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What is Plagiarism and how can AI tackle it?

  • Pragya Soni
  • Dec 16, 2021
What is Plagiarism and how can AI tackle it? title banner

We all have tried a plagiarism checker at least once in our life. Either for our college assignments or for blogging purposes. Isn’t it amazing how we copy our content in a box and within a few minutes it reverts to us if it contains plagiarism or not? 


Do you ever wonder how it works in actuality? And, what makes it easier to compare with millions of web pages and internet content. Well, it is artificial intelligence (AI), which is easing the entire process. 


In this blog we will take a look at the working of a plagiarism checker. We will also discuss the role of AI in the particular field.



What is the meaning of Plagiarism?


Before jumping to the process of plagiarism checker, let us uncover the term “plagiarism”. It is derived from a Latin word, that means kidnapper. You might have heard in some rules and restrictions that content should be original and plagiarism free. What is the actual meaning of plagiarism?


Well, plagiarism is sometimes referred to as copied content. In simple words, it is defined as stealing of someone else's content. Plagiarism is defined as involving someone else's idea in your content with your name. if you are using it without giving the credit or reference to the original creator you are framing plagiarized content. 


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Types of plagiarism

Types of plagiarism are - Global plagiarismVerbatim plagiarismSelf plagiarismParaphrasing plagiarismPatchwork plagiarism

Types of Plagiarism

There are different ideas and criteria that are used while classifying plagiarism. Broadly it is classified into following five types:


Global plagiarism


Global plagiarism as the name suggests refers to the process of copying an entire work. It is also known as complete plagiarism.


For example, you are assigned a task to write an essay as your class assessment. Rather than writing it, you search over the net, find a good one and then copy paste it into your document. You submit it under your name. 


Here you are lying about the authorship of the work, and committing a global plagiarism, the most serious of all plagiarism crimes.



Verbatim plagiarism


Verbatim plagiarism is also known as direct plagiarism. It refers to the process of adding someone’s work as a part of your work, without any credit or attribute.


For example, while preparing a content, you copied a few lines from a source and pasted it without attribution, later it shows a percentage of plagiarism. This is known as direct or verbatim plagiarism. Adding of quotes without mentioning credits is also an example of the same.



Paraphrasing plagiarism


Paraphrasing is not an actual plagiarism. It basically means rephrasing a content in your own words. Though, it can not be defined as copied words, but definitely copied ideas.


For example, translation of a work in another language without giving credits to the original creator.



Patchwork plagiarism


Patchwork plagiarism also known as mosaic plagiarism or stitching plagiarism. It refers to the process of copying content from two different sources, and then blending it together to create a new source.





This process can be accidental as well as non-accidental. Self-plagiarism may be defined as copying your own content. For example, in your exam sheet you write what you have written in your notebooks, this can be considered as an example of self-plagiarism.


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How to detect plagiarism?


There are following ways in which you can avoid plagiarism in your content:


  1. By always giving credits to the original creator before including his work or text.


  1. Develop your ability and build your ideas. Try to frame original work.


  1. Use of paraphrasing. Also use an online plagiarism checker.


  1. Use correct reference for different articles, videos and audios.


Top online plagiarism checker:


The top 10 online plagiarism checkers include Google webmaster, Unicheck, Grammarly, Duplicheck, Copyscape, WhiteSmoke and Plagscan.


What is the role of AI in detecting plagiarism?


AI refers to the embedment of technologies in machines. It is the soul of the modern era. It is penetrating almost every sphere of life. From healthcare to lifestyle, from disaster management to disaster prediction, AI has its threads in almost every web of the world. 


Dealing with several fields, artificial intelligence has also its role in tackling the problem of duplicate content. With the advances in technology and the internet, people can access content and information from anywhere around the world. 


This is a positive thing, until every credit of the original creator is preserved. Humans cannot detect the copied content manually. As the process is quite complex and hard. But AI build plagiarism detection software can easily detect plagiarized content, even a minor one. Given below are some basic AI technologies to detect plagiarism in the text.


Deployment of advanced algorithms


Algorithms are the identity of AI. For comparing two texts the system contributes some advanced algorithms. These algorithms take the sample content and analyze the words in sequence. 


Then word by word AI algorithms match the entire text with the millions of webpages on the internet. If the content is found to be similar or the same, the detector shows the error. 



In depth analysis


AI based plagiarism checker performs in depth analysis. Thus, detect the content scraping. Content scraping refers to the stealing of data from another website. This degrades the ranking of sites.



Easy-to-use-text modification


AI provides many easy-to-use text modification software. It is used by the people for evading the detection of copied content. 



How do AI algorithms work in plagiarism detectors?


The process of the algorithm is quite simple. As mentioned in the above section, it uses the sequence tracking concept. Other algorithms used in a plagiarism detector are mentioned below.


  1. Re string tiling

  2. Karp-Rabin algorithm

  3. Haeckel’s algorithm

  4. K-gram

  5. String matching algorithms 

  6. Smith waterman approach


Two other methods are proposed by Levenshtein and Damerau. It defines that edit distances can be used to compare the similarity of two strings of characters with each other. The Levenshtein methodology compares the word n-gram. It then combines the results of adjacent similar grams into sections. 


When Levenshtein methodology is merged with Smith-Waterman algorithm. The newly formed single algorithm is used for the identification and quantification of local similarities. In this way AI and its algorithms work to detect plagiarism in a content.


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Which types of documents can be checked by plagiarism checkers?


Different plagiarism checkers detect different sample files among several standard files. The type of content that can be analyzed by a plagiarism checker are as follows:


  1. Blog post

  2. Articles

  3. Press release

  4. Research paper

  5. White paper

  6. Product description

  7. Web content


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Plagiarism is an ethical crime. Plagiarism is not only about the copying of text but stealing someone’s idea is also a kind of it. It violates the identity and originality of the creator. Different Indian acts such as Indian Copyright Act 1957 provides the standards and regulations for it. 


Before submitting any content to a source, individuals or organizations must get it checked on a plagiarism detector. There are quite trusted checkers available online serving for the purpose. AIis strengthening the core of its processing and working. 

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