Text-matching software

Site: Flinders Learning Online
Topic: Academic Integrity for students
Book: Text-matching software
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Wednesday, 4 August 2021, 4:28 PM

1. Text-matching

Flinders University provides text-matching software for use by staff and students. Except where an exemption has been granted for special circumstances, all text-based student assignments will be subject to text-matching. Flinders University currently uses Turnitin as its text-matching software program. As text-matching software can also be a valuable learning tool, text-matching is also available to all students via FLO (Flinders Learning Online) for checking draft assignments.

Why use text-matching software?

Text-matching software identifies either similar or exact matches between submitted work and other digital material. This material may include the Internet, electronic databases and other students' work. The Flinders University Academic Integrity Policy includes a provision that allows students to submit drafts of their assignment.

If you are unsure whether or not your written work may too closely resemble your source material, you may wish to check your DRAFT assignment through text-matching software before submitting the final version of your assignment. Each University topic will provide a draft submission box that connects you to text-matching software and will generate a report for review see Submission of drafts.

Alternatively you could upload a practice document by navigating to the Text-matching site. Note: this will direct you through to the 'Text-matching' FLO site and you will need to enrol yourself by clicking on the Enrol Me button. This site is not linked to a teaching topic and should not be used for final submission of assignments.

Enrolling into this site will add a permanent link into your My FLO topics list for accessing reports generated through this site.

Need help interpreting your text-matching report?

If you require support to interpret a text-matching report for a draft or final assignment see Interpreting the text-matching report

Final assignment submission

For final submission of your assignment, text-matching will occur automatically when you submit through the FLO page for your topic see Submitting your final assignment. Please do not use the draft text-matching box for final submission of assignments.

Accessing support

For technical assistance with draft submissions of for final assignment submission contact the FLO Student Help Desk 1300 FLINDERS, flo.student@flinders.edu.au or visit level 1 of the Library.

For assistance with interpreting text-matching reports, academic writing and referencing drop in to the Learning Lounge in the Library or, if you are an external student, contact us via email us on  slss@flinders.edu.au.

2. Submission of drafts

If you are unsure whether or not your written work may too closely resemble your source material, you may wish to check your DRAFT assignment through text-matching software before submitting the final version of your assignment. There will be a submission box for text-matching in every FLO topic site where you can upload drafts to get a text-matching report.

Step 1: Login to FLO at: http://flo.flinders.edu.au

Step 1 My FLO

Step 2: Open your topic and select ‘Text-matching – submit DRAFTS here’

Step 2 DEMO0000

Step 3: In the ‘My Submissions’ tab, click 'Submit Paper' button (bottom right). This will replace any existing submission (ie. you can only check 1 document at a time).

Step 3

Step 4: Complete the Submission Title (this can be whatever you like), upload the file you wish to submit, 'tick' to confirm it your own work and select ‘Add Submission’.

Step 4 DEMO draft box

Once submitted a confirmation window will appear. You can close this (top right corner). A search will now be conducted to match text against the current and archived Internet, globally submitted student papers and accessible content databases, including library databases, text-book publishers and digital reference collections. Time taken to generate a report will vary from 5 minutes to 24 hours to return a report.

Step 5: To open the report, return to the ‘My Submission’ tab and click on the coloured % link of your last draft. 

When a report is generated, the percentage symbol (%) will replace the word ‘Pending’ beneath the heading ‘Similarity’.

Step 5 Sim score

You will see similarity expressed as a percentage. The report can be accessed by clicking the percentage. If this is your first time using the Turnitin software you will be prompted to accept the ‘Turnitin User Agreement’ before you are able to access the report.

The percentage is the amount of text in your paper that has been matched to other sources. Remember this tool only matches text; it does not make any decisions about whether the matched text is plagiarism or not. Text matching can occur for many valid reasons (such as including the question in your paper, correctly quoting a source or correctly referencing a source), so a percentage of 0% matching is rare. There is also no real threshold percentage where one can say the level of text matching is acceptable or not. The determination of what is plagiarism and what is not, is a human decision, not a numerical one.

3. Interpreting the text-matching report

Interpreting text-matching reports is essential. Reports provide an overall matching percentage which indicates how much of the submitted paper matches existing sources in the available databases. Reports also provide a break-down of each individual match indicating the matched text and the source of the match. It is recommended that each individual match is interpreted, with the view to determining whether the matched text constitutes plagiarism or not.

For example:

  • Direct quotes will be highlighted as matched text but are a legitimate use of source material, provided they have been enclosed in quotation marks and their source has been acknowledged correctly.
  • Matching may occur if you have not paraphrased adequately, and your work too closely resembles another person’s work, even if you have not copied text verbatim.
  • Sentences of a generic nature may be matched but would not constitute plagiarism if they are an inadvertent use of common knowledge. (for example, 'Australia is a vast country with a relatively small population.')
Step 1: Open the report from within the draft submission 'My Submission' portal

On the left hand of the screen, you will see your document with colour coding of text matching and on the right hand side, you see a list of the sources where the matches were found. You can click on the matched numbers on the left hand side (Match Overview) to get more information about the source where the match was found. Alternatively, click on the colour coded number on the right hand side for a brief summary of the match. Note that Turnitin will link to the first match it finds, it makes no determination about where the text was first published, or the original author.

Step 1 report

If you click on a match in your document a window will appear showing you the details of the matched source.

Step 2 report

It is important for you to know that the tool does not match against other students’ work in the current class until on the due date. This may mean the report percentage match may change after this date if there is text matching with other students in your class (which could be for quite valid reasons, e.g. two or more people including the assignment question in the document).

If you wish to improve your work and resubmit it to generate another report, you can do so. However, only one (1) report can be generated on any single draft box within a 24 hour period and one (1) report on any single assignment box within a 24 hours period.  So submitting a draft assignment to the draft box does not preclude you from making a final assignment submission, as each box will generate separate reports within a 24 hour period.

Please talk to your teaching staff, or drop into the Learning Lounge in the Library for more information on interpreting the report. It may also prove helpful to see other examples of acceptable and unacceptable paraphrasing in the Paraphrasing and quoting study guide.

4. Final submission of an assignment

For final submission of your assignment, text-matching will occur automatically when you submit through the FLO page for your topic

Step 1: Navigate to your topic. Locate the assignment that you wish to submit click on the link.

The assessment description     

Ch4 step 1.2

Step 2: If you have not already done so, accept the latest Turnitin ‘End User License Agreement’ (EULA) before you are able to submit your assignment. This is required only once per user


Step 3: Upload your file using drag and drop or use the ‘Add’ button and select ‘Save changes’

Step 3 assignment submission

Step 4: If the screen looks like the one below your assignment is being sent to text-matching software and the report will be processed. Here you can review your submission details before finalising your submission (eg. have you uploaded the correct file?). If you need to change something click 'Edit Submission'.
Ch4 step 4

Step 5: To finalise submission, click 'Submit assignment'. You do not need to wait for the report to be generated before finalising your submission.

Ch 4 Step 5 Submission add

Step 6: You may have to accept the Flinders University academic integrity statement. Tick the acceptance box first and then select 'Continue'

Ch 4 Step 6 Declare

Step 7: The submission status should now show as 'Submitted for grading' which means your assignment submission is finalised. You will also receive an email confirmation to your student email address. You can view the final text-matching report from this page (when it is available). You will know it is available when there is a coloured box below the Turnitin ID. Access the report by clicking on the coloured box with the percentage number.

Ch 4 Step 7 Submission status

Remember, the percentage may change after your submission if there is text matching with other students in your class.  Any changes can take up to 4 weeks to appear.