I did quite a bit of research for this post because I wanted to find a discription of Turnitin that was not writen by the company. I thought the description below from Curtin University was very good.
What is Turnitin?
Contrary to popular belief Turnitin is NOT a plagiarism detection system. Turnitin is an text matching system only and does not evaluate the inclusion or accuracy of citations and references.
Turnitin is an electronic text matching system that compares text in a student assignment against a database of sources. The database contains copies of electronic text on the Internet, in published works, on commercial databases, and in assignments previously submitted to Turnitin by students in universities all over the world, including assignments obtained from internet sites that sell student papers.
Turnitin provides an Originality Report in which ‘matched’ text is underlined, colour coded, and linked to either the original source or a similar document on its database. The report also provides an indication of the proportion of the submitted work that matches other sources, this is the Similarity Index. It is important to be aware that Curtin does NOT define a ‘safe’ level for the Similarity Index nor is there a level that signals that plagiarism has occurred. The evaluation of plagiarism is an academic process that takes into account the evidence within the context of the specific assignment.
Have you as a student or a teacher had any experience with using Turnitin?
If you have never used Turnitin, after reading the description would you consider using it in the future?