The Pensters Plagiarism Scanner - plagiarism checking software
Review of The Pensters Plagiarism Software
Verdict: Those who are looking for plagiarism detectors are advised to search elsewhere!
|What are the subscription options? e.g. free, paid only, paid and freeIf paid options, what length of subscription/price structure is offered?||Software downloadable on a trial basis.|
|Maximum word count? (if any)||Unlimited/ not specified.|
|Resubmissions allowed? If so, is this limited?||Five scans per month allowed. Customers of the site, who have purchased a model answer, are allowed up to 100 scans a month.|
|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;
|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||None.|
|Support offered? E.g. phone, email etc||There is no support offered for the online plagiarism checker although there is an FAQ section focusing on the paid-for services it offers.|
|Report / results|
|Type of report Downloadable? 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||Not detected. The online scanner did not identify 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 website 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||Unable to test – users are only permitted five scans per month.|
|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?|
|One of the most worrying thing about ThePensters.com is the replacement of the "s' in Pensters with a large dollar sign – this adorns the banner across the top of the website. ThePensters.com is a brokerage website which provides a custom essay writing service for its customers. Its plagiarism scanner is a "free" resource which only its registered writers and previous customers can use. The first drawback to the scanner is that you first have to register as a writer for the website. Unlike a simple online registration, they require the user to upload a copy of their CV (you can grab a free template from here if you dont have one), three samples of their work and even a picture. Once registered, writers are only permitted a meagre five scans per month by contrast to previous customers of the website, who can have up to a hundred per month. This can't be topped up in anyway, even with a subscription, so it's very limited in this respect. Why the website has done this is a mystery – using the scanner is much like using any search engine, it's an entirely automated process which runs on algorithms, so there is no need to restrict its use in this way.The scanner is also very limited in other respects too. A website devoted to providing custom essays might be expected to be well versed in detecting plagiarism, yet during five tests carried out, it only detected plagiarism in one instance, where work had been directly copied and pasted from an internet source. It did not detect plagiarism in samples where words had been removed or changed, nor did it detect paraphrased work. Due to the limits imposed on the number of scans carried out by writers, the scanner could not be tested to see if it detected plagiarism from an electronic book; however, on its track record, this seems unlikely. After completing the checks and feeling pretty disappointed, I returned to the home page only to discover my picture under a heading "Latest Approved Writers" – along with an invitation to read my blog! This is probably why it wouldn't let me complete the registration process without uploading a picture first...
Given the hassle of registering and the poor performance of its scanner, those who are looking for plagiarism detectors are advised to search elsewhere!