Learning technologies: Turnitin and iThenticate - Understanding academic integrity through online tools

The Academic Integrity Module developed by the Student Engagement Unit has been designed to help students understand Section 9 'Academic Integrity' in the  UniSA Assessment Policies and Procedures Manual. We would encourage you to share this module with students early in their study program. 

Turnitin and iThenticate are two tools that help promote students understanding of academic integrity.


Turnitin is an online tool that helps students’ understanding of academic integrity.

Turnitin can be accessed easily from within learnonline course sites. All UniSA students' text-based assignments are automatically submitted to Turnitin when uploaded from a learnonline course site and are compared with millions of other documents in the Turnitin database and on the internet. A colour-coded similarity report is generated which illustrates any matched text. This is called an 'originality report'. Every document submitted is then stored in the Turnitin database for comparison with future assignment submissions.

Short instructive videos are available for both students and staff to understand Turnitin's originality reports:

  • The student link to the video is displayed next to their similarity score in their assignment upload screen, in Student Help on Assignments, and also in the Turnitin Help site.
  • The staff link to the video can be found on the Gradebook and Extensions Help site.
  • There is also a useful video, Interpreting Turnitin reports and identifying signs of potential academic misconduct (link opens in a new window) produced by UniSA's Tamra Ulpen (Teaching Innovation Unit & UniSA College) and Sandy Barker (UniSA Business).

The Teaching Innovation Unit has developed two Online Teaching and Learning Guides aimed at staff: Navigating a Turnitin® Similarity Report and Interpreting a Turnitin® Similarity Report.

Staff may request access from the IT Help Desk to the Turnitin for non course submissions site in order to submit student documents for comparison by Turnitin without entering the document into the Turnitin database. (Staff and postgraduate research students wishing to review drafts of their own research work for inadvertent plagiarism should use the iThenticate tool.)






iThenticate is an online tool from the same company that provides Turnitin and which is especially designed for academic researchers and research students. It can be used to check your own writing to prevent inadvertent plagiarism and can also be used to help develop the quality of HDR student’s writing and also the development of their own writing ‘voice’.

To use iThenticate you need to be registered, and an account can be established by emailing a request to iThenticate@unisa.edu.au from your UniSA email account.

Documents or segments of writing are easily submitted to the system and are then compared with millions of other documents in both the various iThenticate  databases and also the internet (these are more comprehensive than those used by Turnitin.)  Like Turnitin, iThenticate generates a colour-coded similarity report showing any matched text and where the original can be found. This report is usually generated within a few minutes of submission. Unlike Turnitin, submitted documents are NOT stored in the iThenticate  database for comparison with future submissions. This means that documents are not compared with earlier versions of themselves and, therefore, that iThenticate can be used more easily in a developmental way.

Many supervisors report that iThenticate offers a good way of working with their research students on their writing.

If you want to know more about iThenticate a learnonline/Moodle resource site has been developed. This includes sections on accessing and using iThenticate, interpreting reports, FAQs and, for those wanting more complete understanding, the full iThenticate user manual. The iThenticate website also contains useful information, but remember to register through iThenticate@unisa.edu.au before trying to log in so that you are not prompted to ‘buy credits’ which you do not need!

Please only request an account if you are studying for a PhD, other doctorate or a Masters by Research degree. By the terms of our license, we are unable to set up accounts for students on coursework programs. 

Strategic projects: Academic integrity

At UniSA Academic integrity means a commitment to act with honesty, trustworthiness, fairness, respect and responsibility in all academic work. 


Find out more

a desk with pens and papers