Turnitin Paper Lookup tool

Turnitin has released the Paper Lookup tool that will allow instructors to retrieve submissions from past assignments (including Basic and Direct Building Block and LTI assignments).

The tool will allow those instructors who have previously interacted with the submission point:

  • to retrieve reports generated for the submissions – including the Similarity Report, Grading Report, and a combination Similarity Report and Grading Report – within the Blackboard environment
  • to access past submissions and associated reports from students who may have dropped from the course or are inactive.

To access the tool, instructors should navigate to Course Management in their current or past Blackboard courses. Then, click on Course Tools and find the Turnitin Paper Lookup Tool near the bottom of the list. This tool will also be available in Blackboard Ultra, accessed via ‘Books & Tools’ in the Ultra course view.

Recovering files

If you need to recover a Turnitin submission from a course where you have not previously interacted with the submission point, locate the Turnitin submission point and wait for the Assignment Inbox to load. You will then be able to find any files submitted to that submission point.

This process can be slightly more challenging with Turnitin Building Block submissions (ie older Turnitin submissions with a View/Complete link). For these, you will need to identify the unit owner, administrator, or instructor who marked or moderated the papers and ask them to retrieve the files for you.

Administrators and Instructors will be able to access submissions using the new Turnitin Paper Lookup Tool. To access it:

  1. Log into a course using your instructor account
  2. Navigate to Course Management
  3. Open Course Tools
  4. Click on Turnitin Paper Lookup Tool.
  5. Type the course name in the search bar
  6. Click on the course name to find all the Turnitin assessments in the course
  7. Click on a specific assessment to access the assignment inbox with the submitted files
  8. You will be able to download:
    1. Similarity Report
    2. Original File
    3. Grading Report
    4. Grading and Similarity Report.

If the original unit owner, administrator, instructor, marker, or moderator is no longer employed in your school, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk with the instructor’s details, the name of the submission point you are trying to access, and the name of the student whose submissions you are trying to retrieve.

For more information about the tool, please visit The paper lookup tool for Feedback Studio – Turnitin Guides.

[RESOLVED] Advisory message about Blackboard email services outage: check emails sent last night.

We were informed of a temporary outage of Blackboard email services after close of business yesterday (08 May 2024). This issue affected all Blackboard email services globally, including any Blackboard notifications that were also sent as emails and the production of submission receipts.

Whilst the service has now been restored, we advise you to check and resend any Blackboard emails you attempted to send yesterday.

[Resolved] Issue with Blackboard receipts

Blackboard has successfully resolved the issue with their receipting tool. Consequently, students submitting work to a Blackboard Assignment should now receive a confirmation email containing the details of the submitted work and a link to the document.

Please note that the issue only impacted student submissions to Blackboard Assignments on Tuesday, 7 May. Nevertheless, all receipts were securely stored in Blackboard, and students were able to access their submission records by navigating to the Submission Receipts section within My Marks.

[Closed] Issue with Blackboard receipts

We have identified an issue with our Blackboard receipting tool, which is currently not always sending out email receipts to students after they have submitted their work. The receipts are always being stored in Blackboard, however.

As a temporary measure, we therefore advise students to check the “Submitted” section of “My Marks” after submitting their work. If a receipt is not recorded there, they should attempt to submit their work again and then contact their school if the issue persists. However, if a receipt is present, they should take a screenshot, note the time, and be assured that their work has been successfully submitted.

We are prioritising this matter and have raised it with Blackboard as an urgent issue. We will provide updates as soon as the issue has been resolved.

Turnitin Assignment Copy feedback release date should be set after the due date

Recently, Turnitin introduced a new functionality called Assignment Copy, which allows instructors to copy assignment setups for re-use. When using this feature, instructors should be careful when setting their assignment dates to ensure that the due date does not fall after the feedback release date. If a due date is set to after the feedback release date, students will gain access to their marks and feedback as soon as these are created.

If you have any queries about using this feature, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.


[OPEN] Blackboard Full Grade Centre Not Downloading Correctly

Blackboard’s “Work Offline” function, which allows you to download a spreadsheet of the Grade Centre, is currently not working as intended. When you attempt to download the Full Grade Centre of a course, some columns that are present online are not downloaded in the spreadsheet. This may affect workflows with offline or in-person assessments.

We have advised the supplier of this issue and they are investigating. In the meantime, the following steps can be followed as a workaround.


  1. Go to Full Grade Centre.
  2. Go to Manage.
  3. Click Create Smart View.
  4. Enter “ALL USERS” into the “Name” field.
  5. Select the box for “Add as favorite
  6. Set “Type of view” to “User
  7. Set “Select Criteria” to “All Users
  8. Click “Submit“.

This should produce a Smart View that contains all of the columns in the course. Navigate to this smart view and download it as you would normally, choosing to display or not to display hidden info, selecting specific columns, etc., as required.

Turnitin approved paper deletions cannot be recovered

Turnitin has announced that, from 23 January, any approved deletions of papers will be permanent and cannot be recovered.

Once an administrator approves a paper deletion request, the submission is immediately deleted and removed from Turnitin’s database and the Assignment Inbox. Once deleted, the submission can no longer be recovered by the administrator or Turnitin’s Technical Support team.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.

[Open] Turnitin rubrics and sliding scales

We have identified a bug in Turnitin rubrics, in which using the sliding scale to update a score does not update the number correctly.

Therefore, we recommend that, if you use the rubric slider to apply a grade, you should click on the rubric slider scale circle (please see the screenshot below) once you have positioned it, in order to fix the number. This should allow you to apply the grade without issues.

Turnitin is planning to address the issue in a future update of the product.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email digital-education@bristol.ac.uk.