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Plagiarism Detection Services

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Faculty Resources > Preventing Plagiarism > Plagiarism Detection Services



Plagiarism Detection Services


One strategy faculty can use to deter plagiarism in a course is to use a plagiarism detection service to evaluate the originality of the writing.  Some of the most well-know services are Turnitin, SafeAssignment and EVE2, though many others exist.  Turnitin and MyDropBox require the instructor or student to upload papers into the service. A report is generated that identifies material that might be unoriginal with links to the possible original source.  EVE2 is software that an instructor installs; papers are reviewed for originality against web sources, potential unoriginal material is highlighted, and the URL for the source is recorded. 


The use of plagiarism detection services on high school and college campuses is provoking great debate.  On the one hand, many instructors applaud a tool that arms them with the ability to quickly and easily locate content that might not belong to the writer, complete with links to the possible original source.  On the other hand, students are questioning if being asked to submit a paper to a database being used to review college papers is a violation of copyright.  Instructors question whether such a tool is effective in combating plagiarism and wonder if policing authorships is the best way to teach responsible research and writing.



Beginning Spring 2008, GW faculty will have the option of using SafeAssignment as a tool within Blackboard.





SafeAssignment  is a service that has students upload a paper and the program checks the paper’s originality against the database and online sources, producing a report that highlights content that is not original and links it directly to the identical online or database sources.  In August 2007, Blackboard bought  SafeAssignment and is integrating it into Blackboard.  Like Turnitin, SafeAssignment is just one of a series of tools including one that allows the instructor to mark and comment on papers online called Re:Mark and a tool that assists peer review and group writing projects called Peer Re:Mark.




The service that has received the most attention--both good and bad--is Turnitin.com  Turnitin offers four products and services.  The most discussed and controversial is the Plagiarism Prevention tool where students submit papers to the Turnitin database and the paper receives an originality report, rating the paper against web sites, commercial databases of journals and periodicals, and previously submitted student papers. Turnitin has three other lesser known services: peer review tool, tool for grading and marking papers online, and an online gradebook system.


The Turnitin.com site offers training material for faculty and students, including videos, comprehensive manuals, and short guides 





EVE2 (Essay Verification Engine) is software that an instructor downloads and installs to check student papers for plagiarism.  The software compares the student paper against Internet sources and returns a report with links to web pages of possible original source material.  The software costs a one-time fee of $29.00.





Links to Plagiarism Detection Services


A regularly updated profile of all the free and fee-based plagiarism detection services.  Each profile provides the URL, how the service works, the costs, and whether the service offers a free trial.


This is an e-instruction sheet on how to use Google.com to search for text copied directly from freely accessible content on the Internet.



Discussion of Merits and Drawbacks of Plagiarism Detection Services




This is an early piece written about plagiarism detection software when Turnitin was still housed and called Plagiarism.org.  Many of the complaints against the service and other such services such as EVE are still the same today.



Turnitin is a regular topic of discussion on this blog.  To see more entries, go to keyword listing of all discussions on Turnitin at http://kairosnews.org/taxonomy/term/337



Professional Originality Checking Tools

Academia is not the only one concerned about originality.  Publishers and corporations are equally concerned about the originality of their publications as well as protecting their intellectual property rights.  One professional tool is iThenticate made by iParadigms, the same company behind TurnItin.



Articles for Discussion about Plagiarism Detection Services

  • Paul Collins (Nov. 21, 2006). "Dead Plagiarists Society: Will Goggle Book Search Uncover Long-buried Literary Crimes?" Slate.com http://www.slate.com/id/2153313/
This article examines what happens when classics digitized through Google Books are run through a plagiarism detection service.



Internet Paper Mills

This is a list of Internet paper mills and essay sites currently active.  When the list was originally compiled in March 1999 there were 35 sites on it.  By November 2006 there were over 250 sites listed.



Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 8:47 pm on May 10, 2007

One aspect that hasn't received enough attention in the literature is how a detection "service" can be, if used properly, a teaching tool in the draft stage. This is a highly controversial issue, of course, but the ways technology can help students understand what we want to teach them should be highlighted, if not here, than in other places.

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