Anti-plagiarism system logs over 65,000 theses

AN ANTI-PLAGIARISM system to check the originality of graduation theses submitted by under-graduate, graduate and post-graduate university students now contains more than 65,000 works. The central register of graduation works, as the system is officially called, is designed to identify deceitful copying by comparing individual works and is administered by the Education Ministry, the TASR newswire wrote. The register will keep each work, along with the name of its author and university, for 70 years. The register is not publicly accessible.

AN ANTI-PLAGIARISM system to check the originality of graduation theses submitted by under-graduate, graduate and post-graduate university students now contains more than 65,000 works. The central register of graduation works, as the system is officially called, is designed to identify deceitful copying by comparing individual works and is administered by the Education Ministry, the TASR newswire wrote. The register will keep each work, along with the name of its author and university, for 70 years. The register is not publicly accessible.

“We expect the most important increase of theses between April and June 2011,” Július Kravjar, who administers the register, told TASR. The collection of graduation and qualification works started in the second half of April 2010. By late September the register already contained almost 66,000 works from 30 universities.

Universities and high schools are obliged by law to deliver graduation and qualification theses to the register.

Before a person is allowed to defend their graduation thesis or other work in order to qualify for a degree, the university or the high school sends the work in electronic form to the central register. Afterwards, the register checks its originality.

“The philosophy of such an integrated centre of works is positive,” Vladimír Buzna, spokesperson of the Catholic University in Ružomberok, told TASR. “It will inspire greater responsibility when citing sources and quotations.”

A group of coalition deputies now intends to push a further measure through parliament in what they say will be another step in the fight against plagiarism. They propose that all graduation and closing works will have to be published on the internet, something that could be done through the current register. University rectors, however, do not like this idea. They say that the works often contain original results and some cannot be published for legal or ethical reasons, or to protect patents.

If the MPs’ revision is adopted, works will have to be published online as of May 2011. In total, between 50,000 and 100,000 closing works by university students are generated each year at various stages of Slovakia’s education system.


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