Global Innovation Awards 2016: Honorable Mention

Category: Academic Integrity | Europe

Viorel Negru

Viorel Negru

Professor, Computer Science & Senate President: West University of Timisoara, Romania

“It’s not about policing. It’s about managing the quality of work and respecting the work of others.”

West University of Timisoara, one of Romania’s leading teaching and research institutions, started using Turnitin campus-wide a couple of years ago, with great results. It is one of the first major universities to adopt Turnitin in Romania and give all tutors and students unlimited use of the service. Viorel who is a professor in
computer science and Senate President at the University, was instrumental in promoting the Turnitin tools inside the University, and contributed has to making them an integral part of the evaluation system.

He says they’ve been able to reduce incidents of plagiarism (for instance, in the first year of use, during the second semester, the percentage was reduced about three times) while leading a cultural shift to greater transparency and integrity:

“It’s not about policing,” says Viorel “It’s about preventing and learning about how to write correct documents, about managing the quality of work and respecting the work of others.”

Before students can submit and defend their final work and receive a degree, they must check it for originality using Turnitin. Rather than pushing back, students support this because, according to Viorel, it makes the editing and revision process easier. He says students, researchers, and professors also use the service when submitting papers to conferences.

Overall, there’s been a trend toward greater transparency, Viorel says. The use of Turnitin is one example of how they’re moving in the right direction and adds that the tool helps to develop not only effective specialists, but also good citizens.

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