Assessing originality of thesis
Responsible conduct of research is the basis of scientific writing
Ensuring responsible conduct of research (RCR) in study attainments is part of the quality assurance of academic education.
One of the most important principles of RCR is that the work you present as your own has been done by you and nobody else. An essential part of learning how to do research is learning how to familiarise yourself with previous research and use it and refer to it in your own research. When using previous research, you should refer to it in ways that are accepted by the scientific community.
Turnitin system supports learning RCR and checking the originality of texts
According to Tampere University’s Regulations on Degrees, an electronic originality checking software is used in the writing of thesis, to support the study guidance process, and before the final assessment of a thesis. The system may also be utilised in other studies to support writing, teach scientific writing, and learn citation techniques.
The basics of using Turnitin
Tampere University uses the Turnitin originality checker. Turnitin is used via the teachers’ course areas integrated into Moodle.
Students always submit their own texts to the originality checker; never enter another person’s text in the system. When practising the use of the electronic originality checker and interpreting the comparison report, students may submit their text to the system repeatedly. In such cases, use the training part where you receive the comparison report and the text is not stored in the system’s reference database.
At Tampere University, an electronic originality checker may be used to check study attainments. Students participating in a course will be informed in advance if the originality checker is used. When a study attainment is submitted to the originality checker, the student is responsible for ensuring that the work has been done by him or herself. Coursework may also be stored in the reference database of the originality checker. The student will not be asked for permission to use the originality checker as part of assessing the study attainment. Interpreting the comparison report on the study attainment is part of assessment. Any suspicion of fraud will be dealt with according to Tampere University’s guideline on RCR.
Tampere University uses an electronic text originality checker in the writing of theses and supporting study guidance as well as before the final assessment process.
The comparison report must always be interpreted
As part of the thesis writing process, students enter their own text into the originality checker and receive a comparison report. The report shows the similarities found but does not tell whether the citations have been properly made, meaning that the report must always be interpreted. Students may ask their supervisor for feedback on the comparison report of their thesis as part of the supervision process. During the supervision process, it is recommended that the supervisor reads the reference report only at the student’s request. From the student’s point of view, interpreting the report is a learning process to practice doing research, and, from the teacher’s or supervisor’s point of view, it is part of guiding the student and assessing learning.
The student and supervisor agree when the thesis is ready to be checked by the originality checker. When the thesis is completed and submitted for assessment, the student is responsible for ensuring that the manuscript was written by him or herself. Before the thesis is assessed, the originality check is performed, and the comparison report is reviewed. The supervisor of the thesis confirms that he or she has reviewed the comparison report. Using the text originality checker is mentioned in the approved thesis.
Approved theses are stored in the system’s reference database via the Library’s publication archive Trepo.
All suspected fraudulence related to theses is handled in accordance with the guidelines on RCR as they pertain to theses.