Attention – this guide is for students at the University of Roehampton. If you have found this guide via google and you attend a different university, please contact your IT helpdesk for information on what to do.
This error may appear when:
- a student attempts to view their submission in the Document Viewer, or
- a student attempts to access their Originality Report, or
- a lecturer attempts to open GradeMark to start marking a submission.
Turnitin’s own technical support team have suggested that this error indicates one of the following has occurred. Turnitin could not fully process the paper due to the following reasons:
- A paper can fail to process correctly if it contains complex content such as dense vector images which take too long to process. To work around this issue the student is advised to replace any vector images (Examples of Vector graphics are: AI, EPS, WMF and PICT (Mac)) in their paper with raster images (jpg/jpeg, psd, png, tiff, bmp and gif) as this will reduce the processing time required. *[see note below].
- Also, Turnitin have suggested that if the first page of a paper includes an image without text, the processing process is sometimes aborted which makes the paper unaccessible.
- The file is password protected.
- Microsoft® Works (.wps) files
- Microsoft Word 2007 macros-enabled .docm files
- OpenOffice Text (.odt) files created and downloaded from Google Docs online.
- Document (.doc) files created using OpenOffice, as they are not 100% Microsoft Word equivalent
- Spreadsheets created outside of Microsoft Excel (i.e. .ods)
- Text with visual effects.
- The paper has been deleted from the assignment inbox by the Instructor. Turnitin Support may be able to restore the paper at the Instructor’s request.
- The paper is no longer accessible. This can happen with older papers. In some rare scenarios, papers may become inaccessible.
However, the Moodle Support team have noticed that, more often than not, none of the above reasons seem to apply! There seems to be an issue with the ‘processing’ of the file by Turnitin, rather than the file itself. When a Word document is submitted, the text is extracted to run the originality check, then opened in Word 2010, and converted to PDF so that it can be displayed in the Document Viewer.
There has been some suggestion, from within the Turnitin User Community, that Turnitin are using a MS Word 2010 service to do their PDF conversions and have not yet updated this service to a later version of MS Office. Hence the issues faced.
Solutions for students and staff
If the Due Date for the assignment has not yet passed, and the assignment settings allow you to resubmit, go ahead and resubmit. The paper is often processed correctly the second time round. If the error persists, contact Moodle Support for advice.
If the Due Date for the assignment has already passed, contact Moodle Support. We will either fix the issue for you, or will liaise with Turnitin’s own technical support team on your behalf.
Option 1: resolve the issue in Moodle
- whilst in the submission inbox, download the original file submitted by the student
- save the original file on your desktop (in the original format, or as a .pdf)
- submit the saved file to the students’ profile in the assignment inbox
NB. Please note that if the Due Date for the assignment has already passed, the resubmitted paper will appear as ‘late‘ (highlighted in red) in the submission box.
If it is important to you that the original date and time of submission remain (and you don’t want the submission to appear as ‘late’), follow Option 2 or Option 3 below.
Option 2: resolve the issue by logging in to Turnitinuk.com
Log in to www.turnitinuk.com (See: – Accessing and Grading Turnitin Assignments Via the Turnitin Website (Staff)) to view classes and assignments that were created inside of Moodle. Once located you will then be able to view the submission that you were unable to view. You may see a black exclamation mark next to the submission in question. Make sure to place your mouse of the notification to determine what the issue was for that particular submission.
A black icon with an exclamation mark will appear next to the title of submission for several reasons. If you move your mouse and hover over the exclamation mark, you will get a message with an explanation of the issue.
Reasons for the black exclamation mark icon appearing include:
1. The document viewer has failed to generate an image to view for the submission. This is normally the outcome of an outdated, invalid or corrupt file submission. An Originality Report may not be available in this situation.
Please click on the exclamation mark and this will resubmit the paper for you automatically, and the report will attempt to (re)generate (this may take a few minutes). The original submission date/time should remain. You can then return to Moodle to view the paper and provide feedback in the normal way.
2. The Originality Report for submissions with over 30% text as quoted material will show the exclamation mark.
3. The Originality Report for submissions with over 15% text as bibliographic material will show the exclamation mark.
4. The paper has unusual word usage patterns and should be viewed in the text-only mode.
For reasons 2 and 3 above, there is an option to “ignore all” quoted and bibliographic material within the report settings. If these options are enabled, all matching text to quoted or bibliographic material will be excluded from the Originality Report. The exclamation mark icon informs an instructor of this situation so that s/he knows that a substantial amount of text is quoted or bibliographic material, and that it is being ignored.
Option 3: contact Moodle Support for assistance
If it is important to you that the original submission date and time remain, contact Moodle Support and we will try to resubmit the paper without changing the original submission date/time.