SafeAssign reports may be accessed through the SafeAssign link in the Control Panel, or through the Grade Center in the Control Panel. The Grade Center is probably the better way to access a report, as it allows the instructor to view the material, score the paper, leave general comments to the student, and also upload files (such as a copy of the paper with detailed notes). (See, Fig. 1)

Fig. 1, Safe Assign Grade Center view of attempt

The SafeAssign report itself contains three parts: (See, Fig. 2)
  1. Paper Information: including author information, submission date, and a Matching score. This score is a guide to how much of the paper has been copied from other sources, but does not indicate whether the copied portions have been correctly cited or not. NOTE: It may also return some false positives.
  2. Suspected Sources: a list of URLs of web pages, articles, or other papers that appear to match text in the present paper. Click the magnifying glass icon next to each source to see it highlighted in the paper. In some cases, you may wish to exclude certain sources from the evaluation altogether. To do so, check the box for each source then click "Re-process the paper without the selected sources.
  3. Paper Text: shows you the actual text of the paper and allows you to see the matching portions in context. This will allow you to quickly evaluate the copied content. It is a good idea to click "Highlight All" in the Suspected Sources section when doing this. (Note that SafeAssign sometimes runs words together when displaying reports.)

Fig. 2, SafeAssign Report

Higher matching scores show the papers most likely to have problems. You may wish to choose a certain score as a threshold for closer examination. Blackboard suggests that matching scores over 40% are most likely to be plagiarized. Depending on the activity and the kinds of assignments and your goals, you may wish to choose a lower or higher threshold.

When examining a report, identify the matches that are trivial and turn off the highlighting for them.

These generally fall into three categories:

  1. URLs
  2. Titles of Works
  3. Common Phrases
Next, look at the longer highlighted items.

Check to see if they are:

  1. Properly cited and formatted quotations
  2. Properly cited paraphrases
  3. Improperly cited for formatted quotations
  4. Other