Dustball: Brief Functionality Overview
Dustball is more popular for its possibility to scan texts for plagiarism for free. It has advanced accounts too where a lot more features are supported including the one which allows uploading files for checking.
Dustball has a rather primitive user-interface, however if a user only needs to find out what sources should be cited, the functionality it offers to users with free accounts is quite enough. All the user brief guidelines are described right above the check box. To run a check against the Internet, one should just copy and paste the text of the paper or assignment and click the Check the paper button. Once done, a user is redirected to the page with a plagiarism report. Besides, it is available for free download in .pdf.
Like the majority of other online plagiarism detectors, the Dustball free similarity finder provides reports once the scanning process is over. It simply “passes the verdict” stating that a paper scanned with Dustball contains some unoriginal text areas without specifying the percentage of plagiarism or originality detected.
Free checks do not allow skipping quotations and references from search results. This option is accessible for paid accounts, though. That’s why a user should spend more time checking each matching source to ensure it is properly quoted in the checked paper. Reports generated by Dustball contain a sources list with parts of duplicated text being in bold below each source link.
Check Quality and Results Delivery
Dustball performs checks only against the internet. So, if it is the only source of information, then it will meet a user’s needs. As it was briefly mentioned above, the search results are presented in the list with links to original source web page and a link to Google search results showing other sites with the same text matches.
The report is simple but needs much improvement. It doesn’t show originality or similarity rate for the whole text as well as for each particular source to help users understand which source from the list is worth checking and citing. Dustball doesn’t highlight similarities in the scanned paper or original sources. This is why users have to search for duplication on their own, which proves to be rather time-consuming. The downloadable version of the report has no useful information, so for now it makes no sense to use this option.
The checker has a very primitive website interface, which needs upgrading but will not take a user too long to figure out how to launch a check or download a report.
Dustball is a good fit for daily use, especially if a user tends to write originally. The similarity search results it provides often need verifying, whereas their interpretation often turns into a tedious work.