Cheaters Beware – CheckForPlagiarism.net

July 17, 2008 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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The following is a paid review and is completely of my own opinion and is not influenced by being paid. If you’re interested in having me review your site or product, please view my advertising page.

Plagiarism, as defined by the Random House Unabridged Dictionary (2006), is “the unauthorized use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.

Plagiarism is nothing new. You can find examples of plagiarism all throughout history. Some scholars even believe that the bible plagiarized stories from other religious. And there is no shortage of famous examples of plagiarism.

With the advent of the Internet and the common-use of it for “research” these days, plagiarism is more widespread today then ever.

This is where CheckForPlagiarism.net comes in.

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CheckForPlagiarism.net is a paid service that allows members to submit documents, which will then be scanned and analyzed for any plagiarized content.

Who is it For?

Basically, as stated on the site itself, CheckForPlagiarism appears to be for anyone who is interested in protecting their intellectual property rights and wants to avoid running the risk of being penalized for either intentional or un-intentional plagiarism.

A user of the site will usually break down into one of the following groups:

Teachers

It is obvious why such a site would be useful for teachers. Students are usually the most likely to use plagiarized content. In fact, there are many sites on the web where students can buy completely pre-written essays, thesis’s, and reports.

Previously, teachers would have to do their own research to try and prove the student of plagiarizing by finding the exact source through basic search-engine searches. A service such as CheckForPlagiarism could greatly be of aid to teachers.

Students

While it may seem strange at first for a student to purchase such a service, it actually makes sense when you consider how often plagiarized material happens unintentionally. With college and university students facing expulsion for submitted plagiarized writings, using a service such as CheckForPlagiarism before sending in assignments could help catch any accidental plagiarism.

Professional Writers

While students can face automatic failures and expulsion, professionals risk loss of job, lawsuits, and legal fines of up to $250,000. They also risk any future success within their profession since word tends to follow you when you have been caught for plagiarism.

Editors, Legal Department, and Management

Owners of newspapers, magazines, and other publishing companies are especially concerned with filtering out plagiarized material as they face steep legal fines and lawsuits. While it is unlikely that large institutions will put all of their plagiarism-checking efforts into an online service such as CheckForPlagiarism.net, smaller publishing companies could do very well by doing so.

How it Works

CheckForPlagiarism is an automated service which checks against both live and cached Internet resources including blogs, message boards, public-PDFs, and various other web-based repositories.

In addition, it checks against offline/physical books, articles, magazines, journals, etc. This is a useful feature since it is something that cannot be easily be searched for by somebody using Google, for example.

CheckForPlagiarism.net claims to check against millions of documents, papers, and articles world-wide. They also state that their service uses patented sentence-structure checking algorithms which sift out and identify even the most subtle hints at plagiarism.

Unfortunately, I was not provided with a temporary free account to test their service for myself, but they did provide a sample report to see how their system works.

The screenshot below shows the beginning of the report. As you can see, in this example it was found that the submitted document contained 52% plagiarized content. It then goes on to state the exact sources of which are plagiarized from:

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The next screenshot shows a later part of the report. Each suspected plagiarized section is outlined with a reference to the original source:

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Plagiarism upon Plagiarism?

Upon doing my research for this review, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu. Almost exactly a year ago, I did a paid review of iPlagiarismCheck.com.

At first, I thought that CheckForPlagiarism.net and iPlagiarismCheck.com were simply different sites with a similar service, but upon closer inspection, apart from a different domain name, design, and layout, I’m left wondering if they are actually run/owned by the same source.

If not, then it appears that there is a “master” plagiarism script or service and both of these sites are simply “skins”, which both provide the exact same service from a 3rd-party script or service. This would be akin to how many poker rooms or hosting resellers work.

A WHOIS query on both domains returns inconclusive since even though iPlagiarismCheck.com shows a name, CheckForPlagiarism.net is privately registered.

The services are completely identical, right down to the exact prices, except for the yearly membership price is $30 cheaper on CheckForPlagiarism.com.

If they are indeed owned by the same person and were just made separately for some reason, then it would be advised that the owner disclose this somewhere, or better yet, close one of the sites down to prevent such confusion.

Update: The owner responded in the comments below confirming that both sites are indeed owned by the same company, so this should clear up any confusion or possible insinuations made above.

Pricing Packages

CheckForPlagiarism claims that their monthly/yearly fees are 35-70% lower than their competitors. This was difficult to check up on since many such services do not publicly disclose their prices such as TurnItIn.com, but I’ll take their word for it.

CheckForPlagiarism also provides a refund/money-back guarantee. However, it is not unconditional:

“Once your document has been submitted for processing you will no longer be eligible for a refund. If however, there is a problem with your plagiarism-originality-report, please contact our help desk and we can review your request for a refund.

Money-Back Guarantee is limited to an individual and/or an institution proving that our plagiarism results fall short in comparision to any of our leading competitiors in all areas of plagiarism checking (Internet Checking, Database Checking, etc.).”

So basically, you need to use another service to compare the results and prove that the other service returned more relevant results. At least, that is how it is worded in the second paragraph.

CheckForPlagiarism offers 3 packages:

  • Student Edition Package – The student package allows for 5 document submissions. Only personal or self-written documents are allowed to be submitted in this package. Priced at $20, this works out to $4 per submission which is very reasonable, especially considering that students are unlikely to be submitting more than 1 big or important essay, thesis, or report per week.
  • Monthly Edition Package – The monthly edition package allows for an unlimited* amount of submissions for a monthly price of $65.
  • Yearly Edition Package – The yearly package also allows for an unlimited* amount of submissions, but is only $150 for an entire year. For repeat users, the yearly package is significantly cheaper than the monthly edition.

    *Limit of 10 submissions per any 24-hour period.

    There are also customized packages available upon inquiry.

    The chart below compares the features of CheckForPlagiarism with two of their competitors:

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    Conclusion

    There is certainly a use and need for a plagiarism service such as CheckForPlagiarism.net.

    Unfortunately, since I was not given a temporary account to test the service for myself, I was unable to review the actual service first-hand. However, I have reviewed a similar plagiarism-checking site in the past which was almost identical to this one, and I did find the report useful as it found my blatantly plagiarized article I submitted.

    I can see CheckForPlagiarism.net being very useful to teachers, although I must think that it is difficult for teachers to justify shelling out their own money to pay for such a service.

    I would recommend for CheckForPlagiarism to consider offering a free trial. I understand this can be abused, so perhaps offering a per-document fee of $7-$10 would be a good alternative.

    If you’re a teacher, publisher, student, or even a webmaster like me who owns a content site such as movie review site and wants to check against submitted plagiarized material, then CheckForPlagiarism.net could be useful to you.

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    Posted: July 17th, 2008 under Paid Reviews  

    11 Responses to “Cheaters Beware – CheckForPlagiarism.net”

    1. EntreBlast says:

      So they are “plagiarizing” another plagiarism site? Confusing! :P

    2. EntreBlast beat me to it, lol.

      I’m not sure why they want to advertise on an internet entrepreneur site. I don’t think there is much demand for their service in our industry.

      • Tyler Cruz says:

        I was a bit confused to this as well, but there are some people in our niche who would find this of use.

        As mentioned in the review, I run a movie review site and sometimes volunteer reviewers will apply for a position on the site and send in partly plagiarized reviews. If my movie site was bigger, I might use a service such as CheckForPlagiarism.net to help weed out such plagiarists.

    3. Jason Bates says:

      Hello Tyler,

      We thank you for your review, and felt we should clear up a couple of points:

      1) You never requested an evaluation account, should you wish, one would be provided for you asap. We did not have your e-mail or other details to create one ourselves.

      2) We are not plagiarizing from iPlagiarismCheck.com we also own that site, as their parent concern, and we do disclose that fact on iPlagiarismCheck.com (please see the bottom copyright notice).

      3) Unfortunately, the refund policy and money-back guarantee has to be stringent as we have had a bad experience with a couple of subscribers in the past.

      The need for a new site was primarily to categorize the service more effectively and also provision sections not just for personal accounts but commercial accounts as well.

      We apologize if this has caused any confusion. For any further queries please let us know. We are always available.

      Lastly, a commenter asked why we advertised on Tyler’s blog? Simply because we advertised through his blog before and as a result a lot of interested parties contacted us. We hope to achieve the same again.

      Thanks again for an honest review Tyler!

      • Tyler Cruz says:

        Hi Jason,

        Normally, advertisers offer a temporary free account to reviewers in their description. Also, since the transaction was done through ReviewMe, I was pressured by their timeframe to put the review up and only had around 65 hours left I believe.

        Normally, if you had purchased the review from me directly, I would have asked you for a test account. However, because of the deadline, I didn’t request for one because I didn’t have time to wait for a day or two for a reply.

        I will update the post in the “Plagiarism upon Plagiarism?” section though to confirm that both sites are indeed owned by the same company.

        Regarding the copyright notice, I did check that, but one site says:

        Copyright © 2008-2009 Plagiarism-Checkers, Inc.

        …while the other says:

        Copyright © 2007 – 2008, CheckForPlagiarism.net All Rights Reserved.

        So that didn’t help me :P

        Anyhow, will update the post right now.

    4. JK Swopes says:

      Wow, I only knew about Copyscape, but this seems to take it to another level.

      For professional/freelance writters that would be very nice.

    5. Tips says:

      looks cool.
      Better than copyscape.
      i will be trying them out soon.

    6. JohnR says:

      Sorry to be so late coming in on this discussion.

      Did you come across the page “CheckForPlagiarism.net – What makes our Plagiarism Checking Service unique?”

      It doesn’t seem so unique – all the statistics quoted there (without quotation marks) are a word-for-word copy of the Plagiarism.org facts page

      I can’t help wondering, what kind of plagiarism detection site plagiarizes from other sites?

      I don’t like the answer I came up with – do you have a take on this?

      Thanks, jr

    7. Sarah says:

      I have research paper that need to be checked and corrected. It’s approximately 90 pages, can you help me and how much will that cost me.

    8. Katja PL says:

      I used this service to correct a master thesis for my law school. I was really disappointed and unsatisfied with the work that they did. It is true that they diminished the plagiarism percentage in my paper, but it was mostly done by deleting whole chunks of text from the paper, mostly not rephrasing sentences or introducing quotations. The paper thus did not have the same message any more.
      Furthermore, they introduced spelling and grammatical mistakes, not corrected them. It was obvious they did not even do a spell-check in the end, and whoever was “correcting” the paper was probably not a well-educated native English speaker, let alone a lawyer.
      For instance, a lawyer would have known that there is no such collocation as “EU Partner states”, they are always called “EU Member States”, and that the word “Article” is always capitalised.
      I could not hand in the paper as they returned it to me, it became unusable. It was definitely not on the level of the Master’s programme of my university, and I would have been failed if I handed it in as they changed it.
      Waste of money …….

    PeerFly

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