Reference Check


The EUR Doctoral Regulations stipulate that all doctoral dissertations to be defended at Erasmus University Rotterdam need to have been checked using a plagiarism scanning tool.

Such a scan has been a standing procedure for a long time already at ERIM. The Urkund software tool is used for all the dissertations published within the ERIM PhD series.

The results of the plagiarism scan are analysed by the ERIM Director of Doctoral Education (DDE), on behalf of ERIM as the objective, independent, quality assurance organisation. The Reference Check report focuses on the following:

  • Percentage of overlap with other sources and number of sources with which there is some overlap
  • Reasons for the overlap with the most frequently cited sources (including the PhD student’s own articles)
  • Citation style and consistency, the level of precision with regard to quoted text, and the level of compliance with citation standards used in the relevant field
  • Consistency between the in-text citations and the bibliography appended to the thesis
  • References to books
  • Amount of text cited without attribution

In case of any questions, doubts or suggestions for improvement, the DDE contacts the supervisor(s) and the PhD candidate. The review of the plagiarism scan (together with the Urkund report) is kept in the PhD candidate’s file and a standard ERIM Reference Check form will be sent to the supervisor(s).

Reference Check Procedure and Timeline

ERIM performs two reference checks of all the dissertations published within the ERIM PhD Series. The first Reference Check takes place before the Form 2 (Approval of Thesis by Supervisor(s) is submitted to the Beadle’s Office. This means that PhD candidates need to send their manuscript to the ERIM Doctoral Office approximately 5 months before their intended graduation date. The ERIM Doctoral Office uploads the manuscript to Urkund and the scan results are reviewed by DDE. If the results of the scan are satisfactory, a formal letter will be issued stating approval of the manuscript (including the name of the candidate, the title of the dissertation, the date of the Urkund scan, the identification of the version of the manuscript on which the scan was performed, and a short paragraph on any feedback and issues that emerged). The approval letter is sent to the supervisor(s) and the PhD candidate. This letter needs to be included in Form 2 when it is submitted to the Dean for approval and when submitting Form 2 to the Beadle’s Office. The Reference Check report will also be made available to the members of the Inner Committee. The PhD candidate will have the opportunity to include any comments from the Inner Committee in the final version of the dissertation since ERIM will perform a second scan on the final dissertation version just before it is printed.

The second Reference Check is being done right before the dissertation is being sent out to print; that is, after approval of Form 3 and once the permission to print has been given by the Beadle’s Office. The procedure for this second Reference Check is similar to the first one; the ERIM Doctoral Office uploads the manuscript to Urkund and the DDE analyses the results of the plagiarism scan. The findings of this review are again communicated to the supervisor(s) and the PhD candidate and are stored in PhD candidate’s file. 

Though ERIM is performing the reference checks, it is foremost a responsibility of PhD candidates and their supervisors to avoid and/or detect any form of plagiarism at any given moment.

ERIM PhD Series Timeline

Schedule
1 Approx. 8 months before the intended PhD defence Discuss your workflow in a personal meeting with the ERIM PhD Series coordinator
2 Approx. 6 months before the intended PhD defence Language check
3 Approx. 5 months before the intended PhD defence Complete thesis layout and send the manuscript to ERIM
4 Approx. 5 months before the intended PhD defence Refence check (‘plagiarism scan’) by ERIM
5 Approx. 4 months before the intended PhD defence Start cover design
6 Approx. 3 months before the intended PhD defence Complete the thesis file, insert last details
7 Approx. 3 months before the intended PhD defence Submit your draft thesis for layout check
8 Approx. 2.5 months before the intended PhD defence Submit your thesis for final reference check and printing
9 Approx. 2 months before the intended PhD defence Check and correct the printing proofs
10 Approx. 2 months before the intended PhD defence Submit PhD defence media and communication form
11 Approx. 1.5 months before the intended PhD defence The book is printed
12 At least 5 weeks before the intended PhD defence Distribute the printed books to the committee, Beadle (Pedel) and the University Library

EUR PhD Defence Timeline

Action Schedule Action promotor/ candidate Action by Action Doctorate Board
1 Application for the defence At least 6 months before the desired date of the PhD defence Form 1 Candidate Appointment of supervisor/supervisors and/or co-supervisor
2 Approval of thesis by supervisor/supervisors + proposal for the composition of the small and large committees + expert, if applicable At least 5 months before the desired date of the ceremony Form 2 including manuscript + title pages, summary, CV and propositions + plagiarism report Appoint committee members, evaluate title pages, check propositions
3 Discuss planned date of the PhD defence At least 5 months before the desired date of the ceremony Set a provisional date with the Academic Ceremonies department Candidate
4 Notification of the small committee’s opinion on the PhD candidate’s admission At least 3 months before the desired date of the PhD defence Form 3 Secretary of Inner Committee Approval by the Rector, permission to reproduce the thesis, set definitive date of the PhD defence
5 Application for graduation with distinction, if relevant At least 7 weeks before the desired date of the PhD defence Application to Doctorate Board Promotor Implementation of the rules of procedure in accordance with Article 9.1
6 Send copies of the thesis to the UP At least 5 weeks before the desired date of the ceremony Candidate
7 DEFENCE of PhD thesis before the entire committee