At Undergraduate and PostGraduate taught level when you submit work for assessment it is commonly run through a similarity checking software to look for potential instances of plagiarism, collusion, or contract cheating in the work. For Doctoral Researchers submitting a thesis this process is slightly different and you can learn more here.
The University uses a software called Ouriginal (previously known as Urkund). The software compares your submission against its database of sources, including journal articles, other student's work, online sources such as websites or reports, and many other materials, to see if it can identify any similarity with your work. It will then produce a report highlighting those similarities that is reviewed by your academic assessor to determine if there are any reasons to ask Academic Misconduct teams to look further.
The Library is often asked whether students can submit their work to Ouriginal to check for plagiarism ahead of assessment submission, or if there are any free plagiarism checkers that can be used.
At Brunel, the University have taken the decision to limit taught students access to this software before submission. The University wants students to work towards understanding and avoiding plagiarism in the first place, rather than just correcting possible instances of plagiarism or academic misconduct found in the report.
While there are free plagiarism checkers advertised online it is important to be aware these platforms do not compare against the extensive database of materials that Ouriginal employs. This mean that they could give you a false impression that your document is free of similarity with other works. The Library does not recommend any free plagiarism checking softwares, or their use.
Instead if you are unsure about what plagiarism, collusion or contract cheating involve and how you might avoid it in your work you can speak to an expert. This might be your tutor, supervisor or your librarian. They can discuss with you how to avoid accusations of plagiarism in your work. To contact you librarian take a look at our Academic Liaison Librarian LibGuide to find your subject expert.
You might also find it helpful to look at our online module 'Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism'.