Turnitin UK text-matching software
The University has purchased a site licence for Turnitin UK text-matching software, an online service that compares work submitted to it for matches with a database of material available online and with a 'private' database of previous submissions.
On this page:
- University policy on the use of Turnitin UK
- how to apply to use the software
- methods of accessing the software (direct or via CamTools)
- contacts and further information
There is no obligation to use Turnitin UK, but faculties and departments are encouraged to apply to use the software. The University's Turnitin UK policy is available to download:
A template student information and consent form is also available to download, as students' written consent must be obtained before their work can be submitted to the software:
Before a Turnitin account can be set up using the University's licence the Educational and Student Policy section ask the faculty or department for a short plan to provide assurances that they will comply with the conditions of use listed in the policy (and below) and to outline:
- What can be submitted to Turnitin (which assessed work from which courses - projects/dissertations etc)?
- How will Turnitin be used? Methods of use include: on suspicion, to systematically or randomly screen work, to blanket screen all work, and formatively (the policy contains more information about each method).
- How will the process work? How and by whom will work be submitted to the system? Who will be responsible for reviewing the originality reports? How will this fit the examination process?
The conditions of use are that the faculty or department will:
- obtain the informed written consent of its students in good time in advance of submission, and ideally towards the start of the academic year;*
- provide sufficient guidance about good academic practice (which might include the formative use of Turnitin UK);
- recognise the limitations of Turnitin UK and review the originality reports carefully;
- not compromise the University's appeals mechanisms;
- keep detailed records of how Turnitin UK is used which can be used in any subsequent appeal or to help evaluate the impact of the software;
- (for blanket and random screening) have robust procedures to separate the screening process from the Examiner's academic evaluation of the work;
- ensure that use of Turnitin UK will not disrupt the publication of class lists etc;
- comply with the normal investigatory procedures where Turnitin UK appears to indicate a breach of academic integrity.
Faculties and departments must reapply to use Turnitin UK annually and, as part of the reapplication process, will be required to review their policy and Turnitin UK usage.
*All students must be given a full explanation of the basis on which their work will (or may) be tested and the implications of submitting their work to the system. They must sign a consent form before the faculty or department can submit their work to the software.
Please send your plan to Educational and Student Policy (Katherine.Wallington@admin.cam.ac.uk), with a copy of the consent form that students are asked to sign, having ensured that you meet the General Board's requirements of Faculty Boards .
Faculties and departments can choose from two ways of accessing the software:
- Access to Turnitin via CamTools: [likely to be of interest to those planning to blanket screen work] CARET can enable the CamTools Turnitin feature. This enables departments to logon to their CamTools site, create an assignment and release it to students. The screening process will be automated so staff only have to review the Turnitin reports.
- Direct access to the Turnitin system: CARET will create a user id on https://submit.ac.uk. The system will send the departmental contact a user id and password with the URL to logon. From there the department can create assignments and either invite students to submit assignments to the system themselves (students will receive an email from the Turnitin system with details how they can logon) or collect assignments from students and upload them to Turnitin.
Faculties and departments are best-placed to determine processes that will fit their circumstances, but in response to requests several short case studies are available to local users that outline processes by which other institutions submit work to the software:
- case studies of ways that the software is used around the University [local access only]
Educational and Student Policy would be happy to discuss any aspect of the policy. Please initially speak to Dr Katherine Wallington (Katherine.Wallington@admin.cam.ac.uk or (3)32583)
Turnitin UK user guides, FAQs, training videos and related resources are available on the Turnitin UK website: www.submit.ac.uk/en_gb/training/getting-started
For technical advice about the use of Turnitin UK at the University please contact the Turnitin UK helpdesk at CARET (turnitin@firstname.lastname@example.org)