Blackboard Safe Assignment

As part of the Blackboard Learn April 2014 upgrade, SafeAssign is now integrated into regular 
Blackboard Learn assignment tool.

Use SafeAssign to review assignment submissions for plagiarism potential and 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 compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works.

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

Internet: Comprehensive index of documents available for public access on the internet.
ProQuest ABI/Inform database: More than 1,100 publication titles and about 2.6 million articles from 1990 to present time, updated weekly (exclusive access).
Institutional document archives: Contains all papers submitted to SafeAssign by users in their respective institutions.
Global Reference Database: Contains papers that were volunteered by students from Blackboard client institutions to help prevent cross-institution plagiarism.

Creating/Adding a SafeAssign Assignment

  • Safe Assignment are created initially as regular Assignment links: via the Assessments drop-down menu, select¬†Assignment.
  • On the Create Assignment page expand Submission Details.
  • Select Check submissions for plagiarism using SafeAssign.
  • Optionally, you can allow students to view the SafeAssign originality reports on their submissions.
  • Optionally, you can exclude all student submissions for this assignment from the institutional or global reference databases.
  • Complete the Create Assignment page.
  • Click Submit.

Supported files/Assignment types


SafeAssign only supports file types that are convertible to plain text. This includes the following file types: DOCX, DOC, PDF, TXT, ODT, RTF, HTML, and HTM.
PowerPoint and spreadsheet files are not supported.
SafeAssign also accepts ZIP files and processes files that match any of these file types.
SafeAssign counts and displays the total number of attachments in a submission, as well as the number of attachments processed by SafeAssign. SafeAssign only processes and creates originality reports for attachments that match the supported file types. For unsupported file types, the SafeAssign originality report omits a matching score.

SafeAssign Originality Reports

For more detail on accessing and understanding SafeAssign Originality reports please click here.

SafeAssign Delays or Service Outages

During periods of high demand there can be significant delays with SafeAssign reports. More information can be sought on any delays here.