Tag Archives: Plagiarism

Universities must stop relying on software to deal with plagiarism

Universities must stop relying on software to deal with plagiarism

Educational software – whether it’s a teaching aid or a program designed to help teachers with administration – is big business. The recent multi-billion dollar acquisition of Turnitin, a program that is used around the world to flag possible evidence of plagiarism, is further proof of this. But does this application mean that universities are actually dealing with […] … learn more→

Who will protect academics from plagiarism by other academics?

Who will protect academics from plagiarism by other academics?

When the Roman poet, Juvenal, wrote the line “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” (Who will guard the guards?), it really meant, “Who will ensure that those who guard us do not overreach their authority?” But there is another sense of the question: Who will protect those who are meant to protect us? At higher education institutions […] … learn more→

We must take academic plagiarism seriously

We must take academic plagiarism seriously

“Antonio Vivaldi did not write 600 concerti, but the same concerto 600 times.” This witticism, which has been ascribed – possibly apocryphally – to the 20th-century Italian composer Luigi Dallapicolla, could also be applied, with a few factual tweaks, to Vivaldi’s contemporary, Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach not only reused his own material through the process […] … learn more→

Donald Trump, Thief in Chief?

Donald Trump, Thief in Chief?

If Donald and Melania Trump were students in one of my writing classes at Columbia University, they’d be facing charges of violating academic integrity. More specifically, they’d both be accused of—and no doubt found responsible for—plagiarism. (Donald would also be brought up for fabrication and impersonation.) As a result, they’d receive Fs in my class […] … learn more→

How universities can help students avoid plagiarism: get them to write better

How universities can help students avoid plagiarism: get them to write better

As universities get better at detecting plagiarism, students are having to find new ways to avoid getting caught. I have recently had quite a few students asking to see their reports from Turnitin – a plagiarism detection software used in most universities to root out internet plagiarism. University departments are increasingly making Turnitin’s “originality reports” […] … learn more→

Plagiarism: An interesting disconnect between students’ thoughts and actions

Almost 800 business, engineering, education, and health services students completed a fairly typical plagiarism survey. They were asked how strongly they agreed with a statement defining plagiarism as copying text and inserting it in a paper without citing the source. They were asked how often they engaged in this specific behavior. As in many other […] … learn more→

Senator’s thesis not plagiarism, more likely fraud

This is a republish of this article I totally understand that the average mainstream media reporter can’t be expert on everything. While sometimes this results in a complete disconnect between reality and what’s reported in the news, other times it just leads to an article that fails to connect the dots that are obvious to […] … learn more→

Yet another plagiarism scandal in Germany

Another German high-official was recently in the middle of a discussion about a supposedly problematic Ph.D. thesis. After the popular politician and defence minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, the Education minister, Annette Schavan was accused of using other people’s works for her doctorate completed in 1980. Ironically enough, Schavan, a close collaborator of German chancellor Angela […] … learn more→

Delusions of candour: why technology won’t stop plagiarism

Plagiarism at university is a time-old scourge. Some would have us believe it can be sought out with ever-improving technology, and with more consistent vetting of student essays with the latest detection software. But beneath these appeals to superior forensic intelligence lies an unhappy fallacy – that a technological fix can address a moral problem. […] … learn more→