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About SafeAssign

What is SafeAssign?

SafeAssign is a Blackboard tool that can serve as a deterrent to plagiarism and as a tool to educate students about the appropriate use of sources in writing and research.  Similar to Turnitin, SafeAssign is fully integrated into Blackboard - instructors create SafeAssignments in their Blackboard courses in the same way that they add standard Blackboard assignments. While SafeAssign is convenient to use because it is fully integrated with Blackboard, Turnitin has a greater advantage of scale due to its larger number of subscribers and the scope of its database.   

SafeAssign works as follows:

  • Students submit SafeAssignments online through Blackboard OR instructors upload individual papers directly to SafeAssign.
  • SafeAssign compares every student submission to the content in its database (see below).
  • The instructor goes to Blackboard to view a SafeAssign report highlighting text in the student paper that matches content from sources found in its database. 

SafeAssign's database includes:

  • Internet pages powered by Windows Live Search
  • Over 2.5 million articles in the Proquest periodical databases
  • The Institutional Database, a CUNY-wide student paper archive. All student paper submissions become part of the Institutional Database, unless the instructor retracts them from the database or creates a draft assignment.
  • A Global Reference Database, a cross-institutional database of student papers.  Students can opt in to this database if they want to protect their papers from plagiarism.

How can SafeAssign enhance teaching and learning?

  • Allows you to check your student's paper for improper citation or potential plagiarism.
  • Creates an opportunity for you to discuss academic integrity issues.
  • Helps you identify students with potential writing problems for referral to the Writing Center.
  • Helps you collect different examples of well-documented papers and examples of improperly cited or paraphrased passages to help explain your interpretation of sample SafeAssign reports.
  • Allow students to view their SafeAssign report to learn more about proper use of citations.

How do I get started with SafeAssign?

The Technology Resource Center offers workshops on and walk-in support for SafeAssign.