Do you remember a series of great scandals that broke out because of plagiarism in the works of Ukrainian scholars? Some experts even asserted that a third of all dissertations in Ukraine have been copied from other sources. Who knows, maybe these “scientists” simply knew nothing about the Ukrainian start-up Noplag – a service that helps to verify texts for plagiarism.

The service, which today is considered to be one of the most famous Ukrainian start-ups, first was created… for the internal use. In search of a resource of sufficient quality that would help them with the content’s check for plagiarism the team of Labiteam studio that is engaged in the creation and promotion of projects for the international market, has reached the conclusion that the best option is to create their own service. As early as 2014, the inventors decided to launch the service publicly, presenting a free version to the audience.

Despite the fact that plagiarism checking services seem to be far from being the niche in which the struggle for leadership is constantly ongoing, the resource didn’t gain much popularity straight after the launch. Obviously, the problem lied in the limited service of those days because in the pilot version you could not even upload even some .doc file. “This version was aimed at testing demand and the algorithm for finding matches, which was developed within the company, as well as setting up a stable service,” the inventors themselves say on the pages of their resource ain.ua.

The new service required an appropriate promotion, however, back then the financial resources of developers were significantly limited. The way out was found – communities of copywriters and students, that is, people who regularly need access to such services, helped the project.

In 2015, the team presented a paid version for the large audience, it had new features – spelling and grammar check. However, the users had spoken: after numerous negative reviews, Labiteam decided to “roll back” the functionality to the initial idea and focus on improving the quality of the service.

The real fame came to service two years ago, when developers decided not to be restricted to individual users and presented their resource for business, schools, and universities. This decision greatly influenced the further popularity of the Ukrainian start-up: the requests had increased, and with it – the daily number of users.

Noplag, ІІІ International Forum of Innovation Technologies

Another turning point in the history of the Ukrainian invention is the successful selection for the US Starta Accelerator program.

Noplag had become a participant in the sixth accelerator program, and it was pretty timely. The fact is that along with a significant increase in popularity, the team of service faced a new problem: lack of capacity. The Starta Accelerator was not the only accelerator that was interested in the Ukrainian start-up, however, the team picked it on purpose. According to the authors of the project, this very accelerator has already been “tested” by their friends-startuppers, so there was no doubt in its effectiveness.

Now, when you go through the registration process on the website of the service you will be offered several options: personal use, education, website owners and the version of Noplag for business owners.  Actually, this represents the key audience of the Ukrainian start-up and the markets which it targets. However, the version for website owners and the full-fledged system of a search for plagiarism in the educational sphere is coming soon according to information on the website.

If you think that Noplag is a purely commercial project, do not jump to the conclusions. First of all, yes, there is a free version. However, developers didn’t stop there and offer free access to the service for community and church schools.

As for the reviews, the vast majority of them are encouraging, and not only from users but also from companies and resources that do the inspection and try to give their own, independent assessment.

“The idea is to identify unauthentic content and get it to original resources. With the hands of this tool user can easily identify the copied content and, if necessary, get the changes done accordingly,” says the author at EdTechReview, a community focused on reviews of modern technology that improves educational systems.

“There are many features of Noplag to be a serious competitor to other similar services. The main difference is a modern, improved algorithm of scanning. A user can choose how his text should be scanned: against the documents contained in his library, definite files and folders, the Noplag’s database or/and the entire Web,” emphasize the authors of StartupInspire, some kind of gallery of start-ups from all around the world.

Today, the overwhelming majority of the Ukrainian start-up users are living abroad, in the United States, they use this service the most. The percentage of business users is about one-sixth, the others are individual clients who have chosen Noplag as the main resource to check the uniqueness of their publications. However, working for an international audience is not always as easy as it seems.

company’s CEO Oleksii Bochkov, photo: ain.ua

“When there are a lot of offers, a user becomes picky, and this is the thing that makes work on the product incredibly complicated. It is similar to picking up the code to a safe – you can’t stop, you need to try different combinations, and then success will come,” tells company’s CEO Oleksii Bochkov.

Work on the project is still going on. New investments and market growth are not just additional earnings – it is additional responsibility at the same time, which Noplag team certainly understands. Are they ready for this? Obviously, yes. The team of the Ukrainian start-up assures all its users: when you use Noplag, plagiarism is not your problem.

“Everything that has once been problematic about plagiarism or its detection can be easily avoided today. Many people continue to be careful to think that plagiarism may be a problem, but it’s not their problem. We can agree, but this definition lacks one main component: a high-quality plagiarism checker. If you are using a reliable, efficient and accurate service such as Noplag to check for plagiarism, and it provides fast, detailed, easy-to-interpret results, you can rest assured that plagiarism is not your problem,” authors of Noplag are convinced.

By Stepan the Goat

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