Ever since Osmania University made plagiarism check mandatory for PhD thesis, the number of theses being submitted declined. Before implementing anti-plagiarism software Turnitin in July, 126 candidates across departments submitted their thesis between April and June. This number reduced to 91 in the last four months, from July to October.

On an average, 30 per cent to 40 per cent similarity index was being found in the PhD thesis submitted by the research scholars when their papers were run through the anti-plagiarism software. So far, the university authorities came across a few theses with close to 60 per cent similarity index. Most of the similarity index was found in the introduction, literature review and discussion parts of the thesis.

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If the similarity index is below 25 per cent, the university gave a nod for submission. But, if it exceeds 25 per cent, the scholar was asked to edit/rewrite portions of the thesis. The university would soon bring down the similarity index to 10 per cent as per the guidelines of University Grants Commission (UGC). “Earlier, students used to copy and paste. After introduction of the anti-plagiarism, both scholars and supervisors are being extra cautious,” a supervisor said.

Research scholars will have to submit a soft copy to the concerned supervisor, who will in turn send it to the co-ordinator of the software for plagiarism. It came to the notice that some scholars were sending thesis with less pages, but were submitting original copy at the examination branch for the evaluation. “The quality improved after introduction of the anti-plagiarism software.

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Scholars who were turned away for having more than 25 per cent similarity index are coming back by reducing it,” Dr. AS Chakravarthy, Assistant Professor, as Coordinator, Anti-Plagiarism Software, told. #KhabarLive