SafeAssign is an online program used to detect plagiarism in students' work by comparing the work submitted to a database of academic sources to identify if they overlap. It helps students learn how to cite their sources and write original work rather than paraphrasing. It is also a deterrent against copying and pasting information when students should be using their own words.
BlackBoard learning system, which is an online portal used by universities for students to submit their work online, administers SafeAssign. As of 2015, the database consists of over 1,000 publications and over 2.6 million articles beginning from the 1990s and updated weekly. The database also includes all works students have submitted through BlackBoard and SafeAssign to prevent students from copying each other's work or recycling work. In addition to the work submitted through the sites, SafeAssign allows students to contribute other work to add to the database. In addition, SafeAssign searches the Internet when evaluating papers to check for online references.
After checking a student's document, SafeAssign produces an originality report that details areas of potential plagiarism and the possible source of the information. Students then have the opportunity to revise their work to meet their instructor's standards.