Online plagiarism crackdown “catches thousands”

Tackling plagiarism

It seems that it is still difficult for newspapers to report intelligent steps to tackle plagiarism in a non-sensationalist way. See for example an earlier post on the Sun’s coverage of cheating by students.

The Scotsman is the latest offender in reporting steps taken by universities to tackle plagiarism:

THE number of Scottish students who are trying to cheat their way to a university degree has soared to unprecedented levels in the past five years, according to new figures.

A survey has shown that thousands of undergraduates have been caught plagiarising other people’s work to pass their degree exams.

But last night the leader of Scotland’s students insisted the record plagiarism numbers reported by many of Scotland’s top universities was down to improved detection systems, rather than an increase in cheating by undergraduates.

Liam Burns, the president of NUS Scotland, said: “These figures shouldn’t be seen as a sign of increased cheating, but the inevitable effect of improvements to anti-plagiarism software.

“It’s not as if there are hundreds more students actively trying to cheat.”

Sensible words from the NUS Scotland President. This isn’t totally straightforward but it really is down to improved detection.