Fooled twice, Deseret News gets Plagiarism Detection software

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(Credit: PlagScan, screenshot)

The Deseret News has started using plagiarism detecting software PlagScan to help the paper make sure it doesn’t publish plagiarized material, Utah’s City Weekly reported.

The Deseret News is a Utah daily newspaper that is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

PlagScan describes itself as “an entirely browser-based web service” that scans content for plagiarism.

The Deseret News website editor Burke Olsen told Utah’s City Weekly

“We’ve tested a few different solutions in an effort to help our editors evaluate content…PlagScan is the best solution we’ve found so far for a newsroom setting. It’s not a silver bullet, but it’s another way we’re using technology to innovate and improve.”

The News had two noteworthy cases of plagiarism in 2013, as iMediaEthics previously reported.

iMediaEthics alerted the Deseret News to a problematic article by a summer intern. The Deseret News quickly rewrote the article and added an editor’s note that acknowledged it “failed to properly attribute all source materials.”

The News ended up finding 40 articles written by the intern that contained improper attribution.  The intern told iMediaEthics he didn’t know proper attribution standards.

Also in 2013, the Deseret News unpublished a column written by a husband and wife team that lifted substantially from the New York Times. One of the columnists told iMediaEthics he “stupidly forgot” to add in attribution.

In total, The Deseret News found six articles by those columnists with problems and suspended them for a month.

iMediaEthics has written to the Deseret News’ Chris Higbee to ask why the newspaper chose PlagScan and if all articles will be scanned for plagiarism moving forward. We’ll update with any additional information.

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Fooled twice, Deseret News gets Plagiarism Detection software

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