Instructor Support for Educational Systems

Tell me more on the More Options in Turnitin


This article will explain why certain settings under More Options are needed, as addressed in Check your Turnitin More Options settings and more importantly what the consequences will be when these settings are selected.  This article will have the following structure:

Submission settings

ScreenSteps - Google Chrome

Options under Submit papers to:

  • Standard paper repository: Recommended settings, best result for similarity scores
    • This is the default setting. By allowing submissions to be stored in the standard paper repository, these submissions will be added to the global database, allowing for similarity checks to be generated across all institutions and other sources.
  • Institution paper repository: Optional settings, no impact on similarity scores
    • Whilst this option might seem interesting, please consider that cross checks between other universities might not be possible anymore if we all choose to keep our students work within our own organization.
  • Student's choice: Do not choose this option, this setting will result in issues.
    • Although it is suggested as an option, it is not possible to let the student choose.
  • Do not store the submitted paper: Optional settings, no impact on similarity scores
    • This option is useful in cases where you only want to check on similarity, but do not yet want to store the paper/thesis in Turnitin. We recommend to only use this option when you want draft versions to be checked on similarity.

Other options under Submission Settings:

  • Allow submission of any file type: Do not check this option, this setting might cause the No Report issue.
  • Allow late submission: N/A
  • Enable anonymous marking: N/A
  • Enable Translated Matching: Do not check this option, as this might cause unexpected issues.
    • This functionality is still in Beta modus, we are unsure if and how this affects similarity scores.
  • Enable grammar checking using ETS: Optional setting, no impact on similarity scores
    • This might be a useful functionality when you want Feedback Studio to present feedback marks on grammar as well.
  • Attach a rubric: optional setting, no impact on similarity scores
    • Please see here for more information on using rubrics for Turnitin Assignments.

Compare against:

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Keep all boxes checked to ensure similarity scores represent a correct score. Unchecking one or more boxes might result in a lower or even a 0% similarity score. Remember that you can always exclude sources when checking a submission in Feedback Studio.

Similarity Report

How you set your similarity report settings, makes a key difference in both preventing Turnitin issues and generating realistic similarity scores.

Please note that due to the current Turnitin issues,  you should never adjust these settings for assignments that already have submissions. Making changes will cause an error stating "Error communicating with Turnitin" where similarity reports will not be generated.

You can change settings for existing assignments, only when students have not submitted their work yet.

ScreenSteps - Google Chrome

Options under Generate Similarity Reports for student submission:

Generate reports immediately (students cannot resubmit): Optional setting, will not resolve in issues but might have impact on similarity scores

  • The first option immediately generates similarity reports upon student submission.
  • Full collusion checks within the assignment will not be performed. Only later submissions will be compared with earlier submission, provided that there was enough time (at least 1 minute) between the submission for Turnitin do compare the results.

An example:

If two students hand in the same work: the student with the later submission will receive a 100% similarity score, but the first student will not. Of course you are able to see the source of the 100% in the second students work.

However, if both students handed in the assignment within seconds of each other, Turnitin might not catch the similarities between the works.

Generate reports immediately (students can resubmit until due date):  Recommend setting, best result for realistic similarity scores.

  • This option also immediately generates similarity reports upon student submission.
  • However, after the due date has passed Turnitin will perform a collusion check and will compare students work within the assignment to each other.
  • Similarity scores might therefore automatically change after the due date has passed, if for example students copied each others work.

Although the text of this settings might suggest otherwise, this setting does not control whether students can resubmit work or not. You can control that in the Brightspace Assignment settings: Submission settings for the Turnitin Assignment.

Only the Generate reports immediately (students can resubmit until due date) option will perform a full collusion check, that is why we need to pick this option here.

Generate reports on due date (students can resubmit until due date): Do not use this setting

  • This setting currently causes issues for submissions handed in before the due date.
  • You will see a "Error communicating with Turnitin" after the due date has passed.

Please contact us in case Generate Similarity Reports for Student Submission was set to Generate reports on Due Date, so we can check en reset Turnitin Assignments you created before you've adjust your settings. In that way we can prevent future Turnitin issues from happening. 

Apologies for the inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation. 

Other options under Similarity Report

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  • Allow students to view Similarity Reports: N/A
    • You can not change this setting here, since this is controlled on the Turnitin Tab in the Brightspace Assignment Screen.
  • Exclude bibliographic materials: optional settings, will have a slight impact on similarity scores
    • See here what is excluded when you check this box.
  • Exclude quoted materials: optional settings, will have a slight impact on similarity scores
    • See here what is excluded when you check this box.
  • Exclude small sources: optional settings, will have a slight impact on similarity scores
    • By checking this box, you can exclude sources that are less than a certain number of words, or a certain percentage of words. For example, filtering by 10 words will exclude all sources that have a cumulative number of matching words that are less than 10 words in length.

Additional settings

ScreenSteps - Google Chrome

Last but not least: the Save these settings for future use.

You should have done this at least once, like stated in the Check your Turnitin More Options settings article. Future assignments you will create will always use the settings you've saved before. When you want to change specific settings (e.g. attach specific rubric) for one assignment and you are not planning to use these settings in the future: do not check this box.

Please note that your saved settings will not work retroactively in previously made assignments.

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