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Magic Defeat Magic? - An examination about AI plagiarism and the impact on legal education and research

Qinqing Xu, Lecturer (Assistant Professor), University of Manchester, UK


The emerging artificial intelligence (AI) technology has raised concerns in both legal education and research, although AI tools have brought convenience to the fields. One of the most well-known tools is ChatGPT, which can be used to generate writing based on keywords and/or sentences, polish the writing etc. One of the main issues about AI plagiarism is that plagiarism is difficult to be checked by human beings. For instance, when marking an essay or an exam paper, markers are unlikely to see whether the work is completed by a student or an AI tool. Similarly, although academics can ask for AI tools to collect references for literature review, it is not easy to assess the quality of the work.

This paper uses ChatGPT and SCISPACE as two examples to investigate AI-generated content and plagiarism checks. It first asked ChatGPT several keywords including ‘copyright’, ‘protection’, ‘plagiarism changers’ etc. Once gets what ChatGPT says, it turns to SCISPACE, where the tool can perform as an academic AI detector and produce an AI detection report. It is found that SCISPACE can figure out the parts from ChatGPT. In addition, the study lists keywords and asks SCISPACE to produce a literature review and examine if the content can be detected as AI-generated content by other tools. This research will analyse both sides of the coin, by examining the case studies and exploring the impact on legal education and research. It will discuss how AI tools can be better used for teaching and research purposes. Meanwhile, it is significant to clarify that human beings’ work and communication cannot 100% rely on AI tools.


Dr Qinqing Xu is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Intellectual Property Law, University of Manchester, UK. Qinqing’s research focuses on intellectual property law, covering music copyright and AI technology. Contact: