SafeAssign is a plagiarism prevention service available through Blackboard. This service helps instructors prevent plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student papers. In addition to acting as a plagiarism deterrent, it also has features designed to aid in educating students about plagiarism and the importance of proper attribution of any borrowed content.

UTHSC's SafeAssign Usage Document - Required Reading Before Usage

How Does it Work?

SafeAssign can be used in two ways. Students can submit papers directly through a regular Blackboard Assignment created inside their courses by instructors [Option 1]. Second, instructors may upload papers directly, without student involvement through the Direct Submit feature [Option 2].

SafeAssign accepts papers in Word (DOC, DOCX, ODT), Plain Text (TXT), Rich Text Format (RTF), PDF, and HTML formats.

Option 1: Students submit papers directly through a Blackboard Assignment

SafeAssign is now integrated into regular Blackboard Learn assignments. With the integration between SafeAssign and regular assignments, almost all of the regular assignment features are available with the SafeAssign service.

To Create an Assignment with SafeAssign enabled,

  1. Choose any content area in your course, point to Assessments on the action bar and select Assignment
  2. On the Create Assignment page, fill in the necessary information.
  3. Expand Submission Details, select Check submissions for plagiarism using SafeAssign.
  4. Optionally, select one or both options:
    1. Allow students to view the SafeAssign originality reports on their submissions.
    2. Exclude all student submissions for this assignment from the institutional or global reference databases.
  5. Click Submit

Click here to view tutorial (PDF)

How to Use SafeAssign in Assignments (video)


Option 2: Instructors submit papers directly through the Direct Submit option

Faculty members may upload papers directly, without student involvement through the Direct Submit feature.

Follow these steps to submit papers through Direct Submit

  1. From the Control Panel, click SafeAssign under Course Tools.
  2. Click the Direct Submit link.
  3. A list of folders and papers will appear. This list includes papers already uploaded through Direct Submit. It is not recommended that files be deleted from Direct Submit, as this will remove them from the institutional database of existing materials.
  4. Navigate to a folder where the paper or papers will be uploaded.
  5. Click Submit Papers.
  6. Select the upload options
  7. Select Upload File and browse for the file. You can upload individual papers or you can bulk upload papers that are grouped in a .ZIP package. Alternatively, select Copy/Paste Document and add the document text in the field.

Click here to view tutorial

What databases does SafeAssign currently use for plagiarism checking?

SafeAssign currently checks all submitted papers against the following databases:

  • Internet - comprehensive index of billions of documents available for public access on the Internet;
  • ProQuest ABI/Inform database with over 1,100 publication titles and about 2.6 million articles from '90s to present time, updated weekly (exclusive access);
  • Institutional document archives containing all papers submitted to SafeAssign by users at UTSHC
  • Global Reference Database containing papers that were volunteered by students from Blackboard client institutions to help prevent cross-institutional plagiarism.

Interpreting the Report

Sentence matching scores represent the percentage probability that two phrases have the same meaning. This number reflects the reciprocal to the probability that these two phrases are similar by chance. For example, a score of 90 percent means that there is a 90 percent probability that these two phrases are the same. There is a 10 percent probability that they are similar by chance and not because the submitted paper includes content from the existing source (whether appropriately attributed or not).

The overall SafeAssign score indicates the probability that the submitted paper contains matches to existing sources. There is no high score that guarantees that a student plagiarized, and vice versa, there is no low score that guarantees a student did not. The score is a warning indicator only, the intructor should review papers to see if the matches are properly attributed.

Click here to view a sample report



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