The problem of plagiarism in Africa generally is growing at an alarming rate, especially in Nigeria. The students of all categories are involved, ranging from primary, and secondary to tertiary institutions. To solve this problem, this research focuses on a way of developing software that detects plagiarized information on the internet and our computer folders which contain some past research works documents and a repository of our important documents.
In view of achieving this, some internet search engines were used such as Google.com, Altavista.com, and Yahoo.com. While detecting on computer’s records saved, some pattern matching algorisms were used.
As part of the instruments used, Programming language (Visual Basic 6.0) was used in connections with Database management utility (Microsoft Access).
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
While academic dishonesty is not a new phenomenon, there is no agreement about why plagiarism is so prevalent in the academic world. It is broadly acknowledged that online plagiarism is high because of the easy availability of information.
Plagiarism is a worldwide problem and actions taken to prevent it has been intensifying since about 2001 when teachers and university managers began to realize the impact of the digitalized text, the Internet, global communications, and increasingly efficient search engines(Carroll & Zetterling, 2009).
A mass survey conducted by Rutgers University reports that 38% of students are involved in online plagiarism. These alarming figures show a gradual increase in the phenomenon (Heyward, 2000).
Most graduating students nowadays go to the library and choose four or five research project topics done some years back and submit them to their supervisors for approval. When any of these topics are approved, they just go and copy everything verbatim, except preliminary pages claiming to be the pioneers of those research projects. This has a devastating effect on our educational setup. To solve this situation from getting out of hand, a modern technological step needs to be taken. Even though it cannot stop plagiarism in totality, still it reduces it to a manageable level.
Maurer, Kappe, and Zaka (2006) considered Plagiarism to be a most serious scholastic misconduct; academia everywhere is undertaking efforts to educate the students and teachers, by offering guides and tutorials to explain types of plagiarism and how to avoid it.
Today academic research supervisors and reviewers of all scholarly journals look for the following for students’ chapter’s approval and selection of a paper for its inclusion in a journal:
• Originality – what’s new about the subject?
• Relevance to the topic?
• Research methodology – are conclusions valid and objective?
• Clarity, structure, and quality of writing – does it communicate well?
• Sound, logical progression of the argument
• Currency of references
• Compliance with the editorial scope and objectives of the journal (Navin, Soni, Makhdumi, 2009).
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Plagiarism causes academic institutions to lose their integrity, honesty, and values that are due to community which leads to going contrary to academic standards.
Plagiarism is a major problem at nearly every educational level from elementary schools to colleges. The following surveys serve as indicators of the stated problem:-
A survey conducted as part of the Center of Academic Integrity’s[CAI] Assessment project reveals that 40% of students admitted to engaging in plagiarism as compared to 10% reported in 1999 (McCabe, 2006).
A recent survey conducted by the Center for Intellectual Property[CIP] indicates that Internet plagiarism—where students cut and paste text taken from the Internet without attribution—has increased to 41 percent among college/university students. Students’ unpermitted collaboration at some medium and large institutions increased from 11 percent in a 1963 survey to 49 percent in 1993. In a 1999 survey, over 75 percent of the college students surveyed admitted to some type of cheating. Although some are quick to blame the culture of the Internet as the root of the problem, some scholars note that the shift towards increasing plagiarism has taken place since the 19th century(Center for Intellectual Property, 2003).
Angelil-Carter (2000) claims that there is a lack of clarity across academic institutions about what constitutes plagiarism and a discrepancy in the way plagiarism is detected and enforced.
Computer science department, UNN thinks that students steal materials from the internet or elsewhere, pay persons to do their work and most of the academic staff award them A’s or B’s to enable them to obtain 21 or 3.5 CGPA to qualify for master’s or Ph.D. admission(Postgraduate Students’ Seminar Template, 2007, p. 4).
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective is to develop a system that should be able to:-
1. Detect a plagiarized text on the internet when searching.
2. Detect a Plagiarized text on a computer when searched on records saved using the system developed.
3. Fast track a duplicate of students’ proposed research topic.
Academic Research Paper Plagiarism Checker System
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The development of any country mostly originated from academic research institutions or centers; these are places where most innovations and inventions originated. Plagiarism discourages this development. So to achieve such development, our researchers and students have to be encouraged to shun this vice(plagiarism). This laxity and laziness have to be discouraged so to attain development.
The significance of this research is to discourage unethical academic behavior and self-cheating: plagiarism and uplift the academic integrity of our academic institutions and shun what can drive us back from developing our country.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study as the title suggests is centered on detecting plagiarized information on academic research reports either through the internet or on computer drives/folders.
In the process of carrying out research work a lot of problems posed serious challenges to the researcher and tended to limit the researcher from attaining the stated goal fully. The fund is one of the factors that hindered the researcher from buying the anti-plagiarism systems, due to how costly they are.
Time constraint was a major limiting factor as lectures were still on at the time most research was concluded.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Suspicious information/Text: Information that the researcher claims ownership of and the Supervisor doubt.
Drives: Computer HardDisk, CD Plate use, External HardDisk, Flash Disk, etc
Folder: Computer Directory that stores files
Program: Software Developed
Supervisor: Project Academic advisor.
Programming Language: Set of specific codes used to write a computer program.
Program: Set of instructions or commands written in a specific programming language to guide the computer in executing a particular task.
Implementation: The process of putting a newly developed computer program into the actual task for which it is designed.
Testing: Evaluation of designed/produced software
Research Topic Duplicate: Another similar project research topic was found.
Originality: First initiated/compiled information by the researcher.