Verdict: During tests, Copyscape’s plagiarism scanner performed well, identifying plagiarism in four out of the six test documents.
|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.Minimum number of credits: 100 @ 5c ($5);Maximum number of credits: 10,000@ 5c ($500).|
|Maximum word count? (if any)||Unlimited/ not specified. Searches can exceed 2,000 words but this is not recommended.|
|Resubmissions allowed? If so, is this limited?||Each resubmission or scan will deduct 1 credit, worth 5c.|
|Type of scanner E.g. software download, copy and paste, upload document online. Say if multiple options are offered.||“Copy and paste’ online scanner.|
|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||None – the user can only cut and paste text into the online scanner.|
|Extra features? E.g. grammar checker, spelling checker||Offers facility for checking for plagiarism on webpages by entering the website’s URL.|
|Support offered? E.g. phone, email etc||There is an FAQ page, an online forum and a contact link.|
|Report / results|
|Type of report Downloadable? Shareable?||Reports are generated within the browser but these cannot be downloaded and 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||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 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?|
|Copyscape‘s website has a simple, clean looking design that isn’t too fussy or complicated whilst not appearing basic or outdated. In addition to the development of a plagiarism scanner, the website also offers a facility for checking for plagiarised content on webpages by scanning the content of individual URLs.The plagiarism scanner which features on the website cannot be used at all without some kind of subscription, however, purchasing credits for it is a much simpler process than other, similar websites – there aren’t multiple options to choose from, it’s as simple as paying $5 for 500 credits (the minimum number) up to $500 for 50,000 credits. The credits are valid for a year which, in the case of the latter option, would mean a user would have to scan 192 documents a day for five days a week to use them all up!|
The scanner itself is fairly basic but, again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, anything being checked has to be copied and pasted directly into the browser and this would be a drawback for anyone checking lots of documents – incorporating a file upload facility into the browser could potentially save some users lots of time and, considering people pay to use this scanner, it’s not a lot to ask for.
During tests, Copyscape‘s plagiarism scanner performed well, identifying plagiarism in four out of the six test documents. It detected blanked plagiarism where text had been copied and pasted off another website as well as detecting work plagiarised from an online pfd. In addition, it spotted plagiarised work where some words had been changed and where some of the words had been omitted. The checker did not detect an entirely paraphrased article, nor did it spot the plagiarism of an ebook.
Copyscape is slightly more accurate than the average plagiarism scanner, although there are still free scanners out there which identify as much plagiarism, so it’s still probably worth saving your pennies unless you’ve got money burning a hole in your pocket.