ARCHIVED: What is Turnitin, and how does it work?

This content has been archived, and is no longer maintained by Indiana University. Information here may no longer be accurate, and links may no longer be available or reliable.

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:

PeerMark is available only from the Turnitin site, not through Canvas or Oncourse. GradeMark is available through Canvas and Oncourse, but in Oncourse, students will be unable to view comments until after the due date for an assignment. Canvas also offers some tools that provide similar functionality. For more, see ARCHIVED: In Turnitin, what is PeerMark? and ARCHIVED: About the Turnitin GradeMark tool.

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

Students can submit papers to Turnitin and to the Oncourse or Canvas Assignments tool simultaneously through the ARCHIVED: Oncourse or Canvas Turnitin integration. Instructors may also choose to set up classes directly on the Turnitin website for students to submit their papers to; contact your campus teaching and learning center for assistance. Instructors may choose whether or not students can see originality reports in either case.

If you are an instructor, and you wish to submit student papers to Turnitin yourself (that is, students have not submitted their papers with the Turnitin option enabled in Assignments), it's best to submit the papers directly through, not through Canvas. See Submit papers directly to Turnitin. offers guides and user manuals.

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.

This is document arjt in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2020-07-29 10:55:57.