A SafeAssign Originality Report provides detailed information about the matches found between a student's submitted work and existing sources. Both instructors and students can use the report to review submissions for originality and create opportunities to identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase. When instructors create an assignment and choose to use SafeAssign, they determine if students can see the results of the report.

The report identifies all matching blocks of text. Instructors and their 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 each source is highlighted in a different color. The report can display up to 30 colors to represent 30 different sources.

Originality Report information adapts to the screen it appears on, such as an iPad® or iPhone®.

Original: Find the report

When a SafeAssign report has finished processing, you can access it on the Grade Assignment page. Access the Grade Assignment page from the Grade Center or the Needs Grading page.

In the Grade Center, locate the assignment where you enabled SafeAssign. When students have made their submissions, you see the needs grading icon. Open the cell's menu and select the attempt.

On the Grade Assignment page, a SafeAssign section appears in the grading sidebar. While the report is processing, Report in progress appears.

When the report is ready to view, a percentage appears in the grading sidebar. Expand the SafeAssign link and select View Originality Report to view the results in a new window.

Grade assignment page in Original course view


Original: Multiple attachments and attempts

SafeAssign recognizes multiple attempts for an individual assignment as submitted by the same student for the same assignment. SafeAssign doesn't check the contents of the current attempt against content from previous submissions.

If the student includes more than one attachment with an assignment, they are listed in the Originality Report. Select a file name link to view the file's text in the left panel and view its word count in the right panel.

Ultra: Find the report

View the SafeAssign Originality Report to ensure students properly cited their sources.

SafeAssign generates an Originality Report shortly after a student submits an attempt, even before you post grades. The SafeAssign Originality Report appears next to the submission so you can view the analysis in context. This is a preview of the report's results and includes three sections: Overall Risk, Overall Text Matching, and Originality Reports.

  • Overall Risk shows whether the attempt is a low, medium, or high risk for plagiarism. The risk level is determined based on the average text matching range the attempt falls in.

    More on interpreting SafeAssign scores

  • Overall Text Matching shows the average and highest text match for the pieces of the attempt, including file attachments. Want to dive in? Select any of the items in the Originality Reports section to view the full reports.
  • Originality Reports shows you the percent of potential matching text for each piece of your submission, including questions and attachments. Select any of the entries in the list to view the results in a new window.

Report layout

A SafeAssign Originality Report is divided into three areas:

  • Report Summary
  • Matched Sources
  • Submission

Report Summary

Report Summary appears in the top panel of the report. Select Access Report Summary to view the Overall Risk of improper citations in the paper, including the percent of matching or similar text. If the student included multiple attachments, they appear with the report information.

Matched Sources

Sources that match the submitted paper's text are listed in the right panel of the report. Select the source type to learn more about the match. For each source, a number appears which corresponds with the highlighted text in the submission. Next to the source, you can select Highlight match to toggle highlighting. You can also select Open match source to visit the matching source text in a new window.

If Another student's paper is listed as a Matched Source, the submission is associated with another institution, and you may not be able to view it due to privacy laws.

When a student's submission is deleted from a course, the content remains in the database and can be used to detect future matches for other student submissions. A "non-existent paper" is listed as a source in the Originality Report in this case. SafeAssign detects a match, but you can't open the source to compare matches because the source has been deleted.

When you reduce the width of the viewing area, this information appears at the top.

In Blackboard Learn Original Course View, you can suggest to SafeAssign additional webpages and websites that haven't been flagged or referenced in Originality Reports with the URL Adder tool.


The submission appears in the left panel of the report. All matching blocks of text are identified. Each source has a color specific to the source—up to 30 unique colors for 30 different sources. Text matching a source is highlighted in the source color and identified with a number. In the Matched Sources panel, you can select Highlight match to turn source highlighting off and on for all sources at one time. You can turn the highlighting off and on for only one Matched Source. Select Remove or Highlight match next to a Matched Source.

Select 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.

Additional options and information

Below the submission, you can find details such as word count, submission date, and the unique identifiers for the submission and attachment.

Print and download the report

To print or download the report, select the print button in the top right corner.  A PDF version opens in your browser's PDF viewer. Now, choose whether to print or download the PDF. 

From the PDF, you can open matched sources directly from the report. 

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.

  • Low: 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 don't require further analysis as there is no evidence of plagiarism.
  • Medium: 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.
  • High: 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.