Date of this Version
Published in Public Services Quarterly 18:2 (2022), pp. 129–135.
Many colleges and universities use Turnitin, SafeAssign, and other “plagiarism detection” software to detect, and deter, academic dishonesty. Since 2005, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries have provided students direct access to SafeAssign and Turnitin as teaching tools to help them identify improper citation of sources. Students appreciate having free access to these products when similar software can be cost-prohibitive. However, Turnitin commonly finds false positives in student papers, and students may find Turnitin’s originality reports difficult to understand. Therefore, it is unclear how helpful it is to offer this library service to students, versus focusing on teaching proper citation of sources.