Verifying plagiarism in an online exam

Posted on 2011-05-03
Last Modified: 2013-12-03
Is there a way to verify that a submission to an online exam form was copied and pasted from external documentation?

The text submitted contains html codes like: &#8217 (right single quotation mark)  or &#8211 (en dash)

Here is an example:

"...The basic information required in a new employee’s commencement package and the requirement to follow this up with the particulars of employment are one of the common areas of overlap between HR and payroll. Copies of contracts particulars of employment issued to employees should actually be passed on to payroll to avoid any doubts as to what employment conditions had been agreed for new employees. The Payroll Department must be aware of financial obligations including: -Rate of pay -Date of hire –..."

Thank you.
Question by:MM-inquiries
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    Make sure no other submissions had the special characters translated to html. It could have been the web page that does the insert to the database.
    LVL 26

    Accepted Solution

    the presence of the special codes is almost a guarentee that the information was pasted from an external source. but it is not proof of plagiarism.  Perhaps the respondent worked with a word processor and pasted the results.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    When in doubt, google a phrase surrounded with quotes, thus: "overlap between HR and payroll".

    Mind you, this search didn't happen to pull up anything, however other parts of the suspected copy/paste may.

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