Turnitin

Table of Contents

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is an internet-based plagiarism detection service, which helps instructors to evaluate the originality of students’ work by checking submitted documents against its database and the content of other websites. Results can identify similarities with existing sources.

Turnitin identifies similarities, and not necessarily plagiarism. The course instructor will determine whether these similarities are actually due to plagiarism. More information about plagiarism can be found below.

Rules Governing the Use of Plagiarism Detection Software

Jacobs University uses plagiarism detection software to evaluate academic work against its Code of Academic Integrity. To that end:

  • Faculty inform their classes about the use of plagiarism detection software.
  • Students upload their work to Turnitin.

Turnitin Features

  • Integration with our learning platform “Moodle”.
  • Translated Matching (Beta): Enables plagiarism checks for texts that have been translated from English.
  • GradeMark: An online feedback tool that enables instructors to apply highlights, comments, and editing marks to student papers in digital format.
  • E-rater (Beta): This feature is integrated in GradeMark and is an automatic grammar check for English texts.
  • PeerMark: Enables students to evaluate each other’s work and learn from their fellow students.

Turnitin Help

The best method to receive support is to first check the Support Wizard.

Turnitin Guides and Manuals

Jacobs University uses Moodle, so the second link would be the best resource.

Accessing Turnitin

  1. Go to https://moodle.jacobs-university.de/ and
  2. Log in with your CampusNet username and password.

All Jacobs University instructors and students can access their courses and Turnitin assignments directly through Moodle. No second login or account creation is required.

Course instructors without a CampusNet account:

  1. Contact the library to request a Turnitin instructor account.
  2. After your account has been set up, you will receive an email from Turnitin on how to log in and use your account.

Turnitin for Instructors

Guides and manuals
Instructor Quick Start Guide
Turnitin Moodle Direct Integration Instructor Manual

Creating an assignment
Through Moodle, you will already have Turnitin integrated into your class. All you need to do is create an assignment. Click here for step-by-step directions: Creating an assignment

Note: When you create your assignment, you have the option of storing student papers in the Turnitin repository or not storing them. You do this by selecting “Standard repository” or “No repository” under “Store Student Papers”.

Respecting copyright
Always choose option “No repository” if:

  • Students object to the submission of their paper to the repository. In order to protect the students’ copyright, please then use this assignment for them to upload their papers.
  • Papers are protected by third parties’ copyrights.
  • Papers are protected by patent law.
  • You are doing a test run of a plagiarism check prior to the actual check.

More information regarding students’ copyright can be found below.

The Similarity Report
Once a paper has been submitted to an assignment, a Similarity Report will be generated and you can access it from the assignment inbox. Click here for more information: The Similarity Report (for instructors).

The Similarity Report is sometimes called Originality Report. They are the same thing.

Adding a TA to your course

  1. Click the Participants link in the upper left menu.
  2. Click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the Participants list and select Enrolled users.
  3. On the Enrolled users page, click on the Enrol users button.

Then in the Enrol users box:

  1. Type the name of the person that you would like to add into the Search box and double click their name in the dropdown list.
  2. Select “Teaching Assistant (not synced from CampusNet)” from the Assign roles drop down menu.
  3. Click the Enrol users button.

The next time this person logs into Moodle, they will see the course and have access as a TA.

You can assign other roles likewise.

Turnitin for Students

Guides and manuals
Student Quick Start Guide
Turnitin Moodle Direct Integration Student Manual

Submitting an assigment
Through Moodle, you can access your Turnitin assignments and submit your papers in three easy steps:

  1. Select the relevant course from your Moodle dashboard.
  2. From the course you’ve selected, continue to the relevant assignment.
  3. You will be directed to the submission inbox for your assignment, where you can view your assignment information and submit a paper.

You can recognize your Turnitin assigments by the Turnitin icon that appears to the left of the title:
If your class and/or assignment is unavailable, please contact your course instructor.

Note: If you have never submitted a Turnitin assignment in Moodle before, you may be asked to agree to the Turnitin User Agreement before.

The Similarity Report
Once you have submitted your paper to an assignment, a Similarity (or Originality) Report will be generated and you can access it from the assignment inbox. Click here for more information: The Similarity Report (for students).

Jacobs University’s legal counsel looked into this and concluded:

As long as the students works are temporarily reproduced for matters of detecting plagiarism (and deleted afterwards), this kind of use is allowed under the German Copyright Act. Further uses that go beyond this purpose—including storage in a database for future plagiarism detection of other works—require the consent of the copyright holder.

This implies that the university has a right to check a student’s work for plagiarism by using a detection service. However, the university cannot oblige a student to store their work permanently in Turnitin’s repository.

If a student does not want their work to be stored in Turnitin’s repository, the instructor should adjust the setting accordingly, see above.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is “the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own.” (Oxford Dictionaries). It can be committed intentionally or unintentionally.

The Turnitin Plagiarism Spectrum identifies 10 types of plagiarism.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

  • Organize your research well and keep notes of all your sources: Record bibliographic information (author, title, etc.) of what you read, or write down the URL for internet sources.
  • Clearly separate your own thoughts and ideas from the source material.
  • Properly cite resources that you use. When in doubt whether something is your original idea or not, make a citation.

A website that might be helpful is Iris. Another interesting source might be Purdue University’s online writing lab.

In line with this, you should always keep in mind and adhere to Jacobs University’s Code of Academic Integrity.

What Happens if a Student is Suspected of Plagiarism?

If your instructor is of the opinion that you’ve committed plagiarism, they will inform you about this and about the sanction. If you agree with the sanction, this has no further direct consequences, except that the sanction will be put on record at the Student Records Office. If this occurs a second time, the case will be brought before the Academic Integrity Committee, with sanctions which could be as drastic as expulsion from Jacobs University.