Since 2012 the Icelandic universities and a few secondary schools have used the software Turnitin. Late in 2017 a contract was signed on the use of Turnitin in all secondary schools and universities in the country. The National and University Library has full supervision of the project and is in charge of signing the contract which Ministry of Education, Science and Culture finances for three years.

The National and University Library is responsible for:

  • offering information meetings for students and teachers on Turnitin.
  • organizing visits from staff of Turnitin.
  • organizing meeting with consultation teams on Turnitin for secondary schools and universities.
  • *to publicize the project as much as possible.

The National and University Library has full supervision of the project. The Project manager is Hilma Gunnarsdóttir, information specialist hilma (hja) landsbokasafn.is and technical supervision in in the hands of Sigurbjargar Jóhannesdóttur, sibba (hja) hi.is, specialist in university teaching at the Centre for Teaching and Learning .

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin is software which offers a diverse help in teaching, including a special protection against plagiarism. Teachers can, through the software, check the originality of texts and the correct use of citations in the projects submitted by the students. Turnitin compares text of submitted projects with a large collection in stored databases, including many articles from foreign databases, texts from homepages and students’ theses, -both Icelandic and foreign - such as the theses which have been included in Skemman – digital repository of Icelandic universities. After this comparison the Turnitin produces an originality report where comparison between submitted project and the texts that are housed in the database. Although Turnitin shows comparison it is not secure that there is a case of plagiarism. It is the teachers’ obligation to interpret the report from Turnitin and decide whether the use of sources is satisfactory.

Furthermore, the teachers can use the advantages provided by the software to guide their students in a graphical form, comment on the projects and bring forward some positive criticism – to name a few. you can see a video produced by Turnitin that shows the possibilities of the software. On the web of Turnitin there are also some useful suggestions and information about technical issues/problems.

Honesty and academic work procedures

Plagiarism is a problem in the academic world and most universities have made efforts to prevent plagiarism and established a policy on how to deal with such issues. The introduction of Turnitin in this country a a part of those efforts to prevent plagiarism.

Useful links:

Turnitin: 10 types of plagiarism

Turnitin: Q&A

Vísindavefurinn: What is plagiarism?

Kennslumiðstöð Háskóla Íslands: Protection against plagiarism.