Information Technology

Plagiarism Prevention/SafeAssign

What is SafeAssign?

SafeAssign is an anti-plagiarism tool that is integrated within the Blackboard Assignment tool. Instructors may set up SafeAssignments by enabling SafeAssign when creating an assignment. Once the student submits an assignment, the program uses a text matching algorithm to compare the student’s submitted work to several online database sources. The program creates an originality report that is viewable by the instructor and students if the option is selected. Optionally, an instructor can allow students to use SafeAssign as an "originality checker" as one of many efforts to educate students about plagiarism.

SafeAssign compares submitted works against:

  •     Internet sources (powered by Windows Live search
  •     ProQuest ABI/Inform database of over 2.5 million articles
  •     SafeAssign Institutional Database used at UMass Boston only
  •     SafeAssign Global Reference Database Students voluntarily submit papers, used across institutions

What do I need to use SafeAssign?

SafeAssign is available for use only within Blackboard. To use SafeAssign you need:

  •     A Blackboard Account
  •     A Blackboard Course Section

SafeAssign as an Originality Checker

Faculty have the option of setting up a SafeAssignment to allow students to view SafeAssign reports, using the tool as an originality checker, as one of many efforts to educate students about plagiarism.

SafeAssign Learning Resources

For Faculty

For Students

Avoiding Plagiarism

Getting Help with SafeAssign

Questions about SafeAssign may be directed to the Learning Management Systems Group at

Common Technical Issue with SafeAssign

Plagiarism in a Digital Age

Why do students “plagiarize?" What has research shown so far about the effectiveness of such software—its design, its limitations? Read More