"Give credit where credit is due" is a phrase many professors
use when instructing students in how to avoid plagiarism.
In today’s world, however, where there are so many Internet
sites from which a student can quickly obtain information,
cutting it out and pasting it together to write his or her
paper, some refuse to listen. Unlike the prominent authors,
speakers, or artists who have been exposed in the news for
plagiarism, many, especially students, do n
ot fear reprisal.
It can be rationalized that faculty have so many papers to
correct and grade deadlines to meet that they will not check
to see if the work submitted really was written by the one
turning it in, and if there are any plagiarism questions they
will be just chalked up as "sloppy writing"
However, with the increased use by students of suspected custom-written
papers for a fee, or the cutting and pasting of whole or part
of the information found on the Internet, comes a new company
that for an annual subscription fee will help professors deal
with the problem of Internet plagiarism. It is called Turnitin.com. As a document source analysis instrument
it is designed to assess the originality of a submitted paper.
The University of Scranton, while not experiencing a large
problem of plagiarism, has purchased a subscription to this
service for the academic year 2001-2002. To acquaint
faculty members with this new service, Katie Duke, User Instruction
Coordinator, Weinberg Memorial Library, has scheduled several
"Brown Bag" information sessions to demonstrate the product
and to answer questions. Margaret Craft, Assistant Director
for Technical Services and Library Automation, Weinberg Memorial
Library, is the site administrator and is the instructor for
the "Brown Bag" seminars. University of Scranton faculty
or students interested in using this service or attending
future seminars can contact Margaret Craft via e-mail Craftm1@scranton.edu or by phone, 941-6135. Faculty at the University of Scranton have been encouraged
to advise students that this document source analysis service
exists and may be used if there is there is suspicion of plagiarism.
As part of user instruction during the year the Librarians
informed students of this service and shown them the
"How to check for plagiarism" site. For information
about Turnitin.com check the following site: http://turnitin.com/