Tools

Top Online Plagiarism Checkers – Protect Your Content

Plagiarism is an essential Internet problem hurting both your feelings and your site rankings. While both Google and webmasters are figuring out how to combat it, let’s have a look at web-based plagiarism checkers to help you find the thieves:

Data source Registration Reliability Usability
Copyscape.com Google’s Web APIs No (for free version) 90% high
Doc Cop Google, Yahoo, Live required 80% moderate
Plagiarism Detect Google required 50% low
Reprint Writers’ tool Yahoo no 60% moderate
Copyright Spot Yahoo? no 45% moderate

(Note: Reliability and Usability columns reflect my personal opinion; please share yours!)


1. Copyscape.com has both a free (no registration required) and paid versions. The free one will search by the page URL and show only top 10 results. You can then go to each result and see the duplicated content highlighted.

The Premium account holders can submit text and see if it is plagiarized anywhere:

copyscape Top Online Plagiarism Checkers   Protect Your Content

2. Doc Cop requires registration (with email confirmation). Its free version allows for only 75-word text check and no more than two checks a day.

The service essentially grabs short extracts from the submitted text and checks for exact match in Google, Yahoo and Live. Having found the duplications, it generates a report and sends it to your email.

(You will then have to go to each search engine result page to see which pages mention each string.)

doccop Top Online Plagiarism Checkers   Protect Your Content

3. Plagiarism Detect (registration required) also checks the submitted text; besides you can upload a txt or doc files. It will randomly choose strings of the text and search Google for the exact match.

After that, it will generate a quick domain-report as well as list the found results highlighting the string searched.

The strings the tool sometimes choose seem too short and thus results returned are not necessarily cases of plagiarism.

plagiarismdetect Top Online Plagiarism Checkers   Protect Your Content

4. Reprint Writers’ tool requires no registration and the process is similar to the above: it grabs a few (long enough) word strings and checks Yahoo for the exact matches.

reprintwriters Top Online Plagiarism Checkers   Protect Your Content

5. Copyright Spot checks the URL you submit and claims to find all your blog content thieves. It seems to grab most prominent phrases of the page (titles and headings) and check for the exact matches.

It is both free and open for use without registration, yet lacks reliability (it obviously returns better results if you check for subpages instead of the whole site).

The tool is new and promising, so we will be looking for essential improvements in the future.

copyrightspot Top Online Plagiarism Checkers   Protect Your Content

Please also do check this list by BlogHerald listing more tools to help you prevent, find and report plagiarism.

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Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project, MyBlogGuest.com.
f8d69258525dec38624a29eb3d570d8c 64 Top Online Plagiarism Checkers   Protect Your Content

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18 thoughts on “Top Online Plagiarism Checkers – Protect Your Content

  1. I can’t thank you enough for this overview and the timing of your insights. I started using copyscape; however, one of our sites has been hit with knockoffs of product and content copy. Thank you!

    Maybe this type of monitoring could be called “plagerism management” or “knockoff management!”

  2. Agreed with Dana!

    Thanks for covering this Ann. Plagiarism and content theft have long been a bane of Internet publishers, especially the Made-for-AdSense scraper sites.

  3. I agree with your overall analysis, however, there are a few points I’d like to add personally.

    First it is worth noting, in the sake of fairness, that CopyrightSpot is in alpha and was just released a a week or two ago. It is likely to undergo serious changes. I ran into similar issues when I reviewed it for my site.

    Second, you might want to add copyalerts.com to your results, it’s a neat service that actually emails you when it finds new results. I find that there are a lot of false positives, but it definitely is worth a look.

    Finally, I realize that the usability ratings are a matter of perspective, but I have to wonder why CopyrightSpot was lower than Copyscape. The two function the exact same way the best that I can tell. I’d be interested to know why you felt the latter was harder t0 use as both are “input URL, receive matches” systems.

    Oh, I’d also like to hear your thoughts on more large-scale systems such as Attributor, iCopyright and, as Robert mentioned above, iParadigms.

    Thank you very much for your write up!

  4. Maybe I’m missing a critical aspect of the problems associated with online plagiarism, but my experience with this has shown:

    1. There’s not much you can do about it most of the time. Unless you’ve got a legal team behind you, the best you can hope for is that the person who copied your content did so unknowingly and that they agree to change it, compensate you, or at the very least give you credit.

    2. Even if you have a legal team, the standard action is often nothing more than a simple “Cease and Desist,” and those are often ignored by the unscrupulous people that perpetrate this activity. After all, very few companies will pursue actual legal action in all but the most outrageous cases.

    3. If you embed a few links in your content, when it is “scraped” you will generate traffic back to your site. There’s also the possibility that the search engines will view these “scraped” links in a positive light.

    4. The internet is much too vast to expect that any written word, any video, or any other down-loadable content will not to be copied. Why fight it?

    I always advise my clients to emphasize strategies that will drive “scraped” content readers back to the original site. While I’m sure there are uses for these tools, I can’t see why anyone would spend too much time on this issue. Am I missing something?

  5. You might want to check out http://seesources.com – in a first step we use Yahoo API to find to find documents which use similar words as many of the above services do. However, in a second step, these initial matches are screened on an individual basis to increase precision. There is no registration and it’s all free.

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  7. We also offer a similar service to those you listed. You register, upload your content into the scanner and see if it has been plagiarised – it’s mostly for academic essays to see if students have been plagiarising but if you uploaded your web content you’d see all the places where it’s reproduced word-for-word online, with the link to it too and a percentage match.

  8. In my opinion the term plagiarism per se has to be under scrutiny. I think It’s really easy to eradicate plagiarism from schools and universities. The best way to do that, I assume, is to penalize teachers first who do nothing but give their students non-sense information and materials. As a result, students resort to other sources for information who the latter failed to provide them with. In so doing, they unconsciously or purposely try to memorize things by heart assuming that they will get a good grade. We, then, have just as much reason to say that talking about plagiarism is tantamount to talking about bad teachers since the latter is the responsible number. I’m, of course, against this act. But to root it out,I fervently believe, we need some mature and solid solutions.