Plagiarism Policies and Resources

Plagiarism-Detection Software

The faculty of Arts and Sciences and Engineering has adopted the elective use of the TurnItIn.com anti-plagiarism program for all courses in the undergraduate curriculum. TurnItIn is being used increasingly by many major universities, partially in response to increasing numbers of suspected academic ethics violations related to student use of Internet and web-based resources and “shared” electronic files. It is not our goal to “catch” students who cheat, but rather to encourage honest work by making it essential for students to carefully consider the legitimacy and authenticity of the work they submit.

Students in courses in which TurnItIn is used are required to submit the papers, exams, lab reports, or quizzes you assign through the program. The program compares the submitted work to all published works, Internet and web-based material, and all other work submitted through the program in any course, at any participating school in the current and all previous years. You will receive an originality report citing any duplication in the database. The search engine used by TurnItIn can identify duplication even if the word order of the submitted work differs from a source. Duplication will not necessarily constitute proof of an academic integrity violation, but will be considered evidence in a judicial proceeding.

Policy on Announcing Use of TurnItIn to Class

If you choose to adopt TurnItIn, you must inform students on the course syllabus or in other announcements at the beginning of the semester. The TurnItIn program allows students to create their own password for submissions and protects the intellectual property of students. Tufts has investigated the privacy issues inherent in this application and is satisfied that the use of the program does not compromise students’ rights or privacy. Nevertheless, a student who has concerns that a particular work contains patentable material may request that he or she be allowed to submit that material directly to the faculty member instead of through the program.

Syllabus Statements about Academic Integrity

The deans recommend that you include a statement about academic integrity on your syllabus. Below are suggested syllabus statements for use of TurnItIn and more general academic integrity statements. You should feel free to copy these verbatim.

Suggested TurnItIn syllabus statement

As part of this course, I will utilize TurnItIn in the Trunk learning management system to help determine the originality of your work. TurnItIn is an automated system which instructors can use to quickly and easily compare each student's assignment with billions of websites, as well as an enormous database of student papers that grows with each submission. When papers are submitted to TurnItIn, the service will retain a copy of the submitted work in the TurnItIn database for the sole purpose of detecting plagiarism in future submitted works. Students retain copyright on their original course work.

For more information, see Turnitin.com or review Tufts’ Academic Integrity policies. 

Optional syllabus statement for professors who select this feature when setting up an Assignment in Trunk

In this class, you will be given the opportunity to see the TurnItIn originality report for your papers submitted through that service.

Suggested academic integrity syllabus statement

Tufts holds its students strictly accountable for adherence to academic integrity. The consequences for violations can be severe. It is critical that you understand the requirements of ethical behavior and academic work as described in Tufts’ Academic Integrity handbook. If you ever have a question about the expectations concerning a particular assignment or project in this course, be sure to ask me for clarification. The Faculty of the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering are required to report suspected cases of academic integrity violations to the Dean of Student Affairs Office. If I suspect that you have cheated or plagiarized in this class, I must report the situation to the dean.

Suggested exam policy statement

Do NOT bring unauthorized materials, information, or any electronic equipment with you to a room in which an exam is being administered. Do NOT engage in behavior that gives the appearance of cheating, such as passing a note to a friend, whispering to another student while the exam is in progress, or looking in the direction of another student’s work. Do NOT bring your cell phone, tablet, music device, programmable calculator or any other electronic device to an exam room. If an exam proctor sees you handling an electronic device even to silence a phone if it rings or vibrates in the middle of the exam, the Judicial Affairs Administrator will treat it as an academic integrity violation. DO turn off your cell phone and put it out of reach, out of sight, or as instructed before the exam begins.