Using SafeAssign

SafeAssign is a tool available in Blackboard that can help instructors identify cases of plagiarism by searching through databases for any text matching that of a student’s assignment.

Blackboard hosts a wiki with information on SafeAssign and how to interpret results. To interpret the basic information on a SafeAssign page, view this.

For more detailed information, visit this page.



SafeAssign searches for sources of plagiarism in the following order:

  1. The local database of stored papers (i.e. EOU)
  2. Gobal databases (i.e. ProQuest ABI/Inform)
  3. The Internet

If a matching sentence is located during the searching process, SafeAssign will stop searching for that sentence elsewhere.

For instance…

A Stanford student writes an original paper, receives marks for it, and then submits said paper to Wikipedia. A year later, a different student plagiarizes text from the Wikipedia article and submits the paper to SafeAssign. As a result, SafeAssign may specify the original Stanford paper as the source of the plagiarism even though the second student took it from Wikipedia.


Student A and Student B are in the same class. If student A plagiarizes student B’s work and then student A is the first to submit that work via SafeAssign, SafeAssign will erroneously report that Student B plagiarized Student A.

Using SafeAssign to identify plagiarism is a highly interpretive process. If you have any questions or doubts, please contact David Komito directly.

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