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Blackboard Instructor Quick Start

VeriCite makes it easy to identify and investigate possible plagiarism in the papers your students submit. It’s a tool embedded in your learning platform that turns potentially negative situations into positive teaching moments, changing the conversation from “caught you” to “taught you.” VeriCite helps teach the value of academic integrity as part of a broad approach that includes well-designed assignments, resources on proper citations and instructor-student conversations.

The use of VeriCite is entirely optional. You can use it in one assignment and not another. Your first step is to decide whether to use VeriCite. If you use VeriCite in your assignments, make sure that your students are aware that their work is being checked and that they have access to resources about properly citing the works of others.

Step-by-step:

  • Create a Web Link to a Tool Provider and specify VeriCite as the Tool Provider. (If VeriCite has already been set up as a Tool Provider by your institution, you will only need to enter the web address into the URL box. If VeriCite has not yet been set up for the institution, enter the key and secret provided by VeriCite into the appropriate fields.)
  • Click Yes to enable grading.
  • Click on the web link to launch VeriCite and create an assignment.
  • Your students can submit papers as soon as the web link is available.
  • You can also submit papers on behalf of your students (one at a time or in bulk).

To view VeriCite reports:

  • Click on the row for the submission to view the report.
  • The report will be regenerated each time it is viewed and the report displayed within a few seconds.
  • Explore the results by clicking on sentences in the report or by clicking on a source in the source comparison panel. You can exclude specific sources or sentences from the report. Also, you can use the comment feature to add annotations to the report.

Interpreting the VeriCite report

VeriCite scores each sentence by the matches that are found in VeriCite’s massive index of public resources, in Microsoft’s Bing search index and in your institution’s private repository of student papers submitted to VeriCite. Sentences are color coded from low to high match. Similar to other services, the VeriCite score is the number of plagiarized sentences divided by the total number of sentences with small adjustments based on the strength of the matches. If you plagiarize three sentences out of ten, you should receive between a 28 and a 32 based on the strength of the matches.

It’s up to you to determine if the paper includes inappropriately used content. Any sentence that is scored as a high match is worth investigating. A paper with several medium match sentences may suggest some paraphrasing or patch writing. Plagiarism can be accidental as well. Generally, if the submitted paper is scored above 15% (under “Details” in the report) you should investigate the sources. You can click on each sentence to find its corresponding match; you can click on matching materials to find the corresponding sentences.

Be careful interpreting matches to other plagiarized papers and citations other than the primary source. You can selectively ignore any matches (click on down arrow for source and select “ignore”); the paper will be automatically rescored.

Familiar with TurnItIn or SafeAssign? How is VeriCite different?

All plagiarism services help identify matching texts, but none covers all sources of written material, and so no single service will ever be fully authoritative. The success of these learning tools is always based on the instructor’s investigation of the results which VeriCite makes as easy as possible.

VeriCite’s coverage is very comprehensive and rapidly growing. VeriCite compares each submitted paper against many terabytes of public, academically-oriented content that is already indexed by VeriCite. We are adding about one million sites each day. VeriCite also compares against all the papers your students have submitted through your learning management platform. VeriCite uses external search engines to find content that we have not yet indexed. Finally, we are actively negotiating with publishers to index the content they license to universities.

Will VeriCite capture every instance of plagiarism? No, and no plagiarism service can.

Should you expect VeriCite results to match those from SafeAssign or TurnItIn? No, not precisely, because each plagiarism service uses different methods for matching and scoring, and each compares to a different database of source materials.

Does it help you engage your students on issues of academic integrity? The more it is used by your institution, the more resources you suggest for indexing, and the more your publishers allow us to protect their work, the more effective VeriCite will become.

Is VeriCite effective today? Yes, but you be the judge.