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Call for Papers – Machine-based plagiarism: The death of originality in the digital age?

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Edited by: 
Tracey Bretag, University of South Australia Business School, Adelaide
Ann Rogerson, University of Wollongong, Australia
Sarah Elaine Eaton, University of Calgary, Canada

Paraphrasing tools, translation software and ‘article spinners’ are text-processing applications easily found and accessed via the Internet. Text, ranging from phrases through to longer documents such as essays, can be entered in one field and then ‘spun’, reprocessed or translated.  The output from paraphrasing tools, article spinners and translation software can mislead people into thinking that these tools create a new form of original writing.

While the revised text may look different to the original, the tools usually produce poor quality outputs.  Submitting the output for academic credit can be considered a form of plagiarism, and where researchers use the tools to reprocess their existing work, outputs can be considered to be a form of self-plagiarism.

The errors and inconsistencies in the output from paraphrasing and translation tools may not be obvious to students studying in a second language (Rogerson & McCarthy, 2017). In some cases, the outputs mimic the language patterns evident in second language writing with the result that this form of plagiarism may not be detected.

This thematic series offers the opportunity to explore the use of paraphrasing tools, article spinners, translation software and automated text processing as an emerging threat to academic integrity.

Deadline for submission

This Call for Papers is open from now until April 30, 2021. Submitted papers will be reviewed in a timely manner and published directly after acceptance (i.e. without waiting for the accomplishment of all other contributions). Thanks to the International Journal for Educational Integrity (IJEI) open access policy, the articles published in this thematic series will have a wide, global audience.


Some author processing charges (APCs) may be waived at the discretion of the Editor-in-Chief to outstanding and innovative contributions.

Submission instructions

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have carefully read the submission guidelines for International Journal for Educational Integrity. The complete manuscript should be submitted through the journal submission system. To ensure that you submit to the correct thematic series please select the appropriate section in the drop-down menu upon submission. In addition, indicate within your cover letter that you wish your manuscript to be considered as part of the thematic series on series title. All submissions will undergo rigorous peer review, and accepted articles will be published within the journal as a collection.

  1. This article reviews the literature surrounding the growing use of Automated Paraphrasing Tools (APTs) as a threat to educational integrity. In academia there is a technological arms-race occurring between the...

    Authors: Jasper Roe and Mike Perkins
    Citation: International Journal for Educational Integrity 2022 18:15
  2. In a recent unit of study in an undergraduate Health Sciences pathway course, we identified a set of essays which exhibited similarity of content but demonstrated the use of bizarre and unidiomatic language. O...

    Authors: Felicity M. Prentice and Clare E. Kinden
    Citation: International Journal for Educational Integrity 2018 14:11
  3. A casual comment by a student alerted the authors to the existence and prevalence of Internet-based paraphrasing tools. A subsequent quick Google search highlighted the broad range and availability of online p...

    Authors: Ann M. Rogerson and Grace McCarthy
    Citation: International Journal for Educational Integrity 2017 13:2

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Authors without funds to cover the Article Processing Charge (APC) are eligible for a discretionary waiver of the APC, and should request a waiver during submission

International Journal for Educational Integrity also has waivers available at the Editor's discretion. Authors can contact the Editor in Chief for more information.