Friday, May 20, 2005

SPlaT--The Self-Plagiarism Detection Tool

Splat! It's the sound a bug makes when a car collides with it at 70 miles an hour. It's also the name of software designed to fight self-plagiarism. I have the feeling that some unethical faculty self-plagiarizers are going to feel just like the proverbial bug on the windshield when SPlaT comes into widespread use.

Previous posts on the Socrates Tech blog have given you plenty of insight into the use of technology to fight student plagiarism. SPlaT is designed to help journal editors (and possibly colleagues) identify faculty members who recycle their papers over and over again. It's called self-plagiarism and it's as serious an ethical problem as any other form of plagiarism, including student plagiarism. Self-plagiarized papers crowd out other deserving papers from scarce journal space, thus harming other faculty who do not self-plagiarize.

SPlaT is a free download from the link in the post. Once a few self-plagiarizers are outed, self-plagiarism should become less common. That's technology in action, making academic life a little better for faculty of character.


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