|Plagiarism-detection software turns in results||
June 15, 2004
This spring, 2,643 papers were submitted during Metro State’s pilot of Turnitin, the so-called anti-plagiarism software. The system tags papers for unoriginal material based on a database filled with 4.5 billion Internet pages, millions of published works as well as student papers already submitted to the service. Turnitin then returns an “originality report” with questionable sections color-coded and tied to original sources.
The pilot program, which ran spring semester, involved 53 faculty members from the schools of Letters, Arts and Sciences and Professional Studies, along with five additional instructors who incorporated the system into their classes.
Of the 2,643 papers entered into Turnitin, the vast majority2,236 paperscontained material that was 0 to 24 percent unoriginal, meaning text that more than likely involved direct quotations, according to Tara Tull, interim assistant dean of LAS.
The rest played out as follows:
Faculty who used the program could choose whether to pursue a case with Judicial Affairs or to use the system to help educate students about plagiarism and proper citation techniques. This spring Judicial Affairs reported 30 “alert” and “discipline” combined plagiarism cases compared with 33 during Spring 2004.
I think students were worried about it being used in a punishing way,” Tull says, “but it’s clear it’s being used in an educational way. The whole point is to enhance academic integrity at the college.”
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