What do the colours mean?
The colour ranges from blue (low percentage of matching text) to red (high percentage or matching text).
blue: (no matching words);
green (one matching word - 24% similarity index;
yellow (25%-49% similarity index);
orange (40%-74% similarity index);
red (75-100% similarity index).
There is no set colour indicating whether plagiarism has occurred and staff within a unit of study and within the faculty need to follow normal protocol when dealing with suspected breaches of academic honesty.
What does the colour indicate?
The overall similarity index and the corresponding colour scaling of percentage icon provides a basic indication of how much information contained in the submission is matched to other sources. This is an overall score based on matching done against the Turnitin repositories.
What percentage is safe?
There is no clear cut rules for this as it will depend on the type of assessment task. Usually most forms of assessment will contain some words from other sources. A low percentage score does not indicate the text is original. The student may have used obscure sources, sources not stored in the Turnitin
database or Google translate to alter the structure of text.
A high percentage score may indicate poor academic writing or paraphrasing or an an overuse of quotations or a resubmission of work.
Its important to use academic judgement, such as:
Is this work at the standard I expect from this student?
Has the student attempted to cite source materials?
Are there instances of sudden changes in voice, style, formatting or argument.
Does Turnitin identify all source documents?
The Originality report will identify matching text in an assignment with possible sources from within its repositories, however there may be more than one possible source for the matching text. Turnitin is not able to identify which source out of these matches was used by the student. Occasionally Turnitin
may identify the source used by the student as it may have subsequent appearances on various websites. Also Turnitin only examines electronic sources available to its search tools.
Which viewing options are used in Turnitin settings?
The Turnitin assignment settings exclude quotations and the bibliography or reference list from the the possible matching text. Excluding these sources affects the total percentage given in the report including total number of words included in the length of the document. These settings can be changed
by the lecturer on a student by student basis to get a true picture of the total amount of text matching included in the whole document or the original work.
What can I do with matching text?
Each instance of matching text needs to be examined for correct citation and a corresponding reference list.
Has the student attempted to correctly reference the source?
Has the student attempted to paraphrase, summarise or quote using quotation marks?
Does the reference list match the in-text citations or footnotes?
Does the reference list match any sources shown in the originality report?
Are there long sections of completely unreferenced text?
Is the referencing style used consistent throughout?
Are there any unexplained changes in font or layout?
Are there any inconsistencies in writing style or 'voice'?
What to do if you suspect plagiarism?
Any decisions about plagiarism should follow normal protocols.
For more information about academic integrity and the rules and procedures if any of your assessments are in breach, refer to the Academic Integrity and Misconduct Policy