Today more than ever, plagiarism is very difficult to detect. With web search tools becoming more sophisticated, users becoming more skilled and the huge amount of data that is now on the Internet.......one would say it is easier to cheat than be caught!
DOC Cop is a free online tool that was developed by Mark McCrohon to help K-12 & Higher Education detect plagiarized work submitted by students.
Mark has been involved in development of various educational solutions. He was part of a team that won the "Faculty Teaching Innovation Award" for Marlina LS that is a "server-based application for the delivery of interactive learning materials".
"DOC Cop is lightning fast, capable of processing one million words or a thousand thousand-word documents within 20 minutes."
"DOC Cop gathers the evidence, and provides the information required for you to judge whether or not plagiarism has occurred."
The service provides 3 types of checks:
- DOC Check, which evaluates individual documents--up to five at a time, 250,000 word maximum each--against one another;
- Corpus Check, which evaluates an unlimited number of documents (up to 12,000 words each) against one another; and
- Web Check, which compares strings of text (up to 550 words) against results found on the Web.
(Campus Technology 8/23/07)
A valid email address is all that is required to register. DOC Cop only stores work submitted on their system for the length of time it takes to perform the plagiarism check.
Any program that has students submitting essays of work needs to give this a try. I would also use this chance to talk to students about plagiarism and explain what it is. You would be surprised how many students do not see it as plagiarism if it is available on the Internet.
I think schools need to sit down and come up with a common research model that defines what plagiarism, copyright, referencing, etc.... is for their school. Schools should research what various local higher-ed institutes are doing and take that into consideration as a part of your research model.
Further Links on Plagiarism: