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Termination of Turnitin Service

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Published: 10 Jun 2013

A Message from the Office of the Dean of Students - Termination of Turnitin Service

As of June 1, 2013, McGill University has ended its licensing agreement with Turnitin and the service is no longer available within myCourses.

As always, McGill is fully committed to academic integrity, and to teaching students how to do ethical, honest, and effective academic work. While we explore other software options, students, instructors and Disciplinary Officers can use the range of freely available text matching options to check work for possible plagiarism, whether intended or not

Instructors should keep in mind that if they want to require the use of text matching software for their courses, they must include this requirement in the course outline and must allow students a reasonable alternative if they choose not to use the technological solution.  The use of text matching software at McGill is regulated by a Senate policy which can be consulted here

Most free online plagiarism checkers work by harnessing Google’s different search engines and finding matching text on web pages but also in published sources archived in Google Scholar, Google Books, and large repositories such as JSTOR.

Here are some freely available tools:

Google
Searches up to 32 word segments against a very large corpus including web pages, academic articles and books.

Dustball
Automates the process of google searching. Allows cutting and pasting or uploading of Word documents. Will find exact sentence matches but has difficulty with fuzzy searching of altered passages.

WCopyFind
Compares up to 500 documents at a time for possible plagiarism. Reads word files, text files, and pdf. Useful for checking for plagiarism between students as well as for plagiarism from a known and defined corpus, such as the list of readings for a course.

Sherlock
Compares a set of source code or plain text files. Useful for finding plagiarism in a set of computer programing assignements.

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