Amazon/Google Plagiarism Checking


To build on what I said in class, while no one seems to have suggested using the statistically improbable phrases tool on Amazon to check for plagiarism, people are using both Google Books and Amazon’s ‘search within this book’ tool for that purpose.

An article in Slate suggests Google Books could be used to discover long-existing plagiarism.

Similarly, another source suggests that Google Books and Amazon are the “greatest plagiarism detector ever created.”


  1. bepa

    March 11, 2008 @ 2:33 pm


    Sort of related on the academic cheating, in Toronto right now, an engineering student is facing expulsion for organizing a Facebook group to help students with homework (See the story at

    I think the web has probably made a difference when it comes to academic dishonesty. How easy it is to meet up with people and share work! On the other hand, I think it’s probably easier (if the cheaters aren’t technologically savvy of course!) for the cheating to be found if a school goes looking for it….

  2. cbaird

    March 12, 2008 @ 1:44 pm


    I agree with the statement that the web has made a difference when it comes to academic dishonesty. At my undergrad, there existed a website that claimed to be open to only students of the university. It was said that this restriction not only made it impossible for those not affiliated with the school to join, but also made it impossible for professors to join. Whether this is true or not is up to debate. Whatever the case is, the site (intended to be a place to go to exchange books and find subleases) became a haven for academic collaboration (dishonesty? probably.). Every course at MSU had its own link that would direct users to a discussion board about that class. The discussion threads tended to closely track the homework assignments on the syllabus. Coincidence?