Plagiarism links for instructors
  • Suggestions for identifying "cyberweasels"--and for adopting a pedagogical approach to this problem
    • --a good place to start.  The site from which this evolved was developed and run by a student, Greggory Senechal (from Carleton University in Ottawa), which should help counter the cynicism that this problem engenders. When Senechal graduated the site was taken over (and modified) by volunteers.
    • Robert Harris makes some good suggestions in "VirtualSalt." 
    • Bruce Leland's plagiarism site makes some good suggestions and includes links to help show the extent of the problem.
  • Free programs and suggestions for identifying "cyberweasels:"
  • * Note: Recent articles in the Chronical and other sources have suggested that there is a questionable relationship between these sites and certain on-line papermills.  Lou Bloomfield's research  persuades me that this is not a problem; however, I am deeply troubled by the issue of intellectual property connected with many of these sites.  See below.
    • You can also try typing a distinctive phrase into your favorite search engine and following the leads it gives you. I have found a simple Alta Vista search to be very productive (it found the correct source in each trial, even when I used quite unremarkable phrases). 
      • Note: make sure you search for the phrase rather than each individual word and  that you use quotation marks around the phrase!!
  • Those you pay for (individual and site licenses)
    • Essay Verification Engine (EVE)-- This program requires students to hand in papers electronically and checks them automatically against papers available on-line.
    • Integriguard
    • -- This program requires students to hand in papers electronically and checks them automatically against papers avaialable on-line and in a database of papers.  The company keeps a copy odf each paper it checks to add to its database. (*see below).
.....** Issues of concern with some plagiarism software
    While it is important to identify both accidental plagiarists and "cyberweasels" so that we can teach them to use sources correctly while they are in college (rather than their learning the hard way when they are famous authors), many of these sites seem to many Writing Program Administrators and writing teachers to run roughshod over the rights of ALL students.  A representative of recently explained to me that when a university signs a contract with this company, it signs over the intellectual property rights of all student papers to the company.  He assured me that while the papers are indeed kept on file by the company, they are "only used to catch plagiarists."  I do not believe that any university has the right to sign over student's intellectual property rights.  This is especially troubling if students are unwittingly giving papers to companies that then use them to support thir own proffits (part of's pitch is that in addition to checking the Internet for copied material they also have a "huge database of student papers."  They charge colleges and universities to use this database but they do not reimburse the students for papers they are often required to submit to the service by universities  that have signed the contract).  Hopefully someone will challenge this issue in the courts soon!  In the meantime, if you are thinking of paying for a service like this, I recommend EVE, which does not keep copies of papers it checks.  Ideally, though, I think we should address this issue pedagogically.
  • If you want to read more about this, check out
  • and for the future? 
      • Read about "Scam" . . .


Sandra Jamieson, Drew University.                 Please tell me about other sites I should include here.
Last updated, March 2002.