Detectors could spot plagiarism in research proposals

Article metrics

Sir

Your News story 'Entire-paper plagiarism caught by software' (Nature 455, 715; 2008) follows other reports of systems to detect plagiarism (see M. Errami and H. Garner Nature 451, 397–399; 2008, and S. L. Titus et al. Nature 453, 980–982; 2008). Having all been involved in proposal evaluation, we believe the studies indicate that a text-matching analysis of research proposals could reduce plagiarism in subsequent publications.

For instance, when European Commission evaluators have met in the past to evaluate research proposals, they received printed copies which had to be returned before the panel members left, and had no computer access during deliberations. A plagiarism-detector using text-mining methods could be used instead of the current security measures. Such a system could, in principle, detect similarities to previous submissions and uncited sources using advanced document segmentation.

Only official agencies have access to confidential proposals and the funds to experiment with automated plagiarism-detectors. It is important that they should investigate these approaches to reducing the possibility of scientific misconduct.

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Maojo, V., García-Remesal, M. & Crespo, J. Detectors could spot plagiarism in research proposals. Nature 456, 30 (2008) doi:10.1038/456030c

Download citation

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.