Turnitin Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Students

System: Turnitin »

Q. What is 'Turnitin'?

Q. Why does the ANU use Turnitin?

Q. How does Turnitin work?

Q. What is an Originality Report?

Q. How do I use Turnitin as a student?

Q. Can I update and resubmit my assignment after reviewing my Originality Report?

Q. Why can't I see a new Originality Report immediately after my second submission?

Q. What is GradeMark?

Q. When will I be able to see my results and lecturer's feedback in GradeMark?

Q. Why can I see a reference to 'PeerMark' in my Originality Report?

Q. When will Turnitin be available?

Q. Who can use Turnitin?

Q. How do the ANU and Turnitin protect my privacy?

Q. What can I do to protect my privacy?

Q. What am I providing to Turnitin when I submit an assignment?

Q. Why do I have to accept Turnitin's 'User Agreement' the first time I use Turnitin?

Q. Do I have to use Turnitin?

Q. How can I 'opt-out' of using Turnitin?

Q. Why do I get a M14:11 loading error message when I tried to view the originality report?

Q. Why do I get an error when trying to upload a submission to Turnitin?

Q. Why do I get a Turnitin login window when trying to view the Originality Report?

Q. Where can I go for more information?

Q. What is 'Turnitin'?

Turnitin is a 'text-matching' software which is designed to educate students regarding appropriate citation and referencing techniques. Turnitin is also used to provide the ANU with confidence in the academic integrity of students work. Turnitin does this by comparing a student submission against an archive of Internet documents, Internet data, a repository of previously submitted papers, and subscription repository of periodicals, journals, and publications. Turnitin then creates an 'Originality Report' which can be viewed by both lecturers and students, which identifies where the text within a student submission has matched another source.

It is important to note that Turnitin does not detect plagiarism. Turnitin will only match the text within a student's assignment to text located elsewhere (e.g. found on the Internet, within journals or on databases of student papers). Correct interpretation of these results by both lecturers and students is essential for the successful use of Turnitin.  

Q. Why does the ANU use Turnitin?

A large number of leading Universities across the world, including several members of the Group of Eight, are currently using Turnitin to enhance the education experience they provide to their students.

The ANU uses Turnitin both as a tool to educate students regarding appropriate citation and referencing techniques as well as to provide the ANU with confidence in the academic integrity of students work. Turnitin also provides lecturers and tutors with modern online grading capabilities and enhances the way in which students receive their grades and feedback on assessment items.

It is important to understand that Turnitin is not a punitive tool or a mechanism to 'catch students out'. The primary purpose of using Turnitin is to provide students with an interactive means of understanding and applying citation and referencing techniques in their work, and provide online grading to academic staff.

If misconduct is suspected as a result of using Turnitin, information provided through the use of Turnitin would not in itself determine any wrongdoing. This information would be considered within the wider context of the ANU Code of Practice for Student Academic Integrity. 

Q. How does Turnitin work?

If a lecturer chooses to use Turnitin for a particular Course or Assignment, the lecturer will create a 'Turnitin Assignment' within Wattle. When a student submits a 'Turnitin Assignment' within Wattle, the assignment will then be submitted to Turnitin for text-matching.

Turnitin matches the text within an assignment by comparing a student's submission against an archive of internet documents, internet data, a repository of previously submitted papers, and subscription repository of periodicals, journals, and publications. Turnitin then creates an 'Originality Report' which can be viewed by both lecturers and students, which identifies where the text within a student submission has matched another source.

Turnitin also stores a record of all submitted assignments on central database. This is done so that future submissions, for example assignments submitted to the ANU in future years, will be checked against previously submitted assignments.

While Turnitin retains a copy of submitted assignments, it does not reproduce these assignments or disclose them to third parties. This means that while a copy of your student's assignment is stored, it is never shown to a third party and the student retains ownership of their assignment. 

Q. What is an Originality Report?

The 'Originality Report' is the report Turnitin creates after it has assessed a student submission against the Internet, repositories of previously submitted papers, and subscription repositories of periodicals, journals, and publications.

The 'Originality Report' identifies where content in a student's submission has been 'text-matched' to other sources. The 'Originality Report' shows the overall 'similarity index' percentage (the total percent of the submission matched against other sources), and provides a detailed breakdown of what text within the submission has been matched against what source (e.g. internet sites, journals or previous submissions).

Please refer to the detailed reference guide 'How to Interpret an Originality Report' for additional information. 

Q. How do I use Turnitin as a student?

Once a lecturer has created a Turnitin assignment within a Course you are enrolled in, you will be able to access the assignment and submit your assignment via Wattle.

The following Reference Sheets have been developed to assist students in using Turnitin:

  • How to submit a Turnitin assignment in Wattle
  • How to obtain grades in GradeMark
  • How to submit a Turnitin assignment in Wattle

Q. Can I update and resubmit my assignment after reviewing my Originality Report?

This will depend on how your Lecturer has created your 'Turnitin Assignment'. The default approach of the ANU will be to allow students to submit their assignments to Turnitin, review their Original Reports, make any necessary modifications to their assignments, and then resubmit. This approach ensures ongoing education and feedback for students regarding the 'text-matches' identified within their submission, and any missing or potentially incorrect citations or referencing can be corrected prior to final submission.

Your Lecturer however may choose to take a different approach for a variety of reasons. If you have any concerns, you should discuss them with your Lecturer in the first instance. 

Q. Why can't I see a new Originality Report immediately after my second submission?

Turnitin will only provide one Originality Report in any given 24 hour period. This means that when you first submit an assignment to Turnitin, you will receive an Originality Report in a matter of minutes. If you then resubmit that assignment, you will not see the new Originality Report for 24 hours. This is designed to prevent abuse of the Turnitin system. Remember, the aim is not to try and get as low a 'similarity index' as possible, and a moderate to high 'similarity index' may not be an issue depending on the nature of your particular assignment.

If you are unable to view an Originality Report it is likely that you have resubmitted your assignment. Don't worry if this happens close to the assignment due date – even though you will not be able to see a new Originality Report for 24 hours, your most recently submitted assignment will have been submitted to your lecturer. 

Q. What is GradeMark?

GradeMark is an additional feature within Turnitin which allows Lecturers and Tutors to mark student submissions completely online. Within an Originality Report, Lecturers and Tutors can use GradeMark to provide feedback through inserting digital comments, voice comments and Rubrics as well as provide an overall assignment grade. 

Q. When will I be able to see my results and lecturer's feedback in GradeMark?

If your Lecturer and/or Tutors have used GradeMark to mark your assignment, you will be able to view your marks and the comments and feedback provided once the 'Post date' has passed for the relevant assignment. The 'Post Date' refers to the date your Lecturer has specified as the date from which grades for a particular assignment will become visible to students.

The following Reference Sheet has been developed to assist students in using GradeMark:

  • How to obtain grades in GradeMark

Q. Why can I see a reference to 'PeerMark' in my Originality Report?

PeerMark is an addition feature available from Turnitin which enables students to view, review, score and evaluate papers submitted by their classmates. This function is not currently available at the ANU, but is being assessed and may become available at a later date.

Q. When will Turnitin be available?

During Semester 1, 2014 the ANU will be piloting the use of the text-matching software Turnitin. Several Courses offered by various Colleges have been selected to pilot Turnitin during the Semester 1 teaching period. If you are completing a Course included in the Pilot, information regarding Turnitin should be included in your course materials and made available to you by your Lecturer.

From Semester 2, 2014 Turnitin will be deployed across the entire ANU and be made available to all lecturers and students.

Q. Who can use Turnitin?

During Semester 1, 2014 Turnitin will only be available in the Courses included in the Turnitin pilot, as well as some areas of the ANU which have been using Turnitin previously. From Semester 2, 2014 Turnitin will be deployed across the entire ANU and be made available to all lecturers and students.

Q. How do the ANU and Turnitin protect my privacy?

The use of Turnitin at the ANU will be integrated with our existing learning management system Wattle. In order to protect student's privacy, additional functionality has been incorporated into this integration which will transform each student's email address into a unique identifier (e.g. 875234HSKSD86423GHJ@anu.edu.au) before the student's submission is sent to Turnitin.

This will effectively remove a student's name or 'U' number from their email address, so there is no information stored on the Turnitin database which can connect a student to their submission.

Q. What can I do to protect my privacy?

If you do not want your name to be stored on the Turnitin database, you should remove your name and 'U' number from the content of your assignment (e.g. remove from your cover sheet or from the document header or footer). As described above, your email address will not be stored on the Turnitin database.

Q. What am I providing to Turnitin when I submit an assignment?

From a legal perspective, when a student submits their assignment to Turnitin and the assignment is stored on the Turnitin database, the student provides Turnitin with a perpetual license to store and use their assignment for the purposes of textual similarity review only.

It is important to understand however, that students retain the ownership of the content of their submissions, including their intellectual property. It is also important to understand that Turnitin will not provide or display the content of a student's submission to any third party. 

Q. Why do I have to accept a Turnitin 'User Agreement' the first time I use Turnitin?

ANU staff and students are licensed to use the Turnitin service as part of the agreement between the ANU and Turnitin. However staff and students, as the end-users of the service, are required to confirm that they agree to the terms set out in the 'User Agreement'.

Q.  Am I required to use Turnitin?

If Turnitin is being used in a Course you are enrolled in, the ANU highly recommends that students use Turnitin, however, it is not mandatory for either lecturers or students. If a student does not want to submit an assignment to Turnitin, the student may 'opt-out' of using Turnitin for that assignment.  

Q. How can I 'opt-out' of using Turnitin?

If a student does not want to submit an assignment to Turnitin, the student may 'opt-out' by approaching their lecturer and explaining they do not want to use Turnitin. Please contact your lecturer to discuss alternative submission methods within a reasonable time prior to your submission date. Many lecturers require this to take place before the end of Week 3.

Q. Why do I get a M14:11 loading error message when I tried to view the originality report?

Some students may see an error message which states: "Loading Error This paper is not available Error M14:11." The error can be caused by multiple reasons, such as internet connectivity issue or server issue, etc.

If you experience this issue, the following are the available options:

1. If it's before the due date, please return to your document, open it and save it in a different format (see below) before re-submitting the assignment. When re-submitting, it may be useful to upload a version of the paper in a different document type. If, for example the paper is a Microsoft Word (.docx) file type, it may be better to open the document and then re-save it with a Word 97-2003 .doc file type or a pdf file type. This may improve the chances of the paper being processed correctly. 

Note: It is important to note that the original submission date and time will be overwritten when re-submitting. If the due date for the assignment has already passed, the resubmitted paper will appear as 'late' (highlighted in red) in the Submission Inbox. Students are advised to contact the lecturers or tutors before re-submitting if the due date has passed.

2. If it's after the due date and resubmission is not suitable, please contact Wattle Support. We can request Turnitin support to regenerate the originality report.

Q. Why do I get an error when trying to upload a submission to Turnitin?

Some students may see an error message which states: "There was an error trying to create the submission in Turnitin. Please consult your tutor or Moodle administrator for further details." It also lists Fault Code: failure with more details.

This error occurs due to the use of the Safari browser. Please switch to another browser, such as Firefox or Chrome and it should resolve the issue.

Q. Why do I get a Turnitin login window when trying to view the Originality Report?

You should not need to log into Turnitin when you access the Originality Report through Wattle.

This often happens to people using the Safari browser. Please switch to another browser, such as Firefox or Chrome and it should resolve the issue.

Q. Where can I go for more information?

A range of 'reference sheets' and other support information is available on the Turnitin page.

If you require additional information or assistance, please contact IT Service Desk or call 612 54321 and select 'Option 1' then 'Option 5'.

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