Turnitin is a ‘text matching’ software that is used by institutions all over the world to ensure the integrity of student writing. The University of York subscribes to Turnitin as an institution and it is integrated with the Yorkshare VLE. Student work can be uploaded to Turnitin submission points and is cross-referenced with the contents of Turnitin’s database. Turnitin then produces ‘originality reports’ that show the percentage of matched text in the assignments. Turnitin’s database contains billions of resources, including:
While many people refer to Turnitin as ‘plagiarism detection’ software, this is misleading. Turnitin is text-matching software. It is not a substitute for academic judgement and it is up to staff and students to look at the originality reports, check referencing and make an academic judgement on whether too much of the text matches to other sources and is not written in the student’s own words.
Please see the tabs below for information on how Turnitin is used at the University of York, how you can access Turnitin and how staff may use it to analyse your assignments.
Turnitin is accessed through the VLE, however in order to gain access to one of the Turnitin VLE sites, you must attend a Turnitin workshop. There are two workshop options which have the same content and provide students with the same access:
Accessibility: We have tried to make the tutorial as accessible as possible, however Turnitin is not accessible to all users. If you have any problems, please email email@example.com and we shall make arrangements for you.
Workshops last one hour and take place in a PC room. The instructor is a specially trained Turnitin GTA, they will:
As staff use Turnitin to check for plagiarism, students can often feel very anxious about submitting work for assessment without understanding what Turnitin does. This can mean students are worried about plagiarism. By running a draft of your assignments through Turnitin before submitting the work, you will be able to ensure that you have not copied work without appropriately referencing, citing, summarising, paraphrasing or quoting your work.
Turnitin is used by staff and students at the University of York in the interests of maintaining the fundemental values of academic integrity:
Honesty: We expect students to be honest about the resources they have used and how they have used them in their writing through clear referencing, citation and quotation. Turnitin is one tool available to help staff and students to have confidence that their classmates and colleagues are being honest in the production and assessment of academic writing.
Trust: We trust students to generate their own Turnitin originality reports and to use these as a formative learning aid to improve their academic writing and referencing.
Fairness: We ensure that the assessment of writing is achieved in a fair manner through the detection and punishment of plagiarism. We provide students with training and access to generate their own Turnitin originality reports for draft work. This helps to provide students with fair access to the same tools staff have to assess the integrity of their work, helping to improve their understanding and reduce anxiety about plagiarism during the assessment process.
Respect: We foster respect in our academic community through allowing students to independently generate Turnitin originality reports.
Responsibility: We encourage students to take responsibility for the integrity of their work through providing access to Turnitin software.
We have implemented an innovative approach to allow students to check their own work and reflect on Turnitin originality reports in a formative manner. We also have systematic procedures in place for staff to check work through Turnitin in each department, therefore maintaining the integrity of the assessment procedures and the qualifications awarded by the institution.
Turnitin is only used by staff at University of York using the Originality Report feature, we do not have a license to use the GradeMark which is used at some institutions. This means that our the way students and staff access Turnitin at the University of York is slightly different from other institutions.
This process means the staff and students access to Turnitin is completely separate. Once students have uploaded their work to the assignment checkpoint in the VLE, the essays will be loaded into a Turnitin checkpoint. This means if staff suspect plagiarism, they can check the Turnitin report.