Help with Microsoft Word doc "properties"
February 22, 2012 9:52 PM Subscribe
What kinds of document-editing scenarios produce the time and date information stored in "Properties" for a Word document? Regarding a college student's fishy paper submission.
posted by ms.codex to Computers & Internet (26 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I reluctantly suspect a student of handing in a paper that appears to have been written a year ago for a different class, based on personal intuition and the "Properties" feature on his electronically-submitted paper, and I want to be absolutely sure that the scenario I'm imagining is likely before I decide to confront the student and/or any disciplinary authorities about this.
I teach an English course as at a university in the US. A student handed in via email a paper that raised red flags for me because while it discussed the right work of literature, it did so in a way that had absolutely nothing to do with the approach of the course or any of the things we had been discussing in class. (Let's say the course is on "law and literature" and that we read Measure for Measure with that framework in mind; this student's paper was indeed on Measure for Measure but had nothing to do with law. Stu Dent also didn't clear a different topic with me in advance.).
Out of curiosity I looked at the "Properties" feature of Stu's Word document, and under "Printed" it says March 25, 2011. I know Stu has studied Measure for Measure before, and I think it is likely that Stu has simply turned in a paper he wrote for a course last year. Measure for Measure is taught repeatedly in many courses every semester at this school. (Turning in the same paper for two different courses is also expressly prohibited by the school's academic code).
What makes me hesitate in jumping to this conclusion is my uncertainty about what the "Properties" feature can really tell you; the "Properties" for Stu's paper seem self-contradictory, for instance. It says, in its entirety:
Created: Sunday, Feb 19, 12:40pm
Modified: Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 12:39am [this is me, having opened the document]
Printed: Friday, March 25, 2011 12:56am
Last Saved By: Stu Dent
Revision number: 4
Total editing time: 13 minutes
Other info: Stu emailed his paper to me at 12:56pm on the same day the document was created, that is, 16 minutes after it was "created."
How could the time/date in "created" occur after the time/date in "Last Printed"? What kinds of composition scenarios could produce a document that has only been "edited" for 13 minutes? I assume a cut and paste?
I'd be grateful for any sort of clarification about how reliable the information under Properties is, and also for explanations of what kinds of composition scenarios are reflected in Properties. Thanks.