Copyscape is an extremely popular plagiarism-detector that is used by many to ensure that their work does not match or copy other sources on the internet unintentionally.
Launched in 2004, the site contains a text-checking tool that can be used by content creators to guarantee that their work is original, and by business to disallow content theft or fraud, where their content is being used on another site without being cited or is being changed slightly to attempt to avoid detection.
The site has been so popular because it is simple and accurate, returning a list of websites to the user where the content is deemed to be similar or the same. These can then be identified and checked against the text, and eventually edited to avoid this.
Copyscape has even been used in some high-profile cases. In 2009, the website was cited as the way in which plagiarism was detected before the 9th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Big Price Increase
However, the site’s popularity and success has led them to recently announcing a change in their website’s pricing plan. Where any length of text used to cost 5c per search through the plagiarism-detector, it will now, from 2nd April 2018, cost users 3c for the first 200 words of text and 1c per 100 words thereafter.
In an email sent out to members, Copyscape stated that the number of users checking longer articles has increased dramatically and that this burden requires far more resources, costing them for money to operate. The current pricing has seemingly become unmaintainable for the company and they wanted to create a fairer pricing plan for all members, meaning that users pay for what length of article (and thus, what resources) they are checking.
See Copyscape's message here: Pricing Increase
But what does this mean for you?
For those who are minor users and continue to check very short articles or blog posts, this price change will not make much difference to you.
For a text of 500 words, the price will cost 5c, as it did before.
The biggest change comes for those who are checking average-to-longer bodies of text. A 1000-word article will now cost $0.11, just over a 100% increase to what it would have been before the shift.
A 10,000-word body of text though, an eBook for example, would now cost the user $1.01, a huge increase of almost 2000%.
A dollar is still not a lot of money for most, but such a dramatic rise in price from a previously very small one will no doubt have people looking elsewhere for cheaper and more economical alternatives if they're doing regular checks.
This article offers five of these alternatives for you to consider once Copyscape’s price plan changes at the beginning of April.
Grammarly – The Top Choice
Grammarly is a website and tool used to check critical grammar and spelling errors in bodies of text, but it also offers a plagiarism-detector that is like Copyscape’s in their Premium Plan. This plan will cost users $11.66 per month but offers a wealth of features to rival Copyscape now that the price is becoming variable.
Their plagiarism-detector promises to check over eight-billion webpages with its detection, a huge amount that returns results efficiently. It also does advanced grammar checks (giving detailed reviews of mistakes) with this price, a vocabulary enhancer, and genre-specific checks also. These are all things that Copyscape does not offer with its new price plan, making Grammarly a viable alternative that you could consider.
If you're a business owner or marketer that deals with a lot of content daily, Grammarly is worth it for its writing-improvement tools alone.
Get started here: Grammarly
Plagium is another website worth considering when looking at workable Copyscape alternatives. It is another checker and detector of content plagiarism, breaking up the text into smaller chunks to get better results and check the text against the rest of the internet more efficiently.
The website offers to check the first 5000 characters of any body of text for free, which usually works out to around 1000 words, which is a good option. To do more than this, you will need to create an account with Plagium (for free) and deposit money to continue checking texts with what is a promised by the website to be a ‘deep search’.
This costs €0.07 per 1000 characters (or around 200 words) but this also includes an online detailed report and a printable report, things that Copyscape does not offer at this time. You can also do file comparisons on the website to compare uploaded files, and this only costs €0.005 per page.
Get started here: Plagium
Dupli Checker is a site that is primarily aimed at assisting students, but there is no reason that it can’t be used for any of your plagiarism-detecting requirements. The site offers one free check per day, with a maximum word count of 1000 words. However, signing up for free to the site allows you to check up to fifty times per day (50,000 words) and is still free.
There is no pricing plan on Dupli Checker and plagiarism-detection is completely free, just with the word-limit per day. This word limit is very high and will not be reached by most unless you are doing tonnes of retrospective checks and is obviously 100,000 over two days, a huge amount of words.
You can also upload a ‘Docx’ or ‘Text’ file and run this through the tool, with results returning in a matter of seconds. There is also plenty of information on the website about plagiarism and how to use it and this is an option that should definitely be looking at when you start shopping around, considering that it is completely free.
Get started here: Dupli Checker
Another possible alternative to Copyscape is Quetext. This website has a very attractive interface and states that it checks billions of web pages as you search, giving you a completion percentage that loads as it searches.
Through the sites basic and free plan, it allows you three searches of 500 words each. This may be enough for some light users, but the site does also offers a premium plan in a similar way to what Grammarly does.
For $9.99 per month, the plagiarism-detector now carries out a ‘deep search’ on your body of text and allows you unlimited searches with a 25,000-word limit (around 50 pages). It also lets you upload files rather than copying and pasting text, offers PDF reports of the results, and premium support by the company.
This range of features is certainly worth thinking about for that price tag, especially if you were a heavy user of Copyscape.
The ability to upload files is very handy and there is also a multi-upload feature where you can upload five files and have them checked at the same time. Each search also saves a report to your account that you can go back and view at any time, especially useful when working on longer texts.
Get started here: Quetext
PaperRater is another site that offers a Basic and a Premium plan for prospective users. Like Grammarly, the website is also a proof-reader that can be used to enhance your writing (giving the user a ‘score’ for their writing), but it also offers a plagiarism detection service too.
With the basic plan, you can check up to 5 pages of text 50 times per month, but you can only submit text for plagiarism detection ten times per month. With the Premium plan, users can upload up to twenty pages at a time (around 10,000 words) and can submit up to 200 times per month.
However, only 25 texts can be submitted to the plagiarism detector per month. This is quite a small amount compared to some of the other alternatives on the list and may see you having to group different texts together in order to fulfil your monthly needs if you were to use PaperRater, which is not ideal for some.
However, if you are not a regular user and also need a service to enhance your writing, PaperRater is certainly one to consider. The plagiarism-detector is integrated into the proof-reader on the Premium plan which is a nice feature, and the site gives users an ‘originality score’ so that they know how original their text is compared to over 10 billion sites across the web.
Get started here: Paper Rater
As we can see, there are plenty of alternatives to think about now that Copyscape has changed to variable pricing. For the light user, things may not change too much at all and you may be able to stay with Copyscape without seeing any difference in the amount you spend on it every month.
But for the medium to heavy user, as outlined, you could see a significant increase in the money you are spending on the website. If this is the case, it could be time to shop around and weigh up your options.
Depending on your specific needs, you may choose a site that also offers grammar checks to enhance your writing at the same time as it checks for plagiarism, or you could choose Dupli Checker for quick and completely free detections.
Hopefully, the alternatives above have given you plenty to think about and can help you make the right decision once April 2nd comes around.