University Report On Dealing With Plagiarism… Plagiarized!

from the how-about-that... dept

Been meaning to write this one up for a bit, and finally got to it. Michael Scott points us to an amusing story about how Southern Illinois University was dealing with some plagiarism problems and decided to put out a report on how to deal with plagiarism. That report included a nice description of plagiarism that turned out to be (you guessed it) plagiarized. Hopefully that makes Southern Illinois University rethink its position on plagiarism… but that seems unlikely.

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Comments on “University Report On Dealing With Plagiarism… Plagiarized!”

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Charlie Potatoes (profile) says:


I write essays, theses, and dissertations for the well-heeled under-achievers on our university campuses. The paper I write is licensed to my customers with me retaining copyright. When their reader or professor runs that paper through a program such as turnitin, the website keeps a copy of my work in their database, to compare other papers against. They profit from my work, and refuse to compensate me. The professors are a party to this action. I think the professors and university readers should sweep around their own back door and check up on what constitutes fair use of a student’s paper.

Your Gawd and Master says:

Re: Turnitin

Sorry but…you’re wrong. Storing a copy in their database is not “them profiting from your work”. I know you probably have some convoluted method of explaining that it is but the simple fact of the matter is that they aren’t selling your work, they’re not distributing your work and they’re not claiming copyright on your work. Instead they’re analyzing your work to see how the sentence and paragraph structures flow and then comparing that to other papers.

If you were to try to test your theory you’re going to find that their programs are essentially making a commentary or report about your papers, putting it under fair use. That will contain the word count, sentence count, an analysis of your paper using synonyms, etc. and you’ll find you wasted a lot of time and energy on nothing.

Tony Law (profile) says:

When is plagiarism not plagiarism? When it's referenced.

We use other people’s sources all the time. I tell my own university students that when it’s acknowledged, especially in the academic world, it’s citation. When it isn’t acknowledged, it’s plagiarism.

When it’s quoted in a public document without permission, there may be a copyright issue: but that’s a quite separate argument!

Paul Brinker (profile) says:

Thay are profiting from student work

you realise there keeping a perfect copy of the paper, not some reworking, that way if you submit the same paper agin it comes up with a 100% this paper is in our database.

There entire bussiness model is based on schools giving them papers, making a perfect copy and then checking there mass database of papers for copys both small phrases to entire papers.

The worst part is that in some schools, students are REQUIRED to have there work put into this database as part of an english class. This is because the company has lobyed schools to use there service, expanding the database, and making the cycle continue.

Just because there not selling the papers does not mean there not making a profit from your work. Because thay are selling access to there database of papers which now includes your paper.

Really we (students) just want to be able to remove out papers from the database. Right now the only way to do that is a lawsuit.

Michael Talpas (profile) says:

Report on plagiarism...plagiarized!

I laughed for a solid ten minutes after reading this headline! It reminds me of past headlines that newspapers have used, and it just seemed like such a hilarious statement.

Though, upon reading what the article actually said, it wasn’t as funny. Still funny, but not as funny as I thought. What I thought, was that the report had been plagiarized, which as you can see, is hilarious. But, the fact that the report on plagiarism committed plagiarism is also funny.

Good headline choice.

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