Answered By: Monique Ritchie
Last Updated: 21 Nov, 2023     Views: 1736

Specialist software, often referred to as plagiarism detection software, is used to help staff review work and assess its originality.

This is a bit of a misnomer, as plagiarism detection is something that can only be done by an academic expert such as an examiner or thesis supervisor which can sometimes be made easier with the help of software tools. 

The software provides an 'originality report' on the percentage of matched content in work submitted for checking, comparing it against a range of sources in its vast database, which includes published works, previously submitted content and online sources.

The results, in combination with academic judgement may then be used to support an assessment of whether plagiarism or another type of academic misconduct has occurred. Plagiarism cases are handled by Colleges in line with the University's Senate Regulations. 

A high percentage of matched content does not necessarily indicate plagiarism, and this can occur for a number of reasons. However, an originality report can also help identify when work has not been correctly quoted or cited, which could indicate a need to check that all citations and quotations are correctly marked in the text, or may indicate a need to brush up on academic practice skills.

Doctoral researchers at Brunel submit the final draft thesis for an originality check through their College before the Viva examination. 

If you are worried about plagiarism, you should discuss these with your personal tutor or supervisor. For advice and information, including support and training available see Plagiarism and referencing linked below.

Help and further advice are available via the links below.