Positives in plagiarism software

Uni SA researchers find staff and postgrads use cheating-tech to improve their own work

There’s a buzz among plagiarism researchers about a Uni SA  paper reporting a survey of staff and HDR students use of commercial product, iThenticate, which is designed for research and HRD writing.*

Both staff and students reported the programme was useful beyond identifying inadvertent plagiarism, that it improved their own writing, for example in paraphrasing the work of researchers they need to refer to.

“Collectively, candidates and staff valued iThenticate as a tool which could  support publication, help them make substantial revisions to writing, and learn paraphrasing skills and how to better express their own ideas,” the Uni SA team states.

The paper adds to CMM’s opinion that academic cheating specialists are variously pragmatists and idealists. The former think the way to stop plagiarism is to make doing the work easier than cheating. The latter suggest that the best way to stop it is to give people the awareness and skills not to.

* Alistair McCulloch, Monica B. Behrend, Felicity Anna Braithwaite “The multiple uses of iThenticate in doctoral education: Policing malpractice or improving research writing?” Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 2022 (38) 1