What the plagiarism percentage (%) means on a Viper report

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Last edited: February 3, 2021 @ 2:15 pm

When your Viper scan is complete, you’ll see an overall plagiarism percentage (%) for the document, along with a breakdown of percentages for each matched source.


The main percentage score tells you how much content Viper has found in your work which matches other sources online. The lower the percentage, the less that the work's content has been found to match with existing online sources.

The breakdown then shows each individual source and how much of that has matched to the work. Green matches are generally small bits of text that should be fine. Amber matches mean there is some concern, and you should be sure to review these matches. Finally, red matches mean a large amount of text is the same and should definitely be reviewed.

Remember that not every bit of text flagged by the scan is a cause for concern. For example, some common phrases often show up as matching content simply due to how frequently they appear in a wide range of sources. Likewise, direct quotations will show as a match – this is perfectly fine as long as a suitable reference, showing where the quote has been cited from, can be found in the work! A correctly-formatted reference list will often show matched content too, but this only shows that other online sources have used the same references as you: this is nothing to worry about!

You should look out for highlighted text in your document that isn’t correctly referenced, or is perhaps too similar to the original source. We recommend starting by reviewing any red matches, before moving onto any amber and possibly green matches in your work. After making any necessary changes, you can re-scan your work to see if the plagiarism percentage has decreased. As a general rule, the lower the plagiarism percentage, the better - however, bear in mind that very few documents will ever score 0%.

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