Students may be required by schools to submit essays to Turnitin, as a deterrent to plagiarism. This has been a source of criticism, with some students refusing to do so in the belief that requiring it constitutes a presumption of guilt. Additionally, critics have alleged that use of the software violates educational privacy and intellectual property laws.
Parent company iParadigms, LLC, also offers a similar plagiarism detection service for newspaper editors and book publishers called iThenticate, and run the informational website Plagiarism.org. Other services marketed under the Turnitin brand are aimed at the educators' market, such as grade marking and peer review services.
While most people agree that combatting plagiarism is important, Turnitin critics argue that:
1. Turnitin violates student privacy and intellectual property rights, especially when archiving student papers without students' knowledge or permission;
2. Turnitin profits from students' work without paying royalties;
3. Turnitin creates an adversarial relationship between teachers and students because it fosters an atmosphere of distrust and renders students "guilty-until-proven-innocent";
4. Turnitin dis...