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Faculty - How to Use SafeAssign in your Blackboard Assignments


Faculty - How to Use SafeAssign in your Blackboard Assignments

SafeAssign is a plagiarism checker built into Blackboard Learn assignments. Instructors can use SafeAssign to review assignment submissions for plagiarism potential and create opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase. SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool.  

You can now use SafeAssign plagiarism checking for any of your assignments. Please reference this article on How to Create a Blackboard Assignment

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:

  • Internet : Comprehensive index of documents available for public access on the internet.
  • ProQuest ABI/Inform database : More than 1,100 publication titles and about 2.6 million articles from 1990 to present time, updated weekly (exclusive access).
  • Institutional document archives : Contains all papers submitted to SafeAssign by users in their respective institutions.
  • Global Reference Database : Contains papers that were volunteered by students from Blackboard client institutions to help prevent cross-institution plagiarism.


Video - Use SafeAssign in Assignments (Captioned) - Video Length 00:04:23



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

2. Select Check submissions for plagiarism using SafeAssign

3. Optionally, select one or both options:

a. Allow students to view SafeAssign originality report for their attempts

b. Exclude submissions from the Institutional and Global References Databases

4. Complete the Create Assignment page.

5. Click Submit.



Supported Files

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 supported file types include: DOCX, DOC, PPT, PPTX, PDF, TXT, ODT, RTF, HTML, and HTM. Spreadsheet files are not supported. SafeAssign also accepts ZIP files and processes files that match any of these file types.


SafeAssign Originality Reports

After a paper is processed, a report is generated detailing the percentage of text in the submitted paper that matches existing sources. The report shows the suspected sources for each section of the submitted paper that returns a match. You can delete matching sources from the report and process it again. This is useful if the paper is a continuation of a previously submitted work by the same student. Read the report carefully and investigate whether each block of text is properly attributed.

To learn more, see  SafeAssign Originality Reports .


Global Reference Database

Blackboard’s Global Reference Database is a separate database where students voluntarily donate copies of their papers to help prevent plagiarism. It is separated from each institution’s internal database, where all papers are stored by each corresponding institution. Students are free to select the option to check their papers without submitting them to the Global Reference Database. Students submit their papers to the database voluntarily and agree not to delete papers in the future. Submissions to the Global Reference Database are extra copies that are given voluntarily for the purpose of helping with plagiarism prevention. Blackboard does not claim ownership of submitted papers.

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