Here's Why You Should Check Your Code for Plagiarism

Plagiarism was always a problem. But with the increasing penetration of the internet and computers, it has become easier than ever before. A survey by Education Week found that 54% of students in high schools plagiarize. Another survey by the Psychological Record revealed that 36% of undergraduate students also plagiarize in their written materials. Plus, this plagiarism is not just limited to essays and research materials, it extends to codes as well! This is known as source code plagiarism.

Source code plagiarism is the act of reproducing or copying a source code, without giving appropriate credit to the original creator. This could be using small portions of another’s code or using most of it, with minimal changes.

Why Check Your Code for Plagiarism?

Checking of codes for plagiarism is necessary for students as well as professional programmers. This is because plagiarism is a euphemism for theft, in this case theft of intellectual property. However, there are times when plagiarism is accidental. In such cases, the best-case scenario would be that your program is cancelled or rejected. While in more serious instances, students can be failed in a class, suspended or even face expulsion.

For professional coders, plagiarism can ruin their career. They can face a copyright infringement lawsuit from the original writer. This can lead to severe monetary consequences, in attorney fees and penalties. Plus, your professional reputation and integrity get tarnished. This would make it much more difficult for you to get satisfactory job opportunities in the future.

Another reason to check for code plagiarism is to ensure that any open source code, developed by your hard-working engineers, isn’t being used for something you do not intend it to.

The Best Way to Check for Code Plagiarism

The best way you can ensure there is no plagiarism in your code is to use a plagiarism checker. These are sophisticated tools that use artificial intelligence, big data, deep crawling and machine learning for finding similarities in code patterns online and in databases. Some of the advantages of such tools are:

  • They can quickly find any similarities in the style of code and logic patterns. They can even detect codes with altering variables and function names, since their algorithms evolve continuously. The code is checked against billions of pieces of codes online.
  • After the check, you’ll get a comprehensive report. The report highlights the pieces of code that are plagiarized. They even allow you to download and share reports of the check with your team members, students, or anyone else. They can either be shared using URLs or by email.
  • You can use them to check plagiarism in multiple languages, including Java, Python, C++, Ruby, C, C#, JavaScript, Visual Basic, Go, and Scala.
  • The best detectors are generally open source, making it easy to integrate. Plus, frequent monitored updates are available.
  • They are extremely convenient to use as well. You can create an account in just minutes and start scanning. Moreover, you can submit a large volume of code for checking in a short duration of time.

Separating your original work from someone else’s can be difficult at times for programmers. This could have serious consequences. Avoid such a situation, by using a high-quality code plagiarism checker.

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