Urkund

What is it?

Urkund is a plagiarism detection system. It compares student work to other documents, both ones that have been uploaded to Urkund before and documents that are available on the internet.

How does it work?

Urkund is integrated in Canvas for your convenience. If you create assignments in Canvas, you can automatically run Urkund. For assignments outside of Canvas, you upload the student texts to your own Urkund account. Urkund reports a similarity percentage and points out which parts of the text are not unique.

Why would I want to use Urkund?

Plagiarism is an important type of academic fraud that can be difficult to detect. Urkund can help you detect obvious fraud and hidden fraud (when students replace lowercase-l with capital-i or capital-o with the numeral zero) in documents and even posters. However, it is not all-powerful: plagiarized designs, drawings or computer code cannot be detected with Urkund, and anything that is under NDA or may be used to file for a patent should not be run through Urkund, for privacy reasons.

How do I effectively employ Urkund?

It is important to realize that Urkund cannot really detect plagiarism. It detects similarity. If the level of similarity makes a teacher suspect fraud, they have to present the case to the Examination Committee for judgement. But not all instances of similarity indicate fraud.

Teachers have the responsibility to interpret the Urkund results carefully. Was the assignment clear? Do your students have the required skills? Properly referencing other work is something students have to learn, and that takes time.

What support can I get with Urkund?

Plagiarism is a serious and sensitive issue, which is why Teacher Support offers help on all levels.

  • Setting up your Urkund account
  • Helping you clarify your assignments if you notice that they result in high percentages of similarity
  • Helping you with the interpretation of the Urkund report and the decision whether or not to escalate to the Examination Committee
  • And if the case does go to the Examination Committee, we can support them in the process of handling the case correctly.