SafeAssign is a tool used to prevent plagiarism and to 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 sources to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works.
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Q. How do I submit a draft on SafeAssign?
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Answer Last Updated: Jul 06, 2023 Views: 40
Please see this help page for information about safeassign. .
Be sure to watch the tutorial for SafeAssign Help for Students for instructions.
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How to Check SafeAssign Score before Submitting: 7 Top Ways
Checking SafeAssign Score
SafeAssign is a very good tool to curb plagiarism. Arguably the best in the market. However, it does not allow students to know their similarity scores before handing the paper in. In this post, we will explore how to check SafeAssign score before submitting it.
SafeAssign happens to be a plagiarism prevention tool that an instructor/students use to evaluate the originality of the submitted work.
This tool will conduct a check by comparing your work against its database automatically. Both tutors and students require this tool to screen all plagiarisms and detect paraphrased statements.
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How to check safeassign score before submitting.
SafeAssign works on files that are less than 10B only. One can only submit the assignment once unless the instructor has made settings for multiple attempts.
The originality report gives detailed information concerning matches against the existing ones. However, it only allows students to upload once and not twice.
You can check the SafeAssign score before submitting the final copy by uploading the paper as a draft when allowed. If multiple attempts are allowed, you will view your originality report before final submission because each is scanned separately.
However, using other plagiarism scanners to self-check your paper before submission is best.
In the case where multiple attempts are allowed, it is encouraged to use Turnitin to check your plagiarism score and know what to correct before handing in your final file. The plagiarism score reports are good for improving your writing.
Students and tutors need such a report to enable them to attribute sources instead of paraphrasing. It is important to check the score before submitting by observing the following steps.
- Begin by saving the assignment in accordance with to file naming convention.
- Attach the assignment file after clicking the Browser on my computer icon.
- Choose your assignments to file from the menu and click Open.
- Click Submit if you are ready to submit your assignment.
Interpreting the Scores for SafeAssign Self-Check
The matching scores indicate the percentage probability that some phrases tend to have a similar meaning. The overall SafeAssign score shows the probability that the draft has matches with existing sources.
You can read our guide on how to read SafeAssign scores to understand more about it. But typically, here is a summary of the basic interpretation of your scores.
Low: It happens if the score is below 15%. Such drafts usually have a few common phrases or quotes that match the documents.
Medium: Here, the score ranges between 15% and 40%. Such drafts feature extensive quotes or other paraphrased materials.
In other cases, they could include unoriginal content.
High: A high some comes evident when the content score is over 40 percent.
It shows that there is a high probability sections of your texts were a result of direct copying from other sources.
The papers include paraphrased or quoted text. We recommend such a paper undergo extensive review.
Need for SafeAssign Self-Check before Submitting
It can be asked why a student would need to check the plagiarism score before handing the paper in if he or she thinks he did a good job on it. Why worry if you did your assignment well?
Well, these days, not all students do their assignments as they are supposed to. Some have their own reasons why they need to check for similarity before submitting a paper. Let us look at these reasons.
1. If you Copied
The most crucial aspect of plagiarism tools is their integration with many search engines.
As such, it makes you discover fast if you copied and change the content that matches with other existing databases.
Plagiarism tools like SafeAssign have a bigger database indicating if your text has serious matches with other sources.
You will get a hint when you see duplication of work and strive to cover such a challenge.
2. To Be Sure that your paper is good
Plagiarism is a bad habit that can ruin your reputation. If you duplicate content, you may face suspension or rejection in extreme cases. It can also ruin your academic growth by diminishing your importance.
One should check the final draft for plagiarism to be sure that such cases are low. If one finds evidence of plagiarism, then there should be deliberate efforts to edit the affected parts to stay confident of the work.
3. Fear of Strict Teachers
Different institutions do not treat plagiarism with any complacency. They perceive it as an act of cheating that can destroy your intellectual growth.
You can eliminate any forms of plagiarism before dealing with strict teachers who can reject your documents. These are some of the ways that students cheat SafeAssign and they get away with it.
4. To Defend yourself in case of high score
One can use a plagiarism checker to overcome mistakes when it comes to paraphrasing. It also prevents one from using bad citations and other issues like copy-pasting. You need plagiarism tools to overcome forms of unintended plagiarism.
When you subject your paper to plagiarism tools, you remain confident when defending yourself. It also shows your honesty because you will be proving to the panel that you took all precautions before submitting.
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Best Self-Check Alternatives to SafeAssign and Turnitin
Unicheck is an innovative and professional-driven software that one can use to prevent plagiarism. It has an intelligent scanning system that checks against 40 billion pages to establish the uniqueness of your content.
Most times, one can integrate this software into different Learning Management Systems (LMS). It compliments LMS functionality without interfering with native workflows. It generates the reports automatically.
The role of Unicheck is to establish solutions to the educational sector and promote high academic integrity. It is a user-friendly platform and easy to use. It is a fool-proof product that acts as an alternative to SafeAssign.
It is a plagiarism checker tool whose focus is on language patterns when detecting plagiarism. The user must upload and copy-paste the document to the text area for scanning and analysis. Plagscan will then send the results via the PDF documents to your email.
Alternatively, you will get your results through plain text in your account. This tool is great at detecting matching sentences with other sources and helps the user perform edits and escape the trap of duplication, which is a great offense.
3. Grammarly Business
Grammarly Business is a powerful tool for checking plagiarism and helps you to overcome duplication of sentences. The cool thing is it assists you by offering real-time suggestions and causes you to improve on word choice. It is a reliable tool for use when you want to polish your document and remain professional.
Once you open the Grammarly Business dashboard, copy-paste your content on the text areas and click on the plagiarism tab.
The software will scan your documents and indicate the plagiarism percentage. Furthermore, it will highlight the affected text, which you will edit to eliminate any similarities before submitting the final draft.
When looking for a SafeAssign alternative, then PlagriasmCheck.org is also a great similarity tool to use. It is a great tool to help students to improve their writing skills.
It can spot word-word detection. In addition, this tool is great for changing your sentences structure and spot poor paraphrasing.
If you are dealing with high-end projects, it helps you in attaining plagiarism-free content.
It is an excellent duplicate checker which scans the document and flags all similarities and indicates their percentage.
The user must paraphrase those highlighted sentences and make them unique.
It is an AI-powered app that one can involve in checking for plagiarism in documents and making necessary changes before submitting the final draft. The interface is easy for any novice to understand. You should subscribe to a premium version to get better results.
The author can use this tool to validate the originality of the document to overcome any similarities. Furthermore, once it scans the document, it gives a detailed report concerning matches within a short time.
It also links the sites with similarities to allow you to alter them to your expectations. This is a better alternative because sometimes SafeAssign check takes a long time and can delay your report.
If you want to maintain academic integrity, then you can make URKUND your choice. It is a powerful plagiarism detection tool that uses machine algorithms to spot the similarity between two documents.
Urkund has an automatic text recognition feature to help the user detect plagiarism and make corrections where necessary.
This tool relies on a larger database to match your texts and flags off any similarity to cause you to take appropriate action.
7. Turnitin Self-Check
Turnitin is a reliable tool for plagiarism detection whereby it scans the documents and indicates the unoriginal documents.
It will compare your paper with other submitted documents and see if there are any similarities. It uses a proprietary algorithm for scanning your paper against a large database.
Turnitin scans its database and the internet and establishes the originality of your work. After that, it will bring out a report concerning the similarities in your paper.
Once seen, strive to kick out the plagiarized content and relate them with appropriate sentences to make it unique and original.
Josh Jasen or JJ as we fondly call him, is a senior academic editor at Grade Bees in charge of the writing department. When not managing complex essays and academic writing tasks, Josh is busy advising students on how to pass assignments. In his spare time, he loves playing football or walking with his dog around the park.
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How to submit papers through safeassign directsubmit.
DirectSubmit generates SafeAssign reports on papers submitted outside of a SafeAssignment and it may also be used to add papers to the institutional database. Because DirectSubmit is not integrated with the Grade Center, Instructors should use SafeAssignments to collect submissions whenever possible.
DirectSubmit allows Instructors to submit papers one at a time or several at once by including them in a .ZIP file. Note that .ZIP packages should contain no more than 100 papers and submitting more than 300 papers in a session is not recommended.
As well, papers with over 5,000 phrases or that are more than 10 MB in size cannot be submitted.
From a Blackboard course's Control Panel , under Course Tools , select SafeAssign .
Select DirectSubmit . A list of folders and papers will appear. This list includes papers already uploaded through DirectSubmit. Blackboard recommends that files not be deleted from DirectSubmit as this will delete them from the institutional database of existing materials.
Navigate to a folder where the paper or papers will be uploaded.
Select Submit Papers .
Select Upload File and browse for the file. Individual papers as well as papers that are grouped in a .ZIP package are accepted. Alternatively, select Copy/Paste Document and add the document text in the field.
Select the upload options:
- Submit as Draft: A SafeAssign report will be generated however the paper will not be added to the institutional database and will not be used to check other papers.
- Skip Plagiarism Checking: Adds the papers to the institutional database without checking for content copied from other sources. This is useful if an Instructor wants to upload papers from an earlier course to ensure that current students are not reusing work.
The report is generally available within a few minutes; however the processing time can increase during peak usage times of the semester. You will not be notified when the report is ready; revisit the DirectSubmit page to view the report.
Shared Folders and Private Folders
Direct Submit Shared Folders are viewable by anyone with access to the Direct Submit tool through the course. Multiple Instructors and Teaching Assistants can view submissions related to a course in Shared Folders Private folders can be used to manage papers for an individual instructors. These folders follow the instructor and are available in any course where that user has Instructor level privileges.
Supported File Types
Direct Submit supports the following file types:
- HTML (HTM, HTML)
- Microsoft Word document (DOC, DOCX)
- Open document format (ODT)
- Portable document format (PDF)
- Rich Text Format (RTF)
- Text (TXT, TEXT)
- Zip-compressed multiple files (ZIP)
Direct Submit Shared Folders are viewable by anyone with access to the Direct Submit tool through the course. Multiple Instructors and Teaching Assistants can view submissions related to a course in Shared Folders Private folders can be used to manage papers for individual instructors. These folders follow the instructor and are available in any course where that user has Instructor level privileges.
Offline Course Access Options
What kinds of files can i upload with safeassign.
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A SafeAssign report can be kind of confusing.
Here are some tips for reading one:
How do I access and/or print my SafeAssign report?
If you’ve correctly submitted your work to a SafeAssign-enabled assignment, then after a short gap (which may be as little as a few minutes or even an hour or more at peak times), you should be able to access the report following the instructions on this link from the University of Maryland Baltimore County: As a student, how do I view a SafeAssign report?
Once you’ve viewed the report, to print it (or print to PDF) for your own reference or to show your Writing Fellow, click the print symbol at top right:
(The printed version won’t look as good or colorful as the web version.)
What does the percentage matching mean?
The percentage shows how much your writing matches other writing (sources online and in print, as well as the other students’ papers which have been submitted to SafeAssign).
Here’s a screenshot of a SafeAssign report. This screenshot shows the matching percentage of the entire text:
This shows that in the entire paper, 21% of the text matches with source materials. (It turns out that in this case, this is entirely based on the references list, because SafeAssign didn’t flag any of the actual sources, used correctly or not.)
You need to look at each instance where there is matching in order to see whether the source was used appropriately.
Here’s what it looks like when something is flagged:
That item (highlighted in yellow) matches 100%, and it should because it’s an article title in the references list. Another student used the same article. This is not a problem.
However, 100% matching for a particular passage of text would mean that you matched a source 100%. (If you did things correctly, it’s a quote. If someone used the source inappropriately and got 100% matching, it is probably copied and pasted, which is a problem.)
Similarly, 65% matching for a passage refers to a passage where 65% of the text is the same as the source. Less than 100% may mean you paraphrased, but not well (this is sometimes referred to as “mosaic plagiarism”).
Is 0% matching or as close to 0% as possible is a “good” number?
Did you use any quotations?
If not, judicious quoting is good. You don’t want to go overboard, but never using a quotation is not necessarily a good thing.
Does 0% matching or close to 0% mean I did not plagiarize?
Sometimes SafeAssign does not flag your sources (that happened with the sample above).
Faculty often discover problems with copied and pasted in material and mosaic plagiarism in student papers that SafeAssign does not flag. It may be because that source is not included in the databases SafeAssign is working with.
Is 10-40% matching bad and does that matched material = plagiarism?
Remember, the SafeAssign reports flag material which matches someone else’s paper .
That might be:
- What the CBB Plagiarism Resource (described below) calls “mosiac plagiarism” (phrases and sentences from the source interspersed with your own words)
- Copied and pasted material
- Properly or improperly listed references
- Exact quotations
Some of those are plagiarism.
Your job is to investigate each instance, bit by bit, and figure out what type of material is being flagged, and whether you did anything wrong. That’s harder than looking at the percentage in the report, but it’s worth taking the time to do it.
Keep in mind also that SafeAssign will not match everything which is plagiarism. Many students are surprised when instructors easily find material which is copied and pasted or improperly paraphrased by searching in Google. It isn’t hard. SafeAssign is an imperfect tool, but your instructors are good at noticing things which sound like they were not written by a particular student.
Keep in mind also that as the percentage matching gets higher, there’s more likelihood you’re doing something that’s either incorrect or not ideal. For example, you may have a score of 50% because half of your paper is quotations. In such a case, you need to think about how much you’re quoting, even if you show these are quotes, and attribute the quotes properly.
If SafeAssign says something in my paper matches “another student’s paper” can I assume that’s not my problem because I did not copy another student?
Not necessarily. SafeAssign matches other students’ work before it matches sources, if any other student has used that source. So matching “another student’s paper” is usually a match to source material.
If you see something matched “another student’s paper,” ask yourself:
- Did I quote properly?
- If not, did I paraphrase thoroughly? (Note, though, that thorough paraphrasing usually won’t be flagged.)
- Did I also attribute the source and cite it?
- Did I say every time I used the source?
If the answers are all yes, then it is probably fine.
Still having trouble?
If you’re still confused or having trouble with using sources, recognizing mosaic plagiarism, etc., reach out to the SPS Writing Fellows, who can work with you on your use of and attribution of sources. They may save you time compared with figuring all of this out yourself.
Using sources appropriately and citing them appropriately is not easy but is one of the most important skills you need to learn to succeed in college. Plagiarism, even if it’s unintentional, can lead to zero on an assignment, failing a class, and having a report made to the college, or worse consequences. Do everything you can to avoid that by learning how to use sources appropriately now. Learning to look at a SafeAssign report can help you improve how you’re using sources.
You can find more information from Blackboard on SafeAssign here: Assignments and SafeAssign .
Where can I learn more about plagiarism and how to avoid it?
You can learn more about types of plagiarism and how to avoid them in the CBB Plagiarism Resource from Colby, Bates, and Bowdoin Colleges. The Self-Test from that site is used in Digital Literacy (COM 110) classes at SPS and is highly recommended once you feel you have a grasp of plagiarism.
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Create a SafeAssignment Draft
Instructors can choose to set up SafeAssignments as drafts, which allows students to submit papers without storing them ( otherwise, if they submitted the paper again, it would have a 100% match against itself! )
To set up a Draft Assignment – go through the regular SafeAssignment set up and click the Draft option to “Yes.” This specific draft SafeAssignment will allow each student to submit once and will check their paper and generate a SafeAssign Report, but will not store it in the Institutional Database.
Please Note – You also need to create another SafeAssignment that will be your Final Version. This Final version should have the “Draft” feature set to “No” so that when the students submit, their paper is not only checked for plagiarism, but also stored in the database.
So in summary – to allow for drafts of a SafeAssignment, complete the following steps:
- Create a SafeAssignment and set the “Draft” control to “Yes” – this will be the SafeAssignment students submit to first. Please remember to message as such in your Instructor Instructions.
- You can repeat #1 for as many draft versions as you want to allow.
- Create another SafeAssignment for your Final Version and make sure the “Draft” control is set to “No.” Again, message this to your students through the title and instructions.
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How to use SafeAssign before submitting and it 5 alternatives
- by Judy Jeni
- June 23, 2022
One’s work can be credible when submitting a plagiarism-free assignment. Most students ask whether they can use SafeAssign before submitting their assignments to school. Here, we explore the options.
The best practice is to scan the document through anti-plagiarism software so that your work may remain authentic. One such software to use when polishing your work is the SafeAssign.
Can I Use SafeAssign before Submitting?
You can use SafeAssign to scan before submitting if you upload a draft and wait for the similarity report before submitting it as your final file to your faculty to see. It is a reliable anti-plagiarism software that many students use before submitting their final project.
We recommend that one should use this software to check and eliminate cases of plagiarism in work. The cool thing is this software will give you a report of any matches should they exist in the report.
The SafeAssign scan takes around 20 minutes , which makes it good for use in scanning your draft before submitting it before the deadline.
How to Use SafeAssign before Submitting
The process of using SafeAssign is easy to understand. The software has a user-friendly environment to allow one to scan the documents without undergoing many steps.
First, you must load your document into SafeAssign and allow the process of scanning to begin.
SafeAssign will match your documents against several databases on the web and other sources.
In addition, you will have to wait for the results for at least twenty to thirty minutes before it displays the report. After that, the software will indicate the percentage of originality for your interpretation.
You have the chance to interpret the results accordingly to know if it has an acceptable SafeAssign score or not. In that guide, we determined that if the originality is below 15%, then it Ok and good.
When it ranges between 15% and 40%, it means that you should revise the documents. It can only be critical if the originality percent is beyond forty percent.
Alternatives to SafeAssign
This section will uncover some other anti-plagiarism software that you can use to polish your work and make it original.
However, some other scanner SafeAssign alternatives are charged or paid to use. It should be noted that you can use SafeAssign for free if you are a student, which makes it better compared to these options.
1. ProWriting Aid
ProWriting aid is a great tool that stretches more than grammar. When you want to determine the originality of your document, then look no further.
Once it scans the documents, it will display the percentage of similarities, enabling you to customize it to the original content.
Beyond that, it will also analyze the syntax, spelling, and punctuation errors. It will display the suggestions to ensure that you polish your work to uphold the integrity of proper grammar.
Furthermore, ProWriting aid has features to eliminate vague expressions such as passive voice, repetitiveness, and other inconsistencies. Moreover, it will scan and display grammar errors instantly.
2. Grammarly Premium
Grammarly is a popular tool that many academic writers use to improve the quality of their work. Once you download your documents there, it will scan them against more than 20 billion web pages.
Grammarly has an efficient algorithm to detect similarities against thousands of pages on the web. After scanning your work, it will display the result to allow the user to eliminate any similarities.
This software has an extensive dictionary base which becomes helpful in detecting spelling mistakes. Also, this software will suggest a new style if there is a need for improvement. Lastly, it will detect typos and flag them out for further polishing.
3. Plagiarism Checker X
Plagiarism Checker X has a user-friendly interface to offer an exciting experience to the user. The good news is that this software supports various file formats such as word documents and pdfs.
More importantly, this software will scan your documents and display the percentage of similarities. You will use that hint to paraphrase the highlighted phrases to kick out the plagiarism issues.
Another exciting feature is that that it has a keyword analyzer tool. This feature is crucial for those people who want their article to rank well on the web.
Turnitin does not require any introduction when it comes to issues of plagiarism. This tool is so powerful by comparing the given text against both active and archived web pages. You will see an in-depth analysis of the scan to indicate if your documents have similarities.
If you want an effective plagiarism detection solution, then Turnitin awaits you. You will use the given report to fix any pending issues that arise. It is a creative resource for enhancing your academic skills.
If you fail to cite your sources well, it will flag them off as plagiarized content. For that matter, you should know how to cite appropriately and overcome such traps.
5. Scribbr Plagiarism Scanner
Finally, another anti-plagiarism software that many students use to fix any pending issues on their work is scribbr. When you load your work on this platform, it will scan against more than 90 billion active and archived web pages.
Beyond that, a user can add a new source to scan the paper against a vast database. You can also change the settings to exclude specific databases and reports. After the process is over, this tool will display the percentage of similarity.
Another important aspect is that it scans more than 20 languages. To see plagiarized content, it will highlight it in different colors and indicate the source.
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SafeAssign is a plagiarism prevention tool that detects unoriginal content in students' papers by identifying areas of overlap between submitted assignments and existing works. SafeAssign can also be used to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase without giving credit to the original source. The SafeAssign feature is effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool.
Note: Delays in SafeAssign occur throughout the semester based on high demand. Please DO NOT have students resubmit papers as this pushes them to the back of the queue. Blackboard currently reports as much as 24-36 hours or more may elapse before report results are returned.
How SafeAssign Works
- SafeAssign Assessment Reports
Interpreting SafeAssign Scores
The SafeAssign feature is based on a unique text matching algorithm capable of detecting both exact and inexact matches between a submitted paper and a particular source material. Assignments submitted to the SafeAssign database are compared with several different databases, including the following:
- 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's 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-institutional plagiarism
Assignments accept every possible file type as an attachment to a submission. SafeAssign will only process and create Originality Reports for attachments with compatible file types. SafeAssign is only able to support file types that are convertible to plain text including the following file types: .docx; .doc; .pdf; .txt; .odt; .rtf; .html; .htm; and .zip (processing files that match any of these file types within the .zip). However, Learn Assignment's Inline Grading feature only supports the following subset of file types: .pptx; .ppt; .xlsx; .xls; .docx; .doc; and .pdf. SafeAssign will only process and create Originality Reports for attachments that match the above file types. For unsupported file types, the SafeAssign Originality Report will omit a matching score. This information is visible in the right-hand navigation bar of the new Originality Report.
These two lists of compatible file types mean that there are only certain file types that can be displayed in the Inline Grading workflow and processed by SafeAssign. Below is a Venn diagram outlining which file types support both features:
- Original Course View
- Ultra Course View
- Tutorials and Guides
Enabling SafeAssign in Original Course View
Enable the SafeAssign tool during Assignment creation and editing, under the Submission Details section.
Faculty have the option to Exclude Submissions when creating an Assignment. This option will allow faculty to create Assignments that do not include any student submissions in the Institutional or Global Reference Databases, enabling students to "check their work" against SafeAssign sources prior to submitting a final version without subsequently revised drafts being flagged as matching the previous "draft" submissions. Like other options on Assignments, this option will be point-in-time and editable after assignment creation. If the option were changed at a later date, new submissions would honor the new state of the setting.
Enabling SafeAssign in Ultra Course View
Enable SafeAssign in the settings panel while creating an Assignment or a Test.
- Open Assignment Settings or Test Settings in a new or existing assessment.
- Under SafeAssign , select Enable Originality Report .
- When you enable SafeAssign for the assessment, you can also allow students to view the Originality Report. If you allow multiple attempts, an Originality Report is generated for each attempt a student submits.
- Choose whether to exclude submissions from the institutional and Global Reference Databases.
- Close the layer. Your changes are saved!
You can enable the SafeAssign Originality Report at any time, even after students have started their submissions, but submissions are only checked when SafeAssign is enabled. Submissions received before you enable the setting aren't checked with SafeAssign.
SafeAssign Doesn't Generate a Report when Filename Has Special Characters
Please note that assignment submissions with special characters (i.e., #,:,*,space, etc.) are not evaluated by SafeAssign and will not generate a report.
It is recommended that users only include numbers, letters, hyphens, and underscores in their filenames. In cases where student users have already made a submission, change the assignment setting to allow multiple submissions and then ask them to resubmit the document after making the appropriate filename change.
- SafeAssign Originality Reports
After a paper has been processed, an Originality Report will be available that will show the percentage of text in the submitted paper that matches existing sources. It also shows the suspected sources of each section of the submitted paper that returns a match. The faculty can then delete matching sources from the report and process it again. This procedure is useful to ascertain if the paper is a continuation of a previously submitted work by the same student.
Because the SafeAssign feature identifies all matching blocks of text, it is important that the faculty reads the report carefully and determines whether or not the block of text in question is properly attributed.
Click here for more details about the Originality Report
The sentence matching scores represent the percentage probability that two phrases have the same meaning. This number can also be interpreted as the reciprocal to the probability that these two phrases are similar by chance. For example, a score of 90 percent means that there is a 90 percent probability that these two phrases are the same and a 10 percent probability that they are similar by chance and not because the submitted paper includes content from the existing source (whether or not it is appropriately attributed).
The overall score is an indicator of what percentage of the submitted paper matches existing sources. Please note that this score is a warning indicator only and it is the faculty’s responsibility to review the papers carefully to see if the matches are properly attributed.
- Scores below 15 percent: These papers typically include some quotes and 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
SafeAssign can be used in two ways.
- Faculty Members can set up SafeAssignments in their courses on Blackboard and let students submit papers to complete these assignments, in a way very similar to the Assignmnent tool provided by Blackboard Learning System. The papers will then be delivered to Faculty Members through the Blackboard Learning System together with the SafeAssign Originality Reports, which details the results of the matching process.
- Faculty Members may upload papers directly, without student involvement through the Direct Submit feature.
What information does SafeAssign provide in its reports? A SafeAssign Originality Report highlights any blocks of text in submitted documents that match reference sources, and links back to the matching documents on the Internet or in supported content databases. SafeAssign reports also show similarity ratings for each matching sentence and allow Faculty Members to view a line-by-line comparison of potentially unoriginal text from submitted papers and the matching external documents.
If intructors enable student viewing, each student can view the reports for their own submitted papers.
SafeAssign currently checks all submitted papers against the following databases:
- Internet - comprehensive index of billions 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 '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.
What is the Institutional Database? The Institutional Database is the archive of papers submitted by students in your institution. Each institution's Institutional Database is stored in the central SafeAssign service and kept separate from other institution's databases. Papers are automatically added to this database upon submission and are stored in the central service to be checked against other papers submitted from your institution. The Institutional Database is completely separate from the Global Reference Database which extends across institutions and students must volunteer their papers to.
Can SafeAssign process papers written in languages other than English? SafeAssign can generate originality reports for papers written in all alphabet-based languages with left-to-right writing. The user interface is currently only available in English.
Who owns the intellectual property rights for each submitted paper? Blackboard does not claim any ownership rights on the content submitted to SafeAssign.
How long does it take to generate originality reports? Reports are not generated instantaneously - it usually takes from several seconds to few minutes to receive a report. During peak use (such as the end of the semester), it can sometimes take several hours.
What file formats does SafeAssign support? SafeAssign supports Word (.doc or .docx), plain text (.txt), rich text format (.rtf), .pdf, and .html formats. In addition, supported file types can be compressed to a .zip file for Direct Submit.
What is the file size limit for files submitted to SafeAssign? There is a 10 MB limit on all files submitted to SafeAssign. This applies to individual student uploads to Assignments with SafeAssign enabled as well as .zip files of multiple papers uploaded by faculty using the Direct Submit feature (in which case the .zip file must be under 10 MB). Unfortunately, this limit is set by the SafeAssign servers, which are managed by Blackboard, so it cannot be overridden.
How does the Global Reference Database work? Blackboard's Global Reference Database is a separate database where students voluntarily donate copies of their papers to help prevent plagiarism. It is separated from each institution's internal database, where all papers are stored by each corresponding institution, and students are free to select the option to check their papers without submitting them to the Global Reference Database.
What if a student decides to remove a paper from the Global Reference Database? Students submit their papers to the database voluntarily and agree not to remove papers in the future.
Are students forced to submit papers to the Global Reference Database either by Blackboard or NIU? All papers are submitted to the Global Reference Database voluntarily, and students are free to choose not to submit their papers to this database. Faculty Members can still use the service effectively, even when students choose not to submit their papers to the Global Reference Database.
What is the SafeAssign "Synchronize this Course" option that appears in the "Direct Submit" area? The synchronize function is to deal with breaks in communication or to update a course which is based on a template or has been copied. It is a good idea for the faculty member to click on this when first using SafeAssign and to periodically update it or update if any course level issues arise. It simply synchronizes the papers in the course with the SafeAssign central database, ensuring the correct associations exist between the course and our central database.
Can students directly submit a draft assignment to check without having it deployed as a SafeAssignment via the instructor or having it be tied to the Grade Center in Blackboard? There is the option to make an assignment a draft. In this case, as mentioned above, the paper is not checked into the institutional database.
Why did SafeAssignment scores in the Grade Center get deleted after the students submitted their assignments? Make sure to enter SafeAssignment scores in the Grade Center after the students submit their assignments. Scores assigned prior to SafeAssignment submission are deleted when students submit their assignments. If paper assignments are collected together with a Blackboard SafeAssign feature, make sure to enter student grades after they have submitted their assignments electronically through SafeAssign.
It is possible to download all of the files that the students submitted to a SafeAssignment. This does not include the originality reports. Those must be viewed within Blackboard directly.
To download all of the submitted files:
- From the course with the SafeAssignment, open Course Tools in the Control Panel
- Click SafeAssign
- On the next page, choose SafeAssignments
- Move your mouse cursor over the SafeAssignment you are interested in. When the Action Link appears, click it and choose View Submissions from the menu
- Click the Download All Submissions button at the top of the page
Your browser will download a .zip folder that has all of the submissions. You can open the folder or extract the files to read the individual submissions.
If you get this error and you are logged into Blackboard, it means that the security or privacy settings of your web browser are set to not allow 3rd-party cookies. You will need to change that setting to be able to use SafeAssign.
For Internet Explorer:
- Click Tools
- Click Internet Options
- Click Privacy
- Set the setting to Low
- Click Options
- Select Accept cookies from site
- Select Accept third-party cookies
- Change Keep until to they expire
- Click Safari
- Click Preferences
- Click Security
- Change Accept cookies to Always
If you or your students receive this error, you will need to re-synchronize your course. To do so:
- Underneath the Control Panel , expand the Course Tools menu.
- Click SafeAssign .
- On the following page, click SafeAssign Items .
- On the SafeAssign Items page, click the Synchronize this course button.
- You may briefly see a message telling you it will take a moment to synchronize. Your student(s) should now be able to access the Assignment.
- How to Use SafeAssign in Assignments Original
- How to Use SafeAssign in Assignments Ultra
- Using SafeAssign in Assignments
- SafeAssign Originality Report
- Using DirectSubmit Original
- Grading with SafeAssign
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IN > OIEI > ID&S > Step-by-Step Tutorials
SafeAssign is a tool that students can use to ensure that they cite their written work properly, and one that you can use to check their work for accidental or intentional plagiarism after they submit it. Many students commit plagiarism unintentionally because they don't understand the rules, or because it's so easy to do a copy/paste from a digital source.
Be sure to reference the academic integrity policies in the NAU Student Handbook and dedicate some time to discussing what plagiarism means and what the consequences can be.
You might recommend the Academic Integrity course built by e-Learning. Share this self-enrollment link (https://nau.edu/bb-self-enroll/227890) and the course will appear in the student's Bb Learn My Courses list.
Encourage your students to follow these three general rules to avoid accidental plagiarism:
- Unless a passage of text is in quotes, the source text should be re-stated in your own words, and credit should still be given.
- Direct quotes should be used sparingly, and only for very important passages of text.
- Unless a statement is common knowledge, you should cite the source of the idea.
If you have additional rules, be specific. For example, is there a particular citation style such as APA, MLA, Chicago, etc. that you expect them to use? Give them some examples of proper citation.
We encourage you to review the rules and consequences with them, and to have them check their writing using the Safe Assign Originality Report before they submit their work to you for final grading. Checking student writing through an interative process of rough drafts with feedback discourages procrastination, and helps students to improve their writing.
Important Note : Safe Assign calls the score the students get an "Originality Report" and it will be a percentage score from 0% to 100%. This is unfortunate wording because a higher score is lower in originality. Emphasize that a score of 100% means the paper is entirely plagiarized. Lower scores are better!
One final piece of advice: If possible, design your assignment so that it is less of a "fact dump" and more of a thinking question, or a defense of a point of view, or an opinion on a controversial topic. This makes it harder to plagiarize, more interesting for you (you don't have to read a bunch of versions of the same report) and it makes it easier to tell if your students have a grasp of the content. For a history paper, don't ask for a biography of Abraham Lincoln, but instead ask students to write about the difficult decisions he made and what they would have done in his shoes. For a biology paper, don't ask what material is stored in the gall bladder and what it's function is, but instead ask what is the effect on the body when the gall bladder is surgically removed. This is much more difficult to Google and come up with an intelligible answer.
To create a Safe Assignment:
- Log into Bb Learn and navigate to your course.
- In the upper right of the screen, make sure Edit Mode is ON .
- From the Assessments menu, select Assignment .
- On the Create Assignment page, expand Submission Details .
- Under Plagiarism Tooks , select Check submissions for plagiarism using SafeAssign .
- Allow students to view the SafeAssign originality reports on their submission s. (We generally recommend this.)
- Exclude all student submissions for this assignment from the institutional or global reference databases . (We generally don't recommend this.)
- Specify the other information about the assignment.
- Click Submit
Direct Submit gives you the option of manually submitting one or many (you'll first need to compress them in a .ZIP archive) papers manually. A good use case for this is if you see some suspicious text in a Discussion post, for example, and want to check it for originality.
- In the Blackboard course with the Edit Mode on, select Course Tools and then SafeAssign.
- Select DirectSubmit. This brings you to your Direct Submit console.
- If you have already uploaded papers, a list of folders and papers will appear. This list includes papers already uploaded through Direct Submit. It is not recommended that files be deleted from Direct Submit, as this will remove them from the institutional database of existing materials.
- Type in a new folder name to help differentiate papers uploaded for different assignments or reasons. Click Add , and then navigate to a folder or create a new folder where the paper or papers will be uploaded. Note: Papers added to folders in the Private tab are only viewable you you, the instructor. Papers added to folders in the Shared tab are viewable by any one with a role above a student in the course – so TAs, additional instructors, etc.
- Click Submit Paper .
- Submit as Draft: A SafeAssign report will be generated however the paper will not be added to the institutional database and will not be used to check other papers.
- Skip Plagiarism Checking: Adds the papers to the institutional database without checking for content copied from other sources. This is useful if an Instructor wants to upload papers from an earlier course to ensure that current students are not reusing work.
- Select Upload File and browse for the file. Individual papers as well as papers that are grouped in a .ZIP package are accepted. Alternatively, select Copy/Paste Document and add the document text or a portion of the document into the paper text field.
- Click Submit .
Result times vary depending on how many papers are be submitted to the system at any time. Please allow for at least 2 hours.
Supported file types : Direct Submit supports the following file types:
- Microsoft Word document: .doc or .docx
- OpenOffice documents: .odt
- Rich Text Format: .rtf
- HTML: .htm or .html
- Zip compressed: .ZIP used to upload multiple files.
- Portable Document Format: .pdf
Common Issues :
Multiple Drafts : If you're planning to use Safe Assign on a writing assignment where students submit several drafts of the same paper, be sure to use the Multiple Attempts option because, otherwise, SafeAssign may incorrectly flag the second draft as self-plagiarism of the first.
Use as a teaching tool : Please don't use SafeAssign to punish your students for plagiarism if you haven't given them guidance on the rules. While it might be expected that, at the college level, one would not have to teach students to properly cite their sources, the truth of the matter is that many students don't yet have these skills, and the majority of plagiarism is accidental rather than intentional. Safe Assign allows students to check their paper for originality and, if they do so, then the software will let them know if there are issues to correct before they submit the paper to you. You'll get better papers as a result, and students will learn how to cite properly.
Submissions : Students can either compose a submission in the built-in editor by clicking the Write Submission button, or they can compose offline in a word processor (you should specify which file formats you'll accept) and upload the file by clicking Browse My Computer and selecting the file on their computer. Students sometimes mistakenly attempt to write their submission in the comments box, so be sure to tell them that the comments box is just for comments you would send to the instructor alongside the submission. If the submission is lengthy, or if the student wishes to retain a copy, we recommend composing offline. This also allows students to spell check and save as they go, and is important if they will be revising the paper after your feedback on the first draft. It's also possible to compose offline in your favorite word processor and then copy/paste the submission and submit it.
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