The University of Sheffield
Corporate Information and Computing Services

Originality Check

Turnitin’s powerful software engine allows it to check for matching text in any given student submission document against billions of on-line articles, journals and websites as well as other submissions held in its extensive electronic paper repository. This check can be completed in seconds, although in some cases it may take up to 24 hours for the software to complete its text matching.

originality report

The Originality Report

Any resulting text matches are compiled into an Originality Report. This report details any matches found, together with a list of the sources. The report then produces a percentage score based on the level of text matched. If a submission is entirely matched a score of 100% is given. If the submission contains no matching text a score of 0% is given.

It is important to note that the percentage score itself does not indicate use of unfair means. The score tells the user that a percentage of the text has been matched to another on-line source. Only on interrogation of the Originality Report can any use of unfair means be identified.

These sources can then be interrogated further, unless they are submissions in the paper repository that are external to the University. In that eventuality a paper request process may be initiated.

What is a paper request?

Turnitin paper requests are a part of Turnitin’s Originality Report functionality. The paper request feature allows an instructor to request a copy of any matching submission detected by the Originality Report that belongs to another Institution.

The process is as folllows:


Pieces of work submitted through Turnitin are automatically archived and kept until a request for deletion is given by a local Turnitin administrator.

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