Deterring plagiarism

May 1, 2014

Turnitin is a great tool to help identify plagiarism by students. In fact, examination of originality reports is my first action when marking student work in order to eliminate those few students who have not followed my advice to avoid cut and paste except when it is relevant, in quotes and references.

However, the claim by iParadigms, as reported in “Cheaters’ helper or learning tool?” (News, 24 April), that Turnitin “allows students to develop their academic writing skills by…analysing the originality report to identify areas for improvement” can be of use only to students who have forgotten where they copied it from so that they can then provide the reference. That is, unless they are using it to try to identify those parts of their work that still have a “fingerprint” indicating its source so that they can disguise it further in the hope of avoiding detection. Enabling students to submit their work for an originality report certainly contributes to student satisfaction, but I am not convinced that it is worthwhile academically.

Much more important is educating students about the purpose of referencing and setting assessments that are hard to plagiarise.

Ray Stoneham
Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Humanities
University of Greenwich

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

sitting by statue

Institutions told they have a ‘culture of excluding postgraduates’ in wake of damning study

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate