Turnitin is a Web-based service that identifies passages in submitted papers that match passages in other sources, such as websites, articles in scholarly journals, and other student papers. TurnItIn then generates an Originality Report, which highlights passages of matching text. See more information on Turnitin here. Turnitin does not state outright whether or not plagiarism has occurred. Plagiarism is a large category that includes many different behaviors, ranging from poorly paraphrasing a cited source to purchasing a paper and submitting it as one’s own work. While no software can make a blanket statement about whether a paper contains plagiarism, Turnitin does provide originality reports that show which passages from submitted papers match other sources. To make a determination about whether a paper contains plagiarized material, analysis is required. Originality reports make analysis easier and more convenient.

Yes, any course using this software should include a statement in the syllabus. You may use or adapt the following:

“Your instructor may ask you to submit one or more of your writing assignments to the Turnitin plagiarism prevention service via Canvas (do not submit directly to the Turnitin website). Your assignment content will be checked against Internet sources, academic journal articles, and the papers of other OSU students, for common or borrowed content.  Turnitin generates a report that highlights any potentially unoriginal text in your paper. Papers that you submit through Turnitin for this class or any class will be added to the OSU Turnitin database and may be checked against other OSU paper submissions.  You will retain all rights to your written work."

Turnitin originality reports are especially effective in helping students diagnose problematic passages in their own papers and in helping guide revision of early drafts. By providing clearly marked reports that identify passages that match other sources, originality reports guide students through a careful step by step analysis of their own work.
Originality Reports should usually be ready within 15 minutes. However it may take up to 24 hours during peak times such as the middle or the end of semesters when many papers are being submitted to Turnitin. Plan accordingly when working on a deadline. If an instructor allows multiple submissions on a Turnitin assignment there is a 24-hour waiting period between the each submission. This delay allows resubmissions to correctly generate without matching to a student's previous draft.

If you are an instructor who uses Canvas and want to upload a student’s paper directly to Turnitin, there are a few steps involved. The first part is to create a Turnitin web account, and the second part is to enable Quick Submit on that account:

  1. If you have never created a Turnitin assignment in Canvas before, you will need to do this to generate your Turnitin account before following the next steps. You do not need to publish the Turnitin assignment.
  2. Go to https://www.turnitin.com (warning: if you get “Connection was reset”, just refresh the page).
  3. Click on "Login," then "Forgot your password? Click Here."
  4. Enter your email address which you have set as default in Canvas. If you don't know which address you used, please email canvas.support@oregonstate.edu and they can provide that information.
  5. Enter your Last Name, then click Next.
  6. An email will be sent to your address with a link to reset your password.
  7. Reset your password by clicking on the link and following the instructions.
  8. You may also be prompted to choose a Secret Question for your account; if this generates an error, simply Continue and try your login.
  9. Then go back to https://www.turnitin.com and log in with your new password.
  10. Please click on the User Info tab at the top to see if your account Type is "Instructor."
  11. If not, set it to "Instructor", then refresh the page (or log out and log back in).
  12. Click on the User Info tab, and on the right hand side under Account Settings, find "Activate quick submit."
  13. Use the dropdown menu to select Yes, then scroll to the bottom of the page and click Submit.
  14. You should now see a Quick Submit tab on your Turnitin page which can be used to submit individual papers.

Yes. Data is kept secure at all times and is only used for purposes of assisting the instructor in assessing the assignment. Students always maintain ownership of any work submitted to Turnitin.