To check submitted documents for plagarism with SafeAssign software by BlackBoard, teachers must click the "Check submissions for plagarism using SafeAssign" button. Teachers also have the option to allow students to view their SafeAssign results or keep the results hidden.
According to the official SafeAssign website and mission statement, the software is meant not only to deter students from plagarism but also to educate them about how to properly cite sources instead of paraphrasing information. By toggling the option to allow students to view their SafeAssign results, teachers can let students find more effective ways to relay information and research in their assignments.
As of 2015, SafeAssign offers a "draft" feature that allows students to initially submit rough drafts of their papers for plagarism checking against SafeAssign wthout putting their submissions into the SafeAssign database. That way, when the students re-submit their final assignments and the assignments are scanned into SafeAssign once again, the final assignment will not show up as plagarising the original draft.
To scan for plagarism, SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of academic paper databases, such as the Global Reference Database and the ProQuest ABI/Inform database, scanning for overlap. This is done automatically through the program's unique algoritihim that scans for both exact textual matches as well as inexact textual matches, such as plagarised paraphrasing of information.