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CENTER FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY University of California at Santa Barbara, www.cits.ucsb.edu
 

Summary: CENTER FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY
University of California at Santa Barbara, www.cits.ucsb.edu
WHITE PAPER
February 2003
Technology and Plagiarism in the University: Brief Report of a Trial in
Detecting Cheating
1. The Issue: Technological Asymmetry
University professors have been losing a technological arms race with their students over
plagiarism for many years. Since the end of the days when term-papers and other assignments
were hand-written, students willing to misrepresent others' work as their own have exploited an
expanding array of tools. From the simple cutting-and-pasting from un-cited sources or each
other's work, to the use of keyword-searchable collections of term papers available for purchase,
students have at their disposal a broad palette of quite powerful techniques.
That these methods have become commonplace for students and notorious among their
instructors has not led many faculty to employ commensurately sophisticated technologies for
detection. A good deal of concern is now directed at the plagiarism crisis in universities: honor
codes are being adopted or expanded, reports are being commissioned, and journalists are
producing a stream of news stories. But in most cases, the techniques instructors actually use for
identifying plagiarism and thereby deterring it remain frankly old-fashioned, unchanged for the
most part from the good old days of pen-and-paper assignments. Even in cases where classes

  

Source: Almeroth, Kevin C. - Department of Computer Science, University of California at Santa Barbara

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences