Plagiarism Prevention at UMass Amherst (Turnitin)
Turnitin is a plagiarism prevention service that detects textual matches between student papers and other documents available in electronic form on the Internet, in subscription databases, and in databases of student papers.
UMass Amherst Libraries licensed Turnitin as a stand-alone service for the UMass Amherst campus beginning in January 2006. The service was also fully integrated into SPARK courses in 2007, and into Moodle in 2011. UMass Amherst student papers submitted to the service since January 2006 are stored in a special database accessible only to UMass Amherst faculty and not to anyone at any other institution that subscribes to Turnitin (hence student intellectual property rights are protected).
Turnitin Web Site Vs. Turnitin in SPARK/Moodle
UMass Amherst instructors can use Turnitin within SPARK or Turnitin with Moodle, or they can use the Turnitin Web site to assess students' assignments. Both are provided courtesy of the UMass Amherst libraries, but *the two methods do not work in conjunction with one another*. Student assignments submitted through SPARK cannot be seen by the instructor on the Turnitin Web site and vice versa.
Why Use Turnitin in SPARK or Moodle?
Turnitin within SPARK or Turnitin with Moodle is ideal for instructors who already have a SPARK or Moodle course, and/or for large courses. We recommend that instructors use the Turnitin Web site when they would like to submit just a few suspect papers for review and do not wish to use SPARK or Moodle.
Faculty Use of Turnitin
Faculty using Turnitin outside of SPARK or Moodle must contact the Library for account information. Faculty may use plagiarism prevention services during the grading process as described in the Academic Regulations 2007-2008, pp. 7-8 (http://www.umass.edu/registrar/media/academicregs.pdf ):
"Intellectual honesty requires that students demonstrate their own learning during examinations and other academic exercises, and that other sources of information or knowledge be appropriately credited. Scholarship depends upon the reliability of information and reference in the work of others. Student work at the University may be analyzed for originality of content. Such analysis may be done electronically or by other means. Student work may also be included in a database for the purpose of checking for possible plagiarized content in future student submissions. No form of cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, or facilitating dishonesty will be condoned in the University community."
Student Use of Turnitin
Students using Turnitin to submit assignment for their Moodle course can review helpful resources created by the Instructional Media Lab.
Academic Honesty Policy
The Academic Honesty policy and procedures created by the Ombuds Office and sponsored by the Dean of Students were revised in 2007.
Academic Honesty Information for Faculty and Students
The Education Subcommittee of the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Committee on Student Plagiarism supports a Web site on academic honesty for faculty and students on plagiarism and intellectual property. As a portion of that Web site, the Subcommittee provides the following sample paragraphs for faculty to edit and include in their syllabi to inform students that they will use one or both of the services in their course. The Subcommittee also recommends faculty discuss plagiarism with students on the first day of class.
Sample Syllabus Statements
If you plan to use the Turnitin plagiarism prevention service for all assignments in your course, include this paragraph in your syllabus and review it during the first class meeting:
As a condition of continued enrollment in this course, you agree to submit all assignments to the Turnitin for textual comparison or originality review for the detection of possible plagiarism. All submitted assignments will be included in the UMass Amherst dedicated database of assignments at Turnitin and will be used solely for the purpose of checking for possible plagiarism during the grading process and during this term and in the future. Students who do not submit their papers electronically to the service will be required to submit copies of the cover page and first cited page of each source listed in the bibliography with the final paper in order to receive a grade on the assignment.
If you plan to use the Turnitin plagiarism prevention service for selected suspect assignments, include this paragraph in your syllabus and review it during the first class meeting:
Students should be aware that suspect assignments (e.g., those without drafts, without works cited pages, or with large departures in style) may be submitted to Turnitin by the instructor for the purpose of checking for possible plagiarism. Submitted assignments will be included in the UMass Amherst dedicated database of assignments at Turnitin and will be used solely for the purpose of checking for possible plagiarism during the grading process during this term and in the future. Students must provide an electronic copy of their assignment to the instructor for submission to the service when plagiarism is suspected, in order to receive a grade on the assignment and to avoid possible sanctions.
Need Help with Turnitin?
For assistance with using Turnitin inside SPARK or Moodle, instructors should contact Academic Computing's Instructional Media Lab (545-2823 | firstname.lastname@example.org). Students should contact the OIT Help Desk (413-545-9400).
Last Edited: 6 March 2012