The University of Otago subscribes to the plagiarism detection service, Turnitin, which is integrated into Blackboard and Moodle. Your lecturer can create a Turnitin assignment in Blackboard/Moodle that allows you to submit your document so a Similarity Report can be generated from your work. The report can help:

  • Avoid unintentionally plagiarising existing material
  • Improve your academic integrity by establishing good referencing practices
  • Improve your writing
  • Remind you about citing your sources

See the Blackboard Helpsite for more information about submitting assignments using Turnitin on Blackboard:

Blackboard Helpsite—Turnitin For Students

Turnitin is now functioning in Moodle.

IT Training can provide courses to help you familiarise yourself with the Turnitin service. These cover the key parts of the software and how to use it.

Please see the Blackboard Helpsite for Staff for a series of Turnitin self-help pages developed by eLearning:

Blackboard Helpsite for Staff—Turnitin

Please see the following document for instructions regarding marking Turnitin assignment submissions:

How to Mark Turnitin Assignment Submissions outside of Blackboard (PDF 396KB)

Contact AskOtago if you have any questions or issues with Turnitin:

Freephone 0800 80 80 98 (within New Zealand)
Tel +64 3 479 7000 or

Turnitin is not licensed to allow submissions from staff and cannot be used for checking personal research.

An alternative product for checking personal research is iThenticate (staff may want to discuss obtaining iThenticate credits with their department).

Previously staff could use Safe Assign in Blackboard, this has been phased out. Please direct staff to the alternative above.

All support requests related to Turnitin on Blackboard should be assigned to ITS Information Systems in the CRSM.

Support requests should contain the following: [the examples are about SafeAssign but the same information is needed for Turnitin]

  • Full Paper Code e.g. CELS191_S1DNS_2012
  • Description of the problem e.g. The requester believes their SafeAssignment is broken because they are unable to see the green tick icon.
  • What is it in the Bb Paper? e.g. An assignment, a test...
  • Where is it? e.g. Course Documents/Essay 1
  • What are the steps to re-create this problem? (you can attach screenshots if relevant) e.g. Click Add Assessment, choose SafeAssignment, fill in details and press Submit. Notice lack of green tick icon.
  • What browser and version? e.g. Firefox 9
  • What operating system and version? e.g. Mac 10.7

Turnitin on Moodle is not supported by ITS Applications Support or eLearning—please see the related article Information on Moodle for Moodle support contacts.

Similarity Reports

If Turnitin Similarity Reports are showing as "Pending" for more than about an hour, eLearning recommend using the "Force Refresh Submissions" command in the Submissions Inbox, as depicted below:

Screenshot of Turnitin dashboard showing location of Force Refresh Submissions option

The problem is caused by syncing between Blackboard and Turnitin, not that the Similiarity Report hasn't been generated. Hopefully future updates to Blackboard or Turnitin will resolve the issue.