Monday, 7 September 2009

Checking up on Article Thieves

Following my last post, someone asked how to set up a Google Alert, so here’s a guide to how you can check up on article thieves.

Setting up a Google Alert is a simple process, and it’s currently completely free.

It’s best to have a Google account although you can set alerts without having one. With a Google account, you will be given a gmail address and your alerts can be sent there, or to another email address if you prefer.You will also be able to manage and delete your alerts if you no longer need them.

To set up your alerts, go to the Google Alerts welcome page where you will find a box headed Create a Google Alert. Next to Search Terms, copy in a sentence or two of your article – up to 32 words is allowed. I always leave the next option, labelled Type, as comprehensive, and the next one about frequency as once a day, but you have other options to choose from. The last option is for you to select the email address or the feed where you want to receive your alerts.

Finally click on Create Alert and sit back and wait.

There are other ways to check for plagiarism of your work. One is copyscape, which also has a free option, plus a couple of paid ones. The Premium Service costs $0.05 per search and you prepay for a batch of these and are given up to a year to use them. Copysentry is more expensive but automatically searches for anything on your site pages at regular intervals and alerts you in the way that Google Alerts do, the advantage being that it searches for all of your content, rather than just up to 32 words.

Another site you can use is Article Checker, where you can enter a large amount of text to be searched for, and choose searches via Google and Yahoo. This is a free service and useful for individual searches, or for searching on just a few articles in your own time.

Finally, of course, you can use your favourite search engine. I often just put some text into a plain old Google search and have occasionally come up with some unexpected and illuminating results.

Angry pic is from Wikimedia Commons, originally by Kasuga and modified by Soap and Mikael Haggstrom.

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