Washington State University

Academic Integrity Resources

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Washington State University

Online Resources for Promoting Academic Integrity


Software to Verify the Originality of Written Work

About iThenticate

iThenticate is a cloud-based software tool designed to verify originality in scholarly writing. This time-saving tool has been licensed by WSU and is available free to WSU faculty and graduate students to help them more efficiently achieve the highest standard of academic integrity in their proposals, theses, dissertations, and research publications.

Table of Contents:
About iThenticate / Scope / History
How It Works / Similarity Reports / What It Doesn't Do
Getting Access / Logging in to iThenticate
Training / Online Via iThenticate / Live Training Events / Questions

Scope of iThenticate

Whereas a software tool like Turnitin is geared toward helping instructors instill and enforce academic integrity standards among student writers, iThenticate is meant to help ensure that academic integrity is properly honored among scholarly authors who are increasingly relying on iThenticate to verify the originality of their published works. Research funding agencies, impact factor journals, and leading research universities are also using iThenticate to screen proposals, journal articles, and scholarly documents for instances where sources are used without proper attribution.


iThenticate is produced by iParadigms, a company founded by graduate student instructors at UC Berkeley who created their own software to identify when papers were being recycled in their sizable undergraduate courses. After recognizing that their originality verification technology would prove beneficial to a much wider market, iParadigm evolved and features today an entire suite of software tools uniquely suited toward promoting academic integrity in scholarly writing. iParadigms' iThenticate and Turnitin became available to WSU in fall 2014 on a one-year pilot program. Provost and Executive Vice President Daniel J. Bernardo says that when the Faculty Senate leadership approached him in 2013 about originality verification software, he felt such tools would offer a great opportunity to use technology to support a culture of academic integrity and high standards of writing and research.

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How iThenticate Works

iThenticate evaluates user-uploaded documents to find and report problems with originality in scholarly writing in the form of incidents where sources are used without proper attribution. It accomplishes this analytic feat by utilizing advanced text-searching algorithms to check the contents of a document against an extensive database of published scholarly writing. This database includes:

  • 40 million+ works from 590+ global scientific, technical and medical publishers and 90,000+ journals
  • 300,000+ theses and dissertations via ProQuest
  • 92 million+ major newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias, periodicals, and books
  • 50 billion+ web pages indexed by iThenticate's own web crawlers

The output of an analysis by iThenticate is named a similarity report. Amazingly, this report is usually delivered within minutes depending on the length of the uploaded document.

Understanding Similarity Reports

Similarity reports highlight material within a manuscript that matches documents found in the iThenticate database. Matches need not be perfect and are reported as percent similarity to the source, so instances where authors have summarized sources in their own words will still be identified. This enables authors to efficiently verify that each match has been properly cited and/or phrased within the manuscript before going public with it by submitting it to a granting agency or publisher.

What iThenticate Does Not  Do

Note that technically speaking, iThenticate does not identify incorrect or missing citations. Rather, it is a time-saving tool that provides the user with data necessary to efficiently determine whether instances of improper attribution — which can occur accidentally during the writing process — are present within a manuscript. Therefore, scholars are able to produce better writing in a more efficient manner, and they can have more confidence when their work is evaluated by funding agencies or publishers for its originality.

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Getting Access

WSU faculty and graduate students involved in high-level research can request to be part of the iThenticate one-year pilot by sending an email with subject line “iThenticate” and their name, WSU email, college, and campus to Jeannie Holt, principal assistant, at jmholt@wsu.edu.

Setting Up Your Account and Logging in

After you been added to the one-year pilot, you will receive an e-mail from noreply@iThenticate.com informing you that your iThenticate account has been created. This e-mail will contain a one-time password you will use to login to iThenticate for the first time. After logging in, you will be required to accept the terms of the iThenticate usage policy to proceed. After agreeing to the usage policy, you will create your own permanent account password and select a security question and answer. This will complete the process of setting up your account, and you will arrive at the iThenticate user interface.

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Training Resources

To learn how to use iThenticate, you can easily access at times convenient to your schedule a variety of excellent online training resources, such as software manuals, videos, live webcasts, and web pages. WSU will also provide in-person training sessions that will be widely announced.

Online Resources Provided by iThenticate

iThenticate maintains a web site devoted to training their academic customers.

Training Videos

Introduction to using iThenticate

Getting started with iThenticate

Creating and managing folders

Understanding iThenticate results

Adding users

Sharing results

Setting account preferences
Software Manuals

Quick start guide

Complete user manual

Working with the document viewer

Live Training Events

iThenticate periodically hosts online live training webcasts that are one-hour introductions to its software. No pre-registration is required to participate in these webcasts.

Additional Questions

If you have any questions about using iThenticate, please contact Jeannie Holt, principal assistant to the vice provost for undergraduate education.

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Vice Provost for Academic Engagement and Student Achievement, PO Box 641046, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-1046
509-335-8044, Contact Us