Plagiarism 

Information for Students

In order for Cardiff Metropolitan University to use TurnitinUK, your assignments, as well as information about you (your name, and/or email address, course details and institution), may be submitted to the service, in order to identify any areas of duplication in your work.  Your assignment and the information about you will then be stored in a database, at least until the University withdraws you from the service.  The database will be used to compare work submitted in the future by students at Cardiff Metropolitan University, or at other UK institutions which use the service.  TurnitinUK will hold on to information submitted to it so that it can make comparisons against as wide a range of content as possible.

Information about both staff and students which is submitted to the service will be transferred to and held in countries which are outside the European Economic Area and so are not bound by EU Data Protection Legislation.  However, iParadigms, which operates the service, is bound by contract to abide by the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998.

TurnitinUK is not intended to identify plagiarism but to identify potential cases. Your lecturer will receive an Originality Report from the service and, if a high degree of similarity is detected between your assignment and other content, will submit a report to the Chair of the relevant Examining Board.  If the Chair decides that the matter should be treated as a case of unfair practice then Cardiff Metropolitan University's Unfair Practice Procedure will apply.  You will receive a copy of the Originality Report as part of that procedure. 

If another institution receives an Originality Report from the service which identifies a high degree of similarity between an assignment submitted by one of their students and one submitted by you, they may ask for a copy of your assignment. The University will normally agree to such requests. 

Under the Data Protection Act 1998 you have the right to ask to see what information about you is held by the service and the right to object to certain uses of that information.  You also have the right to require the University not to take any action for plagiarism purely on the basis of an Originality Report from TurnitinUK.  More details about these rights can be found here.

Information for Staff

In order for you to use TurnitinUK, information about you (your name, email address, course details and institution) will need to be submitted to the service and will be stored and retained as outlined above.  This information will be linked to the content submitted by your students and may be disclosed to fellow academics in other UK institutions in the event of a suspected case of plagiarism, in order for them to contact you.

Advice for Staff

Although it is not necessary to obtain the consent of students to submit their assignments and personal details to TurnitinUK, it is considered good practice to do so.  It is, however, essential that the University continues to inform students about its use of the service.  The assignment handout and/or Blackboard submission screen should be used to let students know which assignments will be submitted to TurnitinUK.  Statements such as those below should be used:

  • As part of its commitment to quality and the maintenance of academic standards, Cardiff Metropolitan University operates the plagiarism detection service ‘TurnitinUK’.  This assignment, as well as some information about you, will be submitted to the service.  More information about how the service works and the rights you have is available at www.cmu.ac.uk/studyadvice/plagiarism.htm.
  • This assignment will be submitted to the plagiarism detection service TurnitinUK.  For more information please refer to your assignment handout.
  • These statements can be amended if the assignments will not be routinely submitted but only submitted in certain circumstances. In such cases a general notice, such as that below, could be used:
    • As part of its commitment to quality and the maintenance of academic standards, Cardiff Metropolitan University operates the plagiarism detection service 'TurnitinUK'.  The University reserves the right to submit this assignment, as well as some information about you, to the service.  More information about how the service works and the rights you have, is available at www.cmu.ac.uk/studyadvice/plagiarism.htm.

Information about students that is submitted to TurnitinUK or received back from the service should be kept securely, in the same way as other information about students which you may hold or to which you may have access.

If you contact a member of academic staff at another institution, or if you are contacted by them, you should reveal as little about the student concerned as is necessary for the investigation.  This would normally only be their name, course details and possibly an indication of their location (although not their full address).  Disclosing more information about the student, such as former schools or colleges or information about other members of their family, without their consent is likely to contravene the Data Protection Act.

Students have the right to know what information is held about them and how it is being used – either informally from you or formally by making a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act.  They have the same rights regardless of whether the information is held by TurnitinUK or by Cardiff Metropolitan University (in the form of a print out of results received from the service, or notes made during an investigation into suspected plagiarism).  If you are approached by a student who is asking for more details than you are able to supply you can refer them to www.cmu.ac.uk/studyadvice/plagiarism.htm.

Students also have the right to require us not to take any action for plagiarism solely on the basis of an Originality Report from TurnitinUK.

Any Originality Report which detects a high degree of similarity between an assignment and other content should be reported in writing to the Chair of the relevant Examining Board, normally within five working days.  If the Chair decides that the matter should be treated as a case of unfair practice then Cardiff Metropolitan University's Unfair Practice Procedure will apply.  A copy of the Originality Report should be made available to the student as part of that procedure.