Emily Jackson reports:
According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students are not required by law to use Turnitin.com. Professors often require students to submit papers to this site to detect plagiarized work, but students are not legally required to do so.
FERPA declares that student submissions must be voluntary. However, once the professor has received student work, he can employ a coding system to identify the author after all personal information about the student has been removed.
Dr. Linda Baker, professor and chair of the psychology department says she used the site in her classes for about four years until she learned of the restrictions a little over a year ago. “[However] I did like its capabilities when I used it routinely,” she notes. “The fact that we are still permitted to use it if we suspect plagiarism is good; faculty just need to remove student-identifying information and submit the paper to turnitin.com themselves,” Baker continued.
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