How to use the Turnitin Checker in OneFile – A guide for training officers and assessors

Familiarise yourself with the Turnitin feature in OneFile by following this guidance.

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What is the Turnitin Checker in OneFile?

The Turnitin Checker in OneFile is an integration of OneFile and Turnitin, which many trainees will be familiar with from their work at university. The Turnitin Checker can check every file uploaded to OneFile for its similarity:

  • to billions of web pages and published academic and scientific works
  • to other work uploaded to Turnitin by students worldwide
  • to documents uploaded to OneFile by other healthcare science trainees

The Checker will generate an overall ‘similarity score’ for files uploaded into OneFile and identify where content in uploaded files matches content in other sources.

Every file uploaded to OneFile has a Turnitin Checker button attached to it (see Fig.1 below). When this is clicked, the similarity check is performed.


Fig.1 Turnitin checker button

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How should trainees use Turnitin Checker in OneFile?

We are advising trainees to follow these four key ‘steps’:

  1. Prepare your work properly and professionally
    It is essential to make clear the content that is not yours, that you may be quite legitimately including and reflecting upon, and the ideas and content that you have personally developed. You should properly indicate and reference each source that you include in your work.
  2. Only use Turnitin Checker on final versions of documents in OneFile
    Trainees often upload early versions and drafts of their work to OneFile and share them with assessors for feedback. This is perfectly fine. However, you should not use Turnitin Checker in OneFile on early version of documents. Only use Turnitin Checker on final versions that you are submitting for sign off.
  3. ALWAYS use the Turnitin Checker on your work BEFORE you submit it to your training officer or assessor for sign off
    Only use the Checker on final versions of documents that you are about to submit for sign off. The Checker can take up to 24 hours to perform the similarity check, although it is often completed within minutes.
  4. Review and understand the similarity reports generated for each of your files
    It is important that you review the similarity reports for your work. You will need to be prepared to defend your work with your assessor if it achieves a high score. If the Checker has returned a high similarity score which you are able to explain, you should make use of the free text part of your submission to inform your assessor of the reason for the similarity score.
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What is a reasonable similarity score?

Once the Turnitin check has been performed, OneFile will show a ‘Turnitin match’ score for each uploaded file (see Fig.2 below), which will be visible to everyone who can see the trainee’s portfolio.


Fig.2 Turnitin match scores

This score quantifies how similar a trainee’s work is to other pieces of writing, and the report it links to will highlight any content in their work that matches content found on the internet, in academic literature or in someone else’s submitted work.

There is no ideal percentage that trainees should aim for and there is no threshold above which they will be penalised. This is because there are some acceptable forms of similarity that the report will detect, such as quotations and references, tables showing shared data and material that is included that their work comments upon, such as departmental Standard Operating Procedures.

So, the similarity score is NOT a plagiarism score. However, if work has been submitted to Turnitin that is unprofessional or indeed has been plagiarised, the similarity report will contain the evidence that will show this.

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What should I do if I receive work with a high similarity score?

There are some obvious and legitimate reasons why a trainee’s work might have a high similarity score. For example, because the trainee included and commented on a Standard Operating Procedure that other trainees have also included in their work, or because they have included quotations. A high score for these reasons is acceptable as long as the original source is clearly referenced.

We have introduced Turnitin as a tool to encourage trainees to prepare proper and professional work before they submit it to you and to deter trainees from submitting improper work. Similarly, we want to encourage training officers and assessors to consider Turnitin as a tool that you can use as part of your assessment if you feel the need to.

We do not expect assessors to review every detail of every similarity report generated by Turnitin. However, if you have concerns about a trainee’s work, because you feel that some of it may not be genuine or if it has a high similarity score, you may wish to review the similarity report about the work produced by Turnitin.

We have stressed to trainees that they should always ensure that they understand what their similarity reports show and that they should be able to defend them to their assessors. If it is clear and obvious from the similarity report that the work is not the trainee’s and the source matches cannot easily be explained, then you should return it to the trainee in OneFile and not sign it off. You do not need to inform the National School that you have done this.

The National School WILL reserve the right to refer a trainee to a training management panel if the Turnitin Checker provides repeated evidence of unprofessional practice or clear plagiarism.

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How do I interpret a similarity report?


Fig.3 Turnitin match scores link

When you click on the ‘Turnitin match’ link beside each file that has been checked (see Fig.3 above) you will be taken to a similarity report for that file.

The similarity report:

  • highlights parts of your file that it has found matched sources for
  • lists, in the sources column at the right of the screen, what the sources are


Fig.4 Turnitin similarity report with highlighted text

If you click on either the highlighted text or the source (see Fig.4 above) more details about the source will be presented in the sources column (see Fig.5 below).


Fig.5 Turnitin expanded source view

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Any questions?

If you have any queries about using the Turnitin Checker in OneFile, please contact our servicedesk at nshcs.digital@hee.nhs.uk.

Last updated on 17th November 2022