Catching out the Plagiarists?

mgylInqInteresting … although a real focus on ‘trying to catch people out’ I feel… how do we look for more positive ways of dealing with this (e.g. assignments that require reflection on the process, etc.):

As efforts to detect student plagiarism get more sophisticated, a university is considering bolstering the weapons in its armoury against a growing form of misconduct, “contract” cheating.

The term refers to students handing in bespoke essays purchased through essay-writing sites. But according to Mark Ridolfo, associate dean for student experience at Bournemouth University’s Business School, the phenomenon is difficult to detect and prove.

Because assignments are written from scratch, contract cheating gets around plagiarism detection software, and although other tools that detect changes in writing style exist, they can be slow, inaccurate and expensive, he said.

Detecting this kind of cheating “is almost impossible, incredibly time-consuming and, even when you have suspicions, going through to the next stage of the process [an academic offence panel] is difficult,” he said.

Read full article, although it’s hard for students when they see staff being caught out plagiarising?



Means to combat plagiarism? Technology? Learning? What is likely to be more successful:

David Matthews reports on debate about whether claiming students’ IP rights could halt plagiarism

A senior figure at Oxford Brookes University has suggested taking control of undergraduates’ intellectual property rights to stop them selling their essays on the internet.

John Francis, director of research and business development, said that the market in essays was “quite difficult to control” and that the university currently had no “formal rights” to stop it.

The idea has sparked a debate on how to stop the sale of essays and has also drawn claims that any blanket ownership of students’ intellectual property (IP) could be illegal.

Writing on JISCmail, an academic email discussion forum, Mr Francis said that an increasing number of students were selling their essays and that this could potentially damage the university’s reputation.

“We have been considering ways to strengthen our position on the practice to prevent it,” he wrote. “One way could be to claim ownership of all undergraduate and postgraduate IP. We only claim IP from PG [postgraduate] research students at the moment.”

Read full story.