The IT Foundation and the nation's larger institutions of higher education are teaming up to introduce a system designed to detect whether material in students' thesis work has been lifted from other sources.
Testing of the system's algorithms began in late June in preparation for more in-depth development of the program over the next year and an August 2013 roll-out, according to the University of Tartu's newsletter.
The software is designed not only to scan archives for one-for-one similarities in text, but also to spot unattributed material translated from English into Estonian or vice versa and even pick up on style clues that indicate the work of a professional ghostwriter.
Siret Rutiku, head of the university's education department, told ERR radio that it was important to keep both students and teachers informed about the system.
"The name 'plagiarism detection system' is slightly misleading because our goal, after all, is not to detect plagiarism but to prevent it. That's why we are paying a lot of attention to outreach work, not only among students, but among teaching staff, because in today's information society the topic of copyright is very large and broad and the staff need to be aware of the details," she said.
The project, which comes with a 221,570-euro price tag, is being paid for by the European Social Fund.