Research Integrity: Catching Plagiarism

Would you expect to find plagiarism in the published, peer-reviewed work of health researchers?

Academics reading this may already have heard of turnitin.com, a service that helps professors find out if their students have plagiarized all or parts of their essays.

A new tool called eTBLAST does something similar, but shifts the focus onto the professors themselves. It’s designed to find significant similarities between scientific papers. Here’s the story: Authors, Journal Editors Respond to Possible Cases of Plagiarism Identified by Analysis

In the past two years, UT Southwestern researchers have used a computer-based text-searching tool they developed, called eTBLAST, to analyze millions of abstracts randomly selected from Medline, one of the largest databases of biomedical research articles. They turned up nearly 70,000 highly similar citations.

Their subsequent analysis of a small sampling of these, including human inspection of the articles in question, revealed 207 pairs of articles with signs of potential plagiarism.

(The study is presented here in ScienceSCIENTIFIC INTEGRITY: Responding to Possible Plagiarism — but it requires subscription.)

~ by Nancy Walton on March 9, 2009.

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