An astute reader left a comment to my previous post and I would now like to address the comment here.
Referring to Ohio University's sole use of TurnItIn.com to check past theses for plagiarism, the commenter wrote, "is that all they really use? For such a serious offense, one would hope for a more thorough approach in detecting plagiarism."
I had the same question, and about a year ago (after a few tries), I got an answer. Yes, TurnItIn.com is all they use. To show you, I scanned an email I received from Ohio University legal affairs back in 2008.
Furthermore, as I pointed out in another post, TurnItIn.com was the only tool Dr. Koonce used in his FINAL REPORT: An Investigation into Plagiarism in Theses of the Russ College of
Engineering and Technology 1980-2006. On page 11 of Dr. Koonce's report, he discusses the methods he used to detect plagiarism. He wrote: "Detecting external plagiarism was accomplished by comparing documents against the Turnitin database." There is no mention whatsoever in the report that theses will be read. On page 5 of his report, he wrote: "It will be assumed that any document which contains external plagiarism will have that duplicated text detected by the evaluation software employed in the study (The Turnitin R plagiarism detection tool)."
Obviously, Dr. Koonce made a very poor assumption. In fact, one year after Dr. Koonce concluded his investigation, Dr. Prudich identified 4 additional theses that were missed by Dr. Koonce's investigation. Nevertheless, Ohio University continues to stand behind Dr. Koonce's faulty report from which he conveniently concluded, "I see no need to investigate further."
This was a ploy on Ohio University's part to deceive the public. They really did not want to find plagiarism. That attitude goes back to the beginning of their investigations as evidenced by a statement by Jerrel Mitchell, the leader of the Academic Honesty Oversight Committee. As reported in The Post back in 2006, Jerrel Mitchell told the other members of the committee investigating plagiarism, "It is not our charge to go looking for plagiarism cases. The charging person must be very specific, i.e., he/she must tell us who is charged and specifically where to find the plagiarism." In other words, this group of professors only looked at what I gave them, and they ignored plagiarism that I did not outline for them. This is the very reason that a rewrite that contains plagiarism was republished; the student only deleted plagiarism I had identified in 2005, but he republished plagiarism that I did not know about until later. (Note: the republished plagiarism was also missed by a TurnItIn.com evaluation).
I agree completely with the reader's comment. I too would hope that Ohio University would make an honest effort to clear their library of plagiarism. Unfortunately, Ohio University professors have an aversion to reading.