TRACER is a suite of 700 algorithms, whose features can be combined to create the optimal formula for detecting those words, sentences and ideas that have been reused across texts. Created by Marco Büchler, TRACER is designed to facilitate research in text reuse detection and many have made use of it to identify plagiarism in a text, as well as verbatim and near verbatim quotations, paraphrase and even allusions. The thousands of feature combinations that TRACER supports allow to investigate not only contemporary texts, but also complex historical texts where reuse is harder to spot.
TRACER is language-independent and has been successfully tested on: Ancient Greek, Arabic, Coptic, English, German, Hebrew, Latin and Tibetan.
Related Materials and Publications
- Miyagawa, S., Büchler, M. (2016) ‘Computational Analysis of Text Reuse in Shenoute and Besa‘, 11th International Congress of Coptic Studies. July, 28.
- Kokkinakis, D., Malm, M. (2016) ‘Detecting Reuse of Biblical Quotes in Swedish 19th Century Fiction using Sequence Alignment‘, Corpus-based Research in the Humanities workshop (CRH). December, 10. Warsaw, Poland.
- Franzini, G. (2016) ‘English translations of Pan Tadeusz: a comparison with TRACER‘, Corpus-based Research in the Humanities workshop. January, 19. Online.
- Almogi, O., Dankin, L., Dershowitz, N., Wolf, L. (2016) ‘A Hackathon for Classical Tibetan’, Journal of Data Mining and Digital Humanities [Online]. Available at: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1609.08389.pdf
- Büchler, M., Burns, P. R., Müller, M., Franzini, E., Franzini, G. (2014) ‘Towards a Historical Text Re-use Detection‘, In: Biemann, C. and Mehler, A. (eds.) Text Mining, Theory and Applications of Natural Language Processing. Springer International Publishing Switzerland.
- Büchler, M. (2013) Informationstechnische Aspekte des Historical Text Re-use (English: Computational Aspects of Historical Text Re-use). PhD Thesis. Leipzig.
TRACER was nominated for the DH Awards 2016 in the ‘Best DH Tool or Suite of Tools’ category.
If you use TRACER (and the user manual), we’d be delighted to hear about your experience. Your comments are essential to improvement!
A (free) copy of TRACER can be requested and downloaded. With it, you should also download the user manual, which provides basic information on how to set-up and run TRACER.
NB: The manual is regularly updated and new versions are published 2-3 times a year. [UPDATE April 2017: a new version of the manual will be released soon. Until then, please be aware that TRACER has been recently updated and that some explanations in the current manual may be obsolete.]
For more detailed information about TRACER or for assistance, please consider attending our yearly workshops held in various locations across Europe. These are announced weeks in advance, so please check our News page for updates.
If you wish to follow TRACER updates more closely, please subscribe to one or both of these mailing lists: