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  • 1.  How does Copyleaks work?

    Posted 01-27-2023 06:46 AM
    Hi Everyone,

    The spring semester which began on 1/18 for my students, has been rough. Many instances of plagiarism have been brought to my attention. I am trying to understand how Copyleaks (the plagiarism engine Imagine Learning is using) works. When I look at the reports from Copyleaks, I see lots of "Copyleaks Internal Database references.  I am receiving pushback from school counselors since there is a  lack of information regarding where exactly is the text copied from.  Is Copyleaks referencing a database of previously submitted work by other students or writers? etc.

    I am not a supporter of plagiarism ( I have advocated for a zero grade on many occasions) however I do want to be fair to students and provide them with the information so that they understand and correct their actions. 

    I tried to discuss this issue with the student (report below) and his response was "show me where I copied it from" I know I did not.  This is a  legitimate question that I could not answer based on the report below. 

    How are you all handling this issue? Do you paste the text into your own school's plagiarism checker? 

    #Academic Integrity

    Marcelle McGhee
    Berks County Intermediate Unit

  • 2.  RE: How does Copyleaks work?

    Posted 01-27-2023 02:29 PM
    When Copyleaks identifies a student's text as plagiarized and the Copyleaks Internal Database is referenced, it is referring to its own database of text that has been submitted either through the company's website or by another Copyleaks customer. It means the text has previously been submitted by another student. 

    Mary Lou McCaslin
    Community Engagement Specialist
    Imagine Learning
    Memphis TN

  • 3.  RE: How does Copyleaks work?

    Posted 01-30-2023 06:15 AM
    This has become a huge black hole of time for me.  I am spending hours dealing with annoyed parents,  upset students, and school counselors. On most occasions when the student or school enters the same text into other tools such as "", the text comes back as no match, try explaining that result to a parent.  Now schools are asking me if I can turn it "off". 

    Copyleaks have to be more transparent if the tool is to be useful.  In the example in my original post, I could have written that text and have it flagged as being submitted by someone else. The text submitted by the student was general and the word combinations are words anyone would commonly use to respond to the prompt.  I love the idea of Copyleaks but the implementation of the tool needs to be reassessed.   

    Would love to hear from other clients who are using Instructional Services teachers.  Schools using their own teachers have more autonomy over the teachers but with IS teachers we have to follow Imagine Learning policies.

    Marcelle McGhee
    Berks County Intermediate Unit

  • 4.  RE: How does Copyleaks work?

    Posted 01-27-2023 03:19 PM
    I have made this same complaint multiple times, and every response has been unhelpful. I agree--it's useless if I can't look and see the source of the plagiarism to see if they really did plagiarize or if it just picked up some keywords. And the accusation sounds baseless when you can't say where they copied from. I was excited when the plagiarism checker came, but it has been a huge disappointment.

    Dana Stibor

  • 5.  RE: How does Copyleaks work?

    Posted 01-27-2023 03:26 PM
    Agree. Without being able to pinpoint the source of plagiarism, the tool is useless. I, too, was excited about it, but the teachers at my school have stopped paying attention to it. 

    We have our students submit their major works to and have been very happy with that resource.