Detecting plagiarism in the forensic linguistics turn

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

View graph of relations Save citation

Authors

Rui Sousa Silva

Abstract

This study investigates plagiarism detection, with an application in forensic contexts. Two types of data were collected for the purposes of this study. Data in the form of written texts were obtained from two Portuguese Universities and from a Portuguese newspaper. These data are analysed linguistically to identify instances of verbatim, morpho-syntactical, lexical and discursive overlap. Data in the form of survey were obtained from two higher education
institutions in Portugal, and another two in the United Kingdom. These data are analysed using a 2 by 2 between-groups Univariate Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), to reveal cross-cultural divergences in the perceptions of plagiarism. The study discusses the legal and social circumstances that may contribute to adopting a punitive approach to plagiarism, or, conversely, reject the punishment. The research adopts a critical approach to plagiarism detection. On the one hand, it describes the linguistic strategies adopted by plagiarists when borrowing from other sources, and, on the other hand, it discusses the relationship between
these instances of plagiarism and the context in which they appear. A focus of this study is whether plagiarism involves an intention to deceive, and, in this case, whether forensic linguistic evidence can provide clues to this intentionality. It also evaluates current
computational approaches to plagiarism detection, and identifies strategies that these systems fail to detect. Specifically, a method is proposed to translingual plagiarism.
The findings indicate that, although cross-cultural aspects influence the different perceptions of plagiarism, a distinction needs to be made between intentional and unintentional plagiarism. The linguistic analysis demonstrates that linguistic elements can contribute to finding clues for the plagiarist’s intentionality. Furthermore, the findings show that translingual plagiarism can be detected by using the method proposed, and that plagiarism detection software can be improved using existing computer tools.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aston University
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date12 Jun 2013

    Keywords

  • intention and intentionally, punitive turn, computational forensic linguistics, translingual plagiarism, linguistic evidence

Documents

If you have discovered material in the Aston Research Explorer, which is unlawful e.g. breaches copyright, (either theirs or that of a third party) or any other law, including but not limited to those relating to patent, trademark, confidentiality, data protection, obscenity, defamation, libel, then please read our Takedown Policy and contact the service immediately.

Download statistics

No data available

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research

Copy the text from this field...