Similarity in Canvas FAQ

Instructor Guide to Creating Similarity Assignments in Canvas

Does Similarity have support for group assignments?

  • Yes. Canvas’ “Group Assignment” feature is compatible with Similarity-enabled assignments.

Does Similarity have the ability to restrict file types within Canvas?

  • Yes. Canvas’ “Submission Type > Online Entry Options > File Uploads > Restrict Upload File Types” dropdown may be used to specify specific file extensions accepted for the Similarity-enabled assignment.

 Does Similarity have the ability for students to see similarity scores after submission?

  • Yes. Students may view their Similarity Reports after submitting to the assignment via their Submission Details/SpeedGrader screen. In fact, instructors choose whether they want students to have access to reports immediately, after the assignment is graded, after the due date, or never.

Does Similarity have the ability for students to resubmit assignments?

  • Yes, resubmissions are allowed prior to the instructor-specified assignment due date for the Canvas assignment. For resubmissions after the due date, instructors could return to the assignment settings to push the original date out for the entire class or just certain students using Canvas’ “Assign to” fields.

Does Similarity have the ability for instructors to use the tool even if not submitted via a Canvas assignment?

  • Yes, but only directly through your institution’s Similarity portal, not in Canvas. (https://[your institution] Instructors who aren’t using Canvas will have to be manually provisioned for the portal by one of your designated Similarity administrators if your institution is supporting this feature.

Does Similarity have the ability to attach rubrics?

  • Yes. Canvas-based rubrics may be attached to Similarity-enabled assignments.

Are Similarity rubrics viewable in assignment-view in Canvas?

  • Yes. Both students and instructors may view rubrics attached to assignments.

General VeriCite to Similarity FAQ

Does Similarity compare submission against my institution’s VeriCite paper repository?

  • Yes. During implementation, your institution will be asked to provide a VeriCite shutoff date. On the desired date, faculty will no longer be able to enable VeriCite for assignments. They’ll use Similarity instead. On this same date, Turnitin will initiate and complete a VeriCite paper repository migration process. There will be a window of time (less than 24-hours) in which Similarity is functioning without comparing submissions to past VeriCite papers, but the functionality will kick in when the migration process completes by the end of the day.

Are student submissions kept private outside of my institution?

  • Yes. Submissions to your institution’s repository are only used in comparison to other submissions via Similarity assignments at your institution. They will not appear in similarity reports generated outside of the institution.

What comparison information can instructors see when a similarity match is discovered between two or more students at our institution?

  • This is determined by two administrator-level Similarity account settings- “Source Text Visibility” and “Paper Match Details”. Enabling Source Text Visibility allows instructors to see the full source text of a previously submitted student paper that matches the current paper they are reviewing a report for. Enabling Paper Match Details allows instructors to see the source submission’s Author Name, Upload Date, Submission Title, and if available, Student ID#. Note: The “Similarity Web” version of these settings will only affect direct use through the institution’s Similarity portal. During integration setup, LMS environments have their own version of the settings to be configured separately.

Does Similarity have the ability for instructors to exclude certain matches, quotes, or bibliographic materials?

  • Yes. Instructors may exclude any individual match from Similarity Reports. Quotes and bibliographies may be hidden across all submissions to an assignment, as blanket toggles are available during assignment setup. Quotes and bibliographies may also be hidden on a per-paper basis. However, instructors may not specify specific quotes or passages to exclude from reports. For example, a submission template or assignment prompt that may appear across all papers.

Does Similarity have spelling/grammar checking?

  • No. Similarity does not run a scan for grammar and spelling issues.

How often is the local institutional repository updated?

  • After VeriCite ceases to accept submissions on 8/1/20, the repository will be updated with all of the VeriCite entries. Going forward with Similarity, as long as instructors are choosing to Index Similarity submissions when they set up assignments, submissions become readily available for your institution to compare immediately.

Does Similarity have the ability to check online journals?

  • Yes, along with the institutional repository and Internet database, you have access to all of Turnitin’s databases: 
    • Internet -Turnitin’s ‘web crawler’ actively archives websites and holds over 70 billion current and removed pages in our database.
    • Publications -Turnitin partners with leading content publishers to create a robust collection of over 170 million articles from library databases, textbook publishers, digital reference collections, subscription-based publications, homework helper sites, and books.
    • Crossref database of submitted and published work. 

Can our institution’s Similarity administrator(s) view student submissions?

  • Yes. Similarity’s Paper Lookup Tool allows designated administrators to search for student submissions by full name or a Paper ID number provided by an instructor.

Does Similarity compare submissions to more Internet Sources than VeriCite?

  • Yes, Turnitin’s Internet repository is larger than VeriCite’s. We don’t have the exact number of web pages currently logged in VeriCite, but Turnitin’s Internet repository contains about 70 billion pages. To give you an idea of how massive it is in comparison, VeriCite was adding about 1 million pages to its repository each day. Turnitin adds about 15 million daily

Where should questions regarding past VeriCite institutional data be directed? can assist in reporting past data, as well as setting up Similarity admins with a tool to retrieve archived VeriCite Submissions until 12/31/2020. However, if the submission is still accessible alone, without a VeriCite report, it will be easier to re-run it through Similarity for a new report, as opposed to digging up a past VeriCite report. VeriCite does not ‘freeze’ reports until you re-run, as Similarity does. VeriCite’s reporting resets every time you launch a report, so an old report would just re-run itself when launched and in most cases, resemble something close to what Similarity will show you.

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