Originality Checking with TurnitinUK

TurnitinUK website

Queen’s University subscribes to an electronic originality checking service, provided by iparadigms called TurnitinUK.

This is an online service which does not require any additional software to be installed on your PC. It contains a database of 45 billion + websites, online articles (including archived material) and student work against which draft and/or final student assignments may be compared. Similarities are matched and academic judgement must then be used to interpret whether the matches in the similarity report are appropriate (properly quoted and cited, or an established term) or inappropriate (inadequately paraphased not adequately cited).

What TurnitinUK does

  • Matches a student’s text with:
    • Current websites.
    • Archived websites.
    • Content from publishers with whom it has partnership agreements.
    • Other student content which has been submitted to the TurnitinUK database (95% colleges and universities in the UK subscribe to this service).
  • Saves time.
  • Acts as a deterrent against plagiarism.
  • Can be used as an educational tool to illustrate to students any inadequacies in their approach to paraphasing and citing.

What TurnitinUK CANNOT do

  • Will not match a student’s text with:
    • Material which is not available online (eg most textbooks).
    • Online books and journals to which it does not have an access agreement.
    • Student content which has been submitted to databases from detection software other than TurnitinUK.
    • ‘Original’ essays purchased from essay banks/auction sites etc.
  • Make a judgement as to whether plagiarism has taken place.


The Centre for Educational Development provides training and advice in the following areas:


  • Providing staff with a Turnitin account and instructions for getting started with the Turnitin software.
  • Central point of contact for receiving information from, giving feedback to and reporting problems to iParadigms - the Turnitin software providers.
  • “Helpdesk” service on Turnitin software for Queen’s staff.

Staff Registration for Turnitin

Staff who wish to register with the TurnitinUK service please contact Centre for Educational Development on extension 1447 or by email to ced@qub.ac.uk, in order to receive a user link and step by step set up instructions.

Advice to Schools /Individuals

  • Advice on how to use the software to help educate students about plagiarism/originality.
  • Consultancy on how to systematically and equitably use the service to check originality without infringing student rights.


Face-to-face workshops for Staff on Using the Turnitin Originality Checking Software are available. View details and dates of the workshops during 2016/17

PGR Resources for Postgraduate Research Supervisors

Setting up for your PGR Student: one submission followed by resubmission (Word)

PGR Student Introduction to the Turnitin Originality Checking Service (PPT 686KB)

Video Tutorials for:

Creating a Class for your PGR Student

Creating an opportunity to submit an early chapter draft

Accessing the Originality Report

Creating an Opportunity to submit a near final chapter draft (which will not be compared with the early draft)

UG/PGT Resources for Staff

Viewing the Originality Report (Word Version) Viewing the Originality Report (PDF, 434KB)

Setting up an Assignment: view originality report, submit many times (PDF, 390KB)

Setting up an Assignment: view originality report, one submission followed by resubmission (PDF, 452KB)

Setting up an Assignment: One submission do not see originality report (PDF, 453KB)

Turnitin UG and PGT Student Presentation Turnitin ppt for use with UG and PGT students 16-17 originality check only (zip file)

Video Tutorials for Postgraduate Research Students

Enrolling in the Turnitin Service

Uploading a Draft Chapter

Tutorials for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Students

Guide for completing your Turnitin Account Setup - for first time users who have been enrolled by their School

Video: Enrolling in the Turnitin Service for the first time with class ID and password  - Provided for where the School has not updated to the new practice of enrolling students

Video: Enrolling in a class  - Provided for where the School has not updated to the new practice of enrolling students directly

Video: Uploading an assignment