Turnitin is a web-based text-matching service used by many Universities in the UK, and across the world. Turnitin compares the text in work submitted by students with a vast database of electronic sources, including web pages, online journal articles and previously submitted student work. It does not claim to be a plagiarism detection service, but it can be used by staff as a tool to help identify plagiarism and poor academic practice. It can also be used to educate students about plagiarism, and as a developmental tool to improve students’ academic writing.
At the University of Reading, Turnitin is integrated into Blackboard, so you will only ever access Turnitin via your Blackboard courses.
Turnitin provides staff with a wide range of options, and your lecturers have control over exactly how the tool is used on your modules. It is possible for lecturers to collect your work electronically (either by email, or via a Blackboard Assignment) and then submit this to Turnitin themselves. However, in practice, they are far more likely to ask you to submit the work directly to Turnitin by setting up a Turnitin Assignment with a linkfor you to use to submit your work. They will normally choose to make the Turnitin “Originality Report” visible to you and, in most cases, will allow you to submit an early draft to Turnitin, then revise your work based on the report which is generated.
If you have any queries about how Turnitin is being used on your modules, please speak to your lecturers.
What is Plagiarism?
“For the purposes of these regulations, plagiarism is defined as the fraudulent representation of another’s work as one’s own. This applies whatever the source of the material (for example, a published source, the web, or the work of another student), whether the material is copied word for word or paraphrased, and whatever the extent of the material used. Wilful and deliberate disregard for good academic practice in respect of attribution of material will be construed as plagiarism. (Please note that programme handbooks normally provide discipline-specific advice on the appropriate use and attribution of source material)”.
Statement on academic misconduct
Where can I get help about avoiding plagiarism and improving my academic writing?
You can get advice on good academic practice, and avoiding accidental plagiarism, from the Study Advice team based in the Library.
Study Advice have produced this Academic Integrity Toolkit which includes a section on Using Turnitin.