I agree that if the submitted papers are not saved, then using the service is a good idea. However, it would be comforting to see an explicit statement by the company that they do not store and use the submissions. This was a cause for significant controversy with Turnitin.com a couple years back, and according to Wikipedia the issue is still there: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnitin I did not see any reassurance at the web site turnitin.com, but the site does contain information that they have 150+ million archived student papers.
On Fri, 7 Oct 2011, Graeme Hirst wrote:
> Some journal publishers, including IEEE, are now doing officially what
> Ted is doing informally. See, for example, this page:
> There is no suggestion that unpublished manuscripts are saved. In fact,
> doing that would simply muddy the waters; what is sought is whether the
> manuscript duplicates *published* text.
> On 2011-10-07, at 8:09, Ted Pedersen wrote:
> > To be very clear, the plagiarism checks that I run on safeassign do
> > not add papers to anything. They are checked against material that is
> > available on the public web. I have the option of retaining them in an
> > institutional (UMN) database for comparison with other UMN
> > submissions, but I do not do that. Students who submit papers can
> > opt-in to have their papers added to a database, but that's not what
> > I'm doing.
> > By now most plagiarism detection services are aware of concerns about
> > copyright, etc. and it's very possible to use them without adding
> > content where someone doesn't want it added. Of course this should be
> > verified, but it's a mistake to assume that all materials submitted to
> > these services are then copied and stored and made available to
> > others.
> > Anyway, I think it's very reasonable to use these services for
> > reviewing (and classroom use) and do so in a responsible way. They are
> > in fact an example of NLP in action, which I think is nice to see.
> > Cordially,
> > Ted
> :::: Graeme Hirst
> :::: University of Toronto * Department of Computer Science
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