Detecting Plagiarism with SafeAssign

How can my students submit their papers?

Students can submit their papers to SafeAssign through the assignment tool — just look for the ‘Plagiarism Tools’ section of the Submission Details settings that appear when you create an assignment.

Enable the ‘Check submissions..’ setting to send files submitted to the assignment dropbox you’re creating to the SafeAssign tool to check for plagiarism. Note that this must be checked before students begin submitting. Enable the ‘Allow students to view..’ setting to show the SafeAssign plagiarism report to students on the My Grades page.

If you want to give students an opportunity to check their own work for plagiarism before submitting for a grade, then you’ll need to set up an assignment dropbox specifically for the draft. In the settings for the draft, enable all three ‘Plagiarism Tools’ options, including ‘Exclude submissions..’, so that SafeAssign can generate a report without adding the student’s work to the institutional database.

Can I submit papers myself?

You can submit directly to the SafeAssign database from the Course Tools menu. Just look for SafeAssign in the list of tools, and then select the ‘Direct Submit’ option on the resulting page. Using Direct Submit, you can upload papers the way a student would, but the results are associated with your account only, so you’ll need to download results if you want to share with students.

Does a high percentage match indicate plagiarism?

Not necessarily — if your student used direct quotes from sources searchable by SafeAssign, then they will appear in the originality report, even if they’re properly cited. Conversely, it’s possible for a paper that’s been completely copied from another student to pass the originality check if the source paper was never added to the institutional database.

In that sense, there’s no silver bullet for detecting plagiarism in student work, but SafeAssign is a useful tool built-in to your Blackboard course that can help.

If you have questions about using SafeAssign in your course here at UA Little Rock, please contact STaR!

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