Thursday, May 19, 2022

ECAIP2022, Day 2

Day 1 - Day 2 - Day 3

And on to the second day of the conference!

The day began with a keynote speech by Ana Marušić, "Challenges in publishing ethics and integrity" Ana is a professor at the University of Split School of Medicine, Croatia,
Co-editor-in-chief, Journal of Global Health, a COPE council member, and President of The Embassy of Good Science Foundation. Coming from the standpoint of a journal editor she discussed research and publishing ethics, noting that there is a spectrum, from honest error over poor reporting to outright fraud (detrimental research practices). She first ran us through the history of journals, from the first journal, Journal des sçavans in 1665. She noted that the concept of peer review didn't appear until the middle of the 18th century, and Nature didn't even start until the 1950s! She had a good SWOT analysis of the challenges that editors face:

The main challenges of today are: dealing with image manipulations, correcting articles with honest errors, sorting out pre-prints, and trying to avoid paper mills and predatory publishers. 

Her summary is: Quality assurance in editing is the key to responsible publishing!

I then attended the workshop on "Coming Clean – Addressing the Issues Where a Student Self Declares Contract Cheating" with Thomas Lancaster, Michael Draper, Sandie Dann, Robin Crockett, and Irene Glendinning. I liked that they explicitly asked for consent to record the session, as they want to have input from the audience. Contract cheating represents choosing the wrong path - what if a student wants to come clean? The information that we provide to students should highlight and detail the whistleblowing processes and the support that is available to them, should they wish to admit to having cheated using contract cheating. Some cheating companies attemt to blackmail the students, say that they will tell the university if they don't pay more for the services used. There was a good discussion about the appropriate level of penalty that should be assessed in this situation. Teddi Fishman made it clear that there should be a path towards amnesty, with a focus on retributive or restorative justice. Others felt that there should be no credit given for contract cheating. Mike Reddy spoke about the 4 Cs: Conscious copying of content/concepts for credit. If they do not submit, it is not a crime. The lack of any one of the Cs is just poor academic practice, he thinks. 

Then we had a plenary session with a panel discussion (sponsored by Turnitin) moderated by Sonja Bjelobaba:

  • Andreas Ohlson (Turnitin, former head of Urkund and Ouriginal, from Sweden)
  • Tomáš Foltýnek (Researcher, ENAI president), from Brünn, in the Czech Republic 
  • Martine Peters (Prevention researcher, professor), from Québec, Canada
  • Katrīna Sproģe (European students union), from Latvia

KS noted that not all students have access to Turnitin. I realize that students want this, because they are afraid of plagiarizing by "mistake", but this won't help. They will rewrite to the number the software spits out (and really, really needs to lose!), but their writing won't be better. She also noted that students often translate texts they find online, and indeed, our 2020 test showed, that translation is in general not found by such systems.

TF (who let the 2020 test effort mentioned above) noted that even German to English cases are being found, so it is not just non-English languages that are being used. He criticized the interface that spits out a number that people take to be the decision. He also noted that with Turnitin buying up/out all the good competition, we are losing the competition. Each system finds different plagiarism, so it was better when we had more choice.

AO asked where the market will be in 5-10 years. He feels the consolidation is important, as it is easier to try new things if you are part of a larger company. The company has lots of discussions and research going on, in particular about how to use text-matching software in education? [The Times Higher Education reported on his comments in detail.]

MP suggested using the tool with the student in front of the student.

TF noted that so many universities have policies that are quite different, and many use the number reported by Turitin as a discriminator. There can be many reasons why there is a lot of text match (for example, the student submitted text earlier), there are tables, illustrations, etc. Not every plagiarism is detectable as a text match. He noted that paraphrasing tools are getting better and better, how do we deal with this?

AO admits that if you look at a single document, it is hard to do. But he notes that Turnitin are looking at the issue. One key is that we could compare with the same student's work over time. So if universities use our solution for everything a student does, they can see when the style changes. [But we WANT the students to change their writing style to become more academic in their writing! -- dww]

MP notes that we often don't even bother teaching referencing at universities, we focus just on the number.

KS wants the playing field to be more level. Students need an understanding of what the teachers expect and the teachers must understand what the students know. Who is the person you are teaching? Why are you teaching this material?

Thomas Lancaster from the audience asked "What answers are most different to the ones being given 10 years ago?"

MP: We as educators did not reflect as much on our role in plagiarism detection and prevention. We just blamed students. Now we look more at our role, it is a rude awakening.

KS: I wasn't a student 10 years ago :)  but we are involved in the discussion now.

TF: There has been a huge shift from the technological point of view to pedagogical approaches. From "What do we do when we discover plagiarism?"  to how to prevent plagiarism.

AO: Percentages :)

And then we had to hurry to the hotel to drop our stuff, and we were off for a bus tour of the city, a port wine tasting, and dinner. Tomáš and Dita had this nice picture of Elisabeth Bik and myself standing with them taken while we were waiting.

1 comment:

  1. Debora, thank you for the synopsis of Days 1 and 2 of the conference. I so wish I had been able to attend! Love that picture. Please post more!


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