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Deterring research paper plagiarism with technology: Establishing a department-level electronic research paper database with e-mail

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Abstract

Academic dishonesty is a serious and increasing problem in higher education. The authors describe a procedure to store, sort, and search student research papers submitted via e-mail. The objective of the research paper database is to assist in creating an educational climate promoting high academic honesty. Procedures were noted documenting the convenience and efficiency in identifying student papers warranting further scrutiny for originality. A small random sample of student research papers submitted for course credit in previous semesters was evaluated for originality of content. Results suggest that the database has value in discouraging some forms of academic dishonesty. The database provides a measure of certainty in detecting instances of academic dishonesty such as a cut and paste from a website or submitting a paper that was submitted in a previous semester.

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... This attention has heightened the concern of educators and administrators at all educational levels. Indeed, academic dishonesty concerns have been reflected in research in various academic fields including education (Daniel, Blount, & Ferrell, 1991;Karlins, Michaels, & Podlogar, 1988), science (Paldy, 1996), psychology (Marsden, Carroll, & Neill, 2005;Roig & Caso, 2005), criminal justice (Smith, Dupre, & Mackey, 2005), and business (O'Neill & Pfeiffer, 2012;Reisenwitz, 2012;Simha, Armstrong, &Albert, 2012. As Whitley andKeith-Spiegel (2002) note, several reasons justify this concern including a need for equity among student grades, the importance of moral and ethical character development among students, and a desire to uphold the mission of the institution. ...
... This finding is particularly striking and illustrates the importance of employing mechanisms (e.g., electronic submission of course material) that heighten students' awareness of academic dishonesty and dissuade them from engaging in cheating behaviour. Future research might assess whether or not this trend is present in other courses and how first-year students come to better appreciate academically honest behaviour in other content areas (Roig & Caso, 2005;Smith et al., 2005). ...
... Importantly, the implications of our findings stretch beyond the limits of the basic communication course and any introductory course for that matter. Any administrator could implement electronic methods to track plagiarism within an academic department and potentially deter students from engaging in academic dishonesty in major-related courses (Smith et al., 2005). ...
Article
This study explored how electronic submission of course material, intended to deter instances of plagiarism, influenced first-year students' perceptions of academic dishonesty and reports of cheating behaviour in a large, multi-section basic communication course. Results reveal that electronic submission of course material results in first-year students being less likely to self-report engaging in cheating behaviours and heightens their appreciation and awareness of what constitutes academic dishonesty. Implications for classroom pedagogy, course management, and teacher training are discussed.
... There are many types of plagiarism such as intentional plagiarism where students try to deceive their instructors, or unintentional where might be due to poor referencing, sloppy citations, or language skills. additionally, there is 'patchwork' plagiarism occurs when material is cut and pasted from various sources (Austin & Brown, 1999cited in Warn, 2006.In addition, self-plagiarism which is known as textual re-use (Lowe, 2003); multiple submission (Fulda 1998,;Hinz 1997, Horowitz, 1997; simultaneous submission & republishing (Hauptman 1997); redundant publication (Schein & Paladugu, 2001); Broome, duplicate publication); fragmented publication (Gwilym et al.2004); text recycling (Roig, 2006); dual or duplicate publication (Errami et al. 2000(Errami et al. , 2008; Self-copying (Scanlon, 2007) & republication, multiple publication, repetitive publication, overlapping data/publication. Salami or divided publication, covert duplication & duplicate publication (Langdon-Neuner 2008) cited in (Bretag & Mahmud;2009:198). ...
... Further, software maybe considered by students as policing mechanism and these plagiarism checkers could cause faculty to avoid engagement with pedagogical and ethical issues involved and they divert them from the real problem. Using software may destroy trust between students and instructors and introduce mutual distrust and students may feel sensitive to the lack of trust (Williams, 2007, Scanlon, 2007 Williams, 2007) shows that Turnitin can produce inaccurate reports that indicate both plagiarism where it doesn't exist and miss plagiarism where it does. In addition, there is a legal questions raised by the automatic inclusion of student paper into the database that have led to lawsuits (Robelen, 2077, cited in Williams, 2007. ...
... Plagiarism should be a part of pedagogy and it should be embedded within instruction (Lee, 2011). Faculty should act as educators, rather than as detectives (Scanlon 2007:161) the focus should not be diverted to detection than instruction. Moreover, he (ibid: 206) adds anti-plagiarism techniques need to be assembled in ways that assist learning outcomes and help make the course material more meaningful for students. ...
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This is an attempt to investigate and evaluate students’ and faculty’s experiences and understanding to the strengths and limitations of anti-plagiarism software, specifically, Turnitin and how it could be used to promote academic integrity among engineering students. 50 engineering students and 20 professors were surveyed and interviewed. The paper argues that although Turnitin is widely used these days to tackle and minimize plagiarism practices, however cyberplagiarism is increasing and the software might be inadequate in fighting such practice. The paper also questions the effectiveness and limitations of the software in relation to current practices. The findings revealed that most of the respondents perceive Turnitin positively; limitations of the software are not many and they believed that the software is effective in detecting and minimizing plagiarism incidents among their students’ papers. The study puts forward some recommendations which might help practitioners in minimizing plagiarism practices.
... McGee [2] suggested alternative methods of assessments such as randomised quizzes or tests using social media tools, tests that require students to use their text and require supporting evidence, arguments or reasoning, and allowing multiple attempts (where the highest score is taken) to ensure academic integrity in online courses. The author also recommended the following tactics for online tests and quizzes to reduce occurrences of cheating:  Using true/false, matching and multiple-choice questions, and randomised answer choices  Setting questions based on prior course work  Conducting more frequent and shorter quizzes  In calculation-based tests, providing students with different number sets  Changing one-third of items every semester Smith et al. [26] also suggested strategies for setting up quizzes such as ensuring questions include content from lecture/class discussions and avoiding generic questions in order to reduce academic misconduct. ...
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During the recent COVID-19 outbreak, educational institutions have transitioned to online teaching for all students for most of the programs. Due to lack of in-person interactions and monitoring, assessments in online courses may be more susceptible to contract cheating, collusion, fabrication and other types of academic misconduct than the assessments in face-to-face courses. This situation has raised several research questions that need immediate attention, such as what are the best possible options for online assessments and how to administer online assessments so that academic integrity could be preserved. The authors have conducted a scoping study and carried out an extensive literature review on i) different types of assessments that are suitable for online courses, ii) strategies for ensuring academic integrity, and iii) methods, tools and technologies available for preventing academic misconduct in online assessments. It is evident from the literature review that there are a range of options available for designing assessment tasks to detect and prevent violations of academic integrity. However, no single method or design is enough to eliminate all sorts of academic integrity violations. After thorough research and analysis of existing literature, the authors have provided a comprehensive set of recommendations that could be adopted for ensuring academic integrity in online assessments.
... However, ''the infusion of technology in higher education has done little to minimize the problem of academic dishonesty. More than likely, technology has provided the convergence of motivation and opportunity, increasing the problem'' (Kennedy et al. 2000 cited in Smith et al, 2005). ...
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The study investigates the academic staffs’ awareness and utilization of anti-plagiarism detection software in academic writing. Quantitative research methodology was used, using survey research design to collect data from the respondents. One hundred and eighty-three (183) copies of questionnaire were administered to the academic staff of Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano out of which one hundred and fifty-three were duly returned and found usable which represents 83.6%. Data collected were analyzed using descriptive analysis through the use of frequency and percentages. Findings revealed that, respondents were aware of anti-plagiarism detection software and they came to know about the software through their thesis/ dissertation particularly Quetext and Turnitin. Less than half of the respondents were highly aware while others are moderately aware and only few were completely not aware of anti-plagiarism detection software. It also found that, less than half of the respondents used anti-plagiarism detection software which means majority were not actively using to checkmate academic writings as the institution under study was not using or adopt any anti-plagiarism detection software for academic activities. The study finally revealed that, majority of the respondent unanimously agreed that using anti-plagiarism tools will deter learners from plagiarizing in the first place, improve students’ ability to avoid plagiarizing, it will also assist in building a community of academic integrity. However, the study recommends that here is still need for academic staff to been lighten about the existence and functions of the software, there is need for the Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano to adopt and implement the use of anti-plagiarism detection software to checkmate and or reduce the level of academic dishonesty and the university management need to understand that using anti-plagiarism tools will deter learners from trying to plagiarized and assist in building a good community of research.
... Plagiarism occurs at both undergraduate and graduate levels and is not limited to any particular discipline; students have admitted committing it while studying criminal justice (Eskridge and Ames 1993;Smith, Dupre, and Mackey 2005), social work (Collins and Amodeo 2005), law (Gerdy 2004), business (McCabe, Butterfield, and Trevino 2006), and education (Love and Simmons 1998). In addition, plagiarism is not limited to any particular type of institution and has been found to occur at even the most prestigious schools. ...
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Internet Paper Mills.” Coastal Carolina University
  • Kimbel Library
Technical Report on College Student Cheating
  • T R Smith