My colleague, Nicole McNab, has looked at plagiarism quite extensively over the past couple of years, so this has gained my interest … especially as Nicole tends towards the idea that TurnItIn, etc. should not be used for detection, but for training students to understand!

Students who are aware that their work will be checked by plagiarism-detection software are just as likely to cheat as those who are not, a study suggests.

Turnitin software, which is used by thousands of universities worldwide, extracts text from submitted essays and checks it against other sources, such as online documents.

However, the study conducted by a researcher at California State University suggests that such measures should not be regarded as a “silver bullet” in the battle against “deviant” academic practices.

Robert J. Youmans, a cognitive psychologist, says in the paper published in the journal Studies in Higher Education that he expected to find that fewer students would cheat if they were warned that their work would be scanned.

This proved not to be the case.

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