How to Check for Plagiarism for Free
How will you feel when your sweat, your dearly won writing skills, your articles, or anything else you have struggled to put into words suddenly sneak into another blog or article directory without being credited for it? Surely, you won’t be happy at all (I speak from experience).But this happens and will continue to happen because internet theft is unfortunately thriving more and more.
If it happened once, it will happen again
Unscrupulous people will always prey on valuable content to the point that several internet marketers have learnt to shut their mouths and keep any new profitable niches they make money from wrapped up in secrecy. That figures, because as soon as they disclose the secret to the public, their content will be automatically replicated.
Freshly stolen content is not only a way to generate money; it serves also as a traffic generator or magnet, since the article can be spun and re-submitted to several directories.
Duplicate Content or Plagiarism
First, be aware of the following.There is a difference between duplicate content which can be legal (if you don’t spam) and plagiarism which is not. Having your article that you have written yourself submitted to several article directories for traffic increase is one thing, but having somebody else steal your identity and take credit for writing your article is another. Keep in mind that several article directories allow people to re-use your article on their blogs or websites as long as your name or pen name stays where it is.
For legal issues you will need conclusive evidence that your content has been plagiarized. To do so, you need the help of one of the following web services.
CopyScape : It is an online plagiarism checker service, checking similar texts content and where else they appear on the web. The service is free, but pay attention to the way it checks your content. Since it checks word by word, you will be surprised to see that it may lists several websites having nothing to do with your content, except from some words here and there that everyone uses.
PlagSpotter: What applies to Copyscape, applies here too, with an extra. Plagspotter is not totally free, but has the benefit, if you subscribe, to automatically monitor scans of your URLs for duplicate content, and notify you by email should any instance of plagiarism occurs.
CopyGator: This is slightly a different service as CopyGator monitors your RSS feed. As soon as your published content is republished in the blogosphere, CopyGator will automatically send a notification, and build an overview page of your content which is being duplicated, or plagiarized.
How often do you get plagiarized?
Duplichecker: this is another free website to check your text. The maximum word limit is 2000 words, which is more than enough. However the results were poor when I ran a duplicate content search about the first paragraph of an article I submitted in the past to some article directories and which was duplicated several times. Unfortunately, duplichecker.com returned one single result.
Articlechecker: this service uses Google and Yahoo search engines to check for duplicate content. When I performed the same search as the previous one, it returned four results, which is much better. One of these results returned from docstoc was a clear evidence of plagiarism. Much to my surprise, my whole article was copied as it is and offered as a downloadable PDF, with a different name than the one I used. The only dumb change was the title itself, which, by the way, was irrelevant to article content.
Plagium : offers a free and paid service. Their text checker has the ability to check in several languages, including French, Spanish, German, etc. The free service can check up to 24,383 characters (not words). When running the same test again, Plagium.com returned two results only, but one of these results was new as it was not returned by the other services I used before.
Bottom line: What service should you use? First, if you publish your original content once and want real time updates for plagiarism issues, then you should definitely consider professional monitoring. A service like PlagSpotter.com can be very useful, as you cannot know when exactly your content will be duplicated or plagiarized. If, however, you can’t pay for their subscription, you can always consider the other free services; they are very helpful as well.