If are writing a scientific paper, academic essay or dissertation, at some point you will be required to run it through a plagiarism checker and check if your text is unique before submission. There are plenty of free plagiarism checkers and paid plagiarism detection tools available. These tools compare your text against the documents and files stored in their database and check for overlap. If there an overlap, then the plagiarism detector will display the part your text that contains plagiarism issue and list the document or webpage with which the text overlaps. Then, you should address the issue by either rewording the text or adding appropriate citations to the text.
You should be very careful in choosing an appropriate plagiarism detector for your work. Although there are plenty of free and paid plagiarism checkers available, not all the tools are suitable for academic writing. Most plagiarism detectors check the text against documents on the web, and only a handful of tools check the documents against scientific databases. There are differences between these tools with regards to what constitutes plagiarism. Some tools only look for exact text when checking for plagiarism, whereas other tools perform a more rigorous check and look for slight variations of the text. So if you are copying large amounts of text from a source and selectively rewording the text to avoid plagiarism, a good plagiarism detector will still pick it up.
In this blog, we provide a review of the most popular plagiarism checking tools available in the market at the moment. We access the tools on the basis of suitability for academic writing, cost, and ease of use.
Turnitin is one of the most popular plagiarism checkers used by Universities and Colleges. Your institution will typically subscribe to Turnitin and you will be able to create an account on the system for free. You have to run your assignments and essays through Turnitin before submission. Typically, your institution will tell you what is the acceptable plagiarism score and you have to rewrite and reword your work until you achieve this score. Turnitin has licensing agreements with large academic databases and hence it checks your work against thousands of scientific publications and academic books.
Scribbr plagiarism checker essentially uses Turnitin software and database for detecting plagiarism. While Turnitin is available to Universities, Scribbr is available to students. The results produced by Turnitin and Scribbr will be quite similar to each other as they perform plagiarism checks against the same databases.
IThenticate is a product offered by Turnitin group predominantly to check future scientific papers for plagiarism. Many publishers use iThenticate to check journal papers submitted by authors for plagiarism before publishing. The tool performs plagiarism checks against numerous scientific proprietary databases. Some researchers use iThenticate to check their current publications under preparation against their previously published journal papers from different publishers.
Grammarly plagiarism detection tool is currently being offered as an Addon to Grammarly tool. The academic database against which Grammarly performs plagiarism check is somewhat limited when compared to Turnitin and Scribbr, however Grammarly does perform checks against some research databases. One of the important sources it checks against is the ProQuest database, which contains a large collection of the papers and reports in the field of business and economics.
Copyleaks is the new kid on the block that offers a variety of tools for checking plagiarism. It offers specific services customized to business and academic institutions. The plagiarism checking tools are available in a variety of forms such as Google Doc Addon, MS Word Plugin, mobile App and web interface. Students can signup for the service for a monthly fee. Another interesting tool that is offered by Copyleaks is a utility to compare documents. This allows users to upload two documents and perform a text comparison. This is particularly useful for checking self-plagiarism to avoid copyright issues with previously published journal papers.
Unicheck is another plagiarism checking tool that is used by many Universities worldwide. In addition to checking your text against numerous webpages and documents online, it also allows checking against personal documents stored in Google Drive and DropBox. Although Unicheck doesn’t check your text against many proprietary academic databases, it does check against many open source databases.
7. Free Plagiarism Checkers available online
There are plenty of online plagiarism detectors that check your documents against a variety of sources available online and numerous websites. Some of the popular tools are listed below. Most of these tools offer free check on first few documents. We put these tools to the test by copying a passage from a published research paper and passing them through the tools. Most of the tools detected plagiarism and managed to find the source of the text on ResearchGate website and SPIE journal abstracts page. The process was fairly quick and although there were slight differences in the presentation format, the overall plagiarism detection abilities were comparable.
8. Easybib & QueText
Easybib and QueText are paid plagiarism checkers which checks text against webpages and open source databases. It performs reasonably well although no checks are performed against proprietary academic databases. You can check plagiarism for free in QueText limited number of times. However, Easybib only allows you free checks if you provide credit card details and hence difficult to evaluate.
9. Other Paid and Free Plagiarism Checkers
Other plagiarism checkers that we haven’t extensively tested are listed below. Readers are advised to try these tools out and make the judgment for themselves.