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What is SafeAssign?

SafeAssign is a plagarism detection too that 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. SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool. The application 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

SafeAssign Example


Interpreting SafeAssign Scores

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 are properly attributed.

  • Scores below 15 percent: These papers may include some quotes, 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.

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Why do I want SafeAssign?

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 SafeAssign?

If you use Blackboard, you can add SafeAssignment to any Assignment!

SafeAssign Help and Information

To learn how to use SafeAssignment, come to one of our Blackboard Assignment trainings or contact us at