How publishers can deal with the problem of plagiarism?

Plagiarism in layman’s language is the act of duplicating others content or copying it without conferring upon due credit. To be more precise, the act of stealing others original idea and presenting it as your own is what you call plagiarizing. Some crappy writers and bloggers indulge into this dirty work just to earn some easy money.

It’s not always possible for publishers to go through each content copy being published on their sites; they are bound to depend on the internal teams or freelancers. It’s the writers and editors’ responsibility to make sure the copies are plagiarism free as plagiarism is not only unfair it’s also a serious offence. It can even drag the publisher to court to combat a lawsuit filed against him or her.

Plagiarism is a big concern for the publishers

Plagiarism now a day is a big concern for the publishers. It has multiple side effects and consequences. Decrease in site traffic is a prominent one of them. If a blog keeps on publishing plagiarized content on a regular basis it will invariably witness a gradual downturn in site traffic. Consequence is equally bad for the site which published the original content as the traffic gets distributed between the two sites publishing the same content.

This is just not it; plagiarism also causes bad user experience. When a new visitor come to your site and find a copy of duplicate content published on your site, obviously he will have a negative impression in his mind. This obviously puts a question mark on the site’s authenticity and credibility which automatically lowers the chances of repeat visit.

To combat plagiarism problem search engines have started putting their foot forward and take action against it from their end, like Google has come up with its algorithmic changes which is called Google Panda Updates. Google has pulled down and banned many websites which used to run basically on the wheels of either copied or spinned content without citing sources or giving proper credit to them. Not only that, sites with plagiarized content can never score well in SEO, as Google gives preference to the sites with original content and this is the basic requirement for good page rank also.

Plagiarism is very harmful for a brand’s image too, as originality is what ultimately matters. I am a ‘me too’ brand with a slight difference kind of image is never good for a new brand’s health, so not the idea of copying your competitor’s content and spinning it. Short cut of reproducing plagiarized content can cost a lot to the new brands.

Steps and tools to avoid plagiarism

Prevention is always better than cure. You should always have preventive measures to detect and eliminate duplicate content from the system. There are some ways and tools available which makes it easy for you to be sure about the originality of the content getting published on the site at no or a very nominal cost. Some of them are:

Copyscape (Paid Service)

Copyscape  is a reliable and widely used plagiarism checking tool. You just need to sign up to the site and check a particular piece of article or even can scan the complete site. Another service you can try is plagium .

Google Search (Free)

This is also a handy tool for plagiarism check but the problem with Google search is if the content is not copied line by line then it may not detect scrapping.

Duplicheckers (Free)

Duplicheckers  is an absolute free website for plagiarism check. It not only offers you the plagiarism check facility but also lets you compare the text. All these just require a onetime sigh up for the unlimited access.

There are many more like these. You just need to decide upon a suitable and reliable one for your publication and mandate the use of it for each copy to be published.

This was about plagiarism done by others while creating the content copy but many publishers may not realize that they create duplicate content by their own while syndicating or repurposing content for marketing use. You should know that this also can harm your site ranking potentially. You should always remember that you cannot copy a piece of content completely or a major portion of it, even if you give proper credit to the source you have to change the presentation at least while publishing it otherwise this also can be counted as content duplicity. Not only this, many writers have a tendency to make repeat use of similar sentence structures, recycling their own materials or using questionable facts and figures. The editors should also be cautious about all these practices and have clear guidelines to prevent them.

Guidelines for the Publishers:

Set clear rules

As a publisher you need to be very much proactive to combat plagiarism. You should have clear rules against this mal practice and take certain regulative measures in your system which will essentially include plagiarism check tool.

Monitor work submitted by external team

The editors or copy editors should essentially do a plagiarism check the moment they are through with a firsthand review and find the story to be eligible for the publication. If the plagiarism tool shows minor plagiarism in the content, the editor should send the piece back to the writer with a direction to remove or replace the particular section.

In many cases similarity of content can’t be bypassed, for example the engine description of a car, product specifications, facts and figures etc. To handle these kinds of scenarios, the publishers should decide up on a certain style of presentation.

Give Due Credit and Fair Usage

Now the most important thing, never forget to give due credit and always cite the source name with a link back if you have taken major inspiration from one particular site, mandate this practice for all your contributors. You can also provide special guidelines regarding a preferred referencing style which will standardize the format for your site. Never the less you should have strict rules against the contributors practicing plagiarism and the repeat offenders should be banned from the system for life.

It is unfair and obviously unfortunate but as a matter of fact plagiarism is now a days very much a part of the online content world. On top of that, not so clear parameters of plagiarism make the scenario even worse by confusing the publishers. Any which way it requires a cumulative effort from the publishers and all the contributors to clean the face of it.

ContentCloud  from Betaout has inbuilt plagiarism checker tool to help you ensure originality in your content.

Image Credit: World.edu

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