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Software Profile

ID S13-09
Product Copyscape
Company Indigo Stream Technologies Ltd.
Software-Type Online
Pricing 5¢ per page searched.
Testdate 06 June 2013


Copyscape, a system designed by the authors of Google-Alerts, is offered by the company Indigo Stream Technologies that is based in Israel and Gibralter. It does not keep a database, but rather finds copies of original texts on other web pages using the search engines of Google and Yahoo. They also offer monitoring of web pages, but in this test only the general plagiarism search feature was used. Credits are purchased by credit card or PayPal, and each search costs 5¢.


Pros & Cons

Overall, this system is very fast which makes it useful for spontaneous checking of short texts. The upload and processing of texts took only about 2 minutes for each test, so that Copyscape can be ranked as one of the fastest systems. The only problem  is that the system does not accept files at all. The texts have to be copied into a textfield as plain text, or the URL to the file is entered into a field. This makes it unusable for cases where the user wants to upload a whole set of documents.

One general problem of Copyscape is that the user is not able to see the reports of the searches after the browser window has been closed, because the reports are not stored in a database. One must pay again to have the text re-checked if the report is to be viewed again.


For the test cases in the 2013 test, a majority of the copied sources were found. Additionally, the percentages were quite close to what was calculated while creating the test cases. Copyscape states that it can only deal with texts containing less than 2000 words but it was still possible to check larger texts. Here it was noticed that the results gets more and more inaccurate as the texts grow larger.

The report of Copyscape cannot be exported, it can only be viewed directly in the browser. Still, the user can save the report as HTML but this is not an individual feature of Copyscape since it can be done with every existing webpage. The format is not very readable, however.

As with many of the other systems, Copyscape was not able to find plagiarism from Google Books.


The website itself is well structured and clear.  The main features of the system are easy to find for the user. Copyscape is a system with a minimalistic approach because it only offers a simple plagiarism search without fancy and irrelevant features.

As mentioned before, usability improvements should be done for the upload process which at least should accept the upload of files.