Turnitin is online web-based text-matching software that works by comparing electronically submitted papers to billions of pages of content located on the Internet and proprietary databases as well as the work of other students whose papers have also been submitted into the system. This software is currently used by many universities in Australia and internationally. The University of Melbourne has been using this software since July 2004 and it is providing a valuable addition to existing methods for supporting the University's policy on academic honesty.
When student papers are submitted into Turnitin, sections of the papers that match other sources are highlighted and identified. The student paper with the highlighted matched text forms an Originality Report and is made available to the lecturer concerned.
Turnitin cannot make a judgement regarding whether plagiarism has occurred. It is the responsibility of the lecturer in charge of a subject to determine the quality of the Originality Report and to assess whether parts identified by Turnitin as non-original may be reasonably considered as plagiarism.
For further information about Turnitin go to the Turnitin web site.