How to read and interpret an Originality Report
As Turnitin finds matches it will report them in different ways:
- For websites, books and journals, Turnitin will identify the website, book or journal that is the source of the match.
- For work submitted by students in the past, Turnitin will identify the institution the work was submitted to, but not the name of the student.
- Note that for text that may appear in many places in books or journals or across web sites, Turnitin may identify that the text has been copied, but it of course cannot be exactly sure which source the student used to copy it. So you may see an assignment that is properly referenced, but the Turnitin match gives a different original location to the one that the student uses in their references. In cases such as this when you are logged in to Turnitin, the cross next to each match on the right hand panel is useful. Clicking the cross excludes this match from the list. Turnitin may then uncover other sources which also match the student’s work.
A high % does not = plagiarism… necessarily
Plagiarism is an academic judgement, and Turnitin makes no attempt to judge whether plagiarism has occurred. A high unoriginality score does not automatically mean that it has occurred, and a low unoriginality score does not automatically mean that it has not occurred.
What percentage unoriginality score is sufficient to indicate plagiarism?
The unoriginality score indicates text matches with other documents, including for example quotations that are used. We advise students that there is no score they should aim for as a target. The important thing is to ensure that ideas and quotations used are properly referenced in an appropriate academic style, not to aim for a particular unoriginality score.
Matches that appear in the originality report are also influenced by the assignment settings. The assignment setting can exclude quoted, references/bibliography and small matches up to 5 words this is to gain a more accurate overall percentage.