Spain: Government Says PM Sánchez’ Doctoral Thesis ‘Easily Passes’ Text Matching Systems


The doctoral thesis of Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez work was analysed by two of the most rigorous programs at an academic level, Turnitin, used at Oxford University and PlagScan, the European benchmark, Moncloa said on Friday.

After the analysis of the doctoral thesis which was presented by Sánchez, in 2012, the evaluation made by the tools Turnitin and PlagScan have determined the original content of the thesis, which easily passes the text matching systems.

In the case of Turnitin, the result was 13%, while PlagScan gave a figure of 0.96%, each one with its own methodology. These percentages are due to the quotes and compulsory references in the drafting of any research document that all software programmes are unable to discern by default, regardless of their hi-tech nature.

There is a broad consensus in the academic world that considers that these are normal percentages, in accordance with regulation and protocols on verification.

Taking into account that it is commonplace for analysis software of scientific texts to detect parts of the work that match, but which are duly quoted and referenced, it is important to contrast the information and all the references with due consideration to these.

Both the Turnitin and PlagScan studies have excluded, as is to be expected, the current affairs articles of a journalistic nature subsequent to the current thesis, the bibliography and the sources with similarities of less than 1%, such as all the times that the title, or part of the title, of the thesis have been repeated. As far as possible, the bibliographic matches in the footnotes have also been discarded, and hence, following a more detailed analysis, the two software programmes have obtained even lower percentages of matches.

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