Summary: For educational institutions, maintaining the quality of their education services can be done by observing how their students work on their assignments. No matter what tasks that you are giving to your students, there will always be plentiful resources that they can access on the internet to complete such tasks. Good students would only use those online resources as their references, but bad students might abuse those resources by copying or plagiarizing them and claim it as their own. This is why in many parts of the world, plagiarism is rampant among educational institutions, especially if such institutions don’t have any tools to check the validity of the student’s assignments. This is where Turnitin comes into place, providing educational institutions the tools necessary to check for plagiarism and the originality of their students’ papers.
Writing academic papers is something that students need to do throughout the course of their education. The higher the education level, the more academic papers that the students need to write, and the more complex the information that needs to be written in each assignment. It is the duty of the institution to ensure that their students are writing high quality papers that are original and not plagiarized. Not only it will ensure authentic grades for them, it can also help them to improve their grades and academic level from time to time if they keep their papers original.
Plagiarism has becoming a common problem among educational institutions. With the abundance of information that is available on the internet, anyone can find information about anything. Students can find out any information related to their assignment and use them to complete their papers. While it is fine for students to do that, the problem arises when they choose to use the information that is widely available on the internet and claim it as their own in their papers. This type of academic misconduct not only degrades the quality of the students’ education itself, but it would bring a bad reputation to the institutions as well.
Another problem is that because there are countless academic papers that are available today, which were submitted by other students, it would be troublesome if they use these previous academic papers in their current assignment without properly quoting or attributing them at all. Thus, students can easily find similar information from other papers and use it in their current assignment as their own. This is also a type of plagiarism that is difficult to detect, unless you have a good education-focused plagiarism detection tool with an in-depth content database. This is essentially what Turnitin is all about.
To find out more about Turnitin, we have conducted an interview with Amanda Zeligs Hand, Senior Marketing Communications Manager at Turnitin.
The Difference between iThenticate and WriteCheck – Turnitin’s Plagiarism-Checking Products
While Turnitin is highly used among various educational institutions across the world, the service that they offer is not solely focused on the educational fields. Turnitin also works on detecting plagiarism for various other institutions as well, such as corporations, governments, admission offices, publishers, and researchers. This is why they have different plagiarism products, which can be used by different types of institutions to detect plagiarism effectively.
Regarding the different types of plagiarism products offered by Turnitin, Amanda Zeligs Hand explained,
“Turnitin offers a number of different products for plagiarism detection, including Turnitin Feedback Studio, Originality Check, and iThenticate. Turnitin Feedback Studio and Originality Check are typically used by educational institutions while iThenticate is used by researchers, publishers, admissions offices, corporate entities, and governments.”
The Challenges Faced by Online Businesses When It Comes to Plagiarism
The problem of plagiarism is not only plaguing the educational institutions, but it also affects other institutions as well, such as corporations and online businesses. In fact, the act of plagiarizing other people’s content is rampant in the world of online business because it is so easy to find any type of information online and using such information without proper attribution or permission from the original content owner. Copying and pasting this information and including them in your website is the most common form of plagiarism among online businesses.
Turnitin works on detecting the possible plagiarism for online businesses by using the proprietary web crawlers that go beyond indexing available pages on the search engine. Turnitin web crawlers can index not only content that is available on the search engines, but it can also index the content that comes from archived web pages as well as premium content that requires a certain payment for you to access.
Thus, Turnitin has a more advanced content detection system when compared to the regular plagiarism tools available elsewhere, since it collects thorough and detailed information in their database so that any institution can use their database to cross-check the information that they have in order to determine whether it is original or not.
Amanda Zeligs Hand explained about this particular feature of Turnitin,
“One of the plagiarism challenges that online businesses face is internet plagiarism, which occurs when information is copied and pasted from the internet without proper attribution. As one of the most basic forms of plagiarism, this act can be performed without forethought. Turnitin protects against internet plagiarism by checking work against our unparalleled content database, which includes our proprietary web crawler. Other plagiarism detection services simply put text through a search engine such as Bing or Google. Turnitin’s web crawler, which has indexed over 60 billion web pages to date, not only checks work against current web pages, but also archived pages and content that is behind a paywall.”
Turnitin User Growth and Spread
As one of the leading plagiarism checking services, Turnitin has proprietary web crawlers that become the core of their plagiarism detection system. These web crawlers are responsible for building the content database that indexes various types of content on the internet thoroughly. It has more than 60 billion pages of content indexed for the purpose of general online plagiarism checking, as well as the largest student paper database. Because of this, Turnitin has been used and trusted by more than 15,000 institutions across the world.
Amanda Zeligs Hand explained regarding Turnitin user growth and spread,
“Turnitin is used by 15,000 institutions and 34 million students in over 140 countries around the world. Our content databases offer unparalleled coverage, including 60 billion current and archived web pages and the world’s largest student paper database.”
How Businesses Can Prevent Their Content from Being Copied Elsewhere
Since plagiarism is quite rampant on the internet today, good businesses that are trying to keep their content original might find plagiarism to be the biggest threat to their operations. Businesses that offer original content for their users can be particularly concerned with the possible plagiarism attempts that might be done by other websites on the internet. Thus, their target audience might no longer feel that the content they are offering is original since it has been copied elsewhere. Regarding this problem, Turnitin recommends businesses to add their content to Turnitin database to avoid possible misuse of their content.
Amanda Zeligs Hand explained,
“To prevent content from being copied elsewhere, Turnitin recommends that business implement a plagiarism detection solution, as this will both ensure the originality of content they are publishing and, by virtue of adding their content to our databases, will safeguard their content from misuse.”
Common Trends in Academic Plagiarism
Among the students in academic landscape, plagiarism might not be as simple as putting other people’s content in their papers and claim it as their own. This type of plagiarism is just a common type of plagiarism, and the students with a bad academic misconduct might consider it to be too time consuming to do. Instead, there is another way to make it simpler for them to get their papers done without having to think about it at all. It is by doing something called contract cheating.
Contract cheating essentially means the act of making other people work on their assignments. Usually, these people are the ones who can get the work done in the best possible way. Students can simply order a completed assignment for these contract cheaters, or a third-party, so that they don’t need to work on the assignment at all. For the students, it would be a simple transaction that alleviate the need to put on real time and effort to complete the assignment.
Most students didn’t realize about the damage that they might have done by conducting in contract cheating. They are essentially making their grades worthless because it doesn’t really show their academic level at all. This is what Turnitin is trying to defeat. Not only this plagiarism detection service is available to provide the best tool to detect plagiarism, it also helps track down the students who are conducting contract cheating practices.
To conclude our interview, Amanda Zeligs Hand commented about the common trends in academic plagiarism,
“The academic integrity landscape is constantly evolving. One of the latest trends we have observed is the rise of contract cheating, the practice of engaging a third party to complete an assignment. Ordering an “original paper” has become just as easy as ordering food for delivery—students often don’t even consider this behavior to be academically dishonest because they use their own money to purchase completed assignments. Turnitin echoes the concern that contract cheating is normalizing cheating, diminishing the significance of degrees, and jeopardizing institutional reputations. In response to this concern, Turnitin has created products that don’t simply check if students are submitting original work, but rather if an assignment originated as their own work.”