- August 13, 2004 @ 11:43amBakker says:Plagiarism seems to the big issue with faculty this fall. There is a strong push to have us purchase a license to Turnitin.com. However, somewhere I remember a comment at a conference that this violates student copyright because Turnitin.com adds the submitted paper to its databanks. Does anyone have familiarity this product and this issue.
- August 14, 2004 @ 6:59amCOvalle says:It can violate student copyright, and there are some privacy issues as well. Turnitin's licensing policy was somewhat problematic. (Their license is available online at their website under the legal section- look at copyright and archiving in particular.) Although it was determined that a professor may require a student to turn over copyright to the professor/university, ultimately the university I work at decided against using it.
- February 15, 2006 @ 2:09pmkipper says:I would have to disagree with the above post. Because Turnitin does not make a copy of the paper available to anyone other than the instructor and the student without permission, it is following Fair Use. I understand that there have been at least two challenges to Turnitin but neither has had any traction...so far. In the end, if this violates Fair Use then we are essentially arguing that students have an inalienable right to plagiarism because there is no other way (short of inputting phrases in Google) to prevent it, or at least deter it. In the end Fair Use protects the holder/creator of the intellectual property and Turnitin, in the long run, does this for all involved.
- February 15, 2006 @ 4:57pmCOvalle says:There is no way to say with 100% that their work is fair or not fair. I tend to argue that in many cases TurnItIn's use does not meet fair use. Looking at the four factors of fair use, 1) Nature of the work: Original student works, which may or may not be fact based dependent on the subject. This weighs against TurnItIn. 2) Amount of work used: The entire paper. This weighs against TurnItIn. 3) Purpose of the use: Turnitin is a commercial entity with a for-profit motive. This weights against TurnItIn. 4) Effect on the market: I would say this favors Turn It In, unless the potential market is the student or contributing organization making similar products. This is the area that I'm not quite so sure about in this specific situation. I wasn't considering making the work available to others, which is a separate copyright issue. I think that the purpose here is a strong indicator of whether or not the use- the initial copying and creation of the TurnItIn database- is fair. I may be way off, though. ^_^ I am confused about your statement about students having an inalienable right to plagiarism. If I am understanding your statement correctly, then I *strongly* disagree with it. Are you saying that if we did not allow TurnItIn, then students would be able to get away with cheating? First, that does not implay a "right" to plagiarism. Second, there are other steps that institutions can take to prevent cheating. We've done it without TurnItIn and we've been doing it without TurnItIn. I am an instructor at the University of Texas on occassion, and we definitely look for and find cheating and plagiarism on a sadly regular basis. Plagiarism is a huge issue. TurnItIn, however, is not sufficient to find many of the kinds that we do find- plagiarism from magazines, articles, and other materials not part of their database. We've also done some very interesting things with looking at the information entropy of an object based on Shannon and Weaver's equation- sometimes helpful, sometimes not, but we're looking at it. ^_^; At any rate, cheating and plagiarism are not new issues, even with the Internet, and we do find ways to deal with it that may or may not include TurnItIn. Ultimately, however, what I found compelling is that the service is using student work for a for-profit enterprise. There are ways to alleviate that to some extent, but I find it problematic. That being said, some parts of UT are looking at trying to get a separate contract with TurnItIn that would take care of some of those problems. I'm not sure how far that effort has gotten at this point. I have other issues with TurnItIn, involving privacy and assumptions about student work, but those are a separate issue.
I would have to disagree with the above post. Because Turnitin does not make a copy of the paper available to anyone other than the instructor and the student without permission, it is following Fair Use. I understand that there have been at least two challenges to Turnitin but neither has had any traction...so far. In the end, if this violates Fair Use then we are essentially arguing that students have an inalienable right to plagiarism because there is no other way (short of inputting phrases in Google) to prevent it, or at least deter it. In the end Fair Use protects the holder/creator of the intellectual property and Turnitin, in the long run, does this for all involved.
- March 19, 2006 @ 2:51pmroshan says:I am a degree student and we've just had few of our works being tested by Turnitin but it appears it also counts the references and bibliography for the plagiarism. On my written work there were almost 15% total similarity index were found but out of them 14% belonged to the refererences and bibliography section. Under the university regulation more than 10% of similarity are supposedly no good for marking and I could not understand how can I stop this happening as I can't not write the references/bibliographies.....
Is this software penalising the genuine students rather than the ones who get away without being caught as long as they could get material from books or newspapers...!! As these are still on the Turnitin database. Students have already found out the limitation of the software so I am just wondering whether this software will turn out to be some of the career ruiner for the scholars and who is going to be responsible for that in the future...? I can't see that not happening as this software is bound to fail in this incredible invention of other ways of getting round this software.
The other important issue here is the tutors who don't seem to understand what should be checked and what should not..? How trained are they to help and guide the students to avoid them? Some of my tutors do not know what their schema of works are for the module and never have any properly written guideline for the assignments. Is it not a contributing factor for plagiarism when the students are not clear..? What software have been build to detect that??
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