Verdict: Due to the problems accessing Academic Plagiarism’s scanner and the general lack of support from its staff, this scanner couldn’t be tested and therefore can’t be recommended – jog on!
|What are the subscription options? e.g. free, paid only, paid and free. If paid options, what length of subscription/price structure is offered?||Online checker may not be used without a subscription. No trial or free credits.$5 – 1 day pass;$20 – Monthly pass;|
$45 – 3 months pass;
$70 – 6 months pass.
|Maximum word count? (if any)||Maximum 10,000 words.|
|Resubmissions allowed? If so, is this limited?||Unlimited.|
|Type of scanner E.g. software download, copy and paste, upload document online. Say if multiple options are offered.||Unable to test – see general observations.|
|Sources checked E.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 supported E.g. doc, docx, rtf, open office, pdfs, ppts||Unable to test – see general observations.|
|Extra features? E.g. grammar checker, spelling checker||None.|
|Support offered? E.g. phone, email etc||There is an FAQ section as well as a contact link and online chat facility (manned during office hours). When contacted by email, no reply was received on three occasions.|
|Report / results|
|Type of report Downloadable? Shareable?||Unable to test – see general observations.|
|Side by side comparison to plagiarism?||Unable to test – see general observations.|
|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||Unable to test – see general observations.|
|Basic plagiarism – copied and pasted from an online pdf||Unable to test – see general observations.|
|Some words removed – copied and pasted from a website source||Unable to test – see general observations.|
|Some words changed – copied and pasted from a website source||Unable to test – see general observations.|
|Full paraphrasing – copied and pasted from a website source||Unable to test – see general observations.|
|Basic plagiarism – copied and pasted from an electronic book||Unable to test – see general observations.|
|General observations Ease 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?|
|This was the second plagiarism scanner in a row which couldn’t be tested because the website was malfunctioning. Academic Plagiarism claims to be “a world leader in plagiarism detection” but this unsubstantiated claim is undermined by the fact I was never able to get past the registration stage.Academic Plagiarism offers both a free and a subscription based scanner, both using the same technology but the latter option coming with more features. However, I was unable to sign up for either of these services despite numerous attempts.|
During my first attempt, my registration details were processed and I was told I would be sent an email which required validating before I could use the site – pretty standard stuff. However, the validation email didn’t arrive (no, it wasn’t in my junk folder either) so I requested a new one. Nothing happened, so I moved on.
I came back to the site a few days later and encountered the same problem. This time I tried to register for the free scanner but the same thing happened – I filled in all my details and I was told to check my emails for a link – but nothing came. I tried logging on to different computers, three in total, and tried different versions of windows and internet explorer, all to no avail. In the end I tried seven times to register for an account, only stopping there because I ran out of email addresses. When I tried to register with an existing email, I was told I was already registered but, when I tried to log in, access was denied. I tried other approaches, such as requesting a new password, but no emails ever made it to my many inboxes.
Two support requests were sent to the website, from two different email addresses, on two different occasions, but neither received a reply and I wonder if the emails got through. It is surprising, however, that a website which charges for its services doesn’t notice when it doesn’t receive any new subscriptions for a few days – is no-one there inquisitive enough to investigate? If emails aren’t being received from customers – again – does this not strike the website staff as odd?
Due to the problems accessing Academic Plagiarism’s scanner and the general lack of support from its staff, this scanner couldn’t be tested and therefore can’t be recommended – jog on!