Turnitin: Similarity Report: How to handle a paper access request

What is a Turnitin paper view request?

The University and many other UK institutions use Turnitin to check the similarity of students’ work against various web sources and the work of other students. Papers submitted by students are added to a national repository that enables academics to find matches to student papers submitted at other institutions, which subscribe to Turnitin.

A request can be made by a member of staff from:

  • Outside of UoR: At another UK educational institution.
  • Within UoR: If the member of staff is not enrolled on the course in Blackboard where the paper was submitted.

How is a request made?

When a match is made to a paper submitted to another course or institution, it is not possible to immediately see the source of the match – this is in order to protect Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). The member of staff can make an automated request to the holding institution to grant permission to see the full text of the work. This is sent in the form of an email to the staff associated with the corresponding Turnitin assignment at that institution. It is then up to them to decide if permission should be granted. Only a small number of requests are made using this feature.

When would you accept or decline a request?

Read guidelines on when to accept a request.

Procedure for responding to a paper view request

In order to ensure you comply with UK data protection and copyright legislation, please follow the UBTL approved guidelines below when receiving email requests from Turnitin, asking you to allow a person from within the University or at another institution to view a University of Reading student’s paper.

Emails received are titled ‘TurnitinUK Paper View Request’ from email address TurnitinUK No Reply (noreply@turnitin.com)

The email contains the:

A. Name of the person requesting and their institution,

B. Title of the paper being requested and the module it is in,

C. Size of the percentage match,

D. Name of the requester’s module,

E. The full text of the student paper being requested.

Screenshot of example email.


  • All Instructors enrolled on the module in Blackboard where the assignment was submitted will receive the email.
  • Work that has been submitted in previous years can be requested.


1. Identify the module that the paper was submitted to to check the assignment details. The email will contain the Blackboard course title and the title of the paper being requested and the date it was submitted. (It is not always practical to identify the paper itself.)

2. Refer the email to the relevant module convener to make a decision on whether to grant permission. Where you have advice on whether permission should be granted, please indicate this to assist the decision.

3. The module convener decides whether or not to accept request.

  • Decline a Request

No further action is required and delete the email.

Be Aware: If you reply to the email, permission is deemed as being granted, as the email contains the full text of the requested work and is sent directly to the person who has made the request.

  • Accept a Request

Do the following:

4. Select one person to reply to the original email.

Before sending the reply email, this person should:

5. Remove any information that identifies the student throughout the text of the student’s work. (For example: student name or student number)

Screen shot of replay with student information crossed out

6. Copy and paste the following Copyright Statement to the top of your reply:

Copyright in this assignment remains with the student author. You may only use this assignment for the purposes of checking students’ work for improper citation and potential plagiarism and for no other purpose. Copies of assignments should not be stored beyond being needed for these purposes.

Screenshot of reply email with text cut and pasted in.

NB: Students have been made aware that their work may be used for this purpose on the Data Protection Fair Processing page of the Student Handbook. Copyright of the work remains with the student author.

Querying a request

If you need to correspond with the person who has requested the paper you will need to include your own contact details in the reply. You should delete the text of the student’s paper from the reply if you are querying the request, as inclusion of the text is deemed to be granting permission.


Page last updated on May 30, 2023 by taralehane

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