In 1996, iParadigms introduced Turnitin, the first online plagiarism checker, which paved the way for the development of new methods to check for plagiarism and protect originality in the internet age. Since then, iParadigms has created a number of other services designed to detect plagiarism, including TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winner iThenticate, which is designed for authors, researchers, publishers and other professionals who need to verify content originality prior to publication.
Unlike the other plagiarism checkers in our lineup, iThenticate is geared more toward institutional accounts than individual users. They do, however, offer a single-user plagiarism detection service for authors and researchers that is designed to check a single document of up to 25,000 words, such as a master’s or doctoral thesis, to ensure content originality, correct citations and to protect the author from inadvertent plagiarism. This account type allows users to correct their document after the initial scan and resubmit it up to five times to check for plagiarism in the revised drafts.
To learn more about our top-rated plagiarism checkers with more options for single-user accounts, see our reviews of PlagScan and CheckForPlagiarism.net.
While iParadigms' plagiarism checkers are mostly designed for institutional use, iThenticate does offer the single-user account for authors and researchers that we mentioned in the introduction. This type of account is most similar to the single-user accounts offered by the other online plagiarism detectors in our review. This type of account has the longest subscription length of any plagiarism checker apart from CheckForPlagiarism.net, but the fewest number of document submissions, with only one.
The institutional account options, however, are highly customizable and not limited in terms of number of sub users, document submissions or word counts, which are all tailored to meet the needs of each particular institution. As a result, pricing for these accounts varies and is not listed on their website. To obtain a quote, you’ll need to contact the sales team directly.
The iThenticate plagiarism checker – and iParadigms’ plagiarism detection capabilities in general – are unrivaled by any other online plagiarism finder. It compares users’ documents against a privately held and maintained copy of the internet rather than using search engine based techniques for online plagiarism detection like other plagiarism checkers. This allows iThenticate to compare documents with content stored in publishers’ and aggregators’ cached internet repositories and archives that aren't widely available online, in addition to content on live websites.
This plagiarism checker also utilizes offline publication databases that contain millions of books, journals, research papers, articles, essays, theses and so forth, many of which are not available online. They also create custom content repositories for institutional account holders that contain all the documents submitted by an organization to identify instances of content duplication or self-plagiarism. In other words, iThenticate can identify plagiarized content that other plagiarism checkers cannot.
Signing up for a research account with the iThenticate plagiarism checker is simple. Once you’ve filled in a short form, iThenticate will email a password to the address you provided. After you log in for the first time, you must immediately change your password. You will then be redirected to the iThenticate user dashboard.
You must purchase a submission package before you can upload your first document. Click the “Purchase Package” link on the dashboard and then hit the “Purchase Package #1” button to pay with a credit or debit card or with a PayPal account. Once you return to the dashboard, you can upload your first document using one of four options: "Upload a File," "Zip File Upload," "Drag and Drop Upload" or "Cut and Paste Text."
In addition to the features we’ve already discussed in this review, the iThenticate plagiarism checker provides document-to-document comparison and scheduled resubmissions. It also integrates with content management systems using application programming interface (API) technology. They use pattern-recognition techniques to identify subtle plagiarism, and they are able to perform plagiarism checks in more languages than any other service. Of the two features iThenticate lacks, a free trial account is the one we feel would most improve their service. Aside from that, they are only missing a document-correction service, which is unique to CheckForPlagiarism.net and not heavily weighted in this review.
Of the online plagiarism checkers we reviewed, iThenticate offers the most viewing modes for their plagiarism check reports, which include: similarity, content tracking, summary and largest matches. Each of these report options allow the user to exclude material in quotes, bibliographies and “small matches” based on a user-defined word count or plagiarism percentage. Each viewing mode displays the original document with plagiarized or un-cited passages and the original source highlighted in the same color, and a “Similarity Index” or percentage of plagiarized material in relation to the total word count.
These reports are stored by default on the Folders tab of the dashboard in a folder titled “My Documents.” Users can easily create and organize folders and folder groups to store, access and share their documents and reports with sub users, schedule resubmission dates, activate email notices for completed scans and delete documents. Once a report is open, it can be easily downloaded as an HTML file or printed directly from an internet browser.
The iThenticate website provides detailed information about the proliferation of plagiarism and ways to detect and prevent it, as well as a description of their services, product demos, tutorials and FAQs. Questions that are not addressed on the website can be directed to iThenticate’s knowledgeable, friendly and diligent customer support team, which can be contacted by phone or email.
The plagiarism detection services provided by iThenticate and iParadigm’s other plagiarism checkers are thorough, accurate and unmatched. We’ve ranked iThenticate as the number-three service because they don’t offer single-user account options that are comparable to the other online plagiarism checkers in this review, which is directed towards services for single users rather than institutions. If you’re looking for the kind of plagiarism detection service that iThenticate provides, however, we strongly recommend them as your best option.