Higher Degree Research Outputs with an extensive database of existing research and academic literature and varied web sources in order to identify potential instances of plagiarism.