VeriCite Getting Started and FAQ

Suggestions for Getting Started

Suggested information to include in your syllabus or assignment instructions:

Describe how VeriCite will be used in the class and identify what the student expectations are for academic integrity. Point students to where they can find more specific information about assignments to be submitted to Sakai to be processed through VeriCite. Indicate the tool is meant for students to use to enhance their accuracy with citation and documentation prior to submitting a document for grading. See “Faculty Resources”

Provide clear assignment instructions:

Identify expectation on use of sources in the assignment as well as allowed and unallowed materials and types of collaboration. Indicate your policy on whether you will allow students to build upon their research submitted in another course. See “Faculty Resources”

Submit papers on behalf of a student  through Assignments:

Any student papers submitted through email rather than through the Sakai assignment tool can be submitted to VeriCite manually via the Sakai assignment link. (Instructions)

Allowing students view originality reports:

Require students to submit at least one rough draft through VeriCite and reflect on their originality report. Build into your assignment a reflection activity as students view the report and provide the opportunity for students to make corrections before final grading. See “Faculty Resources”

Collect student feedback to enhance your future use of VeriCite:

Ask students for their suggestions on using VeriCite and identify ways to enhance the student experience using the tool.


How does VeriCite work?

When a student submits an assignment to the Sakai assignment link with VeriCite “turned on” for that assignment, the software compares the submitted text to a database and provides a rating system which highlights similarity. The system generates a report that students can access immediately to review flagged areas, interpret the comparison, and make a determination as to whether or not the text was properly cited, quoted, attributed, or paraphrased.

How reliable is VeriCite?

The software is designed to find similarity between submitted documents and the database of collected documents. It is up to the student or the faculty member to review the similarity “flags” and determine if similarities result from generally used phrasing or whether a problem exists with proper citation and documentation. Use of the software requires a teaching approach to assist students in using the tool to enhance their accuracy with citation and documentation. See “Faculty Resources”

What does a “match” mean?

A “match” is a segment of text where a high degree of similarity can be found with existing documents. Students will find coincidental matches because of general / common language. Use this as an opportunity to double check paraphrasing, citations, and attribution on identified matches. Provide the opportunity for students to resubmit the document after making corrections in order to make the most of the learning opportunity.

What do the Percentages and Flags mean?

Flags indicate the amount or percentage of similarity found in a document.

  • Blue Flag:              0% similarity
  • Green Flag:      1-24% similarity
  • Yellow Flag:    25-49% similarity
  • Red Flag:      75-100% similarity

Each document and each report is unique and requires item by item review. Percentages under 24% are less likely to have extended, overt inaccuracy in citation and documentation. Each instance marked should still be examined to determine if a correction is needed. Documents over 25% are more likely to have areas of “cut and paste” or other citation and documentation shortcuts that amount to plagiarism that may be either intentional or unintentional.

What do I do if I suspect plagiarism?

If you suspect plagiarism, use the instance as a teaching opportunity. Have a conversation with the student to determine whether the plagiarism is intentional or unintentional. Continue by helping the student to get support from campus reference library or other resources and reinforce expectations for academic integrity in the course.

Faculty members of Wake Forest College who wish to report a violation of the academic honor code, or who need advice in this area, should contact the Judicial Liaison, Prof. Barry Maine. Once the instructor becomes aware of a possible violation he/she has ten school days to make a formal submission.

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