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QMU’s Approach to Plagiarism and web basedTurnitinUK

QMU’s Approach to Plagiarism and web basedTurnitinUK

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QMU’s Approach to Plagiarism and web basedTurnitinUK

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  1. QMU’s Approach to Plagiarismand web basedTurnitinUK Jim Sharp Hotline -

  2. Overview • Avoiding plagiarism • How to cite/reference • QMU approach to plagiarism • Using TurnitinUK • Originality reports • Support web sites

  3. Definition of plagiarism at QMU “The presentation by an individual of another person’s ideas or work (in any medium, published or unpublished) as though they were his or her own.” Academic Handbook, QMU

  4. Plagiarism – Stealing of ideas • ‘Da Vinci Code’ v ‘The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail’ • Dan Brown v Michael Baigent & Richard Leigh (actually the publisher) • Baigent & Leigh lost their case • Ordered to pay 85% of costs (estimated at £1.3m) • Currently under appeal • Brown had acknowledged the source in his Research Notes • See also J K Rowling (Harry Potter) v N K Stouffer (The Muggles) • This type of plagiarism =the stealing of ideas 

  5. Plagiarism – Stealing of Labour • “Chick Lit” • Kaavya Viswanathan v Megan F McCafferty • Kaavya had been given a $500,000 two-book contract while still in high school. She wrote the first while at Harvard as a 19 year old • It was alleged that she “borrowed” at least 29 bits and pieces from two novels by Megan F McCafferty • She claimed it was accidental and apologised but her publishers withdrew the contract and cancelled all publicity • A film deal was also cancelled • Popular Fiction • Ian Fleming v McClorty • Novel v Screenplay of “Thunderball” • Settled out of court • This type of plagiarism = stealing of labour 

  6. The Academic Context • In academia we are more concerned about stealing of labour than about the stealing of ideas • i.e. the student who cuts and pastes from a web site has used someone else’s work to gain an advantage over their fellow students. • The word plagiarism derives from the Latin “plagiarus” meaning kidnapper • “The ancients who gave us the notion of plagiarism, didn't object to creative imitation; on the contrary they encouraged it, knowing there are only a limited number of good ideas in the world” (Reynolds & Morgan 2002) 

  7. Good practice involves: • using books and articles as a source of information and citing all materials. (If you need to copy someone else’s words, put them into quotation marks and provide a reference*) • explaining the main points, comparing and contrasting the views of different authors • adding your own comments and opinions * This will ensure that you are not perceived as copying anyone’s work and will gain you better marks

  8. How to cite – an overview • Citation is an acknowledgement of the work or the ideas of someone else • The most common way to cite is by putting the name of the author, and the date in the text of your work (a reference) • At the end of your work, you generate a list of these references

  9. Paraphrasing – a quick overview • Paraphrasing is putting someone else’s work and ideas into your own words • Sometimes students only change one or two words and this is considered as plagiarism, even if there is a reference to the original work • One of the best ways is to read a paragraph and then close the book and write the paragraph in your own words. (Don’t forget to cite the original work!)

  10. The QMU Approach • We are introducing what Carroll & Appleton (2001) describe as a “balanced institutional response” including: • Trying to foster a QMU climate that discourages plagiarism • Teaching students through examples to recognise plagiarism • Teaching students paraphrasing/referencing skills to avoid plagiarism • Encouraging tutors to design their assessments to discourage plagiarism • Introducing the judicious use of electronic aids ie TurnitinUK Note that these steps should not be confused with the existence of a well defined disciplinary procedure for when serious plagiarism is detected.

  11. TurnitinUK – An introduction • QMU is a registered user of the TurnitinUK service available at • This web-based service compares submitted assignments against a database of over 1000 million web pages, Electronic databases such as Emerald, Gale InfoTrac, CrossRef, ProQuest and thousands of previously submitted student assignments from UK universities. • It then produces an originality report identifying sections of matching text and providing links to the original sources. • This service is free to all QMU tutors and students. • The intention is that students will routinely submit their assignments to the service and use the originality reports generated as re-assurance that they have referenced appropriately.

  12. TurnitinUK – the process • Tutor logs in to their account at adds a class, creating a “class name” and a “class enrolment password”. The system creates a unique “class id” number. To this class the Tutor adds “assignment headings” • Tutor communicates the “class id” numberand the “class enrolment password” to the relevant students • For first use either: • each student accesses and creates an account (user profile) using a convenient email address and a suitable password and enrols onto the class created by the tutor, using the class id and password supplied in step 2 • Alternatively the tutor may enrol the students • For subsequent use, the student uses their existing account to “enrol” onto any further classes • When ready, the student submits work under the relevant assignment heading. The TurnitinUK service then matches the work against the database, generating an “originality” report • Student checks originality report and makes any necessary changes to the work. If the tutor has provided revision areas, the student can re-submit as in step 5.

  13. Student enrolment • If your tutor has enrolled you onto a TurnitinUK class you will receive a user id and password from TurnitinUK by email and you can then logon at • If you have to enrol yourself then the tutor will send you a class id and a password to use as you do this.

  14. Creating an account – sign up Go to and click on “new user”

  15. Creating an account – sign up Click on “ ENROL AS A STUDENT”

  16. Creating an account – sign up Click on “click here”

  17. Creating an account – type of user Begin by selecting “student”

  18. Creating an account – id password and name Enter the class id and password provided by your tutor Enter your name and any suitable valid email address

  19. Creating an account - security 1. Choose and confirm a password 2. Choose and confirm a password 3. Click here to continue

  20. Creating an account - end At last, we’re finished – click on the class title to start submitting to TurnitinUK. Eg

  21. Student Homepage A class list similar to the one below will appear on your class homepage. Click on the appropriate class title to see the assignments for that class (here there is only one class) If a tutor creates an additional class later, click on the ‘enrol in a class’ tab to enrol yourself onto that class. You will need the class id and password from the tutor.

  22. Assignment List The list, like the one below, shows the assignments the tutor/instructor has created (in this case only one). To submit a paper to an assignment, click the submit button next to an assignment. Here the tutor has provided a revision area but your first submission should be to the PAPER line. If you make changes to your submission after you see the TurnitinUK originality report and want to see if there is an improvement use the REVISION line for the re-submission

  23. Submitting Work The paper submission page will open. Enter a title for the submitted paper. To select a paper for submission, click on the "browse" button and locate the paper on your computer. Note the acceptable file formats. Once the form is completed, click on the "submit" button.

  24. Check page On the following page, look over all the information to double-check that it is correct. If everything is okay, click the "yes, submit" button. Otherwise click on cancel, go back

  25. Digital Receipt The next screen is a “digital receipt” to acknowledge receipt of your submission. Click on “go to portfolio” link to return to the assignment inbox and await the originality report.

  26. Used class portfolio After a submission your “class portfolio” might look like this. To see the results of the TurnitinUK matching process, click on the “Show details” link to expand the portfolio.

  27. Accessing the originality report To see the full report click on the %. Note: If a report % is "ghosted", the report has not yet been generated. Since TurnitinUK is a UK wide university service, the time taken to process a report varies greatly depending on the load on the server, which in turn depends on whether it is a point in the UK academic year where the number of assessments submitted is high. Also submissions to Revisions are delayed by 24hrs.

  28. Please remember … • Academic judgement is essential when interpreting the report • % scores can be misleading • try including/excluding reference list/quotations • always check matches for referencing • look out for plagiarism “rings” • The TurnitinUK service is one tool in the QMU “plagiarism toolbox” • Used in isolation the service is not a silver bullet/stake through the heart • Inappropriate use of technology can lead to the “dispiriting arms race”

  29. Enrolling on another class If a tutor creates an additional class later, click on the ‘enrol in a class’ tab at the top of your class page to enrol yourself onto that class. You will need the class id and password from the tutor.

  30. Summary - the process* • First Time • Obtain course id and password from the module tutor • Log onto TurnitinUK • Create a “User profile” • Submit your assessment(s) • Check the originality report • Next Time • Obtain course id and password from the module tutor • Log onto TurnitinUK • Click on “Enrol in a Class” • Create class entry • Submit your assessment(s) • Check the originality report • You can usually resubmit at least once to each class * Unless the tutor has enrolled you manually

  31. Summary - General • TurnitinUK is a tool to help you avoid plagiarism and to help the lecturer help you • It provides an originality report which you can refer to and check that you are citing and paraphrasing correctly • It may also suggest sources that you have not found.

  32. Support Websites Plagiarism Study Skills