Pacific Metrics Awarded New Patent for Plagiarism Detection Method

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Method Supports Typed Responses to Open-ended Test Questions

Pacific Metrics remains fully committed to improving learning and assessment through advances in next-gen research and technology solutions.

Advances in technology have enabled students to access the Internet at any time, from any where, on any device. The availability of an abundance of online content means plagiarism is easier than ever. Pacific Metrics Corporation (, a leading provider of education technology solutions, is working to solve the issue of plagiarism in online assessment. Using its expertise in research and assessment, Pacific Metrics has developed a computer-based method for detecting plagiarism in an assessment environment, for which it was awarded a new patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The patent provides a system for quickly and precisely detecting student-to-student copying through the computer-based evaluation of similarities of student responses to open-ended test items. This detection method flags student responses to open-ended assessment items that are similar enough to suggest potential instances of student-to-student copying. Similarity statistics gathered via the plagiarism detection tool can be used to identify more widespread or systematic instances of cheating and can be used as a powerful mechanism in a large-scale assessment environment. This invention can support any electronically delivered constructed response in any industry. This system was invented by Sue Lottridge, Ph.D., Director of Machine Scoring, Pacific Metrics; Howard C. Mitzel, Ph.D., former CEO, Pacific Metrics; and John A. Pennington. The patent was filed in September 2009 and was awarded to Pacific Metrics in November 2013.

“Pacific Metrics remains fully committed to improving learning and assessment through advances in next-gen research and technology solutions,” said Bob Guerin, acting CEO of Pacific Metrics. “This patent reinforces our commitment to innovation—we’re very, very proud of our Research team for this important contribution and accomplishment.”

For more information about Pacific Metrics or any of its assessment solutions, email info(at)pacificmetrics(dot)com or call (831) 646-6400.

About Pacific Metrics
Headquartered in Monterey, California, Pacific Metrics has achieved recognition for leading assessment evolution with the development of innovative, customized, web-based systems for state departments of education and next-generation assessment products using advanced education technology. For more information, visit

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Helene Duvin
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