Tools for detecting plagiarism when working with contract writers
September 9, 2014 5:11 PM   Subscribe

I am working with contract writers developing content for a website. Due to the nature of what we're working on and the fact that we have very loose relationship with the contractors, plagiarism is a major concern. Are there any good online tools (free or paid) available for checking copy for plagiarism?

I have used Turnitin before, but apparently it is only available for institutions. I need something I can sign up for as an individual. Thanks!
posted by gertzedek to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
posted by hazel79 at 5:20 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I had great luck with inserting phrases into google. Worked a treat when I taught high school.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:26 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]

I agree with Ruthless Bunny. If you're not dealing with 100s of writers, just google a few phrases. Not too long, not too short, but shorter is better. You'll find the sweet spot.
Then you can weed out the false positives, and look more closely at the others.
How sad that 'writers' do this. I wouldn't, and not only ethically. I could not stand to be judged on someone else's work. I'm a perfectionist and an over-the-top prima donna when it comes to that.
posted by LonnieK at 5:46 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Grammarly checks for plagiarism.
posted by Youremyworld at 6:47 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I just read on a forum today that Copyscape missed a lot of phrases for someone who writes for Textbroker (which uses Copyscape).

The client apparently used Plagscan (has a price plan for individuals), which caught enough similarity that everything needs to be reworked. I'm not sure how Copyscape works, but it may search for the whole block and not parts? So it might depend on what you want found and compared.

I, too, have great luck using Google. I use that method all the time to find a newspaper article I read based on a few words I remember, since my local paper's search never works for me.
posted by AllieTessKipp at 7:10 PM on September 9, 2014

I use Google. It not only helps me find copied marketing material in my daily editorial work, several years ago it helped me find text that was plagiarized from one of my own published articles.
posted by caryatid at 7:17 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Writecheck is Turnitin's product for individuals, which sounds like exactly what you need
posted by firesine at 10:27 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

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