The Current State Of Plagiarism In Education

We live in a digital culture where finding and sharing information is nearly effortless. When information is so easily accessible, it can be easy to blur the lines between ‘doing research’ online, and plagiarizing the information and passing it off as your own work.

We’ve looked before at trends in plagiarism in our digital age, and we’ve written about a number of anti-plagiarism tools in Edudemic Magazine. This recent infographic shows some more of the trends in content matching (papers vs. all online sources), shares some statistics about the number of papers written and topics they’re written on, and even offers a few ideas for teachers to help prevent their students from plagiarizing, whether they mean to or not.

A Few Interesting Facts…

  • Between 2010 and 2011, over 35 million papers were submitted to There were over 128 million content matches from these papers on the web. That represents about 3.7 content matches per paper submitted!
  • For both secondary and higher education, most of these content matches come from social and content sharing sites (like wikipedia, yahoo answers, etc).
  • Cheat sites and paper mills represent about 14-20% of the content matching.


1 Comment

  1. PaigeJaeger

    January 28, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Via a small grant, we just launched an anti-plagiarism site: aimed at the 6th-12th grade levels. This is a free aggregation of many resources for students and educators alike. Our thanks for many companies such as Noodletools which gave permssion to include some resources. This GREAT infographic from Turnitin speaks volumes to this epidemic. The solution lies in motivation, repackaging assignments for student ownership, and getting students to “care” about their fraud — or the opportunity to create knowledge that is their own.