Students Staff
University of Essex

April 29, 2014

Alternatives to TurnItIn

Filed under: System Development,System Update,Technical — Alex ONeill @ 9:37 am

When we first started the MEFE project, our plan was to integrate FASer with the TurnItIn plagiarism checking and online marking service. Many of you currently use TurnItIn for checking plagiarism and it seemed it would save lots of time for lots of people, plus give academics a great and easy-to-use feedback facility.

However, there have been a number of issues with the TurnItIn service over the last 18 months which means this has not been possible. We actually started looking at the integration with TurnItIn a number of years ago and have since been waiting for them to release a “new way” of integrating, only to find when it was released that it didn’t do what we needed it to do. On top of that, TurnItIn have suffered with some issues with stability of their system in the last few years which many institutions have found incredibly disruptive to their coursework submission process.

Due to these issues, and the knowledge that both online marking and integrated plagiarism detection are very important to our users, we have decided to persue a different route for our integrations.

We are shortly going to be releasing the ability to annotate documents online in FASer. This will be seamless for users, but is actually using a system called Crocodoc behind the scenes (what a great name!). It looks good and works smoothly and with a bit of luck will make annotating documents really easy! It even has some features that TurnItIn can’t provide yet. Here’s a sneak preview:

online annotation

In addition to this, we’re going to be running a trial with an alternative plagiarism detection service called Ephorus. They are very popular in Europe at the moment but haven’t had much exposure over here in the UK yet. However, they have made the integration process sound very easy and we have had regular conversations with their team so we are going to be working on that shortly.

We will be keeping an eye on TurnItIn and seeing how things progress, but in the meantime I hope in the next few months we can get a system to you that will really make a difference!

One response to “Alternatives to TurnItIn”

  1. I may possibly not refrain as of commenting. Thriving written!

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