Frequently Asked Questions
• What is Turnitin.com?
TurnItIn.com is a Web-based plagiarism detection service which also allows for online grading and peer reviews. Turnitin may be used alone or in conjunction with Angel. Turnitin checks papers for originality against a database with over 200 million student papers, 90000 publications, and anything searchable on the web.
• Who is eligible to use Turnitincom?
All current UAH faculty, staff and students.
• Are student papers kept confidential?
Yes, the UAH license with Turnitin.com specifies a privacy pledge in accordance with FERPA: the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Papers submitted to Turnitin are not available outside of the Turnitin database.
• What is plagiarism?
According to the UAH Code of Student Conduct (in the UAH Student Handbook), plagiarism can be defined as “the use of any other person’s work (such work need not be copyrighted) and the unacknowledged incorporation of that work in one’s own work offered in fulfillment of academic requirements.” In other words, plagiarism is the use of another’s original words or ideas as if they were your own.
• What are the consequences of plagiarism for UAH students?
Plagiarism is an act of academic dishonesty, which threatens the academic integrity of UAH. If a faculty member suspects a student of plagiarism, he or she can choose to deal with the student within the context of the course, by requiring a revision, giving the student a failing grade, or several other disciplinary options. The faculty member can choose to file a complaint with the Office of Student Conduct, which can result in a hearing by the Student Conduct Board. If the student is found guilty of plagiarism, the Board can choose from a variety of sanctions, including issuing a warning, a censure, educational alternatives, disciplinary probation, disciplinary suspension, and expulsion.
• As a student, how can I learn more about plagiarism?
If a student has any questions about plagiarism or citing sources, he or she should not hesitate to talk to a faculty member, the library staff, or visit the Writing Center. See Also: our libguide on plagiarism, Purdue OWL’s page on avoiding plagiarism, and Plagiarism.org.
• If I submit a paper for one class and then submit the same paper again for another class, is this plagiarism?
This is not plagiarism, but it is recycling work, which some instructors may not allow. Check with your instructor.
• How does Turnitin work?
Turnitin breaks up text into fragments and matches it against web sites, previously submitted papers and online journals and databases. If Turnitin finds matching text online, it records the urls of those web pages and calculates an “originality” score based on how much of the submitted paper was found online. The scoring does not take into account passages they have been properly cited, but the originality score can be adjusted to ignore properly cited passages.
• What are the advantages of Turnitin?
Faculty can use Turnitin to make the process of detecting plagiarism easier and more efficient. Students can use Turnitin to check their own papers to see if they have properly cited sources. Turnitin provides tools for grading papers online and for allowing students to learn by reviewing other students’ papers. In addition, Turnitin provides students and faculty with a variety of educational resources on preventing and avoiding plagiarism, writing research papers, and citing sources.
• Do I need to sign up for a Turnitin account?
If you are using Turnitin with a course in Angel, there is no need to create a separate account. Instructors create a dropbox for Turnitin (click here for instructions) and students submit their papers in the dropbox.
If you are not using Turnitin with a course in Angel, you do need a Turnitin account. See instructions above.
• How long does it take for Turnitin to check an uploaded paper?
Turnitin will check a paper against the web and generate an originality report in an hour or less. During mid-term or at the end of the semester the Turnitin site may be a bit slow. If you experience problems at these times, please wait and try again later.
• Is a paper that receives a high similarity rating necessarily plagiarized?
No. A high similarity rating does not mean that a student has plagiarized; it only indicates that the faculty member should review the paper closely. If a student includes many properly cited references in one paper, it would show a high similarity rating; passages that are properly cited can be removed from the originality scoring. In addition, if the student has previously submitted the paper to Turnitin prior to the final submission, it would show a high similarity rating