Ukraine-based online plagiarism checker Plagtracker.com is gunning for an Asian expansion. The site offers free online plagiarism checks without the need to download anything - you can simply put in the text and let the site check it for you. Interestingly, Plagtracker already has a good online presence (according to Alexa) in Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, India, Pakistan, and others. We talked with Emilia, a Plagtracker representative about the startup’s Asian exploits and plans.
Emilia shared some of Plagtracker’s traffic statistics. Since its founding in July 2011, the website sees 20 percent of visitors coming from Asia out of its 5,000 daily visitors. The US is the number one biggest user of the site, with India in second place. Other heavy users are Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan, and Singapore, all in the top 10.
The site also shows live daily stats where visitors can see the number of papers checked everyday, the percentage of plagiarism observed, and feedback received from users. Today’s traffic counter shows that there are around 2,400 papers checked with a current rate of 36 percent plagiarism detected. Most of the users are teachers, professors, students, bloggers, and webmasters [Ed: And editors too!]. The site offers premium services for stronger plagiarism checking and professional editing assistance. The site’s premium users are mostly professional writers, science journals, and several universities and publishers.
I tried using the website to check a few online articles in both English and Indonesian languages, and Plagtracker worked fine on both. The results conveniently show which lines come from which online sources. But I guess that compiling and checking sources from academic papers would be the key challenge for the team. At the moment, the site boasts that it checks content from 14 billion web pages and from five million academic papers.
The Asian Plans
Emilia tells us that the team is looking to establish partnerships in Asian countries. Their first target is nations with highly developed IT industries such as India, China, and the Philippines. At the moment, the company hopes to kick-start the Asian expansion starting with India, saying mainly because the English language is common there and that the country teaches to a lot of IT experts and engineers. Plagtracker already has several partnerships with Indian science journals, and is looking for more partnerships with educational institutions in the region.
Regarding language localization, Emilia concedes that they are still unfamiliar with Asian languages. Plagtracker is now searching for specialists in the Asian languages, and only then will Plagtracker launch its services in, say, Hindi or Chinese in the future.
Emilia names TurnItIn, CopyScape, and DustBall as Plagtracker’s main competitors. She claims that Plagtracker’s main advantage up against its competitors are its free services and easy user interface. Plagtracker doesn’t have any investors at the moment, but they are looking for one now.