Ghosts and the Machines: DIY Forensic Linguistics and the New Plagiarisms

On Thursday, November 16, 2017, the Modern College of Business and Science held a presentation for its faculty entitled Ghosts and the Machines: DIY Forensic Linguistics and the New Plagiarisms. It was delivered by Mr. Marcus Richey, a faculty member in the Department of General Education.

Mr. Richey talked about his research on student plagiarism where he has been examining the rise of ghost-written plagiarism, which is easy and cheap for students to use. He explained that since ghost-written plagiarism creates original content, it is outside the scope of Turnitin to detect. Moreover, what adds to this problem are other hard-to-detect phenomena, the relatively new paraphrase-generators and the translation applications, which are getting more fluent than they used to be.

He explored the options teachers can choose from when they suspect ghost-written work, and suggested a method by which authorship fraud can be documented and used in student-assessment. He finally touched upon software development that is aimed at combating this problem, such as the stylometric analysis program Signature.