Verdict: Plagiarisma.net (www.desktop_plagiarism_checker.en.softonic.com) software download is just as unreliable as its online scanner.
|What are the subscription options? e.g. free, paid only, paid and free. If paid options, what length of subscription/price structure is offered?||Free to use on a trial basis. Recurring subscription: $10 a month; One time subscription: $2 for 1 day;|
One time subscription: $10 for 1 month;
One time subscription: $25 for 3 months;
One time subscription: $49 for 6 months;
One time subscription: $99 for 1 year.
|Maximum word count? (if any)||Online checker will only search the first 5,000 characters of each submission.|
|Resubmissions allowed? If so, is this limited?||One scan per day for unregistered users and up to five scans a day for registered users. Unlimited resubmissions for subscribers.|
|Type of scanner E.g. software download, copy and paste, upload document online. Say if multiple options are offered.||Two options offered: “Copy and paste’ online scanner; File uploader.|
|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||Several file types supported including .HTM, .DOC, .PDF, .RTF, .ODT and .TXT.|
|Extra features? E.g. grammar checker, spelling checker||An application on the website will also check spelling but not in the same application which scans for plagiarism.|
|Support offered? E.g. phone, email etc||No support is offered within the software application although the Plagiarisma website, which supplies the software, has an FAQ page and a “contact” link.|
|Report / results|
|Type of report Downloadable? Shareable?||Reports are generated within the browser and these may 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||Not detected. The online scanner did not identify 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||Not detected. The online scanner did not identify 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 correctly identify the electronic book which contained material that had been plagiarised—but 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?|
|Plagiarisma.net returns! From the site which brought you a handy guide on “how to avoid plagerism” [sic] comes the Plagiarisma.net plagiarism scanner software download. The author’s description of the software from the download sight raises an eyebrow or two –it’s written in English, but doesn’t make much sense. For example, it begins by stating, “Stop getting penalized by the search engines!” but, which search engine in the world penalizes its users? It continues: “Stop getting penalized by your university. Read, understand and synthesize your source materials. Use the plagiarism software called Desktop Plagiarism Checker to check the originality of your content. No need to worry because Desktop Plagiarism Checker is a plagiarism checker that will help you avoid the mistake of submitting stolen content…”No need to worry? There’s every need unfortunately because the Plagiarisma.net software download is just as unreliable as its online scanner. During tests the software only detected plagiarism in one out of six test documents. It correctly identified the source of the first test document, which was an example of blanket plagiarism where no words had been changed or removed, but failed to detect plagiarism where words had been removed, changed or entirely paraphrased. Like the online scanner, the software also failed to detect blanket plagiarism from an electronic book, although there is a separate scanner which just checks Google Books and this was able to detect plagiarised content.|
In addition to being an ineffective way to detect plagiarism, the software application is just as fiddly as its online partner – text which is copied and pasted into the scanner has to be searched for three times, on Google, Bing and Yahoo, rather than just carrying out one search across three search engines. Cynics may suspect that this is so that registered users use up their five free daily scans quickly and are compelled to subscribe.
If you are, don’t fall for it, because there are more reliable plagiarism checkers out there which don’t cost a bean!