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What is SafeAssign?

SafeAssign™ is a service available via Blackboard that is designed to promote originality and academic integrity and help instructors detect and/or prevent plagiarism by identifying matching content in student papers; it does not detect plagiarism.

SafeAssign generates an Originality Report containing the results of the matching process instructors can use to help determine if the content was plagiarized.

Changes Effective March 2016

Information from Blackboard:

SafeAssign may not search the entire Internet and find results like Google or similar search engines may.

The SafeAssign documentation shows that it is not intended to be an absolute and all inclusive reference for checking plagiarism. Rather, it is intended to be one of many tools an instructor may find useful for detecting plagiarism.

SafeAssign documentation from Blackboard


"Previously, Blackboard SafeAssign relied on the Yahoo! BOSS service to provide results from the broader internet. Due to the deprecation of the Yahoo! BOSS service on March 31, 2016, Blackboard has developed an internal search service to provide internet results for SafeAssign."

"If you find text that comes from a source SafeAssign didn't report, you can suggest the URL be added to the SafeAssign service match lookup source. Select Suggest URL on the SafeAssign page to submit a web address"

Please note that it makes no promises about when or if a particular site may be added.

To suggest a URL be added:

  1. Open a course in Blackboard
  2. Click Course Tools (below the Control Panel) | SafeAssign
  3. Click Suggest URL | enter the URL | Submit

Two Different Ways to Use SafeAssign:

  1. Enable SafeAssign when a Blackboard Assignment is created - SafeAssign checks files students attach to the assignment against several different databases.  Instructors access the SafeAssign Originality Report via the assignment attempt in the Grade Center while grading.
  2. Instructors can also upload papers not submitted via a Blackboard assignment directly using the SafeAssign Direct Submit feature, without student involvement.

What Databases Does SafeAssign Check?

  • Blackboard's internal Internet search service
  • 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 in their respective institutions
  • Global Reference Database containing papers that were volunteered by students from Blackboard client institutions to help prevent cross-institutional plagiarism.

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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North Dakota State University
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Last Updated: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 3:49:20 PM
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