Answered By: Monique Ritchie
Last Updated: 17 Jun, 2015     Views: 409

If you are a PhD student, University policy requires you or your supervisor to submit the final draft of your thesis to the Library's CheckIt service. CheckIt uses plagiarism detection software called Turnitin to generate an originality report for your draft. Turnitin is a useful tool which compares your thesis to other published work, content on the Internet and other submissions, looking for matches. While often referred to as a plagiarism check, in fact this is not entirely accurate. Turnitin's results show matched content found, but cannot tell you conclusively whether plagiarism has occurred. This is because further context and the judgment of an academic expert (eg your supervisor or examiners) are required to determine whether content has been plagiarised.

There are several valid reasons why matched content occurs, for example where you repeat common jargon in the field, or where you have published articles or conference papers based on your thesis research. Turnitin can also help identify material which has not been correctly quoted or cited and so can be used to help proof-read the final draft.

As all theses are archived in BURA, our online research archive, the Library uses it routinely on PhD and MPhil theses to identify matches to published content, which may be included in your thesis legitimately, but where there are copyright restrictions for archiving it online. If there are concerns we will advise accordingly.

See our Submitting your thesis web page for more information about CheckIt and thesis procedures.