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The Globe and Mail discusses plagiarism (and other forms of academic corruption) in China.

The Internet, search engines, digital libraries and citation services have been a huge boon to scholarly work. But they also have a dark side, in that they make plagiarism exceedingly easy. And policing it by faculty is equally hard.

A cottage industry has sprung out of the desire to help police against plagiarism, with tools that instructors can use to verify the originality of submitted work. Actually, to be very precise these tools could verify that something is not original, but they can never actually verify the true originality of a piece of work.

But of course, this is all a war of escalation. The plagiarists will get more clever, and the policing tools will get more clever in lock-step. Why? Because there's money to be made on both sides.

Should we simply resign ourselves to this fate? Or is there a way out of this war of escalation?



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