Ohio University IT works with an analytics center to recommend anti-plagiarism tools


Ohio University’s IT team is working with the campus Center of Consumer Research and Analytics to update recommended plagiarism detection software.

The 15,000-student university in Athens, southern Ohio, currently recommends SafeAssign from Turnitin and Blackboard, but does not require faculty to use the software, Eszti Major-Rohrer, an academic technology manager, said in an email to EdScoop. The number of filings in Turnitin rose by about 1,000 between fall 2019 and 2020, she said, and given the changes the coronavirus pandemic has brought to student work, it is time to rethink the software that best suits the needs of the campus.

“Turnitin has developed new, improved features that the university is not currently subscribed to,” said Major-Rohrer. “In addition, several viable competitors have developed competing products in the market. We want to understand which features are important to our user community, whether these are covered by our current provider or whether we need to adapt our thinking in this area. “

Plagiarism detection tools scan the transmitted text and compare it with the information the software has in its archives. The software automatically highlights similarities with content from the Internet, books, academic papers or other resources. The teachers then review the software’s results to find any plagiarism cases or if a student misquoted a source.

According to a press release, the Ohio customer research center will collect data on how students and staff feel about plagiarism detection software and what features teachers need. The center uses student researchers to carry out its projects, gain hands-on experience, and works with corporate partners outside of the university such as Ohio-based pizza chain Donatos and equipment maker Whirlpool.

Focus group meetings will begin this month, followed by a poll in November.

According to Technovio, a market research group, the plagiarism detection market is expected to grow by $ 800 million through 2024. Plagiarism software, introduced by many schools before the pandemic, has raised some concerns about the ethics of automating the process and the effectiveness of the methods of individual products.

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