Turnitin - Disclosure and Access

Support for staff

Before using Turnitin for electronically submitted assignments you must provide your students with explicit information about your intentions for using the service and how it works.

Use these guidelines:

  • Disclose that you are using Turnitin.
  • Explain what the Originality Report is, how it works and why you are using it.
  • Explain how to upload assignments to Turnitin or advise students that you will be submitting the assignments on their behalf.
  • Explain that students must not include any identifying details on their assignments.

Other important information students should know about Turnitin:

  • Papers will remain in the Turnitin database for an unknown period. During this time, they may be used to determine whether individuals at UNSW or other institutions have engaged in academic misconduct.
  • Turnitin stores the document both in its original form and as an "electronic fingerprint". The original form of the document is only available to the original author and the instructor of the course to which the document was submitted. The electronic  fingerprint is used to compare it with other documents submitted to Turnitin.
  • Neither UNSW nor Turnitin administration staff are able to view assignments submitted through Turnitin. If another document is subsequently submitted and matches text in one of your student’s assignments, the instructor responsible for the new document will be provided with the following information:
    • the name of the institution from which the matching assignment originated
    • the name of the course to which the matching assignment was submitted
    • the name and email address of the instructor responsible for that course
    • the filename of the matching assignment
    • the date the matching assignment was submitted

Students can find more information at:

What you should do if another Turnitin user contacts you

If a document is submitted to Turnitin that matches text in one of your student’s assignments, the instructor responsible for the new document may email you and request permission to view a copy of your student’s assignment.

Whether this instructor is from UNSW or from another institution, and whether they are requesting access to a paper belonging to a past or present student, do not give access to the requested paper.

Take the following steps:

  1. Refer the request to the UNSW Privacy Officer
    Email: privacy@unsw.edu.au
    Web: https://www.legal.unsw.edu.au/compliance/privacyhome.html
    Telephone: (02) 9385 8369
  2. If the Privacy Officer gives you written permission to release the paper to the requestor, ensure that you do not disclose the identity of the paper's author by checking that the paper does not contain identifying information such as name or zID
  3. Before providing access to the paper, ask for a written undertaking that the paper will only be used for the purpose of determining academic misconduct of another student and then destroyed.