The university has a subscription to TurnitinUK. This is a web based text matching service which searches a variety of electronic sources to identify any duplication with work submitted by your students (copying). As well as web sites and databases Turnitin searches for matches against other student submissions making it a very effective and efficient text matching tool. However, it does not search all digital records in existence, nor does can it detect matches with non-digital content such as text books. It is important to be aware of this when looking for text matches and to recognise that there are other forms of academic misconduct such as buying essays and collusion which Turnitin cannot help you with.
The Turnitin software will generate a report highlighting sections of text that have been found to match those in your student’s work. It will identify the percentage of each match and provide the source (although not necessarily the original source). It will also provide an overall percentage of text which has been copied. Turnitin will not make a decision as to whether a student has plagiarised, but the information it provides can help you make an informed decision as to whether academic misconduct has occurred. Your decision will take account of a number of factors including the student level and experience (e.g. are they still developing their academic writing skills?), the assignment requirements (e.g. has the assignment brief required all the students to write similar pieces of work or use the same sources).
The University guidance on the use of Turnitin (Taught Programmes) can be found below, along with guidance on implementation.
Although Turnitin is now fully integrated with Canvas, staff may still request Turnitin accounts if they want to check an individual file or zip of files. More information is available on the TurnitinUK - Information and Access for Staff page in StudyNet. Staff may send the application form to firstname.lastname@example.org. Once created, the account can be used to upload single or multiple assessments for any given group.
Student consent to submit coursework to TurnitinUK is covered by UPR AS14 para C2.9.2. (2013-14): ‘In registering as students of the University of Hertfordshire, individuals give consent to copies of their work being submitted to any plagiarism detection service employed by the University or processed by any electronic plagiarism detection facility used by the institution’
This means that it is not necessary to get consent from students before using this system. However it is good practice to advise students in advance of any coursework submission that you will be submitting their work to a text matching service. It is also university policy that students are offered a formative upload prior to the summative one.
Guidance on referral of an offence
Issued by CAQA. Guidance on referral of an assessment offence to the Associate Dean (Academic Quality Assurance).
Turnitin Paper Request Guidance (119.1kb)
Guidance on responding to a request from an academic, via Turnitin email, for a copy of a student paper showing up as the source of plagiarised content.
Introduction to academic integrity (1494.8kb)
Slides with embedded EVS quiz , used for workshop in autumn 2015
Guidance on the use of Text Matching Software, agreed by SEEC in January 2019.