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rlennartz
Community Participant

Turnitin and "self-plagiarism"

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When students upload papers to Canvas, they can upload revisions as many times as they want up to the due date.

Recently, one student's paper was marked with an 86% score by Turnitin, and it seems that this was based on comparison to an earlier version of the paper by this same student (submitted just minutes earlier).  When I look at that version, it only has a 2% score.

I have been using Canvas and Turnitin for a few years, and have never seen this (and students do frequently resubmit).  What could cause this to happen?

1 Solution

Accepted Solutions
chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello  @rlennartz ...

I'll bring our resident guru,  @dhulsey ‌, in on this message to see if he has anything to share.  However, I think the reason for this is because when the student first submitted the paper to you, it was added to Turnitin's paper repository.  Turnitin provided a low score the first time it was checked.  However, when the paper was turned in for the second time, the paper was checked against itself because it was already uploaded to the paper repository...thus a much higher score.  There are a couple settings within the Turnitin interface when you initially set up the assignment that relate to this: "Standard paper repository" and "Student paper repository".  I asked Dallas about the difference between the two, and he told me the following:

Hey, Chris! One of the settings asks if you want to store the papers in the repository or not. The other one asks which sources you want the papers compared with.

I hope this helps, Robert.

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2 Replies
chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hello  @rlennartz ...

I'll bring our resident guru,  @dhulsey ‌, in on this message to see if he has anything to share.  However, I think the reason for this is because when the student first submitted the paper to you, it was added to Turnitin's paper repository.  Turnitin provided a low score the first time it was checked.  However, when the paper was turned in for the second time, the paper was checked against itself because it was already uploaded to the paper repository...thus a much higher score.  There are a couple settings within the Turnitin interface when you initially set up the assignment that relate to this: "Standard paper repository" and "Student paper repository".  I asked Dallas about the difference between the two, and he told me the following:

Hey, Chris! One of the settings asks if you want to store the papers in the repository or not. The other one asks which sources you want the papers compared with.

I hope this helps, Robert.

View solution in original post

dhulsey
Community Champion

Besides what I messaged Chris, I am not sure about this as I have never seen it before. Usually, Turnitin recognizes and does not flag submissions from the same student in the same class.