Common Issues in SafeAssign

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Direct Submit with SafeAssign

Clicking on the DirectSubmit link takes you to a screen where you can submit papers on behalf of students. Papers checked through DirectSubmit cannot be moved into folders once uploaded. Students will also not see the report and there will no connection to the file and the assignment in the Grade Center. Uploading papers to SafeAssign is not recommended because it is best if the students submit their own papers. By submitting, they are agreeing to the plagiarism policy.

About SafeAssign's Search Engine

The internet search indexes used by SafeAssign are designed for reliability, performance, and efficiency against the large scale of search queries executed by SafeAssign. However, these search indexes can't be refreshed as frequently as those used by consumer internet search services. Generally, the Blackboard indexes can be expected to be current within 1-3 days of a change. Due to the combination of these search index characteristics and the weighting applied by the SafeAssign algorithm, results returned in a SafeAssign Originality Report may not be identical to searches performed through Google, Bing, etc. for any individual sentence or phrase.

The results from the SafeAssign service are only meant to be a tool for use at the discretion of the teacher or instructor. Due to the size and scope of both academic subject matter and the number of resources searched by SafeAssign, the results are not meant to guarantee or otherwise indicate that plagiarism has or has not occurred. The assessment of potential plagiarism should reside in the hands of the instructor, and SafeAssign results should always be considered in the context of other resources and good judgment.

There may be occasions when the SafeAssign internal search service does not yet include specific webpages or websites and as a consequence SafeAssign Originality Reports may not identify potentially matching text within student works. If a webpage or website is not reflected in a SafeAssign Originality Report, instructors can use the URL Adder tool in SafeAssign to submit the link to Blackboard for inclusion in the global database. 

The URL adder tool is accessed through Course Tools -> SafeAssign -> URL Adder.

Once accessed, enter the URL to the website you would like to suggest and click SUBMIT.

SafeAssign will attempt to include all pages available under the base URL regardless of whether an individual web page or root URL is submitted. For example, if is submitted to the Blackboard using the URL Adder tool, then SafeAssign will find all webpages associated with the base URL. Links and pages submitted will be added on the database on a monthly basis.

Any URLs submitted to SafeAssign will be available to all Blackboard users and institutions, which benefits the entire SafeAssign community.

Synchronizing Your Original Blackboard Course to SafeAssign

If you are getting "SafeAssign may not be synchronized" errors you need to resynchronize to allow submissions of assignments.

  1. As an instructor, go to Course Tools in the course Control Panel in the problematic course.

  2. Click the SafeAssign link.

  3. Click the link for SafeAssignments.

  4. If you need to synchronize SafeAssign, you will see a yellow banner stating: “This course has SafeAssignment(s) that seem to be out of sync with the SafeAssign service. Please click the “Synchronize this Course” button to fix this problem.”

  5. Press the Synchronize this course button.
    SafeAssign will synchronize, and the SafeAssignments will be accessible by your students.