Referencing is a standard convention within the academic and professional communities, which is designed to inform the reader of the sources of information used in a piece of written work.
There are a number of referencing systems in common use, with certain systems being preferred in different academic disciplines.
The most widely used referencing styles at Flinders University are:
Along with our study guides, there is a range of support available to help you with referencing. You can:
If you are unsure whether or not your written work may too closely resemble your source material, there is a web-based program available via Flinders University which may assist you to reduce unintentional plagiarism.
Flinders University is providing the opportunity for all enrolled students to use a text-matching software program called Turnitin. If you 'submit' an assignment to this program it will match the text from that assignment against multiple databases.
Turnitin generates a report which tells you the percentage of matching text. Refer to Flo for more information about Turnitin.
Flinders University currently uses Turnitin as its text-matching software program. Text-matching software identifies either similar or exact matches between submitted work and other digital material. This material may include the Internet, electronic databases and other students' work. As text-matching software can also be a valuable learning tool, text-matching is also available to all students via FLO (Flinders Learning Online) for checking draft assignments.
Text-matching through Turnitin will occur automatically when you submit a finished text-based assignment. Visit the Academic Integrity for Students Flinders Learning Online (FLO) page (note: you will need to be logged into FLO to access this link) to find a step-by-step guide on the FLO submission process.
If you are unsure whether or not your written work may too closely resemble your source material, you may wish to check your DRAFT assignment through text-matching software before submitting the final version of your assignment. There will be a submission box for text-matching in every FLO topic site where you can upload drafts to get a text-matching report.
Alternatively, you can submit drafts through the Text-matching FLO page. You should allow up to 24 hours before reports are available for viewing.
Visit this submission of drafts FLO page to view a step-by-step guide on how to submit a written draft to Turnitin (note: you will need to be logged into FLO to access this page). Please do not use the draft text-matching box for final submission of assignments.
If you receive a high percentage on your Turnitin report, there may be a valid reason, so it’s best not to panic.
The percentage is the amount of text in your paper that has been matched to other sources. Remember this tool only matches text; it does not make any decisions about whether the matched text is plagiarism or not. Text matching can occur for many valid reasons (such as including the question in your paper, correctly quoting a source or correctly referencing a source), so a percentage of 0% matching is rare. There is also no real threshold percentage where one can say the level of text matching is acceptable or not. The determination of what is plagiarism and what is not, is a human decision, not a numerical one.
We recommend that you interpret each individual match, with the view to determining whether the matched text constitutes plagiarism or not.
If you wish to improve your work and resubmit another DRAFT to generate another report, you can do so. However, only one (1) report can be generated on any single draft box within a 24 hour period and one (1) report on any single assignment box within a 24 hours period. So submitting a draft assignment to the draft box does not preclude you from making a final assignment submission, as each box will generate separate reports within a 24 hour period.
For more information on how to interpret your Turnitin report, visit the interpreting the text-matching report FLO page. (Please note: you will need to be logged into FLO to access this link).
Resubmitted assignments may return a report with a higher percentage because they contain similar or the same material to your original submission. In the context of a resubmission, reusing or resubmitting parts of your original assessment is acceptable, as your marker will be able to see why large portions of your text have been matched.
If you’re unsure whether there are valid reasons for a report with high text-matching, try to interpret the individual matches using the strategies outlined above.
The Academic Integrity for Students FLO module has information on how to use Turnitin. You can also visit The Learning Lounge on Level 2 of the Central Library to speak to an advisor about Turnitin or your Turnitin Report. Opening hours and other details can be found on the Learning Lounge webpage.
These guides any many other resources are available on FLO.
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