The word plagiarism has been derived from the Latin word ‘plagiarius’, which means a kidnapper. It literally means stealing or representing the words or concepts of someone else, as your own. Detecting it on the Internet was a tough task initially. But with the advancement of technology, it can now be done with ease. Find out how.
Plagiarism statistics reveal that 54% school students admitted to have plagiarized content from the Internet and 74% students accepted cheating at least once in an academic year, in a survey by Education Week. About 66% of the students from reputed American universities have plagiarized content from the Internet, which is a huge ocean of information. So, copying content written by someone and passing it off as your own has become very easy. In this competitive world, people go to any extent to gain publicity and earn quick money.
Plagiarism on the Internet is on the rise, because there is a lot of negligence by the people. Even educated people are cheated quite easily by fraudsters. Even if a certain person is dragged to court for illegal stealing of information, the damage done by him/her to the original writer, in terms of money and reputation is irreparable. Preventing plagiarism is a challenge. Enforcing strict penalties against it, of all kinds, has become the need of the hour.
How to Guard Against Plagiarism?
Plagiarism can be intentional, as well as unintentional. It is necessary to educate students about it, right from school days. It is an evil which hampers the ability to think. It destroys the creativity in an individual. To prevent it, we can limit our sources of collecting information.
The work submitted should be thoroughly checked for plagiarism. At times, the writer should be asked questions related to the article, to test the depth of his knowledge. The writer will be able to answer the questions, only if his content is original. Hundreds of cases are filed everyday, for violating the Copyright Act. Many genuine and talented authors have to suffer because of plagiarism, as someone else who is no way related to penning the content, walks away with the money and honor.
Detecting it on the Internet
Detecting plagiarism means finding the words or lines which have been plagiarized. We can detect it, either by using a computer software or manually. Detecting it manually can be very tedious and at times, almost impossible, if the document to be checked is extensive. Many websites on the Internet provide online tools to detect it in all sorts of content.
The Essay Verification Engine (EVE) is widely used to detect plagiarized prose content. The detector uses widely and most used search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Altavista, to compare the submitted content to the original content. The detector splits the text document to be verified into many strings of equal lengths. The data is then fed into the search engines. The final report is generated after the scanning is over. The writer is asked to repeat the article, if the percentage of plagiarism is more than 20%. The detector is very effective because 95% of plagiarized material is likely to be found in most of the cases. The scanning process can be completed within a few minutes.
It is the duty of alert Internet users to take action against copyright violators, who are involved in plagiarism on the Internet. If proved guilty in the court of law, copyright violators may be sentenced to imprisonment or fined, depending upon the seriousness of the offense.