Plagiarism Check

Members of the four research institutes can get their manuscripts checked for potential plagiarism. Since many funders and publishers run applications and manuscripts through plagiarism check software by default, the number of rejections for this reason has increased. To help our users to overcome these issue, we offer this service in justified cases.


The software solution we have chosen for the plagiarism check is PlagScan. The tests we conducted with this software have produced good results and the data security is higher than in comparable products. At the moment, there are already about 25,000 journals included. In future, all journal content licensed at Lib4RI should be scanned. However, neither Lib4RI nor the service provider can guarantee the complete detection of all potential plagiarism and cannot be made liable for non-found text similarities.

Submitting a Plagiarism Check Request

Should you be interested in our new service we would like to ask you to send us the respective document as word file or as pdf via e-mail to Please explain in the e-mail why you want the document checked and where you expect similarities. The software should automatically recognize reference lists. However, there were test cases where this feature did not work well and you might want to send your document without the list of references to decrease the total proportion of plagiarism. Please give the file a descriptive name that includes your name and indicate whether we should delete or leave your document on the platform after the check. It is unavailable there to other users, inside and outside Lib4RI and we will keep all information regarding the check confidential.

We will then conduct the test for you and return the results. Usually, a test takes less than an hour, but this depends on the document length and the traffic on the service provider’s servers. The service is free of charge and only available to affiliates of the four research institutes within the ETH Domain (Eawag, Empa, PSI and WSL).

Interpretation of the Report

You will get the results as pdf and word file because both report formats have their pros and cons as you will see. An explanation on how to read the PlagScan report can be found here and an example report here. There are also explanation videos on this topic available. The software only detects similarities between documents based on word sequences. In the end the author has to evaluate the results sheet and decide whether the text contains plagiarism. The best way to avoid plagiarism is to correctly cite the sources one has used.

TEL. +41 58 765 5700 

Dr. Laura Konstantaki

t +41 58 765 5590

Dr. Jochen Bihn

t +41 58 765 5228