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Plagiarism Detection (Turnitin)

Mobile SupportedDeakin University uses Turnitin as the program that allows you and/or your teacher to check whether there is any unoriginal material in your work by comparing it to a database of print and online materials. Any matching text is detailed in an originality report.


Turnitin have advised that they are aware that PDFs created with Office 2016 on Windows 10 are not displaying the correct formatting in the Grademark and Originality Report views (e.g. the loss of font format). The current recommendation is that students with the configuration above should submit their assignments as .doc or .docx files and not convert them to PDF.

What is plagiarism and collusion?

An important aspect of your tertiary education is to understand and avoid plagiarism and collusion. You need to be aware of Deakin University's policy on plagiarism as well as the disciplinary consequences.

The resources will help you:

The time taken for the originality report to appear can be a few minutes or greater than 24 hours for the first submission. For subsequent submissions, the report will not appear for at least 24 hours. If you have queries about the originality report, please contact your Unit Chair. You can find your Unit Chair's contact details on Unit Site Home Page or refer to your Unit Guide.

Notes: You can use Unistart site to check your draft submissions. You can access Unistart site via DeakinSync. On the Unistart site, click on Assessment then Assignments.

For more information, check out how to interpret the similarity report.

View your submissions

When an originality report is available to view, the status changes from In progress to a percentage rating under the Report column of the Submission History page. The colour of the report icon indicates the overall similarity index of the paper, based on how much matching text was found.

Turnitin originality In Progress image

To view the originality report, click on the coloured section next to the percentage rating. Your Paper will open in a new window.

Open an originality report

Originality reports are tools to help locate potential sources of unoriginal work in submitted papers. The reports in no way reflect assessment of whether a paper has or has not been plagiarised. Such a decision can only be made after careful examination of both the submitted paper and the suspect sources.

The toolbar on the right hand side is collapsed by default.

  • The originality report has two active layers:
    • Instructor Feedback: view/edit filters and setting icon The grading layer shows feedback, and comments provided by the Unit Chair.
    • Similarity: view/edit filters and setting icon If you access the originality report under the Report column of the Submission History page, this is the default layer. The similarity layer lists the sources of matching text (Match Overview) which is highlighted and numbered to correspond with sources.
  • Click on the Filters and Settings button view/edit filters and setting icon located in the toolbar on the right hand side to exclude quotes, bibliography, and small matches. Don’t forget to click on Apply Changes.
  • Click on the Submission Information button paper-info icon located in the toolbar on the right hand side to view information such as Paper ID, the date the report was processed, word count and number of submissions.

File formats & size

  • Only the following file format are accepted - MS Word  (.doc,.docx), MS PowerPoint (.ppt, .pptx), WordPerfect (.wpd), Rich Text Format (.rtf), Open Office documents (.odt files), Adobe Acrobat PDF (.pdf), PostScript (.ps), HTML (.htm, .html), Hangul (HWP), Google Docs (submitted via the Google Drive submission option), and Plain text (.txt).
    Note: PDF documents must contain text to be submitted. PDF files containing only images of text will be rejected during the upload attempt. To determine if a document contains actual text, copy and paste a section or all of the text into a plain-text editor such as Microsoft Notepad or Apple TextEdit. If no text is copied over, the selection is not actual text. 
  • Turnitin cannot generate originality report for spreadsheet files (e.g.  Excel) or media files such as images, videos or audio files.
  • The file size may not exceed 40 MB and less than 400 pages in length. Files of larger size may be reduced in size by removal of non-text content. Files that are password protected, encrypted, hidden, system files, or read only files cannot be uploaded or submitted to Turnitin.
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