CEO and founder Allen Narcisse of Ebyline, a service that allows qualified, experienced journalists to connect with editors and publications, spoke to us about his perspective on plagiarism. Being positioned between writers and editors, Narcisse discusses how big of a problem he thinks plagiarism is and why he thinks its a growing concern.
iThenticate: Hi Allen, thanks for speaking with me today. As the founder and CEO of Ebyline, can you tell us a bit about your service and how it works?
Ebyline: We’re a three-year-old company that primarily works in the traditional media space. Our service allows qualified, experienced journalists to connect with editors and publications all around the world. We currently work with publications including the Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Ventura County Star, and several others.
iThenticate: In terms of plagiarism, you are in the middle (between writers and publishers). Tell me more about your position and perspective.
Ebyline: That’s right. When you think about a publisher, like the major newspapers that we’re working with and major websites, their brands and protecting those brands is essential and having the trust that the readers can engage brands and their content is essential. As you’re working with more and more content providers, including freelancers, it is really important for them to make sure that the content is original and that it is authentic to the publication. That’s where plagiarism’s standing comes into play. I think a lot of the newsrooms aren’t actually using technology like iThenticate to scan stories and to make sure their not linked to other content that’s currently on the web. There have been numerous stories of publications having content that has been on other blogs, other websites or other publications. So it’s really important that they have that extra check. That’s one of the reasons they work with us because they have the extra check to make sure content is authentic and that it is original.
iThenticate: From your perspective, how big of a problem do you think plagiarism is on a scale of 1-10?
Ebyline: In our space, I would say that it’s a 5, but I think it’s growing. I think that a lot of publications are working with more and more freelance journalists that contribute on an infrequent basis for content on the web. Since the pool of contributors is growing, I would say that the risk of plagiarism would be growing just in terms of working with more people, more chances for risk.
iThenticate: What do you think would be some causes of the increase?
Ebyline: I think that it is primarily based on the number of people that these publications are working with, the number of freelancers, the number of contributors. And since those contributors are freelancers, they are busy. They work on a project-by-project basis, and they feel pressured to turn around projects quickly. So, with that pressure, I think there is more incentive to plagiarize. If someone on the web has done something well, it is easier to integrate that into your work and whether it be intentional or not intentional, I think it is important for editors to know and freelancers to know that stories are being looked at and that their plagiarism is a concern for the publication. I think that this tool [iThenticate] is a great way to make that easier for editors to express, validate and make sure that their work is authentic; what they publish is authentic as well.
iThenticate: Let’s talk about your experience with iThenticate…
Ebyline: It’s a great service. We look at a lot of different players in the space and us being a technology company, it was great that iThenticate could integrate well with our technology, the tech support is excellent, and the sales folks that we’ve worked with were excellent. It’s been a seamless transition to our platform and I know that our users really appreciate that we have that check in our system. It’s been seamless, and that’s really important for a company like ours to have reliable technology. It’s been a great experience for us. Considering that our system is a 24x7 system that editors and freelancers are using it any day of the week, on holidays…at any time, that the plagiarism scan tool is going to work effectively and reliably and as expected. We have that comfort and we have that quality standard for our users. I’m a very happy customer.
iThenticate: Allen, thank you again for your time.