December – 2012

Protecting Students’ Intellectual Property in the Web Plagiarism Detection Process

Sergey Butakov
Concordia University College of Alberta, Canada

Vadim Dyagilev
Altai State Technical University, Russia

Alexander Tskhay
Altai Academy of Economics & Law, Russia


Learning management systems (LMS) play a central role in communications in online and distance education. In the digital era, with all the information now accessible at students’ fingertips, plagiarism detection services (PDS) have become a must-have part of LMS. Such integration provides a seamless experience for users, allowing PDS to check submitted digital artifacts without any noticeable effort by either professor or student. In most such systems, to compare a submitted work with possible sources on the Internet, the university transfers the student’s submission to a third-party service. Such an approach is often criticized by students, who regard this process as a violation of copyright law. To address this issue, this paper outlines an improved approach for PDS development that should allow universities to avoid such criticism. The major proposed alteration of the mainstream architecture is to move document preprocessing and search result clarification from the third-party system back to the university system. The proposed architecture changes would allow schools to submit only limited information to the third party and avoid criticism about intellectual property violation.

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