Category Archives: News

Novus Scan's new preferences window

Here’s a preview of the preferences that I’m working on for Novus Scan. I’m introducing the option to control the sensitivity/speed of the scanning algorithm which can help speed up searches in really large databases. Note that speed and sensitivity are mutually exclusive…

I’m also setting up Novus Scan with the ability to log errors to our server. This will help me find and fix problems that happen on users’ computers but that we can’t reproduce here at TNL HQ.

The other features are minor usability enhancements. Now by default, documents will be compared to themselves when they’re scanned. This should alleviate the confusion some people have had when Novus Scan fails to report any matches and they know that they have the same document in the database as the one they’re scanning. Reporting ‘self hits’ can slow down Novus Scan considerably though so it will be best to turn it off if you don’t need it.

When will these great new features be in Novus Scan? I’m planning a release in a few weeks!


Academic Plagiarism

This article just popped up on [Academic Plagiarism](

Check out these stats (originally from

  • “A national survey published in Education Week found that 54% of students admitted to plagiarizing from the internet; 74% of students admitted that at least once during the past school year they had engaged in “serious” cheating; and 47% of students believe their teachers sometimes choose to ignore students who are cheating”
  • “The State of Americans: This Generation and the Next (Free Press, July 1996) states that 58.3% of high school students let someone else copy their work in 1969, and 97.5% did so in 1989.”
  • “A national survey published in Education Week found that 54% of students admitted to plagiarizing from the internet; 74% of students admitted that at least once during the past school year they had engaged in “serious” cheating; and 47% of students believe their teachers sometimes choose to ignore students who are cheating.”


From my own experience as a professor I think the problem with plagiarism stems from several sources. The first is the easy access to information on the internet. Second, changing school standards and curricula – Here in Spain I’ve noticed that many professors engage the students during class, asking students questions, having them solve problems on the chalk board, and so on. This is less common in the US. Third and perhaps most important, is proper education about what is and isn’t acceptable use of research materials when writing essays and term papers. I have had student who think its ok to copy and paste text into their own documents, as long as they cite the source.

Novus Scan 1.0.4 Now On Our Web Store

The latest version of Novus Scan is now available to download from our website. Previously, it was only available through the Mac App Store, but now users have the option of purchasing it directly from our store with their credit card.

To buy it from our website, simply download Novus Scan and open it. Then, from the menu at the top of the screen, click on Novus Scan and you should see a menu item that will open our web store.

The app that you can download from our website also acts as a free demo. The only limitations are that the database can hold only 20 documents and the report generator is disabled.

Mountain Lion

I have been testing Novus Scan on Mac OS 10.8 Mountain Lion for several weeks now and I’m happy to say that it is compatible. If you discover any problems with Novus Scan on Mountain Lion, please let me know and I’ll do my best to resolve them as soon as possible.

Keep an eye out on the Mac App Store because I have recently submitted an update to Novus Scan. This update fixes an issue with the editing of comments on documents that are in the database. It should become available within the next week or so.

Novus Scan – Now on the Mac App Store

I’m happy to announce that Novus Scan is now available on the Mac App Store. I’ll be directing all sales though the Mac App Store for the near future. Why? Primarily because Novus Scan is only compatible with Mac OS Lion (10.7) and several of my first clients purchased the app, not knowing the compatibility requirements. The Mac App Store automatically checks for compatibility and prevents users from purchasing software that can’t run on their system. I want to make sure that my clients purchase software that they can use, and more importantly, don’t purchase software that they can’t use.

Introducing Novus Scan, a plagiarism checker for Macs

I’m very happy to announce that Novus Scan 1.0 is now available. Novus Scan is a plagiarism checker for Macs.

Novus Scan helps you prevent accidental self plagiarism. You can create a database of your previously written articles, blog posts, or manuscripts. When you write a new document, use Novus Scan to search your database and report any duplicated snippets of text. Freelance writers – make sure you don’t accidentally deliver the same text to different clients. Teachers – make sure your students haven’t copied each others term papers.

The free version allows you to create a database of up to 20 documents and the full version allows an unlimited number of documents. The full version also features a report generator, that enables you to prepare printed or PDF format reports of any copied text that you’ve found.

Novus Scan is now on sale for $19.95. Visit the Terra Novus Labs website to learn more.

Final preparations for release

The beta test has been going smoothly, so it’s nearly time to release Novus Scan. There are a few features that I will continue to work on, including increasing the speed and sensitivity of the scanning engine and adding more features to organize documents in the database, but I think the main features that users need are in place.

You’ll notice that the website has been redesigned. I decided to return to RapidWeaver to develop the website because its much easier than WordPress to layout webpages, and Google’s speed test was returning much better scores for the RapidWeaver pages than WordPress.

screen shots

I’ve finally taken time to make a few screen grabs of Novus Scan. The app has two main functions and two views.

The first is the database manager, which enables you to create a database of documents that you can later scan for plagiarism:

Novus Scan-1
Uploaded with Skitch!

The main view or window is where you can add other documents that you want to scan. When you click the Start Scan button, the text in your document is compared the the content of all the documents in the database.

Novus Scan
Uploaded with Skitch!

The right side of the window is a list of documents from the database that contain text that matches text in the document that you’ve scanned. The center pane contains the text content of your document (top) and that of the matching document (bottom). All matching phrases are highlighted in the document text in the center of the window.

Novus Scan also has a report generator that enables you to create a printable report of your scan results.