Submitting a thesis to Turnitin

The University requires all theses for higher degrees by research to be submitted to Turnitin, a text matching tool that is licensed for use in the University of Sheffield where, among other things, it is being used as an aid in the prevention of unfair means.  Turnitin produces an 'originality report' which will be checked by the internal examiner to ensure that unfair means has not been used.

This requirement applies to both first submissions and resubmissions.

Before the final thesis is submitted to Research Services for examination students should contact their departmental/school PGR administrator for information on the procedures to be followed for submitting the final copy of their thesis through Turnitin.  When a thesis is submitted to Turnitin the student will receive a digital receipt in the form of an email.  Students should also bring a copy of that receipt when they submit their thesis to Research Services. 

Students should be aware that there is a limit to the size of file that can be submitted to Turnitin, which is 400 pages and 40MB. Students whose theses exceed the Turnitin limit may need to exclude pictures or diagrams in order to successfully submit to Turnitin.

The thesis submission to Turnitin must be an exact copy of the thesis submitted for examination (notwithstanding any material that may need to be excluded due to file size) and must be submitted at the same time.  The submission is stored in the Turnitin database, which allows it to be checked against all previous Turnitin submissions.

Please note that theses will not be formally sent out for examination until the originality report has been checked by the internal examiner and the thesis is cleared for examination.

Turnitin Central Support and Training

Further information and guidance on using Turnitin is available here.

Turnitin and Publication

The University does not consider submission of work to Turnitin as publication of that work.  The act of publication is understood as making content available to the general public. Content submitted to Turnitin is not available to the general public, in the sense that the public are able to access the content. Rather the Turnitin process merely allows licensed members of the public to request that Turnitin compare a submitted piece of work with other works to check for any matching text.

The Turnitin originality report returns those parts of the submitted work that match another source and the metadata for that source (name, date, title etc.) If Turnitin users wish to have access to the content of a matched source that is not already publicly available (as is the case for content that resides on the Turnitin database but not elsewhere) then they have to seek permission from the owner. Therefore the content of work submitted to Turnitin should not be deemed as publicly available and thus content submitted to Turnitin should not be deemed to be published.