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New academic writing support tool to target unintentional plagiarism (and make students happier)

Sarah Crossing

Sarah Crossing

Aug 9, 2019

University students can now check their draft assignments against a billion online texts to ensure they don’t engage in unintentional plagiarism, Studiosity announced at its 'Students First' Symposium. The new service, “Citation Assist” was launched globally.

Inadvertent plagiarism constitutes the vast majority of breaches of academic integrity, and this is a welcome innovation that addresses the issue via enhanced and developmental student support,” said Dr Tracey Bretag, Associate Professor at UniSA and Founding Editor of the International Journal for Educational Integrity.

Examples of how to improve and what I did well. As well as areas of citations to reword, were really helpful!” - First year undergraduate student, Federation University

"Picked up a major gaff in my Bibliography." Post-graduate student, The University of Adelaide

Embedded within Studiosity’s Writing Feedback service and available to their partners, ‘Citation Assist’ is being introduced to support universities’ efforts to reduce plagiarism while helping students reduce anxiety around study and the severe consequences of even unintentional cheating.

A new way of supporting students that leverages timely engagement together with personal, human guidance

Students are already going to Studiosity to seek help with writing drafts, to think about their references, to accept feedback and act on it. This timeliness and student engagement cements academic integrity standards in a way that is supportive and preventative.

What also makes Citation Assist different to any other student support option, is that a student gets personal, one-to-one human help to scaffold the citation assistance, every single time. 


Day One and already a new feature reveal. Studiosity CEO Michael Larsen and Product Manager Sherwin Huang, at this year's 'Students First' Symposium

The majority of students have good intentions, and providing high quality, timely writing support is a powerful strategy for combating plagiarism, inadvertent or otherwise,” said Michael Larsen, CEO of Sydney-based Studiosity.

Citation Assist amplifies this effect by proactively alerting students to inadequate referencing that must be resolved to remain within academic integrity guidelines.


This service will assist more than fifty universities across Australia, New Zealand, UAE and the UK who partner with  Studiosity to support their students with  24/7/365 personalised, expert feedback on written work.

Couldn't be at the Symposium? Have a flick through the slides here.


Evidence-based solutions to old problems

A 2019 research project of 1077 students, found that 72% of students who used Studiosity intended to be more careful with referencing as a result. (The Digital  Edge, 2019)

Further, 77% of students checked their university’s plagiarism policy after using Studiosity, 84% reported improved academic skills, and 55% said they had new skills to help them avoid plagiarism.

In other research, 84% of students using Studiosity reported improved academic writing skills and 83% indicated being more determined to resist the pressure to cheat. (Devlin & McKay, 2018)

There is continuing and growing attention in the education sector about the quality of the student experience at university, student wellbeing, and the academic-capabilities of an increasingly diverse student intake.


What's powering the new service?

The technology underpinning Citation Assist was developed by German-based education technology organisation Plagscan. Plagscan and Studiosity share an ethos of customisation and personalisation - tailoring services to universities and other institutions, for the best student and educator experiences.

“Our mission is originality, fairness, and helping students achieve a higher standard, crucially, via their own critical thinking and work,” says Markus Goldbach, CEO at Cologne-based Plagscan.

What do students think?

Student users of Studiosity in Australia, New Zealand, and the UK have been enthusiastic about the enhancement to the core Studiosity experience. Given the opportunity to rate the tool on a scale from 1 to 5, 93% of students responded with 5, or “really useful” to get instant citation help and feedback.

“Something I may have missed or been unaware of, this help could potentially help me with not being marked for potential plagiarism.”

“Sometimes I write something without realising it’s similar to something I have read. As some assignment submissions we can not resubmit, it would be helpful to know this prior to submitting.”

“Because I am still confused about how to properly reference my work."

“If such a small mistake was made and not noticed, it could cost a lot of marks and reminder would definitely be useful.”

“This additional layer to the Studiosity experience is another way that universities can be confident that students have access to high-quality, trusted tools that can support their university experience after hours," says Michael Larsen.


More >> See the full reveal from 'Students First' 2019



1. Adjunct Professor Marcia Devlin, School of Education, RMIT; Dr Jade McKay, Senior Researcher, The Right Consulting Group; Mr Zhiwei (Jerry) Yang, Studiosity (2018). 2018 Plagiarism Impact Study.

2. Research was conducted and analysed by The Digital Edge Research Company. The data is based on analysis of 1,000 Australian university student responses in January 2019. The students used for this study were 18 – 50+ years old, and consisted of a mix of both domestic and internationally enrolled students.

3. Bretag, T., Harper, R., Burton, M., Ellis, C., Newton, P., Saddiqui, S., Rozenberg, P & van Haeringen, K. (2018). Contract cheating: A survey of Australian university students, Studies in Higher Education.


About Studiosity

Studiosity is personalised study help, anytime, anywhere. We partner with institutions to extend their core academic skills support online with timely, after-hours help for all their students, at scale - regardless of their background, study mode or location. 

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