This blog post is from Lettie Conrad and Michelle Urberg, cross-posted from the The Scholarly Kitchen.
As sponsors of this project, we at Crossref are excited to see this work shared out.
The scholarly publishing community talks a LOT about metadata and the need for high-quality, interoperable, and machine-readable descriptors of the content we disseminate. However, as we’ve reflected on previously in the Kitchen, despite well-established information standards (e.g., persistent identifiers), our industry lacks a shared framework to measure the value and impact of the metadata we produce.
When Crossref began over 20 years ago, our members were primarily from the United States and Western Europe, but for several years our membership has been more global and diverse, growing to almost 18,000 organizations around the world, representing 148 countries.
As we continue to grow, finding ways to help organizations participate in Crossref is an important part of our mission and approach. Our goal of creating the Research Nexus—a rich and reusable open network of relationships connecting research organizations, people, things, and actions; a scholarly record that the global community can build on forever, for the benefit of society—can only be achieved by ensuring that participation in Crossref is accessible to all.
In August 2022, the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a memo (PDF) on ensuring free, immediate, and equitable access to federally funded research (a.k.a. the “Nelson memo”). Crossref is particularly interested in and relevant for the areas of this guidance that cover metadata and persistent identifiers—and the infrastructure and services that make them useful.
Funding bodies worldwide are increasingly involved in research infrastructure for dissemination and discovery.
Preprints have become an important tool for rapidly communicating and iterating on research outputs. There is now a range of preprint servers, some subject-specific, some based on a particular geographical area, and others linked to publishers or individual journals in addition to generalist platforms. In 2016 the Crossref schema started to support preprints and since then the number of metadata records has grown to around 16,000 new preprint DOIs per month.
A service provided by Crossref and powered by iThenticate—Similarity Check provides editors with a user-friendly tool to help detect plagiarism.
Our Similarity Check service helps Crossref members prevent scholarly and professional plagiarism by providing immediate feedback regarding a manuscript’s similarity to other published academic and general web content, through reduced-rate access to the iThenticate text comparison software from Turnitin.
Only Similarity Check members benefit from this tailored iThenticate experience that includes read-only access to the full text of articles in the Similarity Check database for comparison purposes, discounted checking fees, and unlimited user accounts per organization.
Watch the introductory Similarity Check animation in your language:
With editors under increased pressure to assess higher volumes of manuscript submissions each year, it’s important to find a fast, cost-effective solution that can be embedded into your publishing workflows. Similarity Check allows editors to upload a paper, and instantly produces a report highlighting potential matches and indicating if and how the paper overlaps with other work. This report enables editors to assess the originality of the work before they publish it, providing confidence for publishers and authors, and evidence of trust for readers. And as the iThenticate database contains over 78 million full-text scholarly content items, editors can be confident that Similarity Check will provide a comprehensive and reliable addition to their workflow.
Making sure only original research is published provides:
peace of mind for publishers and authors that their content is identified and protected,
a way for editors to educate their authors and ensure the reputation of their publication, and
clarity for readers around who produced the work.
Benefits of Similarity Check
Similarity Check participants enjoy use of iThenticate at reduced cost because they contribute their own published content into Turnitin’s database of full-text literature. This means that as the number of participants grows, so too does the size of the database powering the service. More content in the database means greater peace of mind for editors looking to determine a manuscript’s originality.
If you participate in Similarity Check, not only do you get reduced rate access to iThenticate, but you also have the peace of mind of knowing that any similarity between your published content and manuscripts checked by other publishers will be flagged as a potential issue too.
As a Similarity Check user, you also see extra features in iThenticate, such as enhanced text-matches within the Document Viewer.
How the Similarity Check service works
To participate in Similarity Check, you need to be a member. Similarity Check subscribers allow Turnitin to index their full catalogue of current and archival published content into the iThenticate database. This means that the service is only available to members who are actively publishing DOI-assigned content and including in their metadata full-text URLs specifically for Similarity Check.
Turnitin indexes members’ content directly via its Content Intake System (CIS). Its CIS accesses our metadata daily to collect the full-text content links provided by our members within their metadata. Turnitin follows these URLs and indexes the content found at each location.
When you apply for the Similarity Check service, Turnitin will check that they can access your existing content via the full-text URLs in your Crossref metadata. Once confirmed, you’ll be provided with access to the iThenticate tool where you will be able to submit manuscripts to compare against the corpus of published academic and general web content in Turnitin’s database. You can do this in the iThenticate tool, or through your manuscript submission system using an API. iThenticate provides a Similarity Report containing a Similarity Score and a highlighted set of matches to similar text. Editors can then further review matches in order to make their own decision regarding a manuscript’s originality.
The annual service fee is 20% of your Crossref annual membership fee and is included in the renewal invoices you receive each January. When you first join Similarity Check, you’ll receive a prorated invoice for the remainder of that calendar year.
Per-document checking fees are also paid annually in January. Volume discounts apply, and your first 100 documents are free of charge.