Plagiarism software WriteCheck troubles some educators ??? USATODAY.com

An arms race between instructors and students continues to escalate.

The prized ammunition? Plagiarism detection software.

Turnitin, plagiarism software released in 1996 and used by more than 10,000 universities and 20 million students, is now common in higher education. The popular system checks submitted papers against its catalog of millions of archived student papers, journals, periodicals and books, producing a “similarity index” that alerts professors to the percentage of corresponding work found in its database.

But it’s Turnitin’s lesser-known student-only sister product, WriteCheck, that has some faculty members feeling betrayed, although the company says it is only trying to help students and professors.

“They are warlords who are arming both sides in this plagiarism war,” Alex Tabarrok, professor of economics at George Mason University, said.

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