Turnitin matches students’ submitted papers to many electronic sources including other student papers held on the Turnitin UK database. The database will include papers from students at Imperial College London as well as other UK Universities who use Turnitin.

If a match is made between two student papers, Turnitin will highlight this in the Originality Report. However, you will not see the matching student's paper in Turnitin. Instead, you will have the option to send an email to request a copy of the paper from the lecturer who supervised the matching student's paper at the other institution (although you may find that it is someone else at Imperial).

If you are a lecturer on a course you might be involved in this process by either sending a request to another university or receiving one.

Sending a paper request

You may need to send a request to another lecturer at Imperial or at another UK university. This is done through the Originality Report in TurnitinUK.

  1. Click on the underlined link on the Originality Report.
  2. Select the option to send an email to the lecturer involved to request a copy of the matching paper. An email will be sent to the lecturer on your behalf via TurnitinUK.

If you do not hear from the lecturer at the other university within four weeks, contact the ICT Service Desk. We can investigate the reason behind the lack of response. It is likely the lecturer that you have tried to contact no longer works at the institution in question.

Receiving a paper request

All instructors listed on a course who have interacted with Turnitin on that course will receive a paper request when it is sent. This means that most instructors on the course will receive the same paper request even if they did not create the assignment themselves.

Paper request sample

If you receive a paper request it will be entitled ‘TurnitinUK Paper Request’. The template below shows you what the e-mail request will say.

"Dear <instructor name>,

TurnitinUK is forwarding this request on behalf of <requesters name>, an instructor at <institution>. This instructor requests your permission to view the paper, "<name of paper>" submitted to your <name of class> class at <name of institution> on <date of submission>. This instructor has found a <percentage> match to this paper in a paper submitted to his or her <name of class> class. To grant the instructor permission to view the paper, please reply to this e-mail and the paper (included below) will be forwarded to the instructor.



--------------Begin Paper--------------"


  • The student paper that is attached to the e-mail is the entire student paper that the other lecturer is requesting. This means that you do not need to go and locate the paper from your archives yourself.
  • The email will instruct you to copy and paste the entire email and send it to the lecturer who is requesting the paper. Turnitin will provide the email address of the lecturer.
  • Before you send the email with the requested paper, please remove any information that might identify the name of the student who submitted the paper.