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St. Clair County Community College Library

Plagiarism & Academic Integrity

Best Practices for Instructors

Plagiarism Software

Caveats of free plagiarism software:

  • Often, free internet tools use web searching to identify plagiarism rather than comparing to other student papers.
    • They identify "matching text", which is not always the same as identifying plagiarism.
  • Not all plagiarism check sites are privacy-minded or trustworthy, and some that appear free to use require the user to create an account.

Caveats of commercial software:

  • As with freely available internet-based plagiarism checkers, commercial plagiarism software identifies "matching text".
  • Limited to checking against its own database
  • Potential violation of student copyright
  • Potential student privacy issues
  • View the section "What are problems with plagiarism detection tools?" from Elmhurst University: https://library.elmhurst.edu/c.php?g=832948&p=5947346

Utilize SC4 Library!

 SC4 Library has a wide variety of resources for students and instructors to encourage appropriate use of sources.

You can:

  • Arrange a one time class meeting focusing on how to appropriately utilize our resources with one on one instruction from our librarians.
  • Arrange "free" class times closer to a papers due date with a librarian lingering in the wings to help students as they need it
  • Encourage or even mandate a visit with a librarian to solidify sources and assist with citations

Library Resources