We are happy to announce that the DFG (German Research Foundation), has awarded our group a research grant for our project: “Analyzing Mathematics to Detect Disguised Academic Plagiarism”. The total funding sum of 633,000 Euro will be made available over a 3-year period to both Bela Gipp’s DKE Group at the University of Wuppertal and to Dr. Moritz Schubotz, a former DKE group member, now working at the FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institute for Information Infrastructure. Significant earlier work carried out by Norman Meuschke and Corinna Breitinger has led to the realization of this DFG project.
The goal of this collaborative DFG-funded project will be to improve academic plagiarism detection methods for heavily disguised forms of plagiarism, including paraphrases, translations, or idea plagiarism. Our focus will be on texts and publications from the STEM-field, i.e. the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics domain, since texts from these domains contain valuable semantic information encoded in the form of mathematical expressions, which are not being considered by existing approaches for plagiarism detection. We will conduct fundamental research on analyzing mathematical expressions as text-independent and language-independent features to help identify potentially suspicious similarity among documents.
We plan to combine our novel mathematics-based approach to plagiarism detection with both text-based and citation-based detection approaches, which we have developed in previous research. During this project, the research team will thus collaborate closely with researchers from Bela Gipp’s other DFG-funded project “Methods and Tools to Advance the Retrieval of Mathematical Knowledge from Digital Libraries for Search-, Recommendation- and Assistance-Systems”.
As of January 9, Wikipedia allows semantically enhancing mathematical formulae with the definitions of the terms they contain. For example, the formula of the famous mass-energy equivalence E=mc² now contains information on the variables E, m, and c. Clicking on the formula opens an information page (see figure) that displays the meanings of the variables and links to additional specifications of the formula’s terms.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) describes how our research on novel plagiarism detection methods and blockchain-backed decentralized trusted timestamping facilitates combating plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct.
Click on the image above for accessing a zoomable version of the complete article.
ETH Zurich’s DOI Desk is organizing a full-day event on “Persistent Identifiers in Research” to celebrate its 10-year anniversary.
Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) help ensure the discoverability of digital objects on the Internet. For example, the assignment of DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) for scientific publications has become a common practice in many disciplines. PIDs have become increasingly important to scientific research. Especially as the scientific publishing industry embraces digitization, the need arises to make referenced works permanently retrievable and interconnected.
The presentations at ETH Zurich will focus on current use cases for persistent identifiers in research, as well as new ideas, developments and initiatives for the future.
Together with other exciting speakers from Switzerland and abroad, Bela Gipp has been invited to present his research on Trusted Time Stamping via the Bitcoin Blockchain.
The event will take place on Friday, 13th September 2019 at the ETH Zurich Library.
Attendance is free of charge. If you wish to attend, please register ahead of time.
Trusted time-stamping can be very useful, but it is crucial to understand what it can prove and what it cannot prove. Timestamping can only prove that the time-stamped data, such as a photo, a video, pdf, etc. already existed in the very moment it was time-stamped.
So what are potentially suitable use-cases for time-stamping?
– When you hire a rental car or move into a new flat and want to document pre-existing damage.
– When you use a dashcam camera that time-stamps the video stream in real time.
– When you want to prove that you already knew something at a certain point in time.
However, just having a time-stamp of an idea doesn’t automatically prove authorship. If person A tells person B about an idea, person B could still time-stamp the idea and claim it was their idea. Therefore, don’t share an idea without time-stamping it first.
It is also possible to take a photo, manipulate it, and subsequently time-stamp it. A time-stamped photo doesn’t mean that is hasn’t been tampered. You would have a valid time-stamp of a manipulated photo.
There is no easy answer to the question of whether a time-stamp would be accepted in court. There were cases when they were accepted as proof, but this doesn’t mean that every court will accept blockchain-based time-stamps as this is usually up to the judge.