Q&A for Turnitin

Meet Turnitin

1.What Turnitin can do for me?

Turnitin can help you conduct originality check for your papers and a variety of electronic sources (such as journals, databases, e-books, and open domains), so that you can confirm again whether there is omission in the list of literature and whether there is a suspicion of excessive citations before you publish the paper, so as to improve the quality of paper.

2.How many sources are currently in the check database?

The check database includes the student papers, public webpage information, and journal publications in crossref.org. For the details, please see http://www.ithenticate.com/products/crossref-similarity-check.

 

Problems about your account login

1.Can I enter traditional Chinese for the title of course and name?

Yes, the interface is in Chinese and can support traditional Chinese characters. However, the system may find it hard to recognize a few certain Chinese characters. So, it is recommended to sign up with the English name if your name contains less-common Chinese characters.

2.What if I don't receive the notification about account activation?

(1) The notification may be judged as spam by your email system. please check your spam folder first;

(2) If there is no notification in your spam folder, please notify the manager to resend the notification letter, or click [login] on the first page, then click [forget your password], enter the email and last name when you applied for your account. For the secret security question, please click [forget the answer], the system will resend the letter about resetting your password to your email. Please reset the password within 24 hours;

(3) If you still fail to receive the notification letter after you try the above methods, please confirm with the administrator in your unit whether the email system has blocked the email from @ turnitin.com, and if so, please open the permission

3.What if I forget my password or cannot log in consistently?

Please click [login] on the first page, then click [forget your password], enter the email address and last name when you applied for Turnitin account, and then enter the answer to the secret security question, and the system will ask you to reset the password. If you forget the answer to the secret security question, please click [forget the answer] and the system will send a prompt about resetting the password to your mailbox. Please reset the password within 24 hours.

4.If a teacher sets the manuscript to the standard storage mode (the system copies the submitted manuscript into Turnitin's check database), is my paper visible to other users?

No! If the source for check comes from the student assignments collected by Turnitin, the system will not display the full text of the paper in the check database, but will only display the organization to which the belongs, and if a user wants to see the full text, a request to view this manuscript will be sent, and the course instructor of the author writing the original paper will be notified by Turnitin. The user will be contacted if the author agrees.

 

Problems about uploading the manuscript

1.When uploading the paper, you find the file cannot be uploaded consistently. Why? And what are the file formats supported by Turnitin? 

Please check if the format and size of the uploaded file do not meet the following requirements: the content of the file uploaded into Turnitin must be at least 20 words, the file size shall be less than 40MB (or less than 2 million characters), and the length of file shall be less than 400 pages. Compressed files only support * .zip, and word space cannot be too large (for example: l i k e  t h i s). Turnitin currently supports only the following file formats for generating originality reports:

•Microsoft Word® (.doc / .docx)
•OpenOffice Text (.odt)
•Google Docs via Google Drive™ (.gdoc files are NOT acceptable)
•WordPerfect®  (.wpd)
•PostScript (.ps/.eps)
•Adobe® PDF
•Microsoft PowerPoint® (.pptx, .ppt, .ppsx, and .pps)
•Microsoft Excel® (.xls and .xlsx)
•HTML 
•Rich text format (.rtf) 
•Plain text (.txt)
•Hangul Word Processor file (.hwp)

Please note that Turnitin does not support the following file formats:
•Microsoft® Works (.wps) file types.
•Apple Pages file types.
•Spreadsheets created outside of Microsoft Excel (i.e. .ods).
•GDOC*** files (.gdoc) which are just links to online Google Document files, but don't actually contain text or the document's content. Google Drive must be used to upload Google Docs.
Therefore, if you need to check the files that do not support the above file formats, please re-save and forward the contents to word 97 - 2003 or TXT or RTF file format (and select the encode UTF-8), and then upload the file to Turnitin for originality check.

2.What is the reason for the unreadable code after I upload the file?

It may be that the content or characters of the file influence the check. It is recommended that you remove the contents in page heading and page footing, frame and graphs, and select the commonly used fonts (such as: Times New Roman or Ariel), and save the as a TXT or RTF file format. Select the UTF-8 code and upload it to Turnitin for originality check.

 

Problems about originality check reports

1.The results of originality check fail to be displayed for a long time, why? 

(1) It is possibly due to the delay of network and you need to refresh the browser page;

(2) If the content exceeds 100 pages, the system needs more time for check. It is recommended to log in to check the report later;

(3) If a student has uploaded papers more than three times, the student has to wait 24 hours to produce new reports;

(4) Check if there are errors for the instructor's advanced settings of assignments. if so, change the errors into the correct options, for example: under [generate similar reports for files submitted by students], [deadline] is selected incorrectly, indicating that reports will not be generated until the deadline.

2.I see my previously uploaded papers in the check sources. What should I do if I want to delete it, but I has deleted the previously submitted paper and could not find the document code?

Please re-upload the manuscript for check, and provide the manuscript code to the administrator to contact the original reference and delete it. In order to protect the author's rights and interests, Turnitin stipulates that the action of deleting the manuscript must be done by the author who provided the submission code to the school administrator, and the administrator will send the email to Turnitin for application. Typically, the delete action can be completed and replied within three working days.

3.What is the definition of the percentage of different colors in the check report?

For example, if the total number of words in the original article is 1000 words, the total percentage of similarity shown on the interface is 43%, and there are three main sources of similarity, which are 17%, 14% and 12% respectively.

This means, among the 1000 words in the original text, 43 per cent (430 words) are suspected to be similar to other sources. The first similarity source has 170 same words, accounting for 17 per cent of the original text; After such 170 words are deducted from 1000 words of the original text, the remaining 830 words are checked with the second similarity source. As a result, there are 140 same words, accounting for 14%; then, after the 170 words and 140 words (310 words in total) from the first and second similarity sources are deducted, the remaining 690 words are checked with the third similarity source. As a result, there are 120 same words, accounting for 12%; finally, add up the percentages of each similarity source: (17% + 14% + 12%) = 43%, that is, the total similarity percentage, which will not exceed 100%.

The number of words from same similarity source shown in [Match Overview] may be less than the number shown in [All source], because the system will delete some words in order to find the optimized similarity source.

4.What does the percentage in All Source mean in the check report?

For example, if the total number of words in the original article is 1000 words, the total percentage of similarities shown on the interface is 44%, and there are multiple similarity sources below, which are 25%, 18%, and 16% respectively.

This means that 44 per cent of the 1000 words in the original text are similar to other sources. The first similarity source has 250 same words, accounting for 25 per cent of the original text; and the 1000 words of the original text are checked with the second similarity source. As a result, there are 180 same words, accounting for 18%; 1000 words in the original text are checked with the third similarity source. As a result, there are 160 same words, accounting for 16%; It does not matter, even if the three similarity sources have repeated Chinese characters, but the percentage of each similarity source cannot be added up, otherwise it will exceed 100%.

5.Is there a clear definition for the source and number in the downloaded PDF check report? (For example, the web page 2%, student manuscripts 5%, what do they mean?)

For example, if the total number of words in the original article is 1000 words, the PDF report shows a total of 30 per cent of similarity, and there are three main sources of similarity, namely, 25 per cent of Internet page information, 10 per cent of student manuscripts and 10 per cent of journal publications. It means: among the 1000 words in the original text, 30 per cent (300 words) are suspected to be similar to other sources. and the specific details are: 25 per cent (250 words) of web page information and 10 per cent (100 words) of student manuscripts, and 10 per cent (100 words) of periodical publications.

Keep in mind, do not add up the percentage of each source (25% + 10% + 10% = 45%), because student manuscripts may refer to the same webpage information, or webpage information may contain the contents of publications. Thus, words in the same paragraph may be overlapped.

6.In the reports of originality check, is there any difference in the definition of number of Chinese words and English words, if the exclusion of a small number of words is set up?

The definition of the number of words is: an English single word counts as one word, not an English letter; a Chinese character counts as a Chinese word. If you set an exclusion of less than 10 words, it represents the exclusion of less than 10 similar English words or 10 Chinese characters.

7.In the originality check report, after the exclusion is set, the percentage increases. Does it mean that there is a calculation problem for the system check?

The probable reason is that: the total number of words in the uploaded file is 1000 words, and the check report indicates there are 240 similar words, that is, 240 words / 1000 words = 24%. If we assume that there are 100 words in the bibliography reference, and the exclusion of bibliography reference is set up, it means there are 900 words which can be checked. Then, there are still 240 similar words in 900 words, that is 240 words / 900 words = 26%, which is why the percentage is likely to increase after exclusion.

8.The total percentage in the originality check report needs to be less than what % can be considered “appropriate”?

The similarity percentage of Turnitin does not represent an absolute indicator of the degree of plagiarism.

The low total percentage of similarity does not mean that there must be no plagiarism: it is possible that the percentage of similarity will be low because of the following situations. For example, a document is referred, but Turnitin database fails to include such a document, or the document contains the unchecked box.

A high total percentage of similarity does not necessarily mean that there must be plagiarism: it is possible that the high percentage of similarity is due to the following situations. For example: terms that cannot be defined as plagiarism (such as special nouns, commonly used phrases, directory formats, institution names, reference lists). Quoting the text of other people's works with references to the sources, as well as checking students’ own articles, including the submitted assignments or published articles. 

The percentage of similarity can be reduced through the function of filter and exclusion, or asking teachers to exclude certain sources of similarity. Please see http://www.igroup.com.tw/turnitinithenticate/ or https://goo.gl/57Lmqk.

In view of the above situation, it is difficult to define an appropriate percentage value of similarity. Students and teachers are suggested to discuss the criteria for percentage of similarity, or refer to the criteria established by the faculty. You can also refer to the official website of the periodical publishing house where you want to contribute.

In addition to viewing the total percentage value, it is recommended that you also pay attention to the percentage of each similarity source in the report.

 

Single source

Meaning

<1%-3%

If several words or sentences are similar, it is recommended that you should not need to specifically view the source.

4%-7%

It may be several sentences or a small paragraph are similar. If only one source shows this percentage value, it may not represent improper behavior, but if many sources do, it means that this article may be suspicious.

8%-15%

It may contain several similar paragraphs, indicating that the proportion of references to other people's works in this article is high and academic norms may not be met.

15%-25%

There may be a whole page or several pages with words similar to a single source, it is recommended that the teacher review the degree of similarity with the source.

>25%

There is a high possibility of using other people's words in cases that do not meet the academic norms. Teachers are suggested to review similarity reports in detail.