Digital Archives and Plagiarism Anxiety, Computers & Writing 2009

Jim Purdy, Duquesne University

“Digital Archives and Plagiarism Anxiety: An Argument for Viewing Plagiarism Detection Services as Digital Archives”

analyzed legal document of turnitin.com

services that we sometimes use can themselves be of questionable integrity
— no comment here on Supreme Court decisions —

2 kinds of digital archives
archive used for more than just storing text
comprises body of text
uses these texts to determine to what extent the work is plagiarized
refers to theses and dissertations
public status of educational archives
potentially accessible to every user

text in digital form… compulsory archiving… mandatory archiving as acceptable…

Means with which to determine suitability of text.

archiving “fair use,” not made available in full text

not a copyright violation

only the matching text is published

“collateral rights” public archival access for ealuation
vs
“fair use” limited archival access for comparison

compulsory archiving = detecting plagiarism

iThenticate compares submitted documents only against published work. Does not include archives.
This is telling.

Student text and professional texts are treated differently.
Texts composed in education can be archived. Professional texts cannot be archived.
Value the texts differently.
Texts of professional writing is privileged above student texts.

The attorneys should have used this argument. That would have been important.

10,000 student works a day

Howard, 1995
Woodmansee, 1994
Woodmansee & Jaszi, 1994

“students can access only the papers that they submitted and papers from which they plagiarized” (Technology, 2004)

Er, yeah. Every paper is always possibly plagiarized. Why is this a problem?

fast checks for plagiarism… can misjudge work… How? If you have quotes, it can see that. Does it not recognize blockquotes.

He said if we use it, it won’t ae us time. yes, it does– It is perfectly easy to read through the highlighted materials. Far harder for us to look everything up ourselves. That takes much more time.

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