Staff of UCC’s School of Graduate Studies undergo training on plagiarism software

The Directorate of Research, Innovation and Consultancy (DRIC) of University of Cape Coast (UCC) in collaboration with the Sam Jonah Library of the same univeristy has organised a training workshop for staff of the School of Graduate Studies (SGS), on how to use the “Turnitin” (Plagiarism Check Software).

Addressing participants at the workshop, the Turnitin Account Administrator of the University, Mr. Isaac Nketsiah, explained that ‘‘the University has instituted measures to reduce the level of plagiarism in postgraduate research work because postgraduate studies drive research work in every institution of higher learning’’.

Mr. Nketsiah, who is also an Assistant Research Fellow at DRIC, explained that ‘’the Turnitin software is to help reduce the level of plagiarism and increase the potency and originality of research output’’.

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Mr. Nketsiah reported that, at the beginning of the academic year, all first-year postgraduate students were scheduled to go through the training programme and indicated that currently about 80 per cent had been trained.

He also indicated that plans had been made to train the remaining postgraduate students who were yet to participate in the workshop.

He enlightened participants on University of Cape Coast’s Plagiarism Policy and indicated that the policy provided an acceptable similarity index of below 20 per cent.

Describing the benefits of the programme, Mr. Nketsiah noted that apart from the software being a diagnostic tool for checking potential plagiarism, it could also provide both the instructors and students with the platform to mark, score, and to make assessment and comments.

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He further touched on the number of people to enroll or register on the system, adding “We currently have the licence to cover 1,500 students; however, there is no limit to the number of instructors who can be registered by the system (Software).”

On requirements for registration, he noted that only an institutional email address was needed to register each instructor or a student before they could have access to use the software.

Mr. Nketsiah took the participants through the process of creating a class and setting assignments. He emphasised that during this stage, instructors were not supposed to submit students work into the standard paper repository as it could create serious problems for students.

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The e-Resource Librarian, Mr. Osman Imoro, who was a co-facilitator took participants through how they could interpret the similarity reports generated by the system.

The Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Prof (Mrs) Sarah Darkwah, used the occasion to introduce the Turnitin desk officer, who is also the Assistant Registrar at the School, Mr. John Linscell Yen.

Also present were the Librarian, Dr. Mac-Anthony Cobblah; the Vice-Dean of SGS, Prof. Kankam Boadu, the Assistant Accountant, Mrs. Mavis Boadu, the Digital Librarian, Mr. Theophilus Ocran and Roseline MacArthur, a lecturer at Department of Vocational and Technical Education.

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