Top 10 Ways to Check For Plagiarised Content

Plague Of Plagiarism and Tools To Defeat it

There are times, when you spend countless hours contemplating about your upcoming writing project, you research material, do experimenting, arrange questionnaires and go through great deal of distributing them to target audience, so that your findings are accurate and reflect the real situation and eventually when compiled, help the readers to come to conclusions and establish deeper understanding of the topic.

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People who have written thesis or research papers know how much of efforts it requires to come up with a sound paper. However, at times some content stealers blatantly copy the material without citing the original source and try to take the credit of their work, that is when things turn into a nightmare and if authors don’t act promptly and rightly, they are at risk of losing ownership of their content, this also encourages offender to steal content of other authors. In following paragraphs, we shall discuss types of plagiarisms, procedure on how to identify and then solutions to rectify the problem.

The way technology has been advancing, it has become much easier for people to copy and reshuffle content and publish as their own. This issue is much wider and deeper when it comes down to publishing content online on blogs and websites. Below are some types of plagiarism issues original authors are struggling with.

Plagiarism Issues

  • Copying images, without giving proper accreditation.
  • Stealing ideas and presenting them as their own.
  • Copying chunks of content and paraphrasing them.
  • Picking content from some online or offline publication and writing them as their own without linking back to original source.
  • At times, original writers paraphrase their own material over and over. E.g writing a review on a specific mobile phone and publishing it on one site and then changing part of content and posting the same gadget review on some other tech site.
  • This is age of online videos, there have been many cases where companies blatantly copy the advertisement videos of brands and put them up on their channels and claiming them as their own.

Before we steer towards ways to control plagiarism, i would like to quote couple of incidents where corporate sectors have been caught copying designs, features and ideas of competing companies and how their acts costed them fines in millions of dollars!

Mobile Phones Industry: a Corporate Example

In recent rise of smartphones wars, the technology giants such as Apple, Samsung, Htc, Nokia, Blackberry, Sony Ericsson have been often seen showing their hissy fists to each other for copying the hardware designs and features of each other, not only that, but the fierce competition and urge to be number one in mobile phones industry, these tech companies do not spare each other, even when it comes down to stealing ideas of their mobile operating systems. There are numerous cases where Apple’s IOS, Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone have been in courts accusing each other of infringing each other’s patented technologies.

Don’t Miss : Best Apple iPad Accesories

This is one market segment, where severe punishments and heavy fines are handed over to wrong-doer, in recent days, Samsung won a battle over Apple, where apple accused Samsung for copying their advertisement. Court gave decision in favour of Samsung and ordered Apple to publicise on their website that Samsung did not copy their ad. There have been many other pending cases in courts where, Apple has accused Samsung and other vendors for copying iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s designs.

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That is one repercussion of plagiarizing ideas or content, however, most of individual writers don’t have budgets on the likes of these technology companies, but not to worry, there are still tools to identify and rectify the plagiarised content issues.

1: Using Google

This is the easiest and quickest way to identify plagiarised content. The process is extremely simple and can be performed even when you are on the go and don’t have your computer handy and are relying on either tablet pc or your cell phone. All you need to do is copy text of your content and go to Google and type the sentence in inverted commas. Google will then scan online documents in their database, which include .doc .pdf and other formats. If there is any site, which is copying your content it will instantly pop-up.

2: Setting Up Google Alerts

This is one of the sleekest and free strategy, which can help you quickly catch the content thieves. In order to use Google Alerts effectively, you should first create batches of sentences or key phrases and then set up them as alerts at Google. What this will do is, whenever someone copies your content and publishes online, Google will eventually index that content and if it detects the phrases you have mentioned in your filters, Google will email you to notify of such atrocities!

3: Using Turnitin

Turnitin is globally recognised tool or service, which has a sole purpose to detect stolen content in literary circles, such as schools and universities. This tool has helped institutes to heavily and strictly punish offenders. Even though this is a paid service, yet it is worth a try.

4: Scan My Essay By Viper

Viper is an application developer firm, which has developed a free app to detect plagiarism. Users have to create an online account on their website and download this tool on their desktop devices. This lightweight application, which is less than 1 mb in size, will take hardly 10 to 20 minutes to download and setup, depending upon your internet connection.

Once installed, you can scan your documents, their system will scan documents throughout the internet and also check if similar content is in their database. The results can be viewed through PDAS and any other handheld devices such as tablets and cell phones.

5: CopyScape

Copyscape is an outstanding service, helping webmasters and content publishers globally to tackle content theft. It comes in both free and paid versions, the free one is good for authors who just want to check couple of their pages for plagiarism, this tool scans entire documents and using Google and Yahoo APIs, it quickly finds if someone has copied the content. This is one of most used and powerful tool out there, the premium version allows tens of thousands of documents to be scanned.

6: Search Engines To Detect Copied Images

Search Engines, like Yahoo, Bing and Google have become extremely smart at image searches. If your business model revolves around images, then protecting the image theft should be part of your daily activities. Google and other engines have now introduced smart filters, which can scan their database of images and try to match up your image with images in their db, which are of similar resolution, pixel size, image size, name and nature.

7: iThenticate By Plagiarism.org

This is one of the most used tool out there, although paid, but extremely useful and very popular in academics segments. The service works in pretty much similar fashion as Scan my essay, but since it is much more used in academic circles, it is probably a better choice over any other tool in same budget. iThenticate, scans documents and try to match the content with their database and millions of pages on internet.

8: Digital Fingerprint WordPress Plugin

WordPress is a powerful software and a popular choice amongst bloggers and web developers. Since the WordPress is free, it gives the liberty to users to instantly download and install a WordPress website, throw a free theme and start publishing posts. That is when, basic human instinct comes in action and either intentional or unintentional stealing of content from other bloggers happens.

Digital Fingerprint is a nice WP plugin, which when installed, leaves a digital searchable watermark in the content, which can later be used to catch content thieves. This plugin, which is developed by maxpower, can work really well with Google alerts.

9: Plagaware

This is definitely one of the best tool out there to protect your digital presence on the web. Plagaware is an award-winning tool, which ranked number 1 when compared to all old conventional and new tools and services. The service which offers up to 50 free scans, it has a better algorithm to electronically detect cheaters.

10: PlagTracker

The company boasts as a best online free service out there. It is as easy as step 1, 2 and 3. You need to upload your document on their servers. They have more than 20 million academic documents in their DB against which they will compare your content and check out for theft. Plagtracker also runs its sophisticated comparison engine and scans internet for possible dupes.

Conclusion

Last but not least, even though you do not deserve to suffer all this hassle, yet it has become the necessity to protect your digital presence, whether its online content, a unique feature, outstanding idea, whatever it is, you have to protect it from digital thieves. Lastly if nothing of above works, you can always consider going to court and protect your digital identity like the corporate mobile and other industries do.

Ahmed is a passionate tech writer, who loves to ponder around the web in search of latest gadgets and news related to technology industry. He holds a a degree in computer sciences and operates a mobile phones portal at Mobilephones.pk, which lists reviews on smartphones, such as Nokia, iPhone 4, Htc, Samsung and other popular mobile vendors. 

About Amit Shaw

Amit Shaw, Administrator of iTechCode.He is a 26 Year Ordinary Simple guy from West Bengal,India. He writes about Blogging, Technology, Gadgets, Programming etc. Connect with him on Facebook, Add him on Google+ and Follow him on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Hi Ahmad,
    Well, the post was much excellent. And the ways were really WHICH I never knew or heard about. BTW, I’ve also a way to check duplicate images. It’s tineye.com, which lets you check duplicate images online.

    • We learn something new every day, i did not know about tineye, i would have had included it in the post, but i believe the comments section is there for a purpose, which is to fill the gaps which original review has skipped. Cheers for liking the post 🙂

    • You can also use images.google.com to reverse search your images on the internet.

  2. Rajkumar Jonnala says:

    HI Ahmed, Nice points about Plagiarism Issues,

    Every newbie blogger has a habit of copying others content since they don’t know about the real issues that google really hate copied content. And its very important for every blog to check to Plagiarism .. this tips are very useful.

    • Yes that is the plague, it is often unintentional and bloggers don’t understand the importance of fair play and eventually the habit of copying bites them. Search engines have become extremely sophisticated in detecting duplicate content and its time every one should realize this before a panda or penguin come knocking at their doors!

  3. Rahul kuntala says:

    Hey Ahmed,

    It’s really essential for us to stop others stealing our content. Most of the tools are totally new to me. I’d be glad to use them soon.
    What do you think about uncopyrighted content? Does it affect our search rankings? There are few blogs like zenhabits.net which are uncopyrighted, but it still has great SE rankings..

    • Hi Rahul, thanks for taking time to drop by. Yes it is important, its not just about stealing content, there are several forms of plagiarism, even if someone is copying someone’s content, they should cite the original source, even if they have rewritten. Else, they should try to come up with a piece of content, which is infested with original images, custom how to’s, personal video on the topic etc and add up to the value of topic.

      As far as zenhabits is concerned, look at the amount of backlinks, branding, social presence etc. Google look at such signals, and once you have become authority, and have an extremely authoritative domain, you become less prone to content duplication penalties, which is why they are still ranking well. Also, at times, when your content is copied and you are linked back, it gives signals to google that your content is of great importance.

  4. While accepting a guest post, it is always a matter of concern that whether the content is original or not.
    Thanks for the post. really very useful/

  5. Amrik Virdi says:

    I generally use Search engine to be sure of Content plagiarism. It’s proven and the quickest method to identify the copy contents. Nevertheless, the sites stated previously are really worth to test at the same time to have much better result. Great sharing!

    • Well Amrik, yes that is quickest and cheapest possible way, that is what i normally do as well when i am publishing content online, but think about the corporate sectors, such as mobile phone companies. I have quoted few examples above, where top tech firms rip each other out in order to protect their patented mobile operating systems, features and hardwares, it’s much harder for them to protect the integrity of their brands.

  6. This is one of those never-ending issues between the original writer against the one who actually copied it. Where’s the creativity of almost all bloggers now?

    • Agreed, this issue is there to stay, which is why i created this post to help original content creators to defend their content.

  7. Thanks for posting, many new bloggers do this mistake. I always use Google and CopyScape to find it. Thanks for other tools.

  8. Such a timely article. So true, the plague of plagiarism is growing day by day affecting the hard work of many people. I’m sure through your article people will find ways to get rid of it.

    • I am glad you found it useful and yes that is the plan behind the post, to inform writers of possible tools they can use to avoid it.

  9. Hey Ahmad,
    I personally don’t think stealing others ideas is a bad thing :O However presenting it as your own is really thing to do!

    Those are great ways to be sure of content plagiarism. Thanks for mentioning those.

    • Steal only the idea to implement it in a better way is Good but copy pasting that idea will not work at all. Here in this article the writer is basically talking about that.

    • Stealing ideas can cause issues, specially if you patent them. e.g Apple and other top brands like samsung, htc, etc, they patent their ideas and then prevent others from implementing same, i hope i am right about that.

  10. CopyScape is favorite tool to check for duplicate/plagiarizer content. Copyscape checks are bit expensive but they are really impressive and accurate

  11. vishvast says:

    hii raza
    i have done this mistake many times and face some issues too thnx for this this nice info that hw i check my palagrised content i have many guest but all are spam nice share

  12. I’ve been using copying the bit of texts and pasting it on Google to find who copied my content and Google produces more accurate results. I will give it a try of rest all methods in future to check the plagiarism.

    Thanks to the post 🙂

  13. Shazida Khatun says:

    Wow !! wonderful ways to detect the copy cats ! I am really satisfied with your research works.As , you know, my maximum blog posts are copied and those copy cats are been enjoyed advantages than my hard works due to my a few negligence for which PR decreased 5 to 1.

  14. Hi

    Great Job. I am working on a website. I am not getting traffic. As we all know that we need unique content for getting better traffic. I want to use that software’s or tools that can provide me better information regarding this.

    • Unique content is not enough Neha, you must have unique ideas, unique images, create videos as they are of great help, choose topics carefully and then ace the subject with your writing. You also need to do link building and brand building to get traffic and awareness of your brand.

  15. Yeap no doubt Google itsself a great tool to checking copy contents, Just paste your full paragraph in Google search you will find other copy-paster very easily.

  16. I just want to add that not doing plagiarism is a good way to show you are a professional. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use other people’s work, you may not be an expert in a certain field, or there is already enough information on what you want to discuss – so go ahead use expert’s work but credit that, it sometimes makes great sense when you use well researched work than just your guessing.
    Raza, the tools you outlined in this post can be used for the writers to avoid plagiarism as CJ White insists in his book Research: A practical guide : ” You commit plagiarism when you intentionally or unintentionally use someone else’s words or ideas but fail to credit that person”. Interesting part is that plagiarism is there even if you do it unintentionally. What about those materials which are not in the Internet ? like some other books ?

    • You are right about that. how i look at it is, you can pick up on material of previous writers or do some sort of extensive research prior to writing, do some brainstorming and come up with a piece of paper which is comparatively better than the previous work or research on same topic.

  17. CopyScape is the best. 🙂 Great list bro. Going to choose other than the CopyScape for future problems. 😉

  18. Good list, I think you have missed another best free online plagiarism checking website : www dot plagscan dot com, have a look and if possible add to your list.

  19. Hey Ahmed,
    Plagiarism is a big problem in blogging field. Earlier I used CopyScape but shifted to plagiarisma.net as it offers more features when compared to CopyScape.

  20. Koundeenya says:

    Thanks for letting me know all these. I’ve been using copyscape till date. I’ll start using the others too from now.

  21. Shiwangi peswani says:

    Nice compilation Ahmed. I have used Tineye and Copyscape, All others were quite new for me.
    I never knew that Google Alert can be used to check Plagiarism. Thanks for sharing.

    • Yes, you can use Google alert for couple of other things as well, such as you can set some alerts on topics which are of great interest to you and google will send you regular emails on those topics.

  22. Very good methods to find out if someone is using your content or not. I use a small snippet and paste it in the search engines, if it has been copied then several results would come up.

  23. You missed out plagiarisma.net.Its one of the best way to check article plagiarism.

  24. Plagiarism in any document is unethical. So to check this unethical issue you can use plagiarism checker. This tool is easily available on the Internet and is very easy to use. Plagiarism checker helps to avoid duplicity in a document. With one click one can easily detect plagiarism.

  25. Hi Raza,

    I like google. it Awesome for finding our content of other web. I am also using google search and Google alert…. copyscape Also good to. all of that your post is informative and valuable for every writer and web owner. Thanks for this post.

    regards
    rahul kashyap

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