Monthly Archives: January 2017

Science as tranquilizer and trailblazer


In a world of “post-truth” where objective facts are de-valued, it would be understandable for scientists to despair. In this guest blog, Marlene Belfort – Editor in Chief of Mobile DNA – calls for the scientific community to be a resistance striving for truth and presents a message of hope, that despite roadblocks, science will triumph in the long run.


Free Internet based paraphrasing tools: further threats to academic integrity


Paraphrasing tools or article ‘spinners’ are free Internet sites which use computer programs to change writing so it looks different to the original text. While it may look different to the source material, using the output from an online tool can be considered a form of plagiarism or cheating as it is not an individual’s work but the work of a machine. This study, published in the International Journal for Educational Integrity, shows that the machine outputs are of poor quality, cannot be trusted and there are ways of detecting their use. This blog can also be read on the Springer Open blog.


A new law is needed to tackle contract cheating in the UK


Students paying for someone else to write assessments for them, otherwise known as contract cheating, is an issue that poses a threat to educational standards. One of the common suggestions to address this issue is a legal approach. In an article published today in the International Journal for Educational Integrity the authors look at whether the UK Fraud Act could be used to combat contract cheating and explore other approaches that may be more effective. Here the authors tell us more. This blog can also be read on the Springer Open blog