Check for originality

Student papers that are submitted in Turnitin for grading/feedback, get scanned by default for text similarity with academic sources, the web and other submitted student papers.

For each submitted paper, a similarity report is created, that indicates to what extent the submitted work represent original work.

The similarity report contains the % text overlap with other sources and a link to these sources. The  instructor can opt to share the results/report with the students or not.

There are 3 tools available at TU Delft that can help to check for plagiarism:

  • Turnitin/Feedback studio is a tool offered via Blackboard that identifies text matches with other sources.
  • SafeAssign is also a plagiarism detection tool offered via Blackboard but has less functionalities than Turnitin/Feedback Studio.
  • Ithenticate is a plagiarism detection tool that is only used to scan dissertations. Learn more about the draft dissertation plagiarism scan procedure.

Guides:

How to scan a document without creating a Blackboard assignment?

In general, you’ll create a Turnitin assignment in Blackboard and have your students to submit their work. But sometimes you may need to scan a single document for plagiarism.

We have created a special Blackboard course for this purpose. This is only available for instructors and other staff, but not for students.

Go to this course and request enrolment.

 

How to interpret a Originality Report?

When a paper is submitted in Turnitin/Feedback Studio, the system generates a “Originality Report” with an overall percentage score that indicates the overlap with other sources. This report alone cannot determine plagiarism, it flags matched text but it does not tell you whether this matched text has been used and cited correctly. Similarly, the report does not pick up many instances of plagiarized paraphrasing. So, there is always human interpretation of the Originality Report required.

It is, therefore, impossible to provide a general guideline for an acceptable percentage (like “the similarity index should always be below 20%”) The only guideline is you, since you know the assignment and the requirements.

So you have to scan through the paper to see if the similarities are acceptable or not. To help you with this, check these sources:

How to use Turnitin to prevent plagiarism?

Many  instructors see Turnitin as a tool to detect instances of plagiarism, but it can also be used as an instructional tool to teach students how to use sources well.

You can, for example, allow your students to submit their own work and view their “Originality Report”. When you encourage your students to check their papers in Turnitin while still in draft stage, they can check and correct their papers before submitting them to you.

If you combine this with instruction on how to use sources correctly and responsibly, this approach can help your students to develop their academic writing skills and to prevent plagiarism.
Suggested methods for preventing plagiarism are available at:

Students can find advice and examples of how to use sources in:

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