Plagiarism -- Investigation

There are four methods that can be used during the investigation process:

  1. Search full-text proprietary library databases;
  2. Search Internet search engines;
  3. Search within paper mills;
  4. Use a plagiarism detection service.

Library Databases

Below is a list of some the major proprietary databases (grouped by subject content) available from the Baylor University Libraries that contain the full text of articles or books. All of these databases provide an option to search for a phrase in the full text of a document -- often in the "Advanced Search" options. Select a suspicious phrase from the paper in question and search for that phrase, using the full text option, in an appropriate database to see if it can be found in a published book or article.

If you have questions about effective search strategies, ask for assistance at the Information desk -- 254-710-2122.

Business

ABI/Inform; Business and Company Resource Center; Business Source Complete; Lexis/Nexis Academic; Regional Business News

Fine Arts

Oxford Art Online; Oxford Music Online

General
Academic Search Complete; Britannica Online; EBSCO Electronic Journals Service; Emerald Management xtra; JSTOR; Lexis/Nexis Academic; Military and Government Collection; netLibrary (E-Books); Academic OneFile; Project Muse; Periodicals Index Online; Texas Reference Center Online; WilsonSelectPlus

Literature
Literature Resource Center

Newspapers

Lexis/Nexis Academic; Newspaper Source; NewsBank; InfoTrac Newspapers

Science/Medicine
ACM Digital Library; Alternative Health Watch; American Chemical Society Publications; Health Source: Consumer Edition; Health Source: Nursing Edition; InfoTrac Nursing and Allied Health Collection

Internet Search Engines

Some times information is taken from the full text of documents found on the Internet. Use the phrase searching capabilities of major Internet search engines to search for suspicious text in a document found on the Internet. A good resource for identifying the largest search engines is Search Engine Showdown.

If you have questions about effective search strategies, ask for assistance at the Information desk -- 254-710-2122.

Enclose phrase in quotes or use the Advanced Search option.
Enclose phrase in quotes or use the Advanced Search option.
Enclose phrase in quotes or use the Advanced Search option.
Enclose phrase in quotes or use the Advanced Search option.

Internet Paper Mills

Search for suspicious phrases in the Internet paper mills for which there are search capabilities. There are a tremendous number of Internet paper mills in existence. Three excellent resources for identifying them are:

Plagiarism Detection Services

Below is a list of fee-based plagiarism detection services currently available, with a brief description of each one. Note, these tools are useful for identifying potential plagiarism, but instructors must still investigate to see it the tool spotted plagiarism or was unable to interpret incorrectly cited information.

NOTE: Baylor University is currently subscribed to the TurnItIn Plagiarism detection/prevention service.

  • CopyCatch -- This service uses software that is installed on a local computer or a network. The comparisons are run on papers turned in for a single class, as opposed to a database of papers or resources that might be available on the web.

  • EVE Plagiarism Detection System -- This service uses software that is installed on a local computer. The software is used to identify the papers (files stored in text file format on the local computer) to be checked against a database located on the Internet. Results are returned within a matter of minutes (depending on the number of and length of files to be checked). Free trial available.

  • Glatt Plagiarism Screening Program -- This service could be used to verify suspected plagiarism in that the software removes every fifth word, leaving a standard space in place of the word. The writer of the paper is expected to accurately replace those words, within a reasonable time. This company also provides the Glatt Plagiarism Teaching Program and the Glatt Plagiarism Self-Detection program to help educate students about plagiarism.

  • TurnItIn.com -- This is a web-based service to which papers are submitted and compared to resources in the database, with the results of the comparison (including hyperlinks to web pages or other papers with the same text) sent to the instructor.

    Caution: There is an issue of copyright raised because all papers submitted to TurnItIn are retained in the TurnItIn database. Some institutions have chosen not to use TurnItIn because of potential legal problems; others are using it, but faculty must make students aware that their paper is kept in the TurnItIn database. (Foster) Privacy is another area of concern because the students' names are associated with the submitted papers.