Posted by: oikosasa | March 1, 2013

Plagiarism in Oikos?

We now check all submitted manuscripts for possible plagiarism using iThenticate.This means that all manuscripts are compared to more than 32 billion webpages, more than 34 million scholarly content items and more than 91 million news pages, books and magazines (and yes, these numbers are “plagiated” from iThenticate’s webpage…).

How similar are manuscripts generally to already published stuff? Most manuscripts show between 5 and 15% similarity.

And where is the limit for plagiarism? When a paper show more than 25-30% similarity with other published material, we do a thorough check for the similarities.

Reference lists, protocols in Methods and author adresslists may generate high similarities that are not really plagiarism. When high similarities are found in Results and Discussion, we act.

So it’s no use trying the copy and paste method for Oikos manuscripts…


  1. I encountered an exceptional case of plagiarism: Following publication of my 1996 paper in Oikos (“Scale dependence in food webs…”), two authors submitted a paper to Hydrobiology. One of the reviewers of the latter journal happened to be my friend, who informed that paragraphs of the submitted MS was an exact replica of my 1996 paper. The MS was rejected of course. Later I discovered, with great dismay and embarrassment, that one of the two plagiarists was my own supervisor in Calcutta University!!

    • What a sad story, Debal Deb! But it sure does illustrate the need of plagiarism check of all manuscripts!

    • Sorry the ref. year was mistaken. The year of my paper that was plagiarized is 1995 (not 1996).

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