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What is Turnitin, and how does it work?

Turnitin is web-based plagiarism detection software owned by, Inc., and is available to instructors at Indiana University's Bloomington, Indianapolis, East, Kokomo, Northwest, South Bend, and Southeast campuses. Turnitin can be used as a deterrent, but also as an educational tool to teach students how to work with sources and to improve paraphrasing and quoting skills.

Turnitin offers three main services:

The repository to which papers are compared for originality currently consists of three primary databases:

  • Both a current and an extensively archived copy of the publicly accessible Internet
  • Commercial pages from books, newspapers, and journals
  • Student papers already submitted to Turnitin

Instructors can submit papers directly to Turnitin's web site. Students can also submit papers to Turnitin's web site or through the Assignments tool in Oncourse. Instructors may choose whether or not students can see originality reports. See Oncourse Turnitin integration: Overview. offers guides and user manuals. Note that PeerMark is available only from the Turnitin site, not through Oncourse. Most GradeMark options are available through Oncourse, but students will be unable to view comments until after the due date for an assignment. For additional help, instructors can contact their campus teaching and learning centers.

For more about standards of academic integrity at IU, including disciplinary procedures for academic misconduct, see the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.

Instructors at IUB may submit academic misconduct reports online.

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Last modified on August 22, 2013.

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