Thursday, October 22, 2009

Plagiarism Detection Software and the Bard

Although plagiarism detection software was initially created as a way to help teachers catch students in the act of cheating, it seems that there may be other uses for this popular technology. According to an article at, "the software may have settled a centuries-old mystery over the authorship of an unattributed play from the late 1500s called The Reign of Edward III. "

A literature professor at the University of London, Sir Brian Vickers, has been working with a program called "Pl@giarism" to compare The Reign of Edward III to Shakespeare's entire body of work. Within the play in question, "Vickers detected 200 strings of three or more words in Edward III that matched phrases in Shakespeare's other works. Usually, works by two different authors will only have about 20 matching strings."

Read more about Vicker's findings and upcoming studies of literature in the article
Plagiarism Software Finds a New Shakespeare Play.

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