Academic Integrity

Your questions

I have tried to upload a file to Turnitin but I am getting a file error message. What should I do?

Turnitin accepts certain file formats only and limited file sizes. You can submit a file in the following formats: Word, Text, Postscript, PDF, HTML and RTF. Turnitin will not accept a Microsoft Works file for example. To submit your file, save it in a suitable format and then upload your file. You may find that a file will not upload because it is too large. Try removing images and reducing your file size - The file size limit is 10mb for single files. Larger files may be submitted in zipped format (zip uploads are limited to 100MB and 1000 files).

Mac users: If you receive the message 'file type unsupported', go back to the 'save as...' dialogue box and tick the option 'append file extension'. The file should then upload normally.

Can I refuse permission to have my personal details and assignments processed by the Turnitin service?

The Data Protection Act 1998 sets out when and how personal data can be ‘processed’. For any institution to validly process personal data, it must comply with one of the two conditions in Schedule 2 of the Data Protection Act 1998. These are:

  • Condition 1: “The data subject has given his consent to the processing.”
  • Condition 6: “(1) The processing is necessary for the purposes of legitimate interests pursued by the data controller or by the third party or parties to whom the data are disclosed, except where the processing is unwarranted in any particular case by reason of prejudice to the rights and freedoms or legitimate interests of the data subject.”

The University of Kent will ask for your consent during the registration process at the start of the year. If consent is given, condition 1 is fulfilled. Without consent, the institution may use condition 6 to process the data, on the basis that quality of marking and detection of academic deceit are legitimate interests of the institution. (Answer courtesy of JISC Legal Service).

How do I know my assignment has been uploaded successfully?

When you upload your assignment, you will see a digital receipt number on the screen. Keep this number as it is proof that you have submitted your assignment successfully.

What happens to my work after I have submitted it to Turnitin?

Your assignment will be stored in the Turnitin database of submitted work which is currently located in the US. It will be used for comparison against future submissions by students enrolled at universities which subscribe to the Turnitin service. This is an international service, so your assignment will be compared with any other student's work, not only UK students.

Can I object to my work being stored in the system?

If a copy was legitimately made of your work for submission to Turnitin, then you do not have a right to object to the work being compared to the Turnitin database on copyright grounds. You may be able to request that confidential work is not stored in Turnitin. If your objection is to personal data continuing to be stored on the system, you can submit a notice under s.10 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (under normal University procedures) if processing of your data would be likely to cause substantial damage or distress. (Legal advice courtesy of JISC Legal). Contact the Turnitin administrator at

I have resubmitted my assignment to Turnitin but I can't see the originality report. What can I do?

The first time you submit an assignment to Turnitin, the report will be available immediately. In effect, however, there may be a short delay depending on how busy the Turnitin servers are. If you resubmit work, the subsequent originality reports are delayed by 24 hours.

I submitted my draft work but now I find out that only one submission is allowed. What can I do?

You need to speak to your lecturer immediately.

I need to upload an assignment but I don't know how to log onto my course. What web address do I use?

You need to go to the web address . From there, log in using your normal university login and password. You will see the modules you are enrolled in. Click on the module you need to submit your assignment for and look for the Turnitin assignment icon. Follow the instructions on screen. You can also view the E-Learning website.

I think I have uploaded the wrong assignment. What can I do?

Before you submit any piece of work, Turnitin shows you an electronic copy of the document you are about to submit. Check this carefully. If it is correct, click the ‘yes-submit' button. If not, you have the option to go back and select the correct document for upload. If you know you have submitted the wrong assignment, you need to contact your tutor as soon as possible. Your tutor can arrange for you to reload your assignment. Note that it is important for you to resubmit your assignment with the identical details (name, title etc) as the first submission.

Can I test my paper in Turnitin before submitting it to my tutor?

To use the Turnitin service, you need to be enrolled in a class which is using the Turnitin service. It is also up to individual tutors to allow students to see the originality reports generated by Turnitin, and to allow submission of draft assignments. You need to ask your tutor how Turnitin is being used, and if you have the option to check your draft assignments through Turnitin before your final submission.

Academic Integrity, UELT, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NQ

Telephone: +44(0)1227 824016 or contact us

Last Updated: 05/01/2016