How does the “Exclude Small Matches” feature in the plagiarism report work?
By default, the plagiarism report only shows similarities of 9 words or more.
You can change the minimum length of a similarity yourself in order to exclude small matches from the plagiarism report.
What is the best value for the “Exclude Small Matches” setting?
The ideal minimum length of similarities is different per case. In general, we believe that setting the minimum to 8 words, results in too many small similarities that are unlikely to be plagiarism. That’s why the default value is set to 9.
However, if you believe that your document contains many small similarities that are not plagiarism (like these), you can try changing the setting to 10 or 11 to get a more accurate view of the potential plagiarism in your document.
Proceed with caution, since increasing the number might hide potential plagiarism in your report.
How can I change this “Exclude Small Matches” setting?
1) Click on the gear icon on the top right of the plagiarism report
2) Fill in your desired minimum similarity length
3) Click “Done” to go back to the “Sources overview”
When should I change the “Exclude Small Matches” value?
For most people, there is no need to change this value. However, if you want more control over the similarities shown in your report and you think that most of the small similarities are not relevant, you can increase this number.
Please proceed with caution, since increasing this number might hide potential plagiarism in your report. Decreasing the value is not recommended.
What happens when you decrease the “Exclude Small Matches”?
If you decrease this number, shorter similarities will be included in the report. This means you will see more similarities and a higher similarity percentage.
However, most of these extra similarities are unlikely to be instances of plagiarism. Short similarities are often the result of common phrases that appear in many different sources.
What happens when you increase the “Exclude Small Matches”?
If you increase this number, only longer similarities will be included in the report. This means you will see fewer similarities and a lower similarity percentage.
Since the similarities are longer, the similarities you now see are more likely to be plagiarism.
However, by excluding the smaller similarities, you might miss some instances of potential plagiarism.