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The Authorship Report

This page details each of the sections in the Authorship Report and how they have been calculated. To better understand how to interpret the report, please read this guide on interpreting the Authorship Report.

Report summary

The top of the report contains the investigation filename and will provide an investigation recommendation and summary based on results of the report. If the report contains discrepancies that require a more thorough review the recommendation will read Investigation Recommended. If the report does not contain any visible irregularities the recommendation will read Investigation Not Recommended.

 

If any of the files could not be processed and were left out of the report results, there will be a notification in this section to warn you.

 

The summary contains the body of evidence that the report has used to make its recommendation. The summary will pull in results from two sections; document information and readability. If one or more of these sections contains discrepancies to suggest contract cheating has potentially taken place, the section will contain a flag  to draw attention to it and a brief summary of the evidence found.

Readability

Readability uses the Flesch reading ease scale. Assuming the text is grammatically correct, this scale estimates how easy the text is to read. Radically different scores are causes for concern.

 

A score of less than 50 is approximately college level writing, 50-70 is approximately high school level writing, and above 70 is approximately grade school level writing. This article will help you learn more about the Flesch-Kincaid readability tests and how the score is calculated.

 

The readability score of the investigation file is visualized in orange, while the comparison files are visualized in grey.

 

Beneath the visual scale, the readability results are displayed in a table. The results can be ordered alphabetically or numerically by selecting the column title.

 

 

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An author’s readability score should improve over time. This should be taken into consideration if any of the comparison file(s) are older examples of an author’s work.

Document Information

If any of the files submitted to Authorship Investigation are a .docx file type, the report will pull the file’s metadata. This metadata is often used to identify potential issues in a students work. For example, when the name of the file creator does not match the supposed author.

Author Name

The author is the name given to the file creator. The results will be displayed in a table that will allow you to see the filename, the author and who that file was last modified by. The results can be ordered alphabetically (or reverse alphabetically) by selecting the column titles.

 

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A variance in the authors name section could have a valid explanation. An author may use a blank file created by an instructor or peer as the basis for their document, or they may have asked a peer to proofread and spell check a document, leading to modifications by someone other than themselves. Discrepancies should lead to further investigation, but shouldn’t be used as concrete evidence.

Dates

The report will collect dates that are pertinent to the investigation file and comparison files. The results will be displayed in a table that will allow you to see the filename, the date that the file was created, and the date the file was last modified. The tables’ results can be ordered chronologically (or reverse chronologically) by selecting the column titles.

 

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Editing Time

This visual scale and table will show the total time spent editing the file.  The table can be ordered alphabetically (or reverse alphabetically) by filename, and by length by selecting the column titles.

 

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If the editing time is unusually short, this can be an indicator that the author has copied the content into the file from another file.

Revisions

This visual scale and table will show how many times the file has been revised (opened and changes made). The table can be ordered alphabetically (or reverse alphabetically) by filename, and by amount of revisions by selecting the column titles.

 

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Two or three revisions can often indicate that the content of a document has been copied and pasted in. While this isn’t proof of contract cheating, it is something that should be investigated.

Punctuation

How an individual uses punctuation is often a stylistic feature that is common in all their writing. A change in punctuation usage between documents can often signify a change in authorship.

Single or Double Space After Period

After a period (full stop) a document may use a single or double space before beginning the next sentence; for example, a single space. (Like this). Or a double space.  (Like this).

Phrases Per Sentence

Phrases per sentence is the average number of phrases per sentence in a document. Phrases are sets of words that form a single grammatical piece of a sentence.

 

There are several types of phrases (noun phrase, verb phrase, adjective phrase, prepositional phrase, adverb phrase, etc.). The score is calculated using top level phrases; that is, phrases that are not nested inside another phrase.

 

For example, the sentence "The cat sat on the mat" has two top level phrases; a noun phrase (The cat) and a verb phrase (sat on the mat). Therefore, in a document containing 100 sentences split up into 200 total phrases, the phrases per sentence would be 2.0.

Vocabulary

The vocabulary section of the report contains various lexical features of the files. These results are displayed as a visual chart and a table.

Unique Word Usage

Unique word usage (type-token ratio) calculates the total number of unique words as a percentage of the total number of words used in a document.

 

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For example, the following sentence contains 8 words with 6 unique words, resulting in a unique word usage score of 75%: “The white cat sat on the white mat.”

Vocabulary Richness

Vocabulary richness (Hapax Legomena ratio) calculates the percentage of words in a document that only occur once.

 

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For example, the following sentence contains 8 words with 4 words occurring only once, resulting in a vocabulary richness score of 50%: “The white cat sat on the white mat

 

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