Technology Enhanced Learning Team


How is Turnitin used at Queen Mary?

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For: StaffApplication: General , Turnitin

Schools and departments at Queen Mary University of London must ensure that they adhere to the Turnitin Policy found on the Turnitin pages.  Within the terms of the policy, schools have considerable freedom to use Turnitin in ways that most appropriately meet the needs of their staff and students.  Turnitin has been most successfully and efficiently used where departments have planned in advance how it integrates into their assessment processes.

How do departments and individuals use Turnitin at Queen Mary?

In most cases, Turnitin assignments are set up so that the students themselves submit their work electronically to the specified assignment submission inbox in QMplus. Turnitin then generates a similarity index and originality report for each student assignment, and how these are used varies according to department. Below are some common practices.

  • Academics review their students’ similarity indexes and originality reports themselves.
  • Administrative staff compile a list of students, together with their similarity indexes and details from their originality reports. These are then referred to the academic leads for their consideration.
  • Administrative staff who have had suitable training review the reports themselves, identifying cases of concern which are then forwarded to academics for their consideration.
  • In some departments a dedicated teaching and learning support officer or academic practice officer reviews the cases instead of the academic lead for that module.
  • Staff do not review the cases at all; instead they simply make the reports available to students for them to review.
  • Staff use Turnitin with students in formative workshops to help them both understand how Turnitin works and how to avoid plagiarism.

Things you should know

  • The Technology Enhanced Learning Team (TELT) can advise you on how you might best use Turnitin. They aim both to encourage best practice and to leave room for individual departments to adapt Turnitin to their needs.  Find out more at
  • One of the key choices to make when using Turnitin is whether or not to allow students to see the similarity index and originality reports that are produced by the system.  See Supporting Students for more information.
  • There is also an option to allow students to resubmit work before the deadline. If they have also been given the chance to review their similarity index and originality reports, this enables them to amend a draft assignment before submitting the final version.
  • To prevent students repeatedly rewriting their work to achieve a perceived ‘safe’ similarity index, Turnitin will not let them to view a new originality report until 24 hours after their previous one.
  • If you are using Turnitin, you should put all work submitted by a cohort through the system, rather than just selected assignments that you may believe are likely to be plagiarised. This increases the equity of using the system, and can reduce accusations of harassment or victimisation.
  • For legal reasons, you should ensure that your students are aware that their work will be submitted to Turnitin and have given their consent to this. The best way to achieve this is by publicising the use of Turnitin to students and allowing students to submit their own work, rather than submitting on their behalf.  You school should also publish a Turnitin Statement for students.
  • Turnitin has an online marking facility called GradeMark. This allows comments to be directly typed onto student work. Staff can also drag and drop comments from a collection of frequently- occurring ones, potentially saving time where a particular piece of feedback is given regularly.

What our staff say

Chris Pitman

“We ask all students to submit work electronically through Turnitin so that we can check for potential plagiarism and collusion.”
Chris Pitman
Programme Manager, School of Business and Management
Queen Mary, University of London

What our staff say

Jessica Cooper

“’With a click of a few buttons you can see instantly where a student needs to make improvements.””
Jessica Cooper
Language and Learning Unit
Queen Mary, University of London

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Produced by the the Technology Enhanced Learning Team at Queen Mary University of London.

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