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iThenticate – plagiarism scanner for research

In this course PhD candidates are taught how to use the tool iThenticate to check research on plagiarism.

About the Quick Start Guide

This quick start guide will help you get started with using iThenticate. First time users will receive an email with a username and a one-time password via the key user of their faculty. You may only log in once with the one-time password, which you will need to change the first time you log in. 


After receiving your credentials you can login via, clicking on the ‘Login’ button in the top right corner. 

You can sign in using your VU email address and password and clicking the button ‘Login’.  

It’s worth noting that the option ‘Sign Up’ is not available to create an account yourself, as the VU has a campus license for PhD candidates. You can create an account by contacting the key user iThenticate within your faculty. A list of key users per faculty can be found on the contact page. 

After a successful login the start screen of the iThenticate app appears: 

Start plagiarism scan

To start a new plagiarism scan you must select the folder ‘My Documents’ within the folder group ‘My Folders’. After selecting the folder, the section ‘Submit a document’ appears on the right side of the screen.  You can submit your document by choosing ‘Upload a File’ (or one of the others options to submit a document).

You will be asked to fill in your first name, last name and the title of the document. Next, you can submit the document that you want to be scanned by browsing via the ‘Choose File’ button. The requirements of the file can be found on the right side of the screen – the file should not be larger than 100mb, 800 pages, and can be a variety of document types like Word, Text, PostScript, PDF, HTML, Excel, PowerPoint, Word Perfect WPD, OpenOffice ODT, RTF and Hangul HWP.  

 To start the plagiarism scan, select the button ’upload’. 



It can take some time for the tool to process the scan. You can monitor the processing status in your selected folder, which is first indicated by saving, followed up by processing, and is completed when the similarity percentage (%) is shown. This indicates the percentage of the submitted text that is similar to online sources that are part of the iThenticate database. As example the submitted file below (test file) shows 97% similarity with online sources part of the iThenticate database. 


The similarity percentage in itself is not automaticallly a verdict on plagiarism. The results of the scan must always be analysed by the PhD candidate together with the (co-)supervisor. The (co-)supervisor can help interpreting the results. Further assistance and more information about completing your mandatory plagiarism check is available via the key user iThenticate.  

A detailed view of the similarities found by iThenticate can be accessed by clicking on the similarity percentage. The texts that are found similar with online sources are highlighted with different colors, each color corresponding to another source. The sources of the similarities can be found on the right side of the screen. By clicking on a source (right) or the highlighted text (left) a drilldown to the source can be made, as well the location of the specific text within the source. 





Save, share and export results

The scan will be saved in the chosen folder enabling the PhD candidate to revisit the scan results. You can share the scan, for instance with the key user iThenticate via the ‘sharing’ option after selecting the folder at the iThenticate start screen. The person(s) you want to share the results with needs to have an iThenticate account. All key users iThenticate have an iThenticate account. If you want to share the results digitally with a person without an iThenticate account (for instance your (co-)supervisor), you can save the scan results as PDF file via the print icon in the bottom left corner in de detailed view. Note that reviewing the results together with your supervisor is easiest by viewing your iThenticate account together, either physically or by sharing your screen in an online meeting.