URKUND offers a fully-automated system for handling plagiarism. In short, the students send their documents to their teachers by e-mail. Along the electronic route between student and teacher, the documents are checked against three central source areas: Internet, published material and student material. If any document displays similarities with the content in the three sources, the system will flag it for possible plagiarism. An analysis overview is generated and sent by e-mail to the teacher concerned. The analysis overview presents in a simplified form the information needed by the teacher in order to determine if plagiarism has occurred.
Easy to use
URKUND does not require any software installation, no use of complex interfaces and no login to any website; neither for the student nor the teacher. This means that the service is very easy to use and introduce into an organisation.
It is important to differentiate between URKUND's e-mail based system and other tools, whereby the teacher needs to log in to a website and upload the students' documents for checking.
The most important differences are listed below:
Less work involved
URKUND's e-mail based system automatically checks all submitted documents with no extra effort required on the part of the teacher. If teachers use other tools requiring that they themselves select and upload documents, each check implies extra workload. If all documents need to be checked, it will require a major extra effort on the part of many different teachers. Consequently, the most likely scenario is that few documents will actually be checked using such a method.
Plagiarism means the copying of another person's material and using such copied material as if it were one's own work, without citing a quotation or stating a source. (SAOB, book 20 [in translation]).
Time and resources
Checking for plagiarism requires time and resources; this is something that the majority of teachers do not have in abundance. Teachers are frequently obliged to prioritise other matters, making it harder to discover plagiarism.
The fact that plagiarism is difficult to screen for is a problem in itself, but only if there is consensus as to plagiarism being wrong to start with. So why is plagiarism wrong?
In a report to the Swedish Association of University Teachers', SULF, congress in November 2002, Claes Sandgren, Professor of Civil Law, presented various copyright issues within universities and colleges. He stated that, "Internet is both a legal problem and a control problem. Cheating and plagiarism are not more tolerable just because work is stolen from the Internet rather than from a book or magazine. However, the ability to screen has become more difficult, and it is has become easier for those wishing to cheat to steal from each other" (Universitetsläraren magazine, 17/2002).
STUDENT - Students send their documents via e-mail, web upload or LMS to their teachers/professors. With the e-mail option, no software needs to be installed.
URKUND - When the documents arrive at URKUND, they are analysed against the content of three source areas: the Internet, Published Material and Student Material. When the analyses are finished, the documents and generated reports are forwarded to the teachers.
THE TEACHERS - The result of the analyses and the student documents are forwarded to the teacher's e-mail address of choice, straight into an LMS or the URKUND web based inbox. URKUND provides easy, straight-forward plagiarism prevention with minimum workload.
The most important measures against plagiarism are those that create preventative effects, that is, which prevent plagiarism altogether.
URKUND has a very strong preventative effect, with a number of factors contributing. Implementing a system like URKUND sends a clear signal that plagiarism is unacceptable and that the resources to address the problem are in place. Having students run their papers through the system also helps to reinforce its preventative effect.
It is important to clarify that URKUND is not a teaching method – you can use any teaching method you are comfortable with, and still use URKUND. There is no contradiction here.
Different teaching methods vary in their ability to make plagiarism more or less difficult. Our view at URKUND is that everyone should review their teaching methods, and, if possible, adapt them to make plagiarism more difficult. However, teaching methods should not be changed simply to hinder plagiarism. The educational ideas and values you believe in must be taken into account, while also making sure to implement new teaching methods within the limits of available resources.
Three different source areas:
- The Internet
- Published material (see below)
- Previously submitted student texts (over 33 million. October 2017)
URKUND has formed strategic partnerships with a number of leading information providers, such as DIVA (Digital Scientific Archive), Iustus, Nationalencyklopedin, ProQuest, Historiska Media, Kumlatofta förlag, Leopard förlag, MBM Förlag, Nordiska Ministerrådet, Remus förlag, SERUM, Sine Metu Productions, SLFF, Stockholm University Press, Volante, Bookhouse Publishing, Bromberg Bokförlag AB, Casewood Publikationer, Folkuniversitetet Akademiska Press, Förlag1, Förlags AB Björnen, I.C at Once, Kabusa Förlag, Langenskiöld, BL-info and Björn Lundén Information AB.
Safety is something that URKUND takes very seriously. It is very important that our customers’ data is protected. Our servers are therefore protected behind firewalls and the document database is completely closed and can not be called from outside. The archive search module can not be engaged other than when the internal search program identifies a Client Integration Code and a Unit Integration Code. The communication to and from the service via our Web-service uses transport level security, using TLS/SSL. No third party has access to the Internet traffic. URKUND is not subject to the US PATRIOT Act as the system and its components are entirely owned by a Swedish company.
An URKUND subscription contains:
- A system for plagiarism checks
- Information material and manuals
- User support
- Contact person at URKUND
Our clients are mainly academic institutions; today, a multitude of universities and higher education institutions around the world use URKUND to detect and prevent plagiarism effectively. Secondary schools are also starting to see the benefits of plagiarism detection and URKUND is widely appreciated amongst students, teachers and principals – more than 800 of Sweden’s lower secondary schools use URKUND today.
Companies are also using URKUND to ensure their documents’ originality and to track the spread of their texts, especially on the internet. URKUND is a trusted partner in these corporations’ businesses.
URKUND’s clients are from all over the world, with concentrations in the Nordic region and in Europe.
URKUND is owned and developed by PrioInfo AB. PrioInfo is a company with over 25 years’ experience of the requirements and needs of information-intensive organisations.
URKUND originated in the academic world. A team of teachers developed the idea of a web-based service that would help them detect and deter plagiarism and URKUND was born in the autumn of 2000. The problems of plagiarism received more and more attention in the media and more and more people began to realise the scope of the problem and the need for a tool to support pedagogical work. URKUND continued to grow and develop over the years and came to be recognised as Sweden's foremost anti plagiarism service.
Today, URKUND is present in our neighbouring countries and continental Europe as well as the USA, Asia and the Middle East.
URKUND is now a natural part of the educational work of the academic world. Both faculty and students are aware of the immediate and long term benefits of our system.
The need for URKUND has also been recognised by the Government and private enterprises. They require methods of asserting that documents that are to be published are free from plagiarism and that their intellectual property isn't plagiarised in turn.
For more than 25 years PrioInfo has been the exclusive agent for a number of publishers and owners of information around the world. Over the years PrioInfo has supplied databases, e-books and other electronic resources to libraries, universities, colleges, chemists, companies and organisations in the Nordic countries. The common denominator for these customers has been their different types of information needs. Based on sterling knowledge, PrioInfo has ensured that the various needs have been met in the best possible manner.
One of PrioInfo's strengths has been to function as a driving and coordinating force in consortium projects, in which organisations with similar information needs have entered into coordinated procurements of electronic resources. PrioInfo has coordinated a large number of consortia within different subject areas and varying levels of scope.
PrioInfo has owned and refined the URKUND plagiarism screening service since 2005. URKUND is one of the world's leading systems for discovering and preventing plagiarism within all types of educational institutions. State and private companies as well as publishing houses and authors see a clear need for URKUND. They use URKUND to ensure that texts for publication do not contain plagiarism, and to ensure that their copyright-protected material itself is protected from being plagiarised.
In 2012 PrioInfo sold its retail business to focus on URKUND.