SafeAssign FAQ

Q: What is SafeAssign?

A: “SafeAssign is a plagiarism prevention service, offered by Blackboard. This service helps educators prevent plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student papers. In addition to acting as a plagiarism deterrent, it also has features designed to aid in educating students about plagiarism and the importance of proper attribution of any borrowed content.”

Q: What is the Difference between Assignments and SafeAssignments?

A. Difference Between Assignments and SafeAssignment

Q: How does SafeAssign work?

A: An assignment must be set up as a SafeAssignment by the instructor. SafeAssignments are different from regular Assignments.

  • The Assignment can be set up as a “Draft.” The Draft SafeAssignment sends papers to the Internet and the ProQuest ABI/Inform database.
  • Or a SafeAssignment may be set up by the instructor that sends papers directly to the Wilmington University Institutional Database.
  • After an assignment is set up by the instructor, students then have to submit their paper in the designated content area of the course. Finally, after submitting a paper, the SafeAssign report is generated.

Q: Can I view my SafeAssign report?

A: Instructors must enable the option when they set up the SafeAssignment to make it student viewable. To view your report, return back the “View\Complete” link in the assignment. On the report page, clicking on the green checkmark\paper icon will open the SA Report.

Q: Do I have to put my name on my paper prior to submitting to SafeAssign?

A: No, you don’t need your name typed on your paper, either on the title page, header or footer of your document. It is recommended you remove personal identifying information from your paper. You may however, type your name when you name your file.

Q: What happens if I forget to remove my name from inside my paper?

A: Then you are consenting to release your personal identification to SafeAssign. Papers cannot be removed from the databases.

Q: Can instructors submit my paper to SafeAssign without my knowledge?

A:  Yes, if an instructor suspects plagiarism, they can submit your paper. They will remove all identifying personal information from inside the paper prior to DirectSubmitting any paper.

Q: I am having technical trouble submitting my paper to the SafeAssignment, who can help me?

A: Notify your instructor and they can Direct Submit a paper on your behalf.

Q: Can I opt out of submitting my paper in SafeAssign?

A: No, you can’t opt out of submitting a paper in SafeAssign if your instructor has set up this type of assignment. It is recommended you fulfill all course requirements as outlined in the course Class Information and Schedule .

Q: How long do I have to wait to get a SafeAssign report?

A: It may take several minutes to several hours, depending on the amount of papers submitted and traffic on the server.

Q: What databases are used for plagiarism checking?

A: Depending on how the assignment is set up, the databases are different.

  1. If a paper is set up as a Draft, the paper is checked against two databases:
    • Internet
    • ProQuest ABI/Inform database with over 1,100 publication titles and about 2.6 million articles from '90s to present time, updated weekly
  2. If a paper is set up with the Draft option unchecked, then the paper gets sent to the Wilmington University’s Institutional database which contains all papers submitted by others from this institution.
  3. Global Reference Database – papers sent to this database are checked across several institutions.


Q: Do I have to check the box to submit to the Global Reference Database?

A: No, this is entirely optional. A student does NOT have to select the box to submit to the Global Reference Database.

Q: Can I submit a PowerPoint file in SafeAssignments?

A: No, the only file formats supported are Word (DOC and DOCX), Plain text (TXT), Rich text format (RTF), Open Document (ODT), Portable Document Format (PDF), and HTML formats.

Q: How do I interpret the SafeAssign report?

A: Each report will have a match percentage of text that is found matching against the databases. Each report should be carefully checked to determine if the matches are properly cited. If proper attribution and citations are present, then the paper is not plagiarized. SafeAssign may include correctly cited quotations and information in the report. SafeAssign is not absolute; papers must be checked by the instructor and student to determine if rewriting or proper attribution of text is required.

Q: Where can I go for information to learn how to cite my sources correctly in a paper?

A: Please review the material posted by the Student Success Center.

Q: If my instructor does not use SafeAssign, where can I go to submit my paper to SafeAssign?

A: You can self-enroll in a Student Success Center Blackboard course. Please check out this information on self-enrolling in the SSC course. In this course you can submit a paper and receive a SafeAssign report.

Q: What does a SafeAssign Report look like and how is it interpreted?

A: View a sample report.

Q: How does this pertain to FERPA?

A: According to FERPA, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, education records may not be disclosed to third parties that identifies students without their consent.


  • Students are advised to remove their name and personal information (name, SSN number, student ID)from within the paper and title page, header or footer,before submitting SafeAssignments.
  • If a student wants to voluntarily leave their name on their paper, they may do so.
  • Instructors do not need student's consent to submit papers to SafeAssign. To remain in compliance with FERPA, instructors who use Direct Submit will remove all student's personal information before submitting student papers to SafeAssign.