Student Training

About OriginalityCheck

Papers submitted to Turnitin may be compared against billions of internet documents, archived internet data that is no longer available on the live web, a local repository of previously submitted papers, and subscription repository of periodicals, journals, and publications. The comparison may be against any or all of these repositories as set on a specific assignment by the instructor of the class.

The comparison document is called an Originality Report. This document details the matching or similar text between a submission made on Turnitin and the documents the submission was compared against. This document is listed in the instructor’s view of the class assignment inbox.

At the discretion of the instructor, student users may be able to view the Originality Reports for their own submissions on Turnitin. This is a preference that is selected on an assignment by assignment basis and may be updated at any time by the instructor. Only the instructor can change this setting.

Note: If "Not Available" appears under the "Similarity" column for the assignment, then Originality Reports are not available to student users in this assignment. Students wishing to view or receive a copy of the Originality Report for their submissions must contact the instructor. The determination of authorizing access to this information is in the hands of the instructor and institution.

Originality Reports

The Originality Report provides a summary of matching or similar areas of text found in a submitted paper. When an Originality Report is available to be viewed an icon is placed in the "Originality Report" column of the student class portfolio page. Originality Reports that have not finished generating have a grayed out icon placed under the "Originality Report" column of the student class portfolio page.

Note: Overwritten or resubmitted papers may not generate a new Originality Report for a full twenty four hours. This delay is automatic and allows resubmissions to correctly generate without matching to the previous draft.

The Originality Report icon shows a percentage and a corresponding color indicating on an index where this percentage falls in terms of matching content. This percentage is the Similarity Index.

The higher the percentage, the greater the amount of text in the submission that came up as matching against information in Turnitin’s repositories. The percentage range runs from 0% to 100%. The percentage is generated by the amount of similar or matching text compared to the number of words in the submission in total.

The paper shown in the Originality Report is fully formatted and contains any images and graphs included in the original document.

Similarity Index

The color of the report icon is linked to one of five tiers of the Similarity Index. This is based on the amount of matching text found by the repository comparison. The possible similarity index percentage ranges are linked to a corresponding color:

  • blue (no matching words)
  • green (one matching word - 24% similarity index)
  • yellow (25-49% similarity index)
  • orange (50-74% similarity index)
  • red (75-100% similarity index)

The overall similarity index and the corresponding color scaling of the icons provides a basic indication of how much information contained in a specific submission is matched to other sources in the Turnitin repository. This number is a raw amount of matching done against the repositories selected for the assignment the submission was made to. Direct quotation, citations, or bibliography areas of the paper are not automatically excluded. The decision to permanently exclude or disregard matches to these types of text in a paper is made solely by the instructor of the class.

Warning: These indices in no way reflect Turnitin’s assessment of whether a paper contains plagiarized material or improperly used material. The Originality Report provides instructors with a tool to more easily locate matching or similar text within the text of a submitted work. The determination and adjudication of proper citation and plagiarism are left solely to the instructor and institution to which the work was submitted. Any questions regarding the definition of plagiarism used at your institution should be directed to the instructor of the class or an appropriate institutional staff member.

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