Using TurnitinUK to promote ethical use of electronic sources. Rowell
Using TurnitinUK to promote ethical use of
Manager, Internet Plagiarism Advisory Service
• Background to TurnitinUK, and usage.
• Opportunity for you to plagiarise an essay!
• Submit to TurnitinUK and consider how Originality Report
can help with information literacy development.
Background: what is TurnitinUK?
• US-developed text matching tool.
• Used extensively in UK Universities and colleges as a
plagiarism detection system.
• Endorsed by JISC as preferred national detection solution
How does it work?
• Student/tutor uploads work.
• Originality Report returned indicating any matching text
– The internet
– Other students’ work
– Selected subscription services
• Academic judgement as to whether plagiarism has
A learning opportunity.
Opportunities for information skills
• Allows for reflection and self-diagnosis.
– Need for appropriate attribution of electronic sources.
– Catalyst for analytical skills development.
– Demonstrates ubiquitous information on the web.
• Widely used in study skills modules at induction.
• Students submit work themselves.
• Students receive feedback on their work:
– Revision assignment allows students to submit a number of drafts
as determined by the tutor.
– Students can overwrite their assignment unlimited times until due
date is reached.
• Need for pedagogical support as part of a formative
Some experiences of formative use of TurnitinUK
“most of the staff who are using Turnitin on a regular basis seem to see it as
a useful tool for teaching students about plagiarism, rather than a method of
"catching them at it"… The practice is for the students to submit a formative
assignment and the tutor to discuss the implications of a high scoring match
with the student concerned should this occur.” (Beckton, 2007)
“Some staff are concerned about the use by students - "some students use it
to make the colour go away" - but generally even that is seen as having an
educative dimension. "To make the colour go away" requires them to think
about the content of their answers and their form of expression.” (Raeburn,
Beckton, J. (2007) ‘Student access to Turnitin’, Plagiarism discussion list, 1 February [Online]. Available email:
Raeburn, S. (2006) ‘Use of Turnitin at UK institutions’, Plagiarism discussion list, 2 March [Online]. Available email: