STOP! Have you tried our new plagiarism checker on our home page?

Verdict:There are lots of reasons not to purchase a subscription to Plagium.com: its website is unstable, its pricing structure and search functions are confusing and, most importantly, it’s not as good as detecting plagiarism as some free online checkers – give it a miss!

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Service:  www.plagium.com/

What are the subscription options?e.g. free, paid only, paid and freeIf paid options, what length of subscription/price structure is offered? Online scanner available on a trial basis which will allow the user approximately 2 searches (depending on the length of the submissions). Beyond this, a subscription package is required which  is charged at:$1 – 60,000 search units (10 searches);$5 – 500,000 search units (87 searches);

$10 – 1,100,000 search units (192 searches).

Maximum word count?(if any) Maximum 2,000 characters per search.
Resubmissions allowed?If so, is this limited? Each resubmission or scan will deduct credits, the cost of this varies depending on length of the submission.
Type of scannerE.g. software download, copy and paste, upload document online.  Say if multiple options are offered. ‘Copy and paste’ online scanner.
Sources checkedE.g. internet, any specific journal databases mentioned, any electronic book databases such as Google docs mentioned, past submissions from other students etc Website – no words altered;Website – some words removed;Website – some words changed;

Website – fully paraphrased;

Online pdf;

Electronic book.

File types supportedE.g. doc, docx, rtf, open office, pdfs, ppts None – the user can only cut and paste text into the online scanner.
Extra features?E.g. grammar checker, spelling checker None.
Support offered?E.g. phone, email etc There is a help page which provides a simple user guide. In addition, there is an “about us” page which provides contact email addresses and a link to the website’s blog.
Report  / results
Type of reportDownloadable? Shareable? Reports are generated within the website’s browser but these can’t be downloaded or shared.
Side by side comparison to plagiarism? No.
Accuracy of results – Which sections were detected and which were not (make sure the correct source is identified)
Basic plagiarism – copied and pasted from a website source Detected. The online scanner correctly identified the webpage which contained material that had been plagiarised.
Basic plagiarism – copied and pasted from an online pdf Detected. The online scanner correctly identified the online pdf which contained material that had been plagiarised.
Some words removed – copied and pasted from a website source Not detected. The online scanner did not identify the website which contained material that had been plagiarised.
Some words changed – copied and pasted from a website source Detected. The online scanner correctly identified the webpage which contained material that had been plagiarised.
Full paraphrasing – copied and pasted from a website source Not detected. The online scanner did not identify the website which contained material that had been plagiarised.
Basic plagiarism – copied and pasted from an electronic book Not detected. The online scanner did not identify the electronic book which contained material that had been plagiarised.
General observationsEase of use, overall experience.  If other features were included (e.g. spelling, grammar check), how easy were they to use and how useful were they?
When Plaguim.com was first tested its online plagiarism scanner kept malfunctioning and producing pages of error codes. When tested for the second time, the scanner was more stable, although clicking on the website’s banner still caused an internal server error and more pages of error code.Plagium.com’s website has a simple layout which is easy to use (when working) although there are also many things about the website that are confusing, not least its subscription packages. $1 buys 60,000 search units but these units are like Italian lira on a good day – they’re hardly worth anything. 60,000 search units is equivalent to ten scans and, it gets worse, each scan is restricted to just 2,000 characters – and that’s only around 300 words. As such a 3,000 word essay would use up $1 worth of search units.There is also a confusing option of choosing between a “quick search” or a “deep search”. A quick search implies that fewer sources will be checked against the submission, and is therefore less accurate, yet a “quick search” uses more search units than a “deep search”.  Surely, if the purpose of the scanner is to detect plagiarism, all searches should be “deep searches”? No user of the scanner wants to half look for plagiarism.

The plagiarism scanner itself is fairly easy to use, although no file upload utility is provided so work has to copied and pasted into the browser directly. The scans take place fairly quickly and, if plagiarism is detected, a webpage is opened and a page of search results is displayed, similar to how the search results are displayed in search engines and, incidentally, in a similar format to many of the entirely free online plagiarism checkers.

The scanner also fared as well as the average free online scanner, detecting plagiarism in three out of six test documents. It was able to detect blanket plagiarism and plagiarism where some words had been changed, but not where some words had been removed, nor where words had been entirely paraphrased. It was also unable to detect the plagiarism of an online pdf or an ebook.

There are lots of reasons not to purchase a subscription to Plagium.com: its website is unstable, its pricing structure and search functions are confusing and, most importantly, it’s not as good as detecting plagiarism as some free online checkers – give it a miss!

I also recommend this review of the top three plagiarism checkers on the web, which is on the Tomorrow Studio website.