Plagiarism is becoming an increasingly hot topic in marketing circles. Why? Because thanks to tools like social media platforms, blogs and web forums, content marketing is as immediate, widespread and unfiltered as it’s ever been.
Thankfully, nifty tools exist to help diligent content marketers avoid the slings and arrows of plagiarism: plagiarism checkers. These include a variety of online and offline software tools that enable you to identify plagiarism issues in your written work in one of two ways (sometimes both, depending on the tools).
Types of Plagiarism Checkers
Both types of plagiarism checkers have their benefits, and there are a number of tools on the market that perform each.
- Originality Verification – to verify original work hasn’t been plagiarized from another published work.
- Infringement Detection – to find misuses of an original work elsewhere.
Not all plagiarism checkers are created equal, however. Before Googling “plagiarism checker” and throwing your content into the first on-screen interface you find, you should consider what the tool provides versus what you actually need it to do.
Here are the four most important elements to consider when settling on a plagiarism checker:
When it comes to finding cost-effective plagiarism checkers, you don’t need to look far. With a simple search you’ll come across a number of free and paid solutions. But be careful – paid versions may not be cost-effective and no-cost solutions may require additional downloads or lack the accuracy and functionality you require. The tool you settle on really depends on the results you’re looking for. If all you want to do is ensure the content you’re using is original, a quick no-cost checker may be all you need. If you want a more in-depth analysis across multiple channels, a paid version may be a better choice.
Cost and accessibility often go hand in hand when it comes to plagiarism checkers. Many require additional downloads or add-ons that can delay your work process or require some form of subscription or payment (keep this in mind when working under tight deadlines). Even in the case of free editions, access to and usability of the platform can sometimes be limited by subscription levels or trial periods. Again, it’s important to weigh-up the accessibility of the platform you’d like to use with your purpose for using it.
System integration is a great way to optimize your plagiarism checker investment. Tools like Grammarly and Unplag integrate with systems like Word, Google Docs, Outlook and CMS to help marketers save time and boost efficiency while maintaining plagiarism-proof work.
However, it’s important to consider the integration requirements for these solutions. While checkers like Unplag integrate relatively seamlessly with little IT involvement needed, some, like PlagScan, require more intensive IT management and a longer onboarding process.
Reports are one of the most important elements to consider when choosing a plagiarism checker, and they often vary in speed and depth from platform to platform. PlagScan, for example, offers four different reports that include high-level estimates of how much plagiarized material might exist in a document, an itemized list of matches, interactive browser reports and in-text, annotated reporting. Other platforms offer real-time reporting that is less detailed, but much faster to gather and implement. These reports are perfect for marketers with stacked content calendars – immediate reporting can help teams hit tight deadlines without neglecting plagiarism.
Choosing a plagiarism checker is no different than choosing any other software tool – the decision ultimately is based on your needs and the goals of using the solution. If your content process requires multiple levels of review or is constrained by legal or compliance regulations, investing in a paid solution with in-depth reporting might be something to consider. If your goal is to simply vet a weekly blog for plagiarism hiccups, a free tool is probably all you need.
Start fitting a plagiarism checker into your content process now by creating a new content marketing plan.