Instructor Training

Viewing Originality Reports


The Originality Report can be viewed in one of four modes. These modes allow users to view and sort the information contained in the Originality Report in any way best suited to their needs. The four modes for viewing an Originality Report are:

  • Match Overview (show highest matches together): A list of all areas of the paper which have similarity to information in the Turnitin repository. Matches are color coded and listed from highest to lowest percentage of matching word area to the submission. Only the top or best matches are shown, all underlying matches are visible in the "Match Breakdown" and "All Sources" modes
  • All Sources: Allows a user to view matches between the paper and a specific selected source in the Turnitin repositories. Contains a full list of all matches found rather than the best matches per area of similarity. This listing is exhaustive but will show all matches found, including any that are obscured in the "Match Overview" by virtue of being in the same or similar areas as other, better matches
  • Match Breakdown: Displays matches that are obscured by a top source. Allows instructors to compare the match instance of a underlying source with the match instance for a top source
  • Direct Source Comparison: An in depth view that shows an area of similarity compared side by side with a specific match from the Turnitin repositories. Not available on all types of repository matches

Note: If the source of matching text is a student paper in one of the classes controlled by the user as an instructor, the paper can be displayed in direct source comparison mode with matching text highlighted. The Originality Report provides the instructor with information regarding the origin of the matching paper. Not available for students viewing Originality Reports.

If the paper is from a class controlled by another instructor, no direct access to this paper can be provided. To view the paper, the instructor must request permission from the instructor in possession of the paper by clicking on the link to the source and then using the "permission request" button. Turnitin will auto-generate an e-mail request to the instructor who controls the paper. The instructor can reply via e-mail to the user if the request is granted. No student papers are made available to another user within the Turnitin system.

To open an Originality Report, click on the icon in the "SIMILARITY" column in the assignment inbox. The Originality Report will open in a new window. If the new window does not appear, the user may need to add turnitin.com to the list of sites allowed to create pop-up windows on the web browser the instructor is using.

View Mode Icons

The view mode icons allow users to switch between the Originality Report viewing modes: "Match Overview" and "All Sources" view. The default viewing mode is the "Match Overview."

To change the view mode for an Originality Report to the "All Sources" view, click on the "All Sources" icon. The sidebar will automatically update to the "All Sources" view mode.

Match Breakdown Mode

By default the Originality Report opens in "Match Overview" mode. In some cases, matches to smaller areas of similarity may be obscured by larger matches and not shown on this view mode. To find the underlying sources, hover over the match you would like to view the underlying sources for and click on the arrow icon that appears.

In this mode all sources that are obscured by the selected top source are listed below the top source. Click on a source to display the highlights for the match. The highlight for the top source match will become lighter and the match to the selected underlying source will be displayed with a darker highlight.

To return to the "Match Overview" mode click on the back arrow next to "Match Breakdown" at the top of the sidebar.

To view an internet source within a new browser tab, hover over the match and click on the "view source" icon that appears.

Direct Source Comparison

Direct Source Comparison, allows a user to quickly compare matching text to the source of the match in the Turnitin repositories. Matches to other student papers are not available for Direct Source Comparison viewing unless the students’ are enrolled in your class. Using Direct Source Comparison can be done from the "Match Overview" or the "All Sources" view mode of the Originality Report.

Users can either view the Direct Source Comparison as a glimpse within the paper or as the "Full Source Text" within the sidebar. The "glimpse only" provides the matching text within context of a few outlying sentences from the source while the "Full Source Text" loads in the sidebar and contains the full text of the source and all the match instances.

Accessing direct source comparison:

  1. Open an Originality Report by clicking on an Originality Report "%" icon from within an assignment's inbox
  2. Click on a highlighted area of text on the left hand (student paper) side
  3. A pop-up window will appear above the highlighted text displaying the matching text within the source of the match
  4. (Optional) Clicking on the "url" link, available on live internet matches, brings up a view of the live web site within a new browser tab or window
  5. Click on the “x” in the top right corner of the pop-up to close the window
  6. To view the matching text within the full source text click on the "Expand to Full Text" link
  7. The "Full Source Text" view will load into the sidebar
  8. If there are multiple matches to this source, click on the arrow icons to quickly navigate through the match instances
  9. To exit the "Full Source Text" view click on the “X” button

Note: If an area of submission text is matched to a source in the student paper repository on Turnitin, it will be listed as "student papers." Direct Source Comparison is not available to students for student paper matches. Instructor users are able to send an e-mail request to the instructor who received the matching paper. If one instructor user profile controls the class containing both papers, that instructor user is able to see the paper in direct source comparison.

Repository Sources

Turnitin utilizes multiple types of repositories in the generation of the Originality Reports. There are currently four types of repositories:

  • current and archived internet - billions of active and archived web pages from the internet. Internet sources indicate a date of download on the Turnitin Originality Report if the match is not found on the most recent download of content from this site
  • institution paper repository - the institutions paper repository of student papers
  • periodicals - a repository of frequently updated content from professional journals, periodicals, and publications
  • student paper repository - a repository of papers previously submitted by Turnitin users

Excluding Quoted or Bibliographic Material

If quoted or bibliographic material is flagged as similar or matching, this information can be removed from the Originality Report. Permanent exclusion of bibliography or quoted material can only be handled by the instructor. Students are only able to remove quoted or bibliographic material for the duration of the current session of viewing the Originality Report.

Please note that the functions for excluding material are approximate and human judgement is the final arbiter for proper quotation or bibliographic reference. Cited material cannot be excluded directly, and quotations can only be excluded if block-indentation or direct quotation marks (“”) begin and end the quotation.

Excluding quoted or bibliographic Matches:

  1. Open an Originality Report by clicking on an Originality Report "%" icon from within an assignment's inbox
  2. Click on the "Filter and Settings" icon
  3. To exclude Quoted or Bibliographic material click the check box next to the "Exclude Quotes" and "Exclude Bibliography" exclusion options
  4. Click on the "Apply Changes" button at the bottom of the filter and settings sidebar to apply the changes
  5. Review the revised report. Quoted or bibliographic material can be re-included by deselecting the "Exclude Quotes" and "Exclude Bibliography" options within Filter and Settings and then clicking on "Apply Changes"

Excluding Small Matches

Users have the ability to exclude small matches by either word count or by percentage. To exclude small matches within an Originality Report click on the "Filter and Settings" icon below the sidebar.

The sidebar will load with the exclusion options. Below the "Exclude matches that are less than:" option enter into either the words or % fields the numerical value for small matches that will be excluded from this Originality Report. To turn off excluding small matches click on the radio button next to "Don’t exclude by size" and then click on the "Apply Changes" button. This feature can be adjusted at any time.

Excluding a Match

Any source or match source can be removed from the Originality Report through the "Match Breakdown" or "All Sources" viewing modes. This allows the instructor to remove a match from consideration, if the instructor determines the match is not needed. The similarity index will be recalculated and change the current percentage of the Originality Report if matches are excluded.

To exclude a match:

  1. Open an Originality Report
  2. To exclude matches for a top match hover over the match you would like to view the underlying sources for and click on the blue arrow icon that appears.
  3. To exclude matches from the "All Sources" view click on the "All sources" icon at the top of the side bar
  4. Click on the "Select Sources to be Excluded" button at the bottom of the sources list to enter source exclusion mode
  5. Select the sources that you would like to remove by clicking in the check box next to each source
  6. Once all the sources are selected click on the "Exclude (#)" button located at the bottom of the sidebar to exclude the sources

Exclusion List

The Exclusion List contains each source that was excluded from the Originality Report.

To access the exclusion list click on the "Exclusion List" icon at the bottom of the sidebar.

To include a match from the exclusion list:

  1. Within the "Exclusion List" a check box appears next to each excluded source. Click on the check box next to the source you would like to include back into the Originality Report
  2. Click on the "Restore (#) & Recalculate" button to include the source in the Originality Report
  3. If the included source affects the Similarity Index percentage the percentage will recalculate

Downloading Reports and Digital Receipts

The Originality Report or digital receipt can be downloaded to the user’s computer for later reference.

To print/download a report, click on the print icon at the bottom of the Originality Report. This will prepare a readable, PDF version of the Originality Report or digital receipt. When downloading a repot, the downloaded version created is based on the current view of Originality Report. For example, clicking the download icon while using the default Match Overview will create a PDF of only the highest matches.

Once a PDF version of the report or digital receipt has been saved to your computer, you may then use your computer’s default PDF viewing application to print the Originality Report/digital receipt. The downloaded version will no longer have any of the Direct Source Comparison capability and will not be able to show side by side comparisons. The view modes of a downloaded report are not available in the PDF document.

Refreshing Reports

Since new material is constantly entering Turnitin’s repositories from ongoing internet crawls, new publication content, and submissions made to Turnitin, it is sometimes beneficial to generate a new Originality Report for a student submission at a later date to see if there are any new matching sources, or to ensure that it checks against later submissions made by other students or other classes.

The option to refresh a report is available on the Originality Report once it has opened. The current report is deleted and a new report is generated. Please note that no report will be available until the new report has finished. If the user wishes, they can save or print a copy of the existing report before selecting the "New Report" option in the "Filter and Settings" sidebar to have a new Originality Report generated.

Navigation in the Document Viewer

The assignment drop down menu in the document viewer allows an instructor to navigate to a student’s submission in another assignment. Simply click on the assignment drop down at the top left of the document viewer and select the assignment.

Note: Only the assignments that have been submitted to by the student you are currently viewing a report for will be displayed in the assignment drop down.

To navigate to another student’s paper within an assignment use either the "previous" and "next" paper navigation arrows or the "Paper # of #" drop down menu to select a specific student.

Paper Information

The paper information can be viewed by clicking on the "information" icon at the bottom left of the document viewer.

The paper information contains: the paper id, the date the paper was processed, the word count, the character count, the number of submissions to the assignment, the Similarity Index, and the three repository similarity indices.

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