Measures to help detect cheating students are being demonstrated at a conference in Newcastle.
Internet plagiarism has increased among students
A survey of around 350 undergraduates found nearly 25% had copied text from another source at least once.
A service that can scan 4.5 billion web pages is now online so that lecturers can check the originality of the work submitted by students.
The software is being demonstrated at a Plagiarism Advisory Service conference at St James's Park.
Student Tom Lenham said of the statistics: "That's a pretty modest interpretation of the situation at the moment.
"From my own experience and that of fellow students, it's a lot higher than that because it is not drummed into our heads from the start.
"Only more recently have we been told how to use the internet for referencing."
The Plagiarism Advisory Service says cheating is not a new phenomenon but the internet has led to concerns within the academic community that the problem is set to increase dramatically.
The service manager Fiona Duggan said: "The software has four databases that it checks students' work against and produces an originality report which highlights where it has found matches.
"It demonstrates where the student has lifted text from, and it also takes you to the source where the match was found."
The software has been developed in the USA and the Plagiarism Advisory Service hopes it will go some way to stamping out the practice.
Ms Duggan said: "There are other things that can be done, like the way you set assignments so each student has something individual to put into the assignment so it is not so easy to copy."