Software for the detection of plagiarism: taking stock after two years of operation


The SNSF has detected six cases of plagiarism in the applications submitted between October 2010 and October 2012. Three cases were reported by experts, while three others were identified by the new software used by the SNSF.

Having been confronted with several cases of plagiarism in applications in the past few years, the SNSF began using a software for comparing texts as of October 2010. This software performs a detailed analysis of applications under suspicion by comparing their content with the Internet and databases of scientific literature. The software also allows the SNSF to systematically test applications selected at random (currently 5% of the submitted applications).

The SNSF has two years of experience with the software. During this period it used the software to analyse three cases of plagiarism pointed out by external experts. In addition, the software has identified three further cases of plagiarism during random checks. Sanctions were imposed on the relevant applicants in accordance with the relevant regulations.

The report "Plagiarism and incorrect citation in applications submitted to the Swiss National Science Foundation" (see "On this subject") describes the practice of the SNSF and lists the cases handled since the introduction of the software. As the software has proven useful, the SNSF has decided to continue using it in the future.

Division CoRe