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Plagiarism: Turnitin plagiarism plugin

Maintained by Picture of John McGettrick John McGettrick, Picture of Dan Marsden Dan Marsden, Picture of James Robson James Robson, Picture of Paul Dawson Paul Dawson, Picture of David Dyke David Dyke
Turnitin is a commercial plagiarism detection system which requires a paid subscription to use - This Plugin integrates with the existing Moodle Assignment module.
Moodle 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9
WARNING: This plugin replaces Dan Marsden's plugin with a new version developed by Turnitin 

The plugin developed by Dan Marsden has been deprecated for the version now available here.
This plugin shares code with the new mod_turnitintool2 plugin which must be installed at the same time.

The new version has a number of major benefits compared with Dan's including:
  • Fully supported by Turnitin for all issues that occur.
  • Uses a new improved API to connect to Turnitin.
  • Better support for the rest of Turnitin's product range (Grademark, Writecycle etc)
  • Works with the new Moodle block developed by Turnitin

Dan Marsden's original plugin
Dan Marsden's plugin is supported for all versions up to Moodle 2.7 to allow people time to migrate to the new version but will not be supported past Moodle 2.7 - Dan's plugin is still available from his github account here: along with documentation here:


Screenshot #0
Screenshot #1


Picture of John McGettrick
John McGettrick (Lead maintainer)
Picture of Dan Marsden
Dan Marsden: Previous plugin maintainer
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  • Picture of Liz Cross
    Tue, May 12, 2015, 7:25 PM
    Hi, I want to be able to use Turnitin within a normal moodle assignment, as shown in the screenshot above (on this page
    We have the Turnitin Plagiarism plugin and also Turnitintwo installed and everything works correctly via the Turnitin Assigment. I have enabled the Turnitin plagiarism plugin to be enabled for "assign" and also "forum" and the settings appear in the set-up for both of these, however when work is uploaded to a moodle assignment or forum no Turnitin report link is visible. We are running Moodle 2.7 and the legacy assignment type is disabled. Is there anything else I can do to make this work? Thanks, Liz
  • Picture of John McGettrick
    Tue, May 12, 2015, 7:39 PM
    Hi Liz, are there any errors in your API logs? There may be a problem in creating the assignment itself in Turnitin.
  • Picture of Amir Shurrab
    Wed, Jun 10, 2015, 10:27 PM
    Hi there,
    Do you have an intention to support Moodle 2.9?
  • Picture of John McGettrick
    Thu, Jun 11, 2015, 5:42 PM
    Hi Amir, yes this plugin will support 2.9. We haven't fully verified this yet though.
  • Picture of Mathieu Pelletier
    Tue, Jun 30, 2015, 6:40 PM
    I have found a couple of problems with this plugin, that seem like they should be pretty easy to fix.

    1. When an admin or registrar needs to edit a student assignment, clicking edit submission > and uploading new assignment > save, submits the assignment to Turnitin under the admin's or registrar's name NOT the student's name. The result is that the student is thereafter unable to see the originality report or access the marked assignment in Grademark. The present work around is for the admin to use Moodle's "login as" feature to upload the document. This is a real schlep.
    NB. Be careful about submitting a new document to a student account as the admin (ie without using 'login as') when the student has not accepted the EULA. This will submit the assignment under your admin user, but associate it with the student concerned. The assignment will then loop and resubmit over and over again and may give error M14: 18 when viewing grademark. Make sure you are certain the EULA has already been accepted!

    2. The grades do not sync to the gradebook under specific circumstances where a workflow is involved. Presently, this means you need to manually enter the marks into the gradebook for such assignments.

    3. Some assignments created in office365 with .docx extensions will not render an originality report. I suppose this one is more a Turnitin problem and less a problem with the plugin.

    4. Students who have multiple submissions in are not permitted to submit an assignment more than 5 times, even if there is no submission limit in the configuration of the assignment. Turnitin PP will only accept the assignment provided the submission number is less than 5 in mdl_plagiarism_turnitin_files.

    5. Some users submitting to an assignment may receive the turnitin error something like the following "Assignment not submitted Turnitin since the due date is past and you have already submitted..." This will appear even though the due date setting in the assignment has not been set or is not yet past, but the plagiarism_post_date on the cm in mdl_plagiarism_turnitin_config has a date in the past. This one is a real pain to sort out and involves manual edits to the database (not for the faint of heart!). Note that there is no way to configure the post date from the plagiarism plugin and manual edits in the DB are reverted as soon as the assignment syncs to Tii.
  • Picture of John McGettrick
    Fri, Jul 3, 2015, 5:41 PM
    Hi Mathieu,

    Thanks for the input.

    We will be modifying the plugin fairly soon to account for submitting on behalf of a student, this isn't currently supported as the plugin sends submissions automatically to Turnitin with data provided to the get_links() function. There isn't enough data in there currently to do this so we'll be removing automatic submission and doing all submission through the cron which makes the plugin more in line with Moodle's workflow.

    We've fixed issue 2 in the latest release.

    We'll look into the other issues for you as well.


  • Picture of Mathieu Pelletier
    Tue, Jul 21, 2015, 4:17 PM
    Thanks John. I see that you have split the repository into three on github. I would like to post new issues to the plagiarism plugin. Should I do this in the new repository (presently no issues) or the original (12 issues)?
  • Picture of John McGettrick
    Tue, Jul 21, 2015, 4:32 PM
    If you could add them on the new repository that would be great. We'll still be sorting everything off the previous combined repository.
  • Picture of John McGettrick
    Tue, Jul 21, 2015, 4:32 PM
    If you could add them on the new repository that would be great. We'll still be sorting everything off the previous combined repository.
  • Picture of Diana H.
    Mon, Aug 3, 2015, 4:31 PM

    What is the difference between the official mod_turnitintooltwo (Turnitin's Moodle Direct v2) and this plugin? Which one should we choose?
  • Picture of Mathieu Pelletier
    Mon, Aug 3, 2015, 4:37 PM
    Hello Diana,

    This plugin integrates into the existing Moodle assignment module, adding a Turnitin section to the settings. However, it requires mod_turnitintooltwo to work. You can also use mod_turnitintooltwo on its own to receive assignments, but you will not have several of the Moodle assignment functions built in, such as alternative feedback options, notifications, etc.
  • Picture of Diana H.
    Mon, Aug 3, 2015, 5:07 PM
    Dear Mathieu,

    Thank you for your swift reply!
    So do you think we should install and configure both plugins separately? Will one TurnItIn key work for both plugins?
  • Picture of Mathieu Pelletier
    Mon, Aug 3, 2015, 5:22 PM
    Hello Diana,

    If you wish to use the plagiarism plugin (which is what we use), you must configure turnitintooltwo. However, if you just wish to use turnitintooltwo and its assignment module, there is no need to install or configure the plagiarism_plugin.

    Plagiarism plugin depends on turnitintooltwo, and you record your Turnitin Account ID and Shared Key in the settings for Turnitintooltwo. The plagiarism plugin allows you to use Turnitin more broadly in your moodle installation, allowing Turnitin to function in the existing Moodle assignments, forums, and workshops. If you use only turnitintooltwo, turnitin's functions will be relegated solely to the assignments received via their assignments module. If your institution is currently using the built-in Moodle assignments module for essay assignments, you may find there is a smaller learning curve with the plagiarism_plugin, since most of the submission processes remain unchanged. I have also noted that if Turnitin's services are down, we can still receive assignments with the plagiarism_plugin, whereas (at least with turnitintool version 1) students could not complete their submissions.

    I hope that helps.
  • Picture of Diana H.
    Mon, Aug 3, 2015, 6:02 PM
    Hello Mathieu,

    Thank you very much, now it is clear. We haven't used the plugin previously, uploaded files to TurnItIn manually. This summer we upgraded to Moodle 2.9+, so it is time to automate also TurnItIn functionality.
  • Picture of John McGettrick
    Mon, Aug 3, 2015, 9:38 PM
    Hi Diana,

    I can't really add much more than what Mathieu has said. Thanks Mathieu.

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