Turnitin Helps Wikipedia Protect Copyright and Support Student Research and Writing

Wikipedia Relies on Turnitin to Help Check All New Edits to English Wikipedia

OAKLAND, Calif. (October 29, 2015) — Each month, 75,000 volunteers edit content on over 35 million Wikipedia articles. Today, Turnitin®—the leader in improving how students write and learn–announces a collaboration with the The Wikipedia Library program at the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit that supports Wikipedia, its sister projects, and the Wikipedia community to help protect and preserve free knowledge. Turnitin’s software now runs alongside the existing bots on English Wikipedia, helping to screen pages and identify potential copyright violations on the site. (Click to Tweet)

Wikipedia’s volunteer editors work hard to ensure Wikipedia is a place for accurate, reliable, and free knowledge. Over the years, wikipedians have created policies, guidelines and tools to ensure content on the encyclopedia meets high standards, including those on protecting copyrighted works. This collaboration, which has been developed with input from members of the English Wikipedia community and the Wikimedia Foundation, now enhances that process using Turnitin’s advanced content-matching technology. Turnitin’s technology works along with a copy-and-paste detection program developed by the Wikipedia community named EranBot, first envisioned by Wikipedian James Heilman (User:Doc James) and later developed by Wikipedian Eran Rosenthal (User:ערן).

"As an openly licensed free encyclopedia, Wikipedia respects copyright the same way traditional publishers do. In fact, each contributor in our community is a copyright owner who chooses to freely license his or her own work,” said Jake Orlowitz (User: Ocaasi (WMF), head of the Wikipedia Library, the program dedicated to helping editors access reliable sources to improve Wikipedia. “Turnitin now gives us access to a more sophisticated system for flagging potential copyright violations."

As a result of the program, which went live on English Wikipedia in April 2015, thousands of new edits are checked each day which generates roughly 100 flags for Wikipedia editors to further investigate using Turnitin’s customized reports. Turnitin, alongside EranBot, helps maintain Wikipedia’s high content standards and guards for copyright abuse. The bot also has the unique ability to learn, so it will only become more accurate over time.

Turnitin can more deeply match content from web sources–including academic publications and journals–using its progressive algorithm. EranBot, with Turnitin technology, now looks at edits individually, and in near real-time, whereas previous technology could only evaluate entire articles. While helping catch violations, these combined tools give Wikipedia communities the ability to provide feedback to editors and further help them in understanding copyright.

The Wiki Education Foundation, which supports the use of Wikipedia in higher education contexts, is also working with Turnitin to check edits made by students developing articles through Wiki Ed’s Classroom Program. This complements Turnitin’s efforts to teach students how to differentiate quotation from citation, and how to appropriately paraphrase and use source material.

“Wikipedia is the most-widely used resource in both academic and non-academic contexts,” said Chris Caren, CEO of Turnitin. “We’re excited that Wikipedia has chosen to collaborate with us, so that we can help in their effort to ensure the overall quality of their content.”

Wikipedia and EranBot:

Wiki Education Foundation:

Turnitin iThenticate:

About Turnitin

Turnitin is revolutionizing the experience of writing to learn. The Company's cloud-based service for originality checking, online grading and peer reviewing saves instructors time and provides valuable feedback to students. Turnitin is one of the most widely distributed educational applications in the world and is used by more than 15,000 institutions in 140 countries to manage the submission, tracking and evaluation of student papers online. Turnitin also offers iThenticate, a plagiarism detection service for commercial markets, and Writecheck, a suite of formative tools for writers. Turnitin is backed by Insight Venture Partners, GIC, Norwest Venture Partners, Lead Edge Capital and Georgian Partners, and is headquartered in Oakland, Calif., with international offices in Newcastle, U.K., Utrecht, Netherlands and Melbourne, Australia.

About Wikipedia

Wikipedia is the world’s free knowledge resource. It is a collaborative creation that has been added to and edited by millions of people from around the globe since it was created in 2001: anyone can edit it, at any time. Wikipedia is offered in 291 languages containing more than 35 million articles, and visited by nearly half a billion people every month. Today its content is edited and shared by more than 75,000 volunteer editors each month.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that supports and operates Wikipedia and its sister projects. With nearly half a billion monthly users, projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation are one of the most popular web properties in the world. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

About the Wiki Education Foundation

The Wiki Education Foundation is a nonprofit institution that supports the use of Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects in higher education contexts across the United States and Canada. It is based in San Francisco. To learn more, visit wikiedu.org.


Turnitin Media Contact:
Jennifer Harrison for Turnitin: (916)716-0636 or jennifer@jharrisonpr.com
Eryk Salvaggio: (415) 770-7723 or eryk@wikiedu.org

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