Check for unauthorized copying with Desktop Plagiarism Checker

Check text for plagiarism with this free Web-based tool and service.

Plagiarism is a big problem in the online world, not to mention a very old one in academia, government, and industry. Some modern tools have made it easier for teachers, administrators, and employers to check for plagiarism in text submitted by writers, test takers, job seekers, and others who might seek to gain an advantage from others' labors or property (it's known as "stealing").

Plagiarisma's Desktop Plagiarism Checker is a handy interface for a Web-based plagiarism search tool that supports more than 190 languages and many document types. The software and service are free, but you must create an online account to use them. You can sign in via Facebook and other social media, too. Registering gave us access to more features, such as spell checkers and a task scheduler.

Desktop Plagiarism Checker has a very simple interface, with a blank field for pasting or typing in text and the option to search Google, Bing, or Yahoo, on one tab, and Google Scholar or Google Books on another tab. We could also specify an exact search, though the program uses fuzzy logic for finding near misses (which sometimes turn out to be hits).

There's a check box to search the TOR network. Selecting this produces a pop-up warning for the user to show that TOR is only for checking single sentences and only when other searches have failed, and that abusing the TOR network will get your IP banned. But we didn't need to use TOR since we planned to search for material we knew we'd find. And find it we did.

We simply pasted some raw text, chose our search engine, deselected the exact search feature to catch edits and typos, and clicked Check Duplicates. After some thinking, Desktop Plagiarism Checker returned three matches, exactly where we'd expected to find them. Satisfied, we turned the tool loose on some other documents with similar results.

Tools like Desktop Plagiarism Checker and Plagiarisma's Web site make detection of online plagiarism easier.

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