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Getting started with Authorship Investigation

Authorship Investigation is an application hosted in Amazon Web Services (AWS). If you are a current Turnitin customer, it is separate from your current use of Turnitin.

 

Authorship Investigation was designed to combat the rise in contract cheating by providing academic integrity officers, student conduct officers, or whoever conducts additional investigations into severe cases of academic misconduct with an evidence gathering tool.

 

This guide will cover the key information that you need to know about Authorship Investigation and help you get started using Authorship Investigation at your institution.

What does Authorship Investigation do?

Authorship Investigation automates many of the manual workflows that investigators of serious academic misconduct spend hours performing. Tedious tasks like collecting document sets for the investigation, trawling document metadata, and creating the misconduct investigation report are now streamlined.

 

Authorship Investigation also provides new evidence about a student’s writing over time that can be used to confirm suspicions of a possible misconduct violation. This evidence is provided in an Authorship Report that is generated by either manually uploading files to compare against each other, or by entering a Turnitin paper ID and selecting from a list of the students past work which files you would like to compare against.

 

Authorship Investigation does not identify contract cheating. It takes human judgment to determine whether contract cheating has occurred based on the balance of probabilities. 

Accessing your account

The initial administrator assigned to the account will receive an activation email. This email will prompt you to create a username and password. You can use these credentials to log in to the Authorship Investigation tool.

 

There are two main areas: the sidebar and the main content area.

 

 

The sidebar is where you can manage users and licenses, and modify your settings.

 

From the main content area, you can launch the Authorship Investigation tool. You will can also find links to Authorship Investigation documentation, as well as a link to provide us with feedback on how we can improve the product.

Managing users

There are three user types:

  • Administrator
  • Investigator
  • User

 

It is very important to understand the level of access for each user. We are aware that institutions often have certain levels of authority for who has access to student work across many courses, departments, and schools. 

 

User type Permissions
Administrator

User management

Submission ID

File upload

Student document download

Investigator

Submission ID

File upload

User File upload

The submission ID upload allows an administrator or investigator to use a Turnitin paper ID to compare that file against the most recently submitted documents to Turnitin by the student under investigation. This may, and most likely will, contain papers from different courses and departments. Make sure that the individuals you assign administrator or investigator user types to have the permission to access student work across many courses and departments.

 

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You can always change a user’s role after they have been added to an account.

Our guidance will help you get started adding users.

Creating an Authorship Report

As an administrator, you will be able to create Authorship Report with full permissions. There are two ways that you can generate an Authorship Report; by using a Turnitin paper ID or by file upload.

 

To use a Turnitin paper ID to generate the report, select this option and then enter in the Turnitin paper ID of the submission you would like to investigate for authorship. Turnitin paper IDs are created when papers are submitted to Turnitin. The ID can be found in the Turnitin assignment inbox, digital receipt, or paper information within Similarity Reports


If you enter a valid Turnitin paper ID we will find the file and display the file information. If you are happy with this file, we will find up to ten of the most recent submissions that file owner has made. Using checkboxes, you can select or deselect the files you'd like to compare. 


 

Alternatively, you can upload files from your device for investigation.

 

 

You can choose one investigation file and up to ten comparison files. The comparison documents must be authored by the same individual; this will provide the benchmark of various features that help define authorship.

 

Our guidance offers a more in depth walkthrough of report creation.

The Authorship Report

From the My Reports page, select the title of the report to open it.

 

Openingreport.png

 

The report is broken down into five sections:

  • Report Summary
  • Readability
  • Document Information
  • Punctuation
  • Vocabulary

 

The Report Summary contains the investigation filename and will provide an investigation recommendation and summary based on results of the report. The summary contains the body of evidence that the report has used to make its recommendation. The summary will pull in results from four sections; Readability, Document Information, Punctuation and Vocabulary. If one or more of these sections contains discrepancies to suggest contract cheating has potentially taken place, the section will contain a flag  to draw attention to it and a brief summary of the evidence found.

 

We have guidance providing an in depth breakdown of the Authorship Report, as well as a guide specific to the interpretation of the results.

 

Sharing reports

Authorship reports can be shared with other users in your account. Simply send them the report link and they will be asked to login before gaining access to the report, unless they are currently logged in to Authorship Investigation.

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