Compulsory Plagiarism Check via 'Turnitin' on Theses

Compulsory Plagiarism Check via 'Turnitin' on Theses

Compulsory Plagiarism Check via 'Turnitin' on Theses

Since January 1, 2009, the University has implemented a policy that all MPhil and PhD theses submitted for examination have to go through a random selection on plagiarism check after theses submission and before they are sent out to examiners for examination/re- examination. If a thesis is selected by the computer programme, the student will be required to submit the thesis to 'Turnitin' for plagiarism checking. As a matter of fact, some supervisors and departments have found Turnitin checking to be helpful, and encouraged and/or required their students to conduct such checking on theses before submission. One Faculty has also adopted a policy of requiring all its MPhil/PhD students to conduct a compulsory plagiarism check before submission.

Based on experience gained and in order to promote good research practice as well as to convey a clear message to all students of research postgraduate programmes that the University views any act of plagiarism as of the utmost seriousness, and does not tolerate such acts, the Policy Board of Postgraduate Education ('Policy Board') agreed that plagiarism check by 'Turnitin' should be made compulsory for all theses before submission for examination/re-examination.

Students should submit their draft theses to 'Turnitin' for self- checking and refinement, in consultation with the supervisor(s) if necessary, before a formal submission for examination/re- examination. Supervisors, who have the relevant expertise, are responsible for interpreting and making judgment on the final 'Turnitin' report and for giving advice to their students on refinement, where appropriate. They also have a duty to report to the Chairman of the Thesis Examining Committee (TEC) if plagiarized materials are identified in the thesis submitted for examination, and the TEC may request to read the 'Turnitin' originality report when necessary. This new policy on compulsory check will take effect from January 1, 2011 and it will be applicable to all MPhil/PhD theses submitted from that date and thereafter.

You may wish to refer to the workflow of the compulsory plagiarism
check at More information about 'Turnitin' is available at the web site of the University Libraries ( The Libraries will also organize training workshops for students on 'Turnitin' in due course.

For enquiries, please contact the Graduate School (e-mail:; tel: 2857 3470).

Professor P.K.H. Tam
Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research) and Dean
Graduate School

July 30, 2010