That 20-page final paper on the complete works of Chaucer is due tomorrow, you haven't read a word, and osmosis just isn't working. But even if your conscience can't keep you from buying an "A" paper from last semester, a new web site might.
Integriguard (www.integriguard.com) is an Internet service professors can subscribe to for $4.95 a month that checks students' papers against a database of existing works for suspicious matches. It also warns professors of plagiarized papers via e-mail.
Integriguard creators Warren Brantner and Michael Drawbaugh started the database with papers they bought from an Internet term-paper mill. Each time a student's paper is submitted a for comparison, it is added to the database, which now has more than 600 papers.
Sounds great for profs, but this Internet-plagiarism policing has students worried about false accusations. "My main concern would be the reliability of that database. If it pulls your name up, is it 100 percent sure you cheated or 75 percent?" asks North Carolina StateU. junior Jenny C.J. Chang.
Brantner argues that the program lets professors compare similar papers and be the final judge. Whether it works or not, cheaters had better beware there's a new cop cruising the information superhighway.
By Jill Carroll, U. of Massachusetts/Illustration by Rick Mahr, Southern Illinois U., Edwardsville.
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