This memo originally appears at: http://www.provost.utoronto.ca/public/pdadc/2013_to_2014/17.htm
PDAD&C #17 2013-14
From: Jill Matus, Vice-Provost, Students & First-Entry Divisions
Date: September 10, 2013
RE: Update on the University of Toronto’s Turnitin.com license
Turnitin.com is an electronic resource that assists in the detection and deterrence of plagiarism. It is widely used by universities in the United States and Canada, and by over 1 million active instructors across 10,000 educational institutions from 126 countries. Each submitted paper is checked for textual similarity against 24 billion pages on the Internet and 300+ million papers previously submitted to Turnitin (including paper mill essays), as well as 110,000 journals, periodicals, and books. Turnitin Originality Reports, which are generated for instructors within minutes, highlight questionable areas and can potentially save instructors time as they investigate the originality of student work and verify citations. Using the information from the Reports, as well as any other relevant information, individual instructors need to exercise their independent professional judgment about whether these highlighted passages represent plagiarism.
Turnitin.com and Learning Portal Integration
Since September 2002, the University of Toronto has been licensing the plagiarism detection and deterrence tools offered through Turnitin.com for use by instructors in courses. As of 1 September 2013, Turnitin will be integrated with the University’s Learning Portal. This integration allows for the creation of Turnitin Assignments directly in Portal Courses. Instructors set up “Turnitin Assignments” through their course site in the Learning Portal and students submit their work to the site. Turnitin Assignments are also integrated into the Blackboard Grade Center in the Learning Portal, allowing for easier management of submissions. All interaction with Turnitin reports and submitted files is directly through each Portal Course. Every student in a Portal Course will automatically have access to any Turnitin Assignments created within it, which will do away with the class IDs and enrolment passwords required by the Turnitin website.
We ask that you remind instructors in your unit about the Conditions of Use (see below) pertaining to Turnitin use at UofT. While the use of Turnitin.com is completely voluntary, when Turnitin is used, instructors must adhere to the University of Toronto’s Conditions of Use. Instructors are responsible for reviewing the Conditions of Use prior to using Turnitin in their courses.
Conditions of Use at the University of Toronto
- Turnitin.com is a tool that will assist in detecting textual similarities between compared works. Instructors must exercise their independent professional judgment in, and assume responsibility for, determining whether a text has been plagiarized or not.
- Students must be informed at the start of the course that the instructor will be using Turnitin.com.
The course syllabus must include the following statement:
“Normally, students will be required to submit their course essays to Turnitin.com for a review of textual similarity and detection of possible plagiarism. In doing so, students will allow their essays to be included as source documents in the Turnitin.com reference database, where they will be used solely for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. The terms that apply to the University’s use of the Turnitin.com service are described on the Turnitin.com website”. Please note: this statement cannot be altered in any way.
- Turnitin.com is most effective when it is used by all students in a particular course; however, if and when students object to its use on principle, a reasonable offline alternative must be offered. A wide variety of non-electronic methods can be used to deter and detect plagiarism; for example, the requirement that all rough work be handed in with the assignment or that the student include an annotated bibliography. Instructors may wish to consult with the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation (CTSI) when establishing these alternatives.
For more information on Turnitin or for support, please visit the website for the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation at: