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December 1998, Week 2


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 9 Dec 1998 10:24:11 -0600
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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
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From Edupage*, 8 December1998:
>As students' use of the World Wide Web has increased, reports of plagiarized
>term papers have proliferated.  Now there's a new Web site designed to
>ferret out cut-and-paste papers, and the developers are pitching their
>product to professors and academic deans in the hope they'll be willing to
>pay for such a service.  Dubbed IntegriGuard, the site checks the text of a
>submitted paper against the text of all the papers in its database, and
>gives it a "pass" or "fail" grade.  The database includes about 600 papers
>so far, most of them purchased from term-paper mills.  All papers submitted
>for inspection will also be added to the database.  The developers hope that
>eventually professors will routinely use their site for all submissions:
>"The concept of the whole site is the deterrent that it creates," says
>co-developer Warren Brantner.  (Chronicle of Higher Education 11 Dec 98)
I did a quick check of its site at:
It seems like an interesting concept, but they do charge $4.95 *per month*
for EACH registered instructor.  (So a department with 30 faculty members
would pay $150 per month evidently.)
The same company has a companion site for students called
(Originally called  I haven't tested this service, but
apparently it allows students to submit a copy of their writing in order to
have it authenticated as original by IntegriGuard.  There appears to be no
charge to the student for this service, but the professor must be
registered in order for it to work.
This service seems a little odd to me.  If a student wrote his/her own
paper, then he/she obviously knows it's authentic.  I guess the idea is
that IntegriGuard PROVES it is original, but, as a professor myself, I
can't say I'd trust IntegriGuard's ability to ferret out fakes.  How could
its database include ALL the possible sources of academic papers from which
a student could plagiarize?
It's an intriguing idea, but I'm a bit skeptical about its feasibility.
*EDUPAGE is an e-mail newsletter of education-related Internet news.
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Jeremy Butler
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Telecommunication & Film/University of Alabama/Tuscaloosa
Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite