Cheating In a Technology Rich Environment
Combating Plagiarism with Technology
Henry E. Schaffer
Professor Emeritus of Genetics and Biomathematics
Coordinator of Special IT Projects & Faculty Collaboration/OIT
Interim Director Emeritus, LTS/DELTA
NC State University
Does it happen?
"Paper Mills" or "Essay Mills" (An old list - but things haven't
Essay mills are still popular in 2019 How
Students May Be Cheating Their Way Through College
Shadow Scholar "The man who writes your students' papers tells his
story" - affluent students aren't limited to paper mills. :-) Might this
automated writing service put
him out of a job?
interview with The Shadow Scholar Also see his Wikipedia page
More companies in this business! The
New Cheating Economy Plagiarism and much more! (premium access
Chronicle article) Don't stop at buying the paper (see Shadow Scholar
above and below,) buy the whole course!
Overviews: Excellent Resource Pages (mostly from Libraries)
on Plagiarism (may load slowly)
Preventing, Detecting, Reporting Professional Writing Program @ NC State
Use and Ethics Lesson Plan
on Campus "Resources to Help Detect, Prevent and Avoid Classroom
Plagiarism for Teachers and Students"
AVOID THE CONSEQUENCES" a nice short description of various
types of plagiarism and a guide to proper citation of sources.
Resources for Web Plagiarism:
Prevention and Detection (no longer available at uncc.edu, this link
is to archive.org)
College Guide to Preventing Plagiarism From Maryville University.
discussion of methods of Detecting Plagiarism
RESOURCES (FOR STUDENTS & TEACHERS IN 2019) Discussion, examples and
Guide to Copyrights, Trademarks and Patents in Print and Beyond with
many links. (P.S. Thanks, Erin.)
A Guide and a Tutorial.
"Preventing Cheating & Plagiarism as an Online Student" Briefly reviews many
forms of cheating and then focuses on plagiarism. Gives many examples and links
Non-text Plagiarism: Computer software
Does it happen?
Academic Dishonesty in a High-Tech Environment (also includes text
cheating) - should be available through your university Library
Of Software Similarity) a detection tool.
(Spotting and Neutralizing Internet Theft by CHeaters) a detection
ETector "ETector is a plagiarism
detection tool specifically designed for introductory programming courses."
Academic Honesty in CS50 An interesting and provocative article on
the steps they have taken and the results. It includes a link to their
Open Source software (compare50) for cross-comparison of coding
Technology and Methods
- A free
with a better printout for the instructor
version with printout which can make it easier to evaluate
- Turnitin.com a well known
commercial service for higher ed (see some more immediately below)
Plagiarism.org an educational
resource developed by Turnitin.com
the commercial (non-edu) version of turnitin
"powered by iThenticate is an initiative started by CrossRef to help
its members actively engage in efforts to prevent scholarly and
professional plagiarism." It's a project of a group of scholarly publishers.
turnitin for admissions was
a version for use by Admissions Offices used for
- "A Web-Enabled Plagiarism Detection Tool" by Colin J. Neill and Ganesh
Shanmuganthan in the Sept-Oct 2004 issue of the IEEE IT Professional
- An interesting different approach - Chegg's (free)
Generator which, by making it easier for the writer to cite sources,
can help avoid accidental plagiarism. It also reminds the writer of the
need to cite sources
- SafeAssign is a plagiarism
prevention service with educational content from BlackboardTM
- CROT provides a "FREE plagiarism
detection service for your Moodle server"
"an open source windows-based program that explores a collection of
documents, looking for matching language.
- Plagiarism Checker X
takes a document you have and checks sentences via "all leading search
- Free Plagiarism Checker
"Multilingual, professional, online"
Top 10 Free Plagiarism Detection Tools For Teachers
- "A cloud-based tool for assessing
originality" VeriCite (now a part of Turnitin)
- A free plagiarism detection tool
- Viper Plagiarism Scanner
has a free version
- Unicheck was UnPlag.
- Copyleaks plagiarism checker
(has a free low volume service)
free plagiarism checker
- A free
plagiarism checker by EDUBIRDIE
- A plagiarism checker
- BibMe Plagiarism and
Grammar Checker. A good discussion of plagiarism. They also have a limited
free version and a more comprehensive for-pay version of the checker.
Note: in many situations, proper citation is considered important and
often the format of the citation is considered important. BibMe has two
style guides to assist in proper citation:
Citation Machine Emphasis on proper citation and suggestions on
improving writing - with a free account. (It's been pointed out that
there are so many banner ads as to make it difficult to use.) "Unintentional
plagiarism" detection is included in the paid account.
- Citation generation -
Currently supports the APA, MLA and Chicago citation formats. A
startup planning to include other text improvement features in their
- TypeCite A citation generator.
It's supposed to be free for student use.
- Zotero "is a free, easy-to-use
tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share research." There
is a charge for storage which exceeds their 300MB free limit.
- Another area where plagiarism is of concern
is in blogging. Some detection tools are mentioned, especially Copyscape.
- Since paying attention to citation can help in avoiding plagiarism,
here's another helper - for Chicago
- A plagiarism checker you can use to check your work, along with other
helpful tools for writing essays - Essay
Toolbox which includes a write-up How to
Chegg Writing Plagiarism Checker It's selling a for-pay service, but
it has lots of helpful information about what is plagiarism and how to
avoid it. Included is a 5 minute video which may help inform students.
- Do your own search - put quotes in a search engine
e.g., Go to Google or
Go to DuckDuckGo
and paste this
into the search box: "many facets to understanding plagiarism"
find this web page near the top of the search results. (Plus some more
of my web pages on this topic.)
- While any web search engine can be used to search the web,
there is a search service which emphasizes "scholarly literature,
including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and
technical reports from all broad areas of research." and can be used
"to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers,
professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, ..."
This is Google Scholar, and can
be used as an additional source. Microsoft has some academic books
searchable via its Bing search engine.
Defeating Plagiarism Detection!
There are incentives to commit plagiarism which is why we see it
occurring. This led to the development of the many tools to detect
plagiarism. If plagiarism detection works to detect plagiarism, then
it becomes more difficult to get away with plagiarism. (Of course!) So
there is an incentive to develop methods to evade detection.
Unsurprisingly this has already happened, although the methods/tools
aren't advertised as having this purpose, but rather as being methods of
rephrasing or paraphrasing text to innocent purposes. E.g.
Rewriter Tool maybe this one isn't too worrisome?
Paraphrasing Tool -
Paraphrase your article with a sentence rephraser. This says it uses
AI to paraphrase in order to avoid plagiarism.
Uses and Discussion
Understanding & Preventing Plagiarism - Strategies & Resources for
Students and Teacher A comprehensive review by Matt Ashare.
Actions Do Speak Louder than Words: Deterring Plagiarism with the
Use of Plagiarism-Detection Software by Bear F. Braumoeller and Brian J.
Gaines. PS: Political Science and Politics, 34:835-9 December 2001
(available through JSTOR)
Paper Mills, Anti-Plagiarism Tools, and Academic Integrity
by M. Groark, D. Oblinger and M. Choa
Algorithmically-Generated Term Papers the Next Big Challenge to
Academic Integrity? But is it plagiarism?
and Plagiarism in the University: Brief Report of a Trial in Detecting
Cheating by Johnson,D., Patton,R., Bimber,B., Almeroth,K.,
and Michaels,G. 2004 - "reports the results of a trial of
automated detection of term-paper plagiarism in a large, introductory
undergraduate class." It covers deterrance and student reactions.
Teachers Adjust Lesson Plans as Web Fuels Plagiarism
Is trying to detect plagiarism unethical? or illegal?
Pima Community College creates "traffic school" for plagiarists -
looking for the URL
Strategies for Research Papers
How Dumb Do They Think We Are? by Jonathan Malesic. A teacher's take on
"Guilty Until Proven Innocent: The Well-Known Secret about
Turnitin.com" is a rather hostile anti-Turnitin discussion. I can't find
it any longer, but there is a
description of this topic available.
comparison of 7 anti-plagiarism software tools by Liz Johnson
"The HelioBLAST text similarity engine finds text records that are
similar to the submitted query."
first year composition students write research papers.
short discussion of using plagiarism checkers in online learning
short discussion in the context of Computer and Information Literacy
get away with plagiarism" My discussion of ethics and plagiarism.
- Self-plagiarism is a somewhat complicated area. It can vary from
re-use of a phrase or a sentence, which is usually considered to be
innocuous, to resubmission of an essay or article, unaltered or lightly
changed, which is usually considered to be an ethical violation.
- How to
Avoid Plagiarism" about "Copyright, Proofing, and Tools"
Copyright Explained For Students: Don't Get Caught Out
Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty are just two of the topics listed.
How to Avoid Plagiarism in a Digital World Discussion and many
Plagiarism by Sharon Stoerger - looking for a new link
- Plagiarism Resources
Journal for Educational Integrity "The journal provides a platform
for educators across all sectors to research issues in the
multi-disciplinary field of educational integrity."
- Plagiarism Tutorial
Avoiding Plagiarism, Self-plagiarism, and Other Questionable Writing
Practices: A Guide to Ethical Writing
in the Corporate World - with a $1 million result.
- NC State Univ
Code of Student Conduct Section 8.4 Plagiarism
Copyright Jungle by Siva Vaidhyanathan. A discussion of legal, business,
ethical and practical aspects. (Columbia Journalism Review Sept/Oct 2006)
(soon to be available again at www.cjr.org)
- Plagiarism and
Little Book of Plagiarism by Richard A. Posner, a noted jurist and
harms readers and has other faults.
Theft - Are faculty/administrators innocent of plagiarism and other
Saving Time or Betraying Trust? discussion of U. Md. CP's discussion
Plagiarism in Chinese higher ed from the Chronicle (subscription required)
Against Free-Market Plagiarism Prevention" from Inside Higher Ed
and Historical Journals from the American Historical Association. A
news article "Confronting
- and Not Confronting - Plagiarism" covers an AHA panel - from
Inside Higher Ed
Procedures for Publications see Section 8.2.4 for Allegations of
Author Misconduct - which includes plagiarism
- Plagiary "A refereed online
journal ... addressing general and specific issues related to
plagiarism, fabrication, and falsification." It has ceased publication,
but back issues are at the link given.
A Plague of Originality by Peter W. Morgan & Glenn H. Reynolds discusses the
dangers of overenthusiastic labeling similarities as "plagiarism".
This is Chapter 5 in their book "The Appearance of Impropriety:
How the Ethics Wars Have Undermined American Government, Business, and
Society. Some background for this is at The Appearance of Propriety
by Peter W. Morgan
- Spy vs spy
This represents the wrong way to work with students.
2 Universities' Plagiarism Policies Look a Lot Alike Was one of them
plagiarized? [available to Chronicle subscribers - may be available
through your campus library]
- Student Guide to Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism in the Classroom
and Online a discussion with links to additional resources
Talk About Plagiarism by a composition teacher
Resources on Citing: The Trademark of a Good Writer
Plague of Originality" an interesting essay diverging from some
- Some more
background on The Shadow Scholar.
And then a
darker look at The Shadow Scholar.
- New Jester Collusion
Detection Reports "the correlation and matches between Adobe PDF
and Microsoft Word documents". (only those two formats). An interesting
tool which might have some use in plagiarism checking. Not free, but
"Pay What You Want", through PayPal, starting with $1 AUD.
Plagiarism and Paraphrasing An overview with a very good discussion
of the educational purpose of avoiding plagiarism. A number of links are
given and Plagiarism
Information gives a lot of useful information, including citation.
"How Do I Use the Copyright Symbol?" A short treatment of the use of
the copyright symbol and how to register a copyright.
Business Guide to Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents
Brief business-oriented descriptions of these areas with many links.
Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013,
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021
by Henry E. Schaffer Comments and
suggestions are welcome, and should go to firstname.lastname@example.org
Last modified 9/23/2021
Disclaimer - Information is provided for your use. No endorsement