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Plagiarism is a major problem that educators face in the information age. Today's plagiarist has a near limitless supply of well-written articles via the internet. Due to the scale of the problem, detecting plagiarism has now become the domain of the computer scientist rather than the educator. With the use of computers, documents can be conveniently scanned into a plagiarism detection system that references public web pages, academic journals, and even previous students' papers, acting as an "all-seeing eye."

However, plagiarists can overcome these digital content detection systems with the use of clever masking and substitutions techniques. These systems cost universities tens of thousands of dollars, and also infringe upon intellectual property ownership rights without the informed consent of individual students. In this work, we examine the efficacy of commercial plagiarism detection systems when used against some selected masking techniques, and then present a simple countermeasure to combat the aforementioned detection avoidance technique.


This is the author's version of the work . It is posted here by permission of CCSC for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in The Journal of Computing Sciences inColleges, 31, 3, January 2016,

Originally published in Journal of Computing Sciences in Colleges, Volume 34, Issue 1, Date 2018, Pages 255-261, Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges.