Plagiarism detection and using Ouriginal

The instruction belongs to the following themes

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The University of Helsinki uses the Ouriginal plagiarism detection system. Ouriginal is used in conjunction with the grading of academic work and theses to support the student’s scientific writing, either directly by email or through Moodle and E-thesis.

The decision on whether Ouriginal will be used in a particular course is made by the teacher. PhD students cannot use the system by themselves or get an analysis address.

NOTE. The name of Urkund has changed to Ouriginal in the spring of 2021.  Both names can appear in user interfaces and messages.

Using Ouriginal by email

  1. The teacher will inform you that Ouriginal is used for the course or seminar you are taking. The teacher will provide you with the email address (usually in the form of the teacher’s to which you will send your work.
  2. Use word processing software to write the assignment. Ouriginal accepts files in the following formats: .doc, .docx, .sxw, .ppt, .pptx, .pdf (unprotected), .txt, .rtf, .html, .htm, .wps and .odt. PDF is the recommended file format. Make sure that the name of the file does not include any special characters or exceed 20 characters in length.
  3. Submit your work by sending it as an attachment from your email address to the email address provided by your teacher. If your teacher uses a course code, it should be entered at the beginning of the subject line of the email in square brackets. If your assignment contains several large pictures, send a text-only version to Ouriginal.
  4. Shortly after sending your assignment, you will receive a notification from Ouriginal to your email address confirming that your document has been received, along with a link that you can use to indicate your refusal to have your document stored in the Ouriginal database for plagiarism detection.
    Your document will pass through Ouriginal on its way to your teacher It will temporarily be stored into the database where it will be compared with other documents, encyclopaedias, newspaper and scholarly articles, and books made available for this comparison as well as material on the Internet.
  5. Once the analysis is complete, it is passed on to your teacher automatically by email accompanied by a report indicating any similarities found between your document and the sources used in the analysis. This report will include a link to the general analysis which the teacher can use to examine any similarities more closely.
  6. When the comparison has been completed for your assignment, it is marked for deletion. It will not be used to run plagiarism checks on assignments sent by other users.

If you send several versions of an assignment to Ouriginal, only save the final version. Otherwise your previous version will come up in the analysis and its similarity can be close to 100%.

Using Ouriginal through Moodle

Teachers may activate Ouriginal in the Moodle course area so that assignments are inspected as they are submitted by students.

  1. Assignments are handed in as usual through the Assignment activity, i.e. you choose Add submission and upload the document from your own files.
  2. Information on the Ouriginal analysis is displayed in conjunction with submitting the assignment, and instructions for saving the document permanently in *Ouriginal are also provided.  Once you have successfully uploaded a document on Moodle, a confirmation message will be sent to you by email.
  3. As the copyright holder you have the right to decide on the use of the document after your answers have been checked for plagiarism. As a default the document will not be stored permanently in the Ouriginal database and it will not be used as a reference to compare with other students' work. Also, after the deletion of the document it cannot be searched for in the Ouriginal system.
  4. Allowing the use of the document in the reference database will help you protect your own copyright better because it will be more difficult for other people to use your work or parts of it as their own. By storing your document you will improve your position as a copyright holder.
  5. You can save your document into the Ouriginal database. It can be done in Moodle or via the email link you have received. In Moodle click "Tallenna dokumentti Ouriginaliin" in "Tiedostojen palautus". The link can be found at the end of your returned document. By clicking the "Do not delete my document" button behind the link, your answers will be saved in Ouriginal.

If the instructor has set the Ouriginal reports as visible for the students in question, you will be able to see the report as soon as it is done, or at the end of the submission period in the submission status view.
More information on Moodle: Moodle Manual for Students.

Ouriginal and E-thesis

Ouriginal is also used with the University of Helsinki’s E-thesis system, which is used by several faculties in the various stages of the digital thesis process.

Problems with using Ouriginal?

If you have any problems with using Ouriginal, please contact

Using Ouriginal for the pre-examination of doctoral theses

The practice for the preliminary examination of doctoral theses varies between the different faculties. If Ouriginal is in use, you will receive instructions from your supervisor or faculty. For further information, see your faculty's instructions for launching the pre-examination. Send your thesis by email to the address given to you by your supervisor/faculty. PhD students can not use Ouriginal by themselves.