Safe Assignment Report

A SafeAssign originality report is divided into three areas:

Report information

Report information appears in the right panel of the report. When you reduce the width of the viewing area, this information appears at the top. You can view data about the paper, such as the percent of matching text, word count, and when it was submitted. If you included multiple attachments, they appear with the report information. You also have an option for viewing a printable version. This printable version is the most effective view of the report for users who rely on assistive technology to access Blackboard Learn. At the top of the page, click Print to view the printable version. Download the PDF to email to others.


The sources that include text that matches the submitted paper's text are listed in the right panel of the report.

Manuscript text

The submitted paper 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 right panel, you can click Show/Hide All Highlighting to turn source highlighting off and on for all sources at one time. You can turn the highlighting off and on for only one citation. Click Remove or Show Highlighting next to a citation.

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.

How to understand SafeAssign's Originality Reports

Interpreting Overall SafeAssign Matching Percentages

When reviewing Bb Assignments with SafeAssign plagiarism enabled, Blackboard will provide an overall matching percentage for the assignment. This matching percentage is intended to show the instructor the percent chance that the paper contains matches to existing sources. For example, if a paper shows up with an overall matching percentage of 55%, SafeAssign is communicating that this paper has a 55% chance of containing plagiarized content.

The overall SafeAssign score is a warning indicator only - you will need to examine papers to determine whether the matches indicate plagiarism, or are appropriately cited. Here are Blackboard's recommendations for interpreting overall SafeAssign scores:

  • Scores below 15%: These papers typically include some quotes and a 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% and 40%: These papers include extensive quoted or paraphrased material, or they may include plagiarism. Examine these papers to determine if the matching text is properly referenced.
  • Scores over 40%: These papers have a very high probability of containing plagiarized content.  These papers include quoted or paraphrased text in excess, and need to be examined for plagiarism.

Interpreting SafeAssign Sentence-Matching Percentages

While reviewing papers, you will see highlighted portions of the paper's text.  Click on a highlighted portion to view its sentence matching scores. Blackboard states in their published materials that these 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.

Furthermore, SafeAssign ignores certain words and word combinations it considers common in order to avoid false-positives in its reporting. Because of this, it is possible for SafeAssign to report two matching blocks of text as less than 100% matching.

Learn more about SafeAssign's Originality Reports.

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