Monday, May 2, 2011

Copy-and-Paste Works Both Ways with Plagiarism

How the Internet Affects Plagiarism.  (MindShift, 5/2/2011)

Excerpt:   Even though plagiarism is often easily identifiable via a simple Web search, many schools have opted to purchase one of the many plagiarism-checking software programs currently on the market. One of the best known options is TurnItIn, which has just released an interesting white paper, based on the 40 million some-odd papers that have been submitted and analyzed by the site.
Some of the key finds from the paper include:

  • Plagiarism is going social: One-third of all content matched in the study is from social networks, content sharing or question-and-answer sites where users contribute and share content.
  • Legitimate educational sites are more popular than cheat sites: One-quarter of all matched material is from legitimate educational web sites, almost double the number that comes from paper mills or cheat sites.
  • 15% of content matches come directly from sites that promote and benefit from academic dishonesty: Paper mills and cheat sites are the third most popular category for matched content.
  • Wikipedia is the most popular site for matched content: It remains the single most used source for student-matched content on the Web, comprising 7% of matches in the months examined.

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