Crisis on Campus





Wilfried Decoo, with a contribution by Jozef Colpaert

Crisis on Campus. Confronting Academic Misconduct

(MITT Press/ Bradford Books)


Cerberus: Text comparison device


Crisis on Campus. Confronting Academic Misconduct



Though not devoted to CALL as such, it uses examples from this field and will interest those who are not familiar with the topic or who have experienced controversial situations.


The book is available through http://mitpress.mit.edu and http://www.amazon.com (search author: Decoo)





"Decoo's painstaking study of the doctoral dissertation case makes an excellent contribution to thinking about academic misconduct. This case study provides not only a detailed test bed for hard questions raised later in the book, but a rich tool for pedagogy."

--Helen Nissenbaum, Department of Culture and Communication, New York University


"This bold and timely contribution to research and scholarship will assist the research community, especially doctoral students, in avoiding the pitfalls of unethical research designed to expedite results.  The book appears in a context in which the commercial sector pressures a few scholars to release to medical journals papers with dubious research methodology and reported outcomes. The creation of a software tool capable of analyzing such abuses is particularly welcome, and Colpaert and Decoo should be commended for this."

--Philippe Delcloque, University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST)


"Decoo charges right into academic misconduct of all kinds, not just FFP (fabrication, falsification, plagiarism). His criticisms rattle the very foundations of the academic reward system."

--Frank L. Borchardt, Professor, Duke University


"Decoo presents a problem that many colleagues involved in academic assessment aren't yet aware of.  The generalized use of the Internet and the increasing efficiency of search engines have considerably increased the possibility that students will copy and paste Web publications and present the results as their own original work. Decoo demonstrates that the borderline between acceptable and unacceptable use of other people's work is not always clear and that there is a growing need for an academic code of conduct on this issue.  This book is particularly interesting because it discusses not only possible solutions for the detection of plagiarism but also measures that can help prevent this kind of academic misconduct."

--Jos Dumortier, Interdisciplinary Centre for Law and Information Technology, University of Leuven



Table of contents:


1 Introduction

   1.1 Finding the right balance

   1.2 Entering the realm of academic misconduct

   1.3 The extent of academic misconduct

   1.4 Changing circumstances and risk factors

   1.5 Countering and curing

2 Detection

   2.1 Introduction

   2.2 The detection of fabrication and falsification

   2.3 The detection of text plagiarism

   2.4 The detection of the plagiarism of ideas

   2.5 The detection of software plagiarism

   2.6 The detection of misused connections

   2.7 The detection of academic make-believe

   2.8 The detection of possibly deceitful educational software

   2.9 Conclusion

3 Analysis

   3.1 Introduction

   3.2 Analyzing alleged fabrication and falsification

   3.3 Analyzing alleged plagiarism

   3.4 Analyzing the misuse of professional connections

   3.5 Analyzing the self-promotion of one's own work

   3.6 Analyzing academic make-believe

   3.7 Analyzing possibly deceitful courseware

   3.8 Analyzing the plagiarism of ideas

   3.9 Conclusion

4 Assessment

   4.1 Introduction

   4.2 Fabrication or not? Falsification or not?

   4.3 Plagiarism or not?

   4.4 Can a thesis or doctoral committee be guilty of misconduct?

   4.5 Can publications become misconduct?

   4.6 When do research projects become deceptive?

   4.7 When do educational media become deceptive?

   4.8 When does ignorance become misconduct?

   4.9 Assessing hidden motives

   4.10 Conclusion

5 Reporting and handling

   5.1 Introduction

   5.2 Should one report misconduct?

   5.3 The whistle-blower

   5.4 Recommendations for reporting

   5.5 The institutional response

   5.6 The accused

   5.7 The responsibility of editors and librarians

   5.8 Conclusion

6 Prevention

   6.1 Introduction

   6.2 Constructive measures

   6.3 Deterrent measures

   6.4 Conclusion

7 General conclusion

   7.1 My core issues

   7.2 Final recommendations

   7.3 A never-ending story


Appendix: Cerberus

A.1 Comparing texts

A.2 Cerberus text-comparison mechanisms

A.3 Using the Cerberus program

A.4 Performance aspects

A.5 The Cerberus source code



Cerberus: Text comparison device



The executable can be downloaded here. Unzip Cerberus.zip in a temporary directory and run setup.exe. You will find Cerberus in Start-Programs.


The source code can be downloaded here.

If you experience any problems when installing these files, contact Jozef Colpaert ([email protected]).