Tuesday, October 10, 2006

No plagiarism at Harvard, Princeton, Yale and no need for turnitin?

Back in August 2006, IPBiz had a post on academic plagiarism which included discussion of a famous Princeton University plagiarism case, reported at 186 N.J. Super. 548; 453 A.2d 263.

Bloomberg has a news story on Oct. 10 which includes the text:

"I thought our first clients would be Harvard, Princeton, Yale," says John Barrie, president of Oakland, California-based iParadigms LLC, the maker of Turnitin. "I now think our last clients will be Harvard, Princeton and Yale. They have the most to lose."

The Bloomberg article continues:

Officials at Harvard College, Yale College and Princeton University say using software would undermine the trust between teachers and students. Of the three, only Princeton has an honor code for students.

"This is not a campus characterized by any kind of cheating culture or a culture where students are attempting to cut corners," says Peter Salovey, dean of Yale College, the undergraduate division of Yale University. "I would rather create a culture of integrity and honesty and expect the best."

Yale, in New Haven, Connecticut, occasionally catches a plagiarist. Salovey, 48, says he believes the offense hasn't become more prevalent during his 25 years on campus. Rather, the medium has changed: "from library-based plagiarism to Web-based plagiarism," he says.

Harvard College Assistant Dean John Ellison says a campus culture where academic integrity is a pillar makes the software unnecessary. The undergraduate college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, also has concerns about privacy and retaining students' intellectual rights, he says. Papers submitted to some plagiarism-detection Web sites become part of those sites' database for checking future submissions.

"We do not think giving another company rights to hold student work is necessarily a good thing," Ellison says.

Of nuts and bolts:

Turnitin receives digital copies of up to 60,000 papers a day. The software scans each one against a daily download of 60 million Internet pages, 22 million other student works in its database and 10,000 periodicals, Barrie says.

A school licensing the software pays an annual fee of about 80 cents a student based on its enrollment. Georgetown, in Washington, pays about $10,000 a year.

Harvard, plagiarism haven?

The Bloomberg article mentions Kaavya Viswanathan, but does NOT mention Laurence Tribe, or the discussion thereof in the Harvard Crimson [which brought up inconsistencies between treatment of students and professors as to plagiarism.]

The Bloomberg article mentions West Point and the honor code. Cadets caught plagiarizing face expulsion for violating the academy's honor code, which says: ``A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do.'' Only the academy superintendent can reduce a recommendation for expulsion. The Bloomberg article does not mention the West Point cheating scandals of the 1970's, which took place in the face of the same honor code.

[Bloomberg article by Emily Sachar]


Blogger Lawrence B. Ebert said...

On 23 Jan 07, IPBiz was the ninth site returned for someone else's Google search:

harvard crimson harvard has no honor

9:05 AM  

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