Estonian Universities To Employ Plagiarism Detection Technologies

As recently reported by Steve Roman on the English languge site of the Estonian Public Broadcasting authority (ERR) a new drive to combat plagiarism in academic theses is coming to fruition, according to the University of Tartu.

The IT Foundation, in cooperation with most of the larger institutions of higher education in Estonia, has been testing algorithms of the software with a view to launch in August 2013.

The ingenious system compares students’ theses with archives and can even find translated material which has not been cited properly or passed off as original work.

It can also identify stylistic devices which might suggest a professonal ghostwriter has been used.

Head of Tartu University education department Siret Rutiku told ERR radio that ‘plagiarism detection system’ was perhaps a misleading name for the technology, since it was aimed at preventing plagiarism in the first place. She also stressed the need for students and teachers to both be properly informed about the system.

The system is costing 221 570 Euros to implement, paid for by the European Social Fund.

The original article is here.

The project shows how Estonia is acting as a torch bearer, once again, for how the CEE countries ought to be carrying on public life; recent plagiarism scandals have rocked the political world in Romania, where Prime Minister Victor Ponta was accused of having lifted work for his dissertation on Law,  just weeks after the Education Minister of that country stepped down for the same reason, and in April the erstwhile Hungarian Prime Minister Pal Schmitt also stepped down after plagiarism allegations.

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