On the 17th-19th of April, the Office’s senior specialists Kamilė Kapočiūtė, Eglė Ozolinčiūtė and Gintarė Židonė participated in the 6th International Conference Plagiarism across Europe and Beyond 2020, remotely held in Dubai. The main topic of the conference was plagiarism, its detection methods and prevention. At the conference, researchers, private business sector, public authorities and other stakeholders from Germany, Estonia, Latvia, the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, the United States of America, Australia, etc. shared their insights, research and various tools or their prototypes developed to promote academic integrity.
Kamilė Kapočiūtė, the senior specialist of the Office, presented guidelines how to recognise fake scientific events, and Gintarė Židonė, the senior specialist (analyst), spoke about the contribution of librarians to the prevention of plagiarism in Lithuania.
Recently, as various activities move to the digital space, tools to help students access academic support at any time of the day have become relevant, text-matching programs integrating as many languages as possible to detect text matches are improved, tools have been developed to process students’ written works, distinguishing their linguistic features such as sentence complexity, sentence length, and other stylistic means, as well as document information, such as creation and last modification dates. Therefore, authorship analysis methods using artificial intelligence not only help to find out if the work was prepared by another person or written by the student himself, but also facilitate the determination of the fact of academic dishonesty. The problem of plagiarism in visual works has also been highlighted.
In current situation of COVID-19, it is especially important to identify challenges to and maintain quality of research, as well as maintain high requirements of academic ethics. The pandemic may also be marked by new phenomena, such as the cooperation of robots and teachers in checking of written works.
Reducing the probability of plagiarism is only possible if the academic community is constantly looking for solutions how to use platforms (or initiatives) that induce unethical academic behaviour, to change students’ and colleagues’ academic writing habits, encourage them to take responsibility for their own knowledge and skills, constantly improve themselves and evaluate their efforts to maintain academic integrity in both research and pedagogical activities.