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The end of student plagiarism...or is it?

The end of student plagiarism...or is it?

The jig might be up for all students out there that have been copy pasting their way through assignments.

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The jig might be up for all students out there that have been copy pasting their way through assignments.

NPR published a profile on Turnitin, a company that provides cloud-based service for originality checking, online grading and peer review which it argues “saves instructors time and provides rich feedback to students,” according to its website.

In the schools implementing the system, students must submit their paper through Turnitin’s website. The company’s algorithms then compare strings of text against its massive database, NPR reported.

“Automatically, that paper gets checked against about 45 billion web pages; 110 million content items from publishers (and) scientific journals,” said to NPR Chris Harrick, Turnitin’s vice president of marketing.

Turnitin is one of many other sites developed to detect online plagiarism like iThenticate, by Plagiarism.org; Viper, known as the free “Turnitin alternative,” or CheckForPlagiarism.net.

But some see these options as half measures.

“While such software is a useful tool, it is not a panacea. Not only do the programs fall far short of complete accuracy, but when we rely only on detection rather than prevention, it is an imperfect way to root out the problem and sends the wrong message to students,” wrote Trisha Craig for Todayonline.com.

Nonetheless the use of such programs is on the rise, with more than half of all the higher ed institutions in the U.S. and roughly a quarter of all high schools implementing Turnitin.

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