Quick Links: What is SafeAssign?, How does it work?, SafeAssign in Your Course, Supported Files, Originality Report, FAQs, For more information


What is SafeAssign?

You can use SafeAssign to check submitted assignments for originality. SafeAssign compares student submissions against multiple sources to identify areas of overlap between student work and existing publications.


How does it work?

SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works.

SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool. Use SafeAssign to review assignment submissions for originality and create opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase.

SafeAssign is based on a unique text matching algorithm capable of detecting exact and inexact matching between a paper and source material. Submissions are compared against several databases:

  • Global Reference Database: Contains over 15 million papers volunteered by students from Blackboard client institutions to help prevent cross-institutional plagiarism.
  • Institutional document archives: Contains all papers submitted to SafeAssign by users in their respective institutions.
  • Internet: SafeAssign searches across the broader internet for matching text using an internal search service.
  • ProQuest ABI/Inform Journal Database: More than 3,000 publication titles, 4.5 million documents, and over 200 topical categories from the 1970s to present time and covering topics from Advertising to Women's Studies.


SafeAssign in Your Course

You can use SafeAssign plagiarism checking for any of your assignments.

1. On the Create Assignment page, expand Submission Details.

2. Select Check submissions for plagiarism using SafeAssign.

3. Optionally, select one or both options:

  • Allow students to view the SafeAssign Originality Reports on their submissions.
  • Exclude all student submissions for this assignment from the Institutional or Global Reference Databases.

4. Complete the Create Assignment page.

5. Select Submit.

When you create an assignment using SafeAssign, a grade column is automatically created in the Grade Center. When the assignment is ready for grading, the Needs Grading icon appears in the Grade Center cell. Grade assignments from the Grade Center or access them from the Needs Grading page.


Supported Files

SafeAssign only supports file types that are convertible to plain text, which includes these file types: DOCX, DOC, PPT, PPTX, PDF, TXT, ODT, RTF, HTML, and HTM. Spreadsheet files aren't supported.

SafeAssign also accepts ZIP files and processes files that match any of these file types.

SafeAssign counts and displays the total number of attachments in a submission, as well as the number of attachments processed by SafeAssign. SafeAssign only processes and creates Originality Reports for attachments that match the supported file types. For unsupported file types, the SafeAssign Originality Report omits a matching score.


SafeAssign Originality Report

A SafeAssign Originality Report provides detailed information about the matches found between a student's submitted work and existing sources. Both instructors and students can use the report to review submissions for originality and create opportunities to identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase. When instructors create an assignment and choose to use SafeAssign, they determine if students can see the results of the report.

The report identifies all matching blocks of text. Instructors and their students need to determine if the matching text is properly referenced. Investigating each match prevents detection errors due to differences in citing standards.

The Originality Report displays the list of potential sources, and each source is highlighted in a different color. The report can display up to 30 colors to represent 30 different sources.



Click here for Frequently asked Instructor questions about using SafeAssign.


For more information

Please contact Learning Innovation & Technology for assistance using this product in your course.  Email, stop by Beatty 318, or call 617-989-5428.