What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is a service that compares your work against a database of academic sources, student papers and websites to check for signs of plagiarism. Any work you upload for assessment purposes may be put through this service. Turnitin is only accessed through Blackboard sites.

Uploading a piece of work to Turnitin produces an originality report which enables tutors and students to identify areas of matching text, words, poor citation and copying. If your work shows an unacceptable level of matching, an academic member of staff may provide feedback on how to avoid this. Where suspected plagiarism is detected, you may be called to an Academic Conduct Panel where your Turnitin Originality Report could be presented as evidence of cheating.

Known browser issue: Safari

Do not use Safari 12 (or later) when uploading work to Turnitin. There is a known issue with Safari 12 (and later versions) which results in the upload process 'hanging' and the file will not upload. The only available workaround is to use an alternative browser such as Chrome. (Even if you have an earlier version of Safari installed, it is strongly recommended using an alternative browser when uploading work to Turnitin).

Turnitin searches your text for matches with:

  • the internet and archived copies of websites
  • academic journal articles from electronic databases
  • the entire database of work submitted by students and lecturers at Sheffield Hallam University and every other UK university that subscribes to Turnitin

Use of Turnitin is at the discretion of individual tutors. Your tutor will tell you if you can use Turnitin and what you can expect to see when your work is uploaded, including whether or not you will receive an originality report. Please note:

  • On some modules you will be allowed to upload a draft assignment as many times as you wish. The first four times you upload a piece of work to the same Turnitin assignment, the report will start generating immediately. However, starting with the fifth time you upload your work, a report will only start generating after a 24 hour delay, so uploading multiple times will delay the creation of the report.
  • Other times you are permitted only one draft submission and then one final submission.
  • Some tutors may upload work on your behalf. Contact your module leader if you do not understand how to use Turnitin.