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Running SafeAssign Originality Reports

Last Modified
16:10, 13 Mar 2014

A SafeAssign originality report provides detailed information about the matches found between a submitted paper and existing sources. The report identifies all matching blocks of text. You and your students need to determine if the matching text is properly referenced. Investigating each match prevents detection errors due to differences in citing standards.

The originality report displays the list of potential sources and identifies which sources were searched to return the available results. If students cited any of the sources correctly, you can remove them from the overall score as they are not instances of plagiarism.

Report Layout

SafeAssign originality reports include the following information:

  • Report Information: This section lists data about the paper, such as the author, percent of matching text, and when it was submitted. You also have an option for viewing a printable version. This printable version is the most effective view of the report for users that rely on assistive technology to access Blackboard Learn.
  • Citations: This section lists the text from sources that matches the submitted paper's text. You can select sources, exclude them from the review, and process the paper again. This is useful if a source is a previous work from the same student for the same assignment, or if there is a reason that lengthy sections of a particular source appear in the paper. Processing the paper again generates a new value for the percent matching without using the excluded sources.
  • Manuscript Text: This section displays the submitted paper. All matching blocks of text are identified. Click a matching block of text to display information about the original source and the probability that the block or sentence was copied from the source.

Multiple Attachments and Attempts

All attachments and attempts are included in the overall score of the assignment. You can view attachments and attempts individually in the report.

SafeAssign recognizes a student's multiple attempts for an individual assignment as submitted by the same student for the same assignment. SafeAssign does not check the contents of the student’s current attempt against content from previous submissions.


Interpret SafeAssign Scores

Sentence matching scores represent the percentage probability that two phrases have the same meaning. This number reflects 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. There is a 10 percent probability that they are similar by chance and not because the submitted paper includes content from the existing source—whether appropriately attributed or not.

The overall SafeAssign score indicates the probability that the submitted paper contains matches to existing sources. This score is a warning indicator only. Review papers 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. Typically, these papers do not require further analysis as there is no evidence of plagiarism.
  • Scores between 15 percent and 40 percent: These papers include extensive quoted or paraphrased material, or they include plagiarism. Review these papers to determine if the matching text is properly referenced.
  • Scores over 40 percent: A very high probability exists that text in these papers was copied from other sources. These papers include quoted or paraphrased text in excess, and need to be reviewed for plagiarism.

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