• What is Turnitin?

    Turnitin is a web-based tool that supports students in the development of good academic practice when preparing written work for assessment. This text-matching tool allows academic staff to check students' work for improper use of sources or potential plagiarism by comparing it against continuously up-dated databases (including web-pages and student work). Turnitin produces an 'Originality Report' for each submitted piece of work which indicates all the matches in the student assignment to the web-based sources on its database, and thus can provide academic staff with the opportunity to help students develop proper citation methods as well as to safeguard students' academic integrity.

    When will I be likely to use Turnitin?

    At Oxford Brookes University, all students on the undergraduate modular programme will normally use Turnitin on a minimum of three compulsory occasions: once during a compulsory module in Stage I, once again in a compulsory module in Stage II and finally during the dissertation or project module.

    All students on taught Masters programmes are be required to use Turnitin on a minimum of two modules: once during a taught module (this could be the Research Methods module) and once during the dissertation or project module. All other taught postgraduates students (taking PGDip or PGCert programmes) are required to use Turnitin once during one taught module.

    In addition, Turnitin may be used optionally on other modules for one or all pieces of assessment in that module as decided by the Module Leader. Turnitin may be used as part of an investigation into an alleged case of plagiarism but its primary use is to support students' academic development and enhance good academic practice.


    Turnitin Search box

    Please note that the Search box in the Turnitin Inbox does not automatically reset when you logout of Turnitin.  We have had a number of instances where staff can only see one submission rather than a complete list.  If this happens to you, try clearing the Search box and your assignments should all reappear.

    Do not delete Turnitin assignment links

    We have recently had an issue where a member of staff deleted a Turnitin assignment link in a Moodle course without realising that it would also delete all of the submitted assignments in that inbox.  Whilst it is possible to get Turnitin to reinstate the assignments from their database, it is a complicated process that can take a considerable length of time to resolve (in this case nearly a week).

    The advice is do not delete Turnitin assignment links unless they are unused.  If you want to tidy up your Moodle course, hide any Turnitin assignment links rather than deleting them.

    Useful resources

    Turnitin White Paper

    You may find this 2012 study useful as it 'examines which Internet sources higher education students most frequently use in their written work and the implications of those choices. It is based on an analysis of over 112 million content matches from 28 million student papers submitted to Turnitin between July 2011 and June 2012.'

    WHITE PAPER: The Sources in Student Writing – Higher Education: Sources of Matched Content and Plagiarism in Student Writing

    Where to get help

    For help with interpreting originality reports staff should contact their Faculty Turnitin champion. For help with setting up a Turnitin assignment on a VLE course staff should contact their faculty's Digital Media and E-Learning Developer (DMELD) or the Digital Services team.