By Felix Khanoba
The move to reduce plagiarism in the country to the barest minimum has received a boost with the launch of an homegrown software, EagleScan.
Launching the plagiarism detection software in Abuja on Tuesday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, condemned the practice of stealing intellectual properties of others.
While describing plagiarism as a form of corruption, Osinbajo said the initiative was in line with the core mandates of President Muhammadu Buhari Administration.
Represented by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abubakar Rasheed, Osibanjo said the present administration was fully committed to support all initiatives that would continue to build and enhance the integrity of higher education institutions.
“Let me also say that the government will give all that is needed to ensure that anti plagiarism measures are instituted across the country,” the Vice President said.
Also speaking at the event, the Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Higher Education, Sandy Onor, said the Software would address the challenge of academic research authentication and validation.
“The EagleScan Plagiarism Detection Software integrates global open source and closed source repositories, local Open Education Repositories and it allows users to validate titles, abstracts and generate originality reports,” he said.
On his part, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, applauded the indigenous anti-plagiarism software, saying it would facilitate the desired quality expected in institutions of higher learning.
In a goodwill message from NUC, Ramon Yusuf, Deputy Executive Secretary, who spoke on behalf of the Commission’s boss, emphasised the need to institutionalise an anti-plagiarism policy in all higher institutions.
“Having the software is one aspect of the battle against plagiarism , universities must take concrete steps to institutionalise anti plagiarism policy that forbids all aspects of intellectual theft”.
“For so long the issues of Plagiarism amongst others such as copyrights as well as abuses of infringements have robbed our universities the much desired integrity,” the NUC boss said.
The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Elias Bogoro, expressed the readiness of the Fund to always collaborate with the Committee of the Vice Chancellors (CVC) to battle the evil of plagiarism.
According to Bogoro, the fund is not only committed to the initiative but has effectively promised and proceeded to make funding commitment towards the project.
“TETFund recently realised the need for software on anti-plagiarism for the National Research Fund, we are also working on a software to package the impact of research but in respect of Plagiarism ,we are happy to work with the CVC.
“We are convinced of deepened content of Academic engagement particularly research. The idea of operations must stop ,hence the establishment of the Research & Development Committee,” Bogoro said.
The Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Ishaq Oloyede, who also spoke at the event, called for an all inclusive concentration on the EagleScan software.
Oloyede advocated that the Plagiarism Detection Software be tagged a National Repository, saying this would create more opportunities for all institutions across all sectors to subscribe.
The Secretary General of the Committee of Vice Chancellors (CVC), Prof Yakubu Ochefu, said the cost of development, deployment, maintenance and marketing of the software over the next three years, is projected to gulp over N251 million.
“A substantial part of this cost is for licensing closed user databases and repositories. For now, CVC Secretariat is hosting the Secretariat for the Eagle Scan Technical Team”
PlatinumPost reports that the main features of the software includes, Plagiarism Checker, Peer Review, Document Comparison, Grammar Checker, Similarity Index, Grade Mark, Local and foreign Language Support/Converter, Local/Global Repository, Title/Abstract Validation, LMS Integration, Report Download, User Account Management and Self-Archival Interface.
The Software also comes with a very robust artificial intelligence-driven data analytics and visualization engine. It is currently hosted on www.eaglescan.ng.