Plagiarism detection is the process of locating instances of plagiarism within a work or document. The widespread use of computers and the advent of the Internet has made it easier to plagiarize the work of others. Most cases of plagiarism are found in academia, where documents are typically essays or reports. However, plagiarism can be found in virtually any field, including novels, scientific papers, art designs, and source code.
Detection of plagiarism can be either manual or software-assisted. Manual detection requires substantial effort and excellent memory, and is impractical in cases where too many documents must be compared, or original documents are not available for comparison. Software-assisted detection allows vast collections of documents to be compared to each other, making successful detection much more likely.
Plagiarism can be categorized into four main types:
Direct plagiarism: This type of plagiarism involves copying someone else’s work word by word without citing the source or giving quotation marks. It is also called intentional plagiarism as the writer knows exactly what he is doing. Example of direct duplication: Original text: There has been an alarming increase in the rate of plagiarism in the past decade. When caught for duplication it is an extremely embarrassing situation for the writer. Directly plagiarized text: There has been an alarming increase in the rate of duplicate content. When caught for duplicate content, it is a very awkward and embarrassing situation for the writer.
Although a couple of words have been added to the original text, the word to word copy categorizes it as direct duplication. It is a highly unethical act that is grounds for both serious disciplinary action and punishment.
Mosaic plagiarism, termed as the most common type of being duplicate amongst writers involves stealing another writer’s ideas and thoughts and portraying them as one’s own by “paraphrasing” them. Example of Mosaic plagiarism:
It is attempted by a student in his school paper without citing the original source or giving quotation marks; Original Text: Benjamin Franklin said “Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that’s the stuff life is made of.” Plagiarized text: “Time should not be wasted, as every second that passes is a second that will never return. We need to ask ourselves the important question whether we love life or not? If we do, we should make sure that no further time is wasted as that is the stuff life is made up of.
It occurs when somebody reuses or recycles previous content published by themselves, without giving a reference or citing that this content has been used before. Although there is nothing wrong with revisiting an old idea, only if cited as “previous work” and not passed off as new content. This kind of plagiarism is also known as duplicate publication.
It refers to the failure to cite the original source of the content. It is accidentally leaving the required citation owing to ignorance of the rules of citation and duplicate content. There are many instances where duplication is accidental. Less common but with so much information available online, coincidental matching of a sentence or two is not impossible. Regardless it is still considered as an intellectual crime and is deemed as a punishable act.