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Plagiarism

 

These pages provide information on the University's conditions of use for Turnitin UK, and expectations of Faculties and Departments. Full details are available in the University's Policy on the use of Turnitin text-matching software, available below.

University Policy on the use of Turnitin text-matching software (effective 1 October 2016)

 

Terms and Conditions of Use

The software is available for any Faculty or Department to use in the course of the academic year, but institutions must ensure that students understand that their work may be submitted to this software during their time at Cambridge, and that staff reviewing the reports are aware of the benefits and limitations of Turnitin.  The University has imposed the following conditions of use on its site-wide Turnitin licence; these conditions must be accepted in writing by the Faculty or Department before access to the licence is granted.

In using the University's licence for Turnitin UK, the Faculty or Department agrees that it will: 

  1. provide sufficient guidance about good academic practice in all types of assessment;
  2. notify students of the way(s) in which the software may be used;
  3. recognise the limitations of Turnitin UK and will review resulting originality reports carefully;
  4. 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;
  5. have robust procedures to distinguish the screening process from the academic evaluation of the work;
  6. not compromise the University's appeals mechanisms;
  7. ensure that use of Turnitin UK will not disrupt the publication of class lists etc.;
  8. initiate investigative procedures in line with University policy where Turnitin UK appears to indicate a breach of academic integrity.

Note that the Turnitin licence extends only to the screening of student work in relation to a course of study; it cannot be used by staff or students to check commercial or published work.

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How can Turnitin be used? 

Turnitin UK may be used in one of four ways: 

  1. Formatively, screening sample or draft work in order to discuss results with students and improve academic practice;
  2. To screen submitted work only when concerns are raised by Examiners or supervisors; 
  3. To blanket screen all submitted work on a course; 
  4. To randomly screen a percentage of all submitted work on a course;

The chosen method will vary according to several factors, including the relevance of the software to the discipline, relevant local training and support, and available resources.  Faculties and Departments are asked to keep under review their chosen method of usage, and to discuss their changing needs with officers in Educational and Student Policy as required. Full details about each method are available in the University's Policy on the use of Turnitin text-matching software, located at the top of this page.

If using blanket or formative screening, you may benefit from use of the Turnitin integration with Moodle; the Moodle team would be happy to discuss this with you, contact moodlehelp@uis.cam.ac.uk

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Requesting an account

Institutions wishing to access the University's licence have two options: either using the Turnitin Assignment tool in Moodle, or accessing the Turnitin software directly.

If using Turnitin UK via Moodle:

  1. The Turnitin Assignment tool is available on teaching courses to anyone with a ‘teacher’ role in Moodle, and guidance on its use is available from the Moodle Team (moodlehelp@uis.cam.ac.uk). It will be particularly of interest to those using Turnitin for blanket checking or formative feedback.
  2. When setting up a Turnitin Assignment, the user will be asked to confirm that s/he understands and accepts the University’s conditions of use. The user setting up the assignment will be considered the primary contact for that assignment, and will be expected to take responsibility for accessing training/guidance on interpretation of reports, as well as ensuring that any necessary actions are taken in line with University policy.  IMPORTANT NOTE: because any user with a 'teacher' role will be able to view the resulting reports, it is vital that all institutions using the Turnitin Assignment tool have robust mechanisms in place to ensure appropriate interpretation and understanding of the reports generated.
  3. Moodle is only able to provide blanket screening and an originality report will be generated for all work.  The Faculty/Department will need to notify students that all work will be screened, and direct them to this website for information about the Turnitin UK database and their rights/responsibilities.  A template statement for handbooks is included in the University's Policy on the use of Turnitin text-matching software, available at the top of this page.

If using Turnitin UK directly:

  1. Accounts may be set up for institutions wishing to use Turnitin UK through direct access.  This requires manual upload of student work to the Turnitin UK database by a member of University staff, and will be of most interest to those undertaking only occasional or random checks.
  2. Requests for an account should be sent to turnitin@admin.cam.ac.uk, providing the name of the primary contact for the account, and confirmation that the Faculty/Department understands and accepts the University’s conditions of use shown above.  Please note that it may take 3-4 days for the account to be activated.
  3. The primary contact will be able to upload submissions to the Turnitin UK site and will be expected to take responsibility for accessing training/guidance on interpretation of reports, as well as ensuring that any necessary actions are taken in line with University policy.

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Contacts and further information 

Educational and Student Policy would be happy to discuss any aspect of the University's plagiarism policy and how Turnitin fits within it. Please contact Jane Clare (jane.clare@admin.cam.ac.uk). For technical advice about the use of Turnitin UK at the University please contact the Turnitin UK helpdesk at UIS (turnitin@admin.cam.ac.uk).

Turnitin UK user guides, FAQs, training videos and related resources are available on the Turnitin UK website

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