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Learning Technology Team

Ultra Workflow 1: Turnitin

Information for Staff

The Turnitin similarity report

When you set up your Turnitin submission point, you will have opted to generate a similarity report for the submissions. This report will detail any matching text that Turnitin has found in each paper when it checked them against the Turnitin database of books, journals, websites, past submissions, etc. Turnitin will then assign a similarity score between 0% and 100% depending on how much matching text has been found. The similarity score for each submission is shown in its own column of the Turnitin Inbox.

Selecting the similarity report from here will launch the Feedback Studio viewer with the similarity layer showing for that particular paper. The matched text is highlighted within the paper and similarity score details are listed in a sidebar


It is important to use your judgement when interpreting the similarity score and the matches within it. Below are some links to further context surrounding the similarity report which you may wish to read. There are examples from Turnitin to demonstrate instances when the score may look more significant than it really is and a case study account from a University lecturer on their own experiences.

Suspected academic misconduct

If you suspect that academic misconduct may have taken place and you need to find out the name of a particular student before the Turnitin post date (i.e. during the marking period), you are able to de-anonymise individual student submissions and reveal a student's name.

Viewing sources on the similarity report

With the similarity layer selected in the Feedback Studio viewer, each match is listed in the sidebar. Simply select a match to view a snippet of the original source. You may select the Full source option if you feel it is necessary to review the entire original source. If it is a paper submitted to the same University, you will be able to access it instantly. If it is from another institution, then the staff at that institution will receive your request and they would have to grant you permission to view it.

The full source option is within a pop-up box that contains a snippet of the source text

Excluding sources from the originality report

You may sometimes find that Turnitin has added a match to all papers submitted to your assignment. For example, papers where there is a large portion of templated content provided for students to build upon. If this is the case, you can safely disregard the higher score using your judgement. If you would like to recalculate their similarity score, omitting these matches, it is possible to exclude them from the score.

A list of matches shown in the similarity side panel

Select the arrow next to a specific match percentage from the overview list to open the match breakdown.

The arrow next to each title is selectable

At the bottom of the list, select the Exclude sources button

The button is at the bottom of the list of sources as a link

Using the checkboxes, select the source or sources you wish, then confirm the exclusion.

Ticks on chosen matches to exclude

Refining the similarity report and regenerating a new report

The settings recommended when setting up a Turnitin submission point earlier in this guide should provide a reasonable similarity report for you to work with. However, should you wish to change some of the filters on a paper's similarity report after it has been submitted, you can do so from the Turnitin Feedback Studio view.

The Turnitin Help documentation linked below explains the steps required for each change.

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