Does Turnitin Detect Self Plagiarism? Can a Student Self Plagiarize?

What is Self-Plagiarism?

In the publishing arena, self-plagiarism is the act of recycling identical or nearly identical sections of text from your own previously published paper, without properly acknowledging the original work. It is wrong to reuse your previously published work because by doing so, you will be presenting old ideas and purporting the text to be new. In addition, self-plagiarism in this sector involves submitting the same paper in two different places for publication, a vice known as duplicate publication.

On the other hand, self-plagiarism in the education sector involves a student reusing the whole or a section of an assignment, essay, or data that they previously submitted for grading. When such a student submits such previous work without referencing or citing the work properly, then they will be committing self-plagiarism.

It is vital to note that reusing or referring to one’s own work in a new project is not a crime or a vice per se, but only when done in the right manner. Below is a list of pointers that you should keep in mind when you wish to reuse a portion of our previously submitted or published paper.

  • Contemplate if you really need the old paper to form a basis in writing the new article. This contemplation should only happen when the previous paper and the new one are related.
  • Ensure that you only use the necessary information from your previous text to form new ideas or support the ones that you already have. By doing so, you make the two papers appear related but completely different.
  • If you have to reuse some information from your previous work, ensure that you paraphrase the text accordingly by employing appropriate synonyms and changing the sentence structures. In addition, ensure that you reference your old paper correctly. Referencing the old work lets your readers be aware of the correlation between the two papers and most importantly, avoid self-plagiarism.
  • Run your work through a plagiarism detection and prevention software such as Turnitin before you submit your work for grading or publishing. Doing so will help you point out the portions in your text that appear plagiarized so that you can correct them accordingly.

Does Turnitin Detect Self-Plagiarism?

Turnitin does detect self-plagiarism. Apart from comparing your paper against web pages, publications, journals, blogs, and online newspapers, Turnitin also compares the paper against millions of papers, submitted by you and other students. Therefore, if a student self-plagiarizes themselves by resubmitting a paper, Turnitin will detect it.

Remember, when you submit a piece of writing through Turnitin to check for similarities, that article remains in the platform’s massive database forever. This means that whenever you submit the same paper or a section of the text to Turnitin for the second time, Turnitin will find it similar to the previously submitted one. This happens after its effective algorithm identifies strings of similar words and phrases and sentence structures in the newly submitted work.

Also see: Does Turnitin Check Other Students’ Papers? 

After reading the originality report, anyone, including your professor will certainly know that you committed self-plagiarism. The professor will then take the necessary action against you per your institution’s policies on academic malpractices.

Will Turnitin Detect My Own Work?

Turnitin will detect your own work. As long as you submitted the same paper previously to Turnitin, there is a high possibility that the text is still in the platform’s massive repository. Therefore, when you try and submit the same paper for the second time, Turnitin will definitely detect the similarity and flag you for plagiarism.

It is vital to note that Turnitin has a policy for the platform to store all the papers submitted through it in its archives. Therefore, this policy prevents you from submitting a similar paper through the plagiarism detecting and preventing tool more than once.

However, there is only one way to ensure that Turnitin does not detect your own work when you resubmit it. This possibility can only happen when your paper does not exist in the platform’s repository anymore, which can only be possible if Turnitin removes the paper from its archives.

Also see: Does Turnitin Check Textbooks? 

Remember, Turnitin can remove your paper from its archives when you request for its removal by following the right channels. To do so, notify your instructor who will then request Turnitin to remove your article from its database in writing. After doing so, this platform will remove your work from its repository within fourteen working days.

Does Turnitin Detect Your Own Work?

Turnitin does detect your own work. When it does, the platform will flag you for self-plagiarism. Therefore, to avoid such inconveniences, avoid resubmitting your own work and write a new paper. If you have to reuse your old article, gather the main ideas and rewrite them using different words or rephrase the text and cite the old piece of writing effectively.

As a student, some of the repercussions that you may face for self-plagiarism include neglecting the opportunity to practice proper writing, missing the learning objectives of the assignment, a poor grade, ruined reputation, suspension from school, and in the worst-case scenario, expulsion from your institution. Remember, all the consequences mentioned above apply per your institution’s policies on infringement of the academic honor code.

On the other hand, an academician may face the following repercussions as a result of self- plagiarizing their previous work. A delay or choking up of your article’s publication process, copyright infringement if the work was already published, fines and penalties, and a ruined reputation.

Can a Student Self Plagiarize?

A student can self-plagiarize. A student can self-plagiarize themselves in three ways. Pulling off a paper they submitted while still in high school and resubmitting it in their college or university level, or resubmission of an essay from the previous academic year in the ongoing class. In addition, a student can self-plagiarize by reusing some sections of a paper they previously submitted without citing it correctly or submitting the same assignment for two different courses at the same time.

Many students would argue that plagiarism occurs when they use someone else’s work and submit it as theirs. Such students do not see any wrong in submitting a paper that they wrote themselves and presented some time ago, and awarded an excellent grade. However, what they do not understand is that by doing so, they will have committed self-plagiarism, which is still punishable like all the other types of plagiarism.

Also see: Does Turnitin Check Quizlet? 

Nevertheless, just like committing the other types of plagiarism, self-plagiarism is a result of laziness from the student. A lazy student is unable to conduct new and comprehensive research when attempting a new assignment or writing a new essay and the only way for them to go around the situation is reusing content from an old paper they wrote.