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Plagiarism Prevention Tools (SafeAssign and Turnitin)

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What are plagiarism prevention tools?

Plagiarism prevention tools are web-based tools that serve as a deterrent to plagiarism by comparing student-submitted content to content published on the web and in online databases.

Plagiarism prevention tools are web-based tools that serve as a deterrent to plagiarism by comparing student-submitted content to content published on the web and in online databases.

How can plagiarism prevention tools enhance teaching and learning?

Plagiarism prevention tools provide an opportunity to educate students about the appropriate use of sources in writing and research.  Instructors can use these tools to stimulate class discussion about well-documented or improperly documented papers or passages.

What plagiarism prevention tools are available at Hunter?

Two plagiarism prevention tools are currently available:  Turnitin and SafeAssign are both integrated into Blackboard.  An educational technologist can help you select the appropriate tool for your needs.

Getting started

  • SafeAssign and Turnitin can be accessed through the Blackboard control panel.

Technical questions? Need help/training?

Ask an educational technologist

A list of plagiarism prevention resources on the TTLG web site.

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.

About Turnitin

What is Turnitin?

Turnitin provides originality checking, online grading and peer review to prevent plagiarism prevention and engage students in the writing process. Turnitin encourages best practices for using and citing other people's written material and offers instructors ways to save time and improve their feedback on the writing process. The service offers a complete web‐based service to manage the process of submitting and tracking papers electronically, providing better – and faster – feedback to students.

How does Turnitin work?

An instructor sets up a class and an assignment in the Turnitin service. Students or instructors then submit papers to Turnitin via file upload or cut and paste. Turnitin's proprietary software compares the paper's text to a vast database of 20+ billion pages of digital content (including archived Internet content that is no longer available on the live web) as well as over 220 million papers in the student paper archive, and 110,000+ professional, academic and commercial journals and publications.

Is Turnitin only used by writing instructors?

No, Turnitin can be used across disciplines. Any instructor who assigns written work can use Turnitin to check originality, grade online and facilitate peer review.

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