The Internet offers a host of plagiarism detection sites; some are free but others do charge a fee for their product or services.
The Internet with all its information and handy tools is also one of the reasons plagiarism is on the rise. Students, writers, bloggers and journalists can copy and paste text with a few clicks of their mouse. This is fine for gathering information, but if the words you copy are used and credited as your own, this is a form of stealing known as plagiarism -in this case specifically it is called cyberplagiarism because the source is the Internet.
Plagiarism Detection Services Offered
To combat the problem of cyber plagiarism various individuals and companies have created tools using modern techniques to detect and to lessen the occurrence of plagiarism which is being taken more seriously than ever. It can lead to large fines or the loss of your job.
Plagiarism detection sites include a variety of tools that check work against the following:
- The Internet
- Synonym and Sentence Structure
- Multiple Document Comparison
- Multiple Languages
Services such as these not only detect but also are used to help avoid plagiarism. Before using any of these sites, however, it's important to note that each of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Some may take as long as 24 hours to get a report into your hands, but of course you can always pay for an upgraded membership and receive results in a time determined by what level of membership you pay for. Other services to watch for as you shop for the site that best meets your needs will be things like:
- Text message alert systems to let you know when your report is ready
- Online-based software that makes uploading your text easy from any browser
- Tutorial programs
Free Plagiarism Detection Sites
- Small SEO Tools - Used to check papers and web content for plagiarism.
- Essay Rater - A free service that lets students and writers check their work for plagiarism and also identifies mistakes that spellchecker doesn't catch.
- TurnItIn - Along with checking work for originality, this site offers current articles on the topic of plagiarism.
- Copyscape - This is a handy free tool to help detect online content that may be plagiarizing your work.
Fee Based Detection Sites
Drawbacks to Using Detection Sites
As much as all these services and tools sound like they will make the detection of plagiarism so much easier, it's important to note that using these services also present drawbacks. Those who submit work to be checked may receive things like a "false reading" which could lead to a person losing their job or a student being thrown out of school because they are accused of cheating. While using sites like these to detect plagiarism are a convenience, they in and of themselves should be used as a tool. When you receive the report, it should not be blindly accepted but the results should be investigated to see if they are true. The Center for Intellectual Property does some of the legwork for you with their Evaluation of Detection Services and Methods.
Do Your Research
Before you sign up with a detection site, take the time to compare the services each has to offer. Read the fine print and talk to others who have used the site.