Weighting plagiarism scanning Software: Benefits versus disadvantages


-Cheating is not a new phenomenon and digital documents did not introduce plagiarism. Yet, digitizing of students’ work and internet searching has exacerbated its frequency and the complexity of its detection. Thus, educational institutions’ use of electronic scanning software is a normal reaction to the exigencies of plagiarism. Caleb J. Clanton in the article titled “A Moral Case Against Certain Uses of Plagiarism Detection Services”, asserts that “the statistics on plagiarism are staggering. No wonder, then, that many colleges and universities have started using plagiarism detection services (PDSs) such as Turnitin”.

-Plagiarism as a learning tool (Link to Plagiarism a learning tool versus a policing tool page)

-Yet, Sally Feldman in the article titled "To Catch a Plagiarist” writes that Turnitin.com is limited to text-based work, thus are of no use to teachers who assign the creation of artifacts by their students.


-Many students fear the possibility of unintentionally plagiarizing any of their submitted papers, which in turn would directly affect their grades and even more likely their enrollment status in any academic institution; Students’ cases of academic integrity code violations, are at risk of facing possible sanctions or penalties. For example AUC has a list of possible punishments for cases of academic integrity violation. Thus plagiarism scanning software would be a mean of reassurance; students will know beforehand that none of their submitted papers contain any plagiarism. Tony Eynon the manager of Academic Answers Ltd – a company which developed Viper (anti-plagiarism scanning software) - says: "Accidental plagiarism is much more common than intentional”.

-Also, nowadays most of students’ paper work is saved in a digital format, thus students’ hard work is constantly at risk of possibly being wiped off in case of a computer virus for example. Fortunately, plagiarism scanning software such as Viper provides online data storage to protect students’ digitized documents from such misfortunes; Viper in corporation with Livedrive™ offers safe storage (online backup) for students’ documents.

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