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Top Free Plagiarism Detection Tools eLearning Professionals Should Have In Mind

Modern technology and the development of Internet have given us access to tons of information any time we desire it and from any place on the planet. Original ideas tend to become rarer and rarer. Everybody seems to be reproducing other people's ideas and presenting them as their own. Although this practice is not anything new, a lot of people might argue that nowadays it has reached its peak. In this article, I'll highlight the top 10 free plagiarism detection tools that will allow eLearning professionals to tackle the plagiarism nightmare.

1. Dupli Checker

This is one of the most effective free plagiarism detection tools on the Internet. While it doesn’t have a fancy interface, it certainly gets the job done well.

Pros

  • Free Of Charge
    You don’t have to pay anything. Whether you are a one-time user or plan to make the most of this free plagiarism detection tool on a daily basis, you are not required to pay for subscription.
  • Ease Of Use
    You are presented with a very basic, functional layout that does not require for any previous experience with plagiarism detection tools.
  • 2 Ways To Check For Plagiarism
    Duplichecker enables you to either copy and paste your text in the field and then check it for plagiarisms, or upload a Docx or Text file from your computer.
  • 50 Plagiarism Scans Per Day For Registered Users
    If you sign up for free, Duplichecker allows you to do 50 plagiarism checks in a single day.

Cons

  • 1 Search Per Day For Unregistered Users
    If you choose not to indulge in a free sign-up then you are limited to only 1 plagiarism check per day.

Plans And Pricing

  • No paid version is available.

2. Copyleaks

This cloud-based authentication platform enables you to track how eLearning content is being used all around the Internet.

Pros

  • For Education And Business
    Different sections on the platform for educational and business purposes. The business section addresses to publishers and SEO agencies, while the education section to schools, students and universities.
  • Multiple File Formats And Languages
    Copyleaks is able to scan content in various file formats and all Unicode languages.
  • Variety Of Tools
    Copyleaks allows you to use the API tool to search for plagiarized eLearning content all over the Internet. It also offers a mobile app along with an MS Office add-on, which you can use to check for plagiarisms as you are writing a document on MS Word.

Cons

  • You Can Use It Only After You Sign Up
    Unfortunately, you need to create an account for free first, in order to search for plagiarized eLearning content.
  • Free Page Restriction
    Only the first 10 pages are for free.

Plans And Pricing

  • For Businesses
    If you sign up for free you are allowed to check 2,500 words per month. There are flexible subscription plans starting from $9,99 per month to check up to 25,000 words without day limit. You may also choose to give a prepaid amount of money once that corresponds to specific number of words to be checked monthly.
  • For Education
    The Free package works the same as for businesses. Starting from $10,99 you can check for up to 25,000 words. The prepaid option for business, is also available here.

3. PaperRater

A multi-purpose free plagiarism detection tool that is used in over 140 countries.

Pros

  • 3 Tools In 1: Proofreader & Grammar Check, Vocabulary Builder, Plagiarism Checker
    If you need to check your text for grammar mistakes, have it proofread with suggestions for different wording, or have it checked for plagiarism, this is the tool.
  • Developed By Industry Experts
    Developed by a team of computational linguists and subject matter experts.
  • Fast Results
    PaperRater boasts accurate results in seconds.

Cons

  • No Ability To Save Reports
    If you are looking to store result report, then you are out of luck here.

Plans And Pricing

  • Basic
    Free of charge, submissions of up to 5 pages, grammar and spelling check, writing suggestions tool and automated scoring.
  • Premium
    $7,95 per month or $95,40 per year. All above features included plus proofreader with simultaneous plagiarism check, no ads, file uploading ability and faster processing times.

4. Plagiarisma

Basic and easy-to-use, multi-purpose plagiarism detection tool that is used by students, teachers, writers, as well as various members of the literary industry.

Pros

  • 190+ Languages Supported
    There is virtually no language excluded from the list.
  • Plagiarism Check By URL, Online Or File Upload
    Copy and Paste or Τype your text in the appropriate field, provide a URL, or upload a file from your computer. Supported file types include: TXT, HTML, RTF, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PDF, ODT, EPUB, FB2, PDB.
  • Firefox And Chrome Extensions
    Have your text quickly checked by downloading the add-ons.

Cons

  • Limited Plagiarism Checks Per Day
    If you are looking for a tool for extensive use then look somewhere else. The free version has a limited number of plagiarism checks.

Plans And Pricing

  • Variety Of Plans
    Free version of Plagiarisma offers all the aforementioned benefits. If registered, you can upgrade to Premium Members hip. Pricing plans start from $5 for one day for up to 100 searches. For unlimited searches, there is a $25 or $30 subscription for 3 or 6 months, respectively. For up to 25 users, there is a fixed monthly subscription of $25 for unlimited number of searches.

5. Plagiarism Checker

User-friendly, entirely free plagiarism detection tool to check whether content is plagiarized.

Pros

  • Detailed Guidelines
    One of the easiest to use free plagiarism detection tools due to its step-by-step approach on how to use it.
  • Check If Others Have Plagiarized Your Online Content
    Click on the “For authors” option to check whether they have plagiarized your content and posted it on the Internet. You may also get a notification by email.
  • Entirely Online
    No downloads required.

Cons

  • Supports Only Google Or Yahoo Browsers
    If you are using none of those 2 browsers then you might want to look elsewhere

Plans And Pricing

6. Plagium

Basic but fully functional free plagiarism detection tool with different levels of search.

Pros

  • Easy to use
    You basically copy-paste text. It features 2 types of searches, quick search and deep search.
  • Free For Up To 5,000 Characters Each Time
    For up to 5,000 characters per search you don't have to pay any fee.

Cons

  • Limited Free Features
    Only if you sign up you can upload your file, have it checked, and receive a word usage report on it.

Plans And Pricing

  • Quick Search And Deep Search Offers
    If you are a frequent user of the platform, Plagium urges you to pay for a subscription. For $9,99 per month you can do 287 Quick Searches and 143 Deep Searches. For $24,99 per month you can do 699 Quick Searches and 349 Deep Searches. The last option is a $99,99 per month subscription which offers 2,949 Quick Searches and 1,474 Deep Searches.

7. PlagScan

Plagiarism detection tool for both individuals and businesses that checks texts against online content, scientific journals and the user’s documents as well.

Pros

  • Fully Online
    No download required.
  • 3 Ways To Do Plagiarism Checks
    You can select from: a) directly pasting you text into the appropriate field, b) importing the file from the web by entering its URL at the indicated area, or uploading it from a cloud storage area such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive, c) uploading a file from your desktop.
  • No Subscriptions For Private Users
    The user pays on-demand according to their respective needs.
  • Integration Features
    Businesses can integrate Plagscan into several Content and Learning Management Systems (CMS/LMS).

Cons

  • Relatively Complicated Interface
    As opposed to competitive platforms the interface seems quite advanced.

Plans And Pricing

  • Private Users
    Starts from $5,99 per month with online storage time for up to 6 months.
  • Organizations
    Accounts for schools, universities or companies start from $19,99 per month with unlimited online storage time along with a variety of administration and cloud features.

8. PlagTracker

Fast free plagiarism detection tool that searches both websites and academic databases by copying and pasting text, or file uploading.

Pros

  • Addressing To Different User Groups
    Students, teachers, publishers and site owners can take advantage of Plagtracker.
  • Detailed Reports
    The user gets informed as to what parts need to be cited and a list of sources to be used.
  • 6 Languages Supported
    Check your eLearning content in English, French, Spanish, German, Romanian and Italian.

Cons

  • No File Upload In Free Version
    You have to purchase a premium package to have your file uploaded and checked.

Plans And Pricing

  • One Premium Offer
    For $7,49 per month you can upload and check larger files with faster processing times, grammar checks and unlimited checking volume for multiple documents.

9. Quetext

Basic layout and functional interface that checks against the Internet, as well as various databases.

Pros

  • No Subscriptions
    Quetext is entirely free.
  • Unlimited Usage
    No account, registration or downloads needed.

Cons

  • No File Uploading
    Users can only copy and paste text in the designated area.

Plans And Pricing

  • Free of charge. No premium memberships. No subscriptions available.

10. Viper

A 3-step free plagiarism detection tool with user-friendly interface.

Pros

  • 100% Free
    All features are available to everyone on the Internet.
  • Extensive Plagiarism Check Range
    Your document will be checked against more than 10 billion online resources including journals, books and websites.

Cons

  • Limited Target Group
    Mostly targeted to academic students as it is widely used for evaluating student papers.

Plans And Pricing

  • No subscriptions available. Entirely free platform.

Plagiarism is no mild act in the world of eLearning. Are you still unconvinced about the importance of plagiarism check platforms in eLearning? Read the article 5 Important Reasons To Use Free Plagiarism Checkers in eLearning to discover some fundamental points that will demonstrate the significance of plagiarism checkers.

Checking your papers and posts for plagiarism is important if you run a serious business, write an essay for college, or are finishing up an important official release. You should make certain that everything that you publish is original, because you don’t want the owner of the content to come after you and accuse you of using their content without their permission, maybe even attracting the attention of their lawyers. If you have a blog, you have to write original content, where possible, so that you won’t be punished by Google for duplicate content. If you quote, use proper citation, mentioning the author, title of publication, and page number or URL of the source. While most content creators would agree with this “link for quote” approach, some wouldn’t. In these cases or in cases of doubt, you need to contact the creator first, and ask for permission. This is extremely important if you plan on publishing something with commercial interests.

If you are a teacher or some type of instructor at an educational institution or you need to check the work of people regularly for originality, you can use a wide variety of tools for a plagiarism check that can help you to see if work is original or if you need to tell the author that they should quote a source for their obviously copied work. Here is list of ten sites that you can use, along with a quick review of each one and our results from a test run of the content.

For our sample purposes, we have used content from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism to see how each tool performs.

1. Copyscape.com (Free/Paid)

This tool is free, but if you want more results and details, you need to purchase the premium version of this tool. The premium version charges you five cents per page for the plagiarism check for each page that is checked with the tool. You simply cut and paste your URL into the given search box and the tool searches around online to see if there are copies of your content on the net.

Pros: You can get an accurate picture of any of your content that is being copied and the magnitude of that being copied;

Cons: You have to pay 5 cents per copy check

When we plugged in the URL of the content from the site, we received a list of 10 sites that apparently have similar content. The content listed includes exact matches, content that is similar to your copy, partial copies and content that has been modified from your original form.

2. Grammarly.com (Free Trial/Paid) Winner “Accuracy”

This tool is free to run your content, but once the results come up you are prompted to sign up for a free 7 day trial. Although you can cancel your subscription before those seven days are up, you can also choose a subscription plan – the options are $29.95 a month, $59.95 quarterly or $139.95 annually.

Pros: The information that is given back to you is pretty accurate.

Cons: This is a paid side and the details given for the content are pretty intense, most people won’t really get it unless they have a university degree in English.

We took a couple of paragraphs of the content and pasted it into the box. The results we got back included a score of 42 out of 100, “weak, needs revision”. Unoriginal text was detected, there was some issue with sentence structure, and there were six apparent issues with the writing style and vocabulary use. Of course, you would have to pay for a membership to see what those issues were.

3. Writecheck.com (Paid only)

This tool is not free, in fact it actually requires that you sign up for an account and choose a payment option, the lowest cost one being $7.95 per paper check. This site is geared towards university or college students who want to turn a paper in to their instructor and want to ensure that it is accurate and well-cited as well as being free from plagiarism. Upon submission, the writing is checked for similarities and phrases and quotes that are not cited against 250 million student papers, 110,000 published works and the world wide web.

Pros: This is one of the most comprehensive plagiarism checkers available online.

Cons: It’s not free and can be quite costly for a single use. There is no option for a free check to see if you like the tool before you buy.

4. Plagscan.com (Paid only)

This is another way to detect plagiarism that is not free. You can’t even run a free trial to see if you like the interface of this tool, it prompts you immediately to sign up for a paid account running on a system that they call “Plag Points”. Each “Plag Point” allows you to analyse 100 words or a fraction of a document. Obviously, we did not test this one out, but it seems like it is pretty much on par as far as cost compared to other paid sites. There is quite a bit of detail that is returned to you as the user when you run a scan using this tool.

Pros: You can cancel your membership if you do try the site and don’t like it.

Cons: You can’t try the service before you make a purchase. If you want to cancel your membership you need to explain why. As far as we are concerned, if you are not happy, there is a reason, but you shouldn’t have to explain yourself.

5. Turnitin.com (Paid only)

This site is geared towards teaching professionals and is generally meant for institutions who wish to open an account in the name of the school. The motto of the site is to prevent plagiarism and motivate students. The school has to get a quote of what it would cost for a membership, then the paper in question can be entered into the system to be checked. Originality reports details where matches are found to other papers in the database. Sources are listed and instructors can filter so that quotes are eliminated. The cost of this program may not be worth it if you are not using it every day for several projects daily.

Pros: Very useful for instructors – can create a data base of students and where they stand – can be used as a tool to help students to strengthen their writing skills.

Cons: Geared towards schools and instructors, not webmasters.

6. Plagium.com (Free, but…)

This site is free to use, but does request a donation if you like the service. When we entered a few paragraphs of text from the linked page, it returned 9 possible content matches. Five of those had copied the content 100%, although one of those was the original site. You can get a pretty good idea of how original or copied the content is.

Pros: The program is completely free to use.

Cons: There is not much detail around what you are looking at as far as analysis, but the program does provide a list of sites where duplicate content has been found.

7. Scanmyessay.com (Free, but…)

This site shows a free download, but we did not do the free download because we didn’t want to deal with the nag that would pop up for payment after the initial trial. We just found this one to be mentioned quite a bit online and thought it was a good program to include in our list of possible content copy checkers. There is a full description of how the downloaded program works to identify plagiarism and it seems to hit all of the highlights that most programs do. As we said before, we are not sure if you would need to pay for the program after a download, because we did not proceed with the download.

Pros: Free download

Cons: Not sure if there is a fee to use the program or if you are charged to see the results that come up after you have scanned your material.

8. Plagiarism-detect.com (Free) Winner “Free” (Currently offline)

As far as free sites to check for plagiarism go, this one is quite detailed and pretty accurate. The results were quick and listed right there on the screen for us to see, so it took the guesswork out of what we were checking. The interface of the tool was quite plain and simple to view, so it was not at all confusing. On the left two boxes show up that show the number of the words in the text and the sentences that are believed to be copied from another source. You can save the results, print them or insert a new project by clearing out the box. This is a pretty good program for a freebie.

Pros: Free to use, fast results. The details are clear and simple to read and provide a good amount of information that is useful.

Cons: None, that we could see right away, but if we continued to use the tool, some may arise for sure.

9. Dustball.com (Free, but…)

This is another free tool that lets you copy your content into the box to be checked. We did just that and found that the exact content that we had copied into other free sites did not return the same amount of accuracy. Only two short sentence fragments were returned as “possible plagiarism” which does not instill much confidence, especially given the detail we saw in some of the earlier free programs we tried with much more detailed results.

Pros: Free to use with a paid version also available.

Cons: Not sure how accurate the free version really is. The more text you paste in the longer the check takes. If you are dealing with a long essay, it seems like the check could take an hour.

10. Plagiarisma.net (Free, but…)

This free tool allows you to cut and paste your content into the box and select several search engines to run the check. The end result pops up with a list of sites that contain duplicate content. This site showed the actual content that was duplicated (for free), not just the sites that had the content. Not all of the sites that were listed by Grammarly and Copyscape showed up, interestingly enough. We did not really want to trust the results on this one since we saw more accurate results from other free sites that we had already tried.

Pros: Free to use.

Cons: Not too certain how accurate the results are.

Tips For Webmasters

When you run a plagiarism check it is important to understand the results. Paid tools probably have more instructions than free ones, so that is important to note. If you are looking for a free tool, then the selection of good ones is pretty limited. Anyway, you need to try and compare them to see which one you like the best. Some have complicated interfaces while others are quite plain and simple to use. If you only plan on checking a few documents once in a while and are not too concerned with accuracy, then a free online tool may be enough for your purposes.

If, however, you are a teacher or have your own website and are concerned about content theft (without proper accreditation) then you should consider a paid tool that will provide you with accurate information and where exactly you can find your copied content. Many people will copy your content and that, in itself is fine, so long as they give you a backlink for that content and provide the source of the original content in their reproduction.

Unfortunately, not so many people are that honest and you may have to hunt around online to ensure that you are not being ripped off by content grabbers. If it is a big concern to you, then you can use certain types of anti-theft publication tools where the content cannot be easily copied or printed if someone wants to reproduce it.

Anti-copying can be made possible by disabling the right click option when people scan your content (Source). However, in many cases, current browsers are immune to these “right-click prevention”-scripts, and several of these methods are not working any longer.

Check online often and run your content to see if it has been reproduced. Even with the most stringent anti-copying measures, there are still people that will find a way to copy your content without your permission. Take all of the necessary precautions and make sure that your content is not stolen from your site.

Do you have any tips to share on how to prevent plagiarism being a webmaster? Please share in the comments below…

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