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Page history last edited by Shannon Livingston-Harris 6 years, 2 months ago

Plagiarism detection tools


Problems with plagiarism detection


Issues with Plagiarism

Callahan, D. (2006). On Campus: Author Discusses the "Cheating Culture" With College Students. Plagiary, 1 (4): 1-8

In a recent discussion with college students, David Callahan probed the “dark side of American life”, the cheating culture which has taken root in business, sports, academe and other areas of American society. He explains the three great forces driving the cheating culture, and he questions whether people really want to live in a society characterized by a panoply of cheating behaviors. His message to students is that change is on the way. He is optimistic about the potential for a more fair, more honest society based on equal opportunity and rewards for those who work hard, dream big, and push forward. His concrete suggestions for leveling the playing field and resisting the cheating culture are a challenge to college students to “Be the change you want to see in the world”.


Lyon, C., Barrett, R., & Malcolm, J. (2006). Plagiarism Is Easy, but Also Easy To Detect. Plagiary, 1 (5): 1- 10

The advent of electronic communication has brought with it increasing problems of plagiarism, but at the same time recent technological advances provide us with tools to address these problems. This paper will first take an overview of plagiarism as a problem, particularly in the field of Higher Education. It will give an outline of pedagogic issues, and approaches to reducing the problem. A significant deterrent is the practice of running students’ work through plagiarism detectors, and ensuring that students realize how effectively this can be done. New research indicates that electronic copy detection can also be applied to Chinese text, as is currently done for English and for programming code. We describe one such detector, the Ferret, outlining its application to English text and its potential for use in other domains including Chinese language. We show how the Ferret is based on exploiting underlying characteristics of English word distribution, and that Chinese characters have a similar distribution. The paper concludes by comparing and contrasting man and machine when it comes to identifying copied material, and indicating how their differing memory processes can be harnessed to detect plagiarism.


Shon, P. C. H. (2006). How College Students Cheat On In-Class Examinations: Creativity, Strain, and Techniques of Innovation. Plagiary, 1(10), 1-20

There is adequate consensus among researchers that cheating is widely practiced by students and poses a serious problem across college campuses. Previous studies of academic dishonesty have systematically identified the psychological and social variables correlated to cheating, but how students actually cheat has often been overlooked. Using in-depth narratives from 119 students enrolled in an introductory criminology class, this paper examines the variety of creative tactics that students use to cheat during in-class examinations. Findings indicate that students manipulate variables such as the psychological and behavioral profiles of their professors, unwitting accomplices, technology, peers, spatial environments, and their own bodies, to negotiate the contingent intricacies and dialectics of academic dishonesty.


Warnock, S. (2006). “Awesome job!”—Or was it? The “many eyes” of Asynchronous Writing Environments and the Implications on Plagiarism. Plagiary, 1 (12): 1-14.

While digital technologies may contribute to the apparent rise in plagiarism among students, these technologies can help teachers develop constructive, rather than punitive, course environments that discourage plagiarism. In an online writing course taught by the author, a student who plagiarized on the message boards was caught and identified on those boards by two other students. The author argues that various aspects of the boards created a community dynamic that enabled the two students to identify the plagiarism and to react to it. The students’ identification of the plagiarist stemmed partially from indignation, but they also, because of the extensive writing on the boards, discerned differences between the plagiarized material and the plagiarist’s other contributions during the term. The author draws from several constructive plagiarism approaches, especially Williams’ CORD method, to frame five ways message boards facilitate a constructive approach to plagiarism: allowing many readers, including students, to see the writing; providing multiple opportunities for assessment; creating bolder participants; allowing students to read beyond content; and providing a means for students to enact justice when outraged at their peers’ cheating. Asynchronous writing environments can curb plagiarism while complementing a positive writing and learning environment.


Further Reading on Plagiarism

  • DeSena, L. H.  (2007).  Preventing Plagiarism: Tips and Techniques.  Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.
  • Lipson, C. (2004). Doing Honest Work in College: How to Prepare Citations, Avoid Plagiarism, and Achieve Real Academic Success. University of Chicago Press.
  • Menager-Beeley, R., & Paulos, L. (2006). Understanding Plagiarism: A Student Guide to Writing Your Own Work. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

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