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What is SafeAssign?

SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of
overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works. SafeAssign can be used to prevent
plagiarism and to 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. SafeAssign is available as part USD's Blackboard platform, at no additional cost.

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

  • Internet – comprehensive index 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 1990s to present time, updated weekly (exclusive access);
  • Institutional document archives containing all papers submitted to SafeAssign by users in their respective institutions;
  • Global Reference Database containing papers that were volunteered by students from Blackboard client institutions to help prevent cross-institutional plagiarism.


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Create a SafeAssignment for Students to Upload to (in Blackboard)

Direct Sumbit - Directly Upload Papers (in Blackboard)

Sumbit a Paper to a SafeAssignment (for Students)

Interpret Reports

Instuctor Manual

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Interpreting SafeAssign Scores

Sentence matching scores are the percentage probability that two phrases have the same meaning. This number can also be interpreted as 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 and a 10 percent probability that they are similar by chance and not because the submitted paper includes content from the existing source (whether or not it is appropriately attributed).

Overall score is an indicator of what percentage of the submitted paper matches existing sources. This score is a warning indicator only and papers should be reviewed to see if the matches areproperly attributed.

  • Scores below 15 percent: These papers typical include some quotes and few common phrases
    or blocks of text that match other documents. These papers typically do not require further analysis, as there is no evidence of the possibility of plagiarism in these papers.
  • Scores between 15 percent and 40 percent: These papers include extensive quoted or
    paraphrased material or they may include plagiarism. These papers should be reviewed to
    determine if the matching content is properly attributed.
  • Scores over 40 percent: There is a very high probability that text in this paper was copied from
    other sources. These papers include quoted or paraphrased text in excess and should be
    reviewed for plagiarism.

Why do I want it?

Plagiarism Detection software allows you to

  • Let your students know that their work will be assessed for originality
  • Easily assess the original content of student papers
  • Provide specific feedback to students with results of matching content

How do I get it?

Follow these simple steps to be on your way … 

  • SafeAssign: If you use Blackboard, you can add SafeAssignment as an Assessment.