PlagScan’s Guiding Principles for Fair Educational Standards: Data Protection, Integrity and Copyright Protection

As an advocate of academic integrity, PlagScan continues to develop plagiarism detection software for educational institutions.

​”We love originality and encourage critical thinking and writing” states PlagScan, the company which quickly and reliably identifies plagiarism using software that goes by the same name.

After uploading a document, PlagScan uses a comprehensive online prevention pool and compares the text with billions of online sources, as well as their own internally available documents, to produce a plagiarism report. 

Educational institutions such as universities or schools can use plagiarism detection software to reveal whether submitted homework and student research projects have been copied or even written by a ghostwriter. Longterm, the solutions PlagScan provides protect the intellectual property of third parties. With the aim of improving the quality of teaching and enabling equal educational standards for all, the Cologne-based company was founded in 2009 by Johannes Knabe and Markus Goldbach. Today the software is already used by 1,500 organizations worldwide. Most recently, PlagScan expanded its portfolio to include the author verification tool Author Metrics.  

The current debate about the dissertation of Federal Family Minister Franzsika Giffey continues. The Social Democrat asserts that she wrote her doctoral thesis “to the best of her knowledge and belief​.​” It is without a doubt, that such cases of suspicion are no longer uncommon in the academic world. Academic integrity and the right to a fair education are automatically undermined by submitted works that do not meet community standards. This is where PlagScan comes in.

PlagScan’s technology creates an atmosphere of confidence for students and faculty alike by demonstrating whether what is written violates the intellectual property of others. “Our aim is to encourage students to develop independent, creative and critical texts. Fairness plays an overriding role – only those who are transparent with citing their sources should be rewarded for their efforts later,” says Markus Goldbach, CEO of PlagScan.

How Does PlagScan Work? 

PlagScan’s software compares an uploaded document with their plagiarism prevention pool which consists of billions of online sources and the company’s own documents. After uploading, a plagiarism report is generated within only few minutes, depending on document size, where the report highlights any uncited portions of the text or insufficiently marked quotations in color. United sources are then listed and the proportion of text passages of where the uploaded text matches the documents in the plagiarism prevention pool is displayed. 

Organizational customers such as universities can also create an archive for document management and share plagiarism reports with colleagues or students. “Numerous surveys have shown that plagiarizing students have a significantly higher grade average and thus better-paid jobs than their honest fellow students. Not only the reputations of individual institutions or departments are at stake, but also the quality of the entirety of education” explains Markus Goldbach, CEO of PlagScan. “With our software, we want to counter this trend and are committed to strengthening academic integrity alongside fair and equal educational standards.”

The History of PlagScan 

The idea to found PlagScan was born in spring 2009, after Johannes Knabe’s wife followed up on obvious instance plagiarism by one of her students by checking the copied content of further specialist works for equal rights. “On this evening, the concept was born for PlagScan, automated plagiarism check for texts that creates a fair standard for everyone and thus contributes to quality and integrity in research and teaching” explains Johannes Knabe, CTO of PlagScan. With PlagScan, all works, not just individual student projects, are checked for copied content – regardless of the student’s or pupil’s background. The software solution, which is available in four languages and has an intuitive interface, can be integrated into a current Learning or Content Management System.

Author Metrics – Stylometry Analysis Uncovers Ghostwriting  

Recently, PlagScan introduced the stylometry tool Author Metrics. The Author Metrics algorithm developed by PlagScan uses natural language processing and machine learning techniques to recognize writing style patterns as a means to verify authorship based on these patterns. Author Metrics allows instructors to generate additional details about writing style properties such as reading level and formality, among others.

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