CRITICALLY EVALUATE THE USE OF TEXT MATCHING SOFTWARE AS AN AID TO DEVELOPING GOOD SCHOLARSHIP PRACTICE.
Text matching software such as turn-it –in according to Rowell (2009) is a tool which “…identifies similar texts in students’ submitted work with material from internet sources, other UK students work and a range of commercial texts and electronic journals used in educational institutions.” This is widely acknowledged as a tool used to prevent plagiarism by students and authors worldwide. Plagiarism according to Perrin, Larkham, and Culwin (see Okoro 2011, p.174) is simply explained as the use of someone else’s intellectual property without proper acknowledgement of that source. It is in its own way a form of ‘theft’. According to Okoro (2011), plagiarism is known to occur for various reasons, carelessness being in the forefront. His research shows that 90% of students know they are plagiarizing but do so anyway because they consider it to be a lesser ethical crime than other high profile instances of dishonesty. Other causes may include ignorance of students who are not completely aware of what plagiarism constitutes and have not really been educated on the proper ways of acknowledging their sources. Research by Scanlon and Neumann (see Okoro (2011), p. 176) Shows that majority of students actually know that plagiarism in all its forms is wrong. When asked, Over 80% of them responded positively against plagiarism, saying that it is completely unacceptable. In practice however (Walker 2010) majority of these students are found to plagiarize. The majorities of such groups are found to be international students whom English is not their first language and therefore find it difficult to express themselves in English and result to the easy way out: copying. Text matching software to some extent is quite good at pointing out instances of plagiarism but at the same time it is highly limited by the extent to which it can enter into databases such...
References: Carroll, J., 2009. Should we use Turnitin at this university? Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 8 (2), 160-162.
Dahl, S., 2007. Turnitin: The student perspective on using plagiarism detection software. Active Learning in Higher Education, 8 (2), 173-191.
Okoro, E., A., June 2011. Academic integrity and student plagiarism : guided instructional strategies for business communication assignments. Business Communication Quaterly, 74 (2), 173-178.
Rowell, G., 2009. TurnitinUK: Plagiarism detection software? Journal of Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Education, 8 (2), 158-160.
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