Turnitin is a program for checking the originality of texts. It checks the student’s text against a large international database of articles, journals, books, websites and theses, and looks for similarities between the student’s text and the sources in the database. It gives feedback in the student’s text, where the similarity to the texts in the database is indicated as a percentage.
How should I interpret the Turnitin analysis?
It is important to remember that similarity does not necessarily indicate plagiarism! The similarity percentage is always proportional to the length of the text, i.e. for short texts the percentage can be much higher than for long ones. The similarity report also includes correct quotations and the list of references, which naturally increases the percentage. Achieving zero percentage is not required, as it can even be impossible to achieve. Turnitin Similarity is meant to be used as a tool to correct and help in the writing of academic texts, as well as detect intentional plagiarism.
It is possible to have a tesis checked in Turnitin via Moodle but unfinished theses should not be indexed in to the Turnitin-database. University of Oulu students’ finalized theses plagiarism detection takes place in Laturi.