Friday, 31 October 2008


I'm due to give a few presentations this month to academics on the current state of play regarding the technology to used in the continuing battle against bad scholarly practice. Yes I mean coping with plagiarism and collusion in assessments. You may remember in the summer I reported on the results of the three year survey on the (approx 50%) accuracy of Turnipin the popular text matching software. Well I've been trawling some JISCmail plagiarism posts to bring you some nuggets of effective practice and recent innovations in this area.

  • The second blog post discussed a new pebblepad plug-in and a comparison of text matching tools.

  • Please access the wealth of papers and presentations from June's 3rd International Plagiarism Conference are now available at .

  • I learned this summer that two academic experts based at the University of Birmingham and Aston University are collaborating to create their own text matching tool. Someone please tell me more about this and how it's progressing.

  • At the ALT-C conference in Sept 08 I was given some excellent student Turnitin crib sheets from the Elearning department @ Teesside Uni. I did try to find a link to electronic copies, but to no avail. If they were made public, they would make a good tool for all UK HE staff. Let us know if you've developed you own resources you would like to share.

  • There is a new Electronic Theses Online Service (EThOSnet) project web site. : . EThOS is: Improving research theses access to those who need it . Improving post graduate research knowledge transfer to students Creating a one stop electronic shop for all UK Theses. Promoting UK Higher Education post graduate research to the world .Contributing to the global knowledge pool.

  • An effective and tested approach that one University uses to improve scholarly practice/referencing skills:

1. find a willing volunteer who has handed some draft work in and use the work as an example with the rest of the class highlighting good and bad practice

2. showing students suitable (nameless) examples from the previous year's cohort

  • Toby Grainger at The University of East London
    has developed a very short and simple policy for academic misconduct and the use of text matching software. He gave it out to JISCmail subscribers, so I'm sure he'd be happy to let others use it as a basis for customisation.

  • For the BB users out there, a new (July 08) tool called Safe-assign that plugs into the VLE. Use instead of or as well as Turnitin?

  • "Smart students" check their drafts for plagiarism even before going to tutors, which is not a bad thing given some of the conversations I've just read. Be a smarter student using this free service, I just stumbled across :

    Free plagiarism detection
UPDATE!!! A number of experts have checked this site , since the post and all pulled it to pieces regarding it's usefulness. One academic categorises it as a cheat site. Be warned, treat this "site" with skepticism
  • I just discovered the UK Research Integrity Office (UKRIO), which is an independent body which offers advice and guidance to universities and other research organisations, and also to individual researchers, about the conduct of research. Hosted by Universities UK, our aims are to: Promote the good governance, management and conduct of research; Share good practice on how to address misconduct in research; and Give advice and guidance on specific cases. They have developed a Procedure for the Investigation of Misconduct in Research


Martin said...

Hi Kev,

I wonder how many Cambridge Dons will be using your post to solve their plagiarism problem.

David Muir raises some interesting questions "how do we teach this sort of internet literacy? What should assessment look like in the Internet age?"

As always there are no simple answers.

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