What is Turnitin.com?
Turnitin.com is a web-based plagiarism detection service that searches for matching text between submitted work and various online sources. Using Turnitin can serve as a deterrent to plagiarism and as an educational tool. Turnitin works best to discourage plagiarism when it is part of an overall course policy that promotes academic integrity.
Turnitin searches for text matches between a file submitted to the Turnitin system and other files. Turnitin allows for the submission and checking of rough and final drafts of papers. It also allows for submissions in 30 different languages.
Turnitin returns an Originality report indicating matches to other texts it searches. An instructor can require students to submit their course papers to Turnitin.com. Alternately the instructor (or AI) can submit a paper. Instructors can choose to make the Originality reports visible to students, thereby allowing students to edit their work before submitting final drafts.
Indiana University has subscribed to Turnitin since 2003 and has its own servers for storing students' papers, but the service still searches beyond IU's database. The other sources that are checked are papers within Turnitin’s system, external websites, as well as some academic databases and journals. IU is currently testing an integration of Turnitin into the Assignments 2 tool of Oncourse.
How do I get started?
IU’s Turnitin administrator can give you access to either the Turnitin.com website or the Oncourse integration of Turnitin.com. Please fill out the Turnitin request form at http://www.indiana.edu/~turnitin/turnitin-request.htm. Please include your Oncourse site ID (example: SP11 BL HPER E100 8414) in the comments section if you want to use the integration.
Once the accounts have been created, the Turnitin administrator will contact you with instructions and notes for your students.
Stappenbelt, B. & Rowles, C. 2010. The effectiveness of plagiarism detection software as a learning tool in academic writing education. 4th Asia Pacific Conference on Educational Integrity (4APCEI).
The authors conducted a study showing a decrease in the levels of plagiarism in their class as a result of giving students access Turnitin.com.
For an extensive list of best practices, see What best practices should I consider for using Turnitin in my classroom? in the IU Knowledge Base.