Academic Integrity

Faculty, Staff and Teaching Assistants

Plagiarism Detection Software

Uses

SafeAssignment, an online plagiarism detection service available to faculty at ASU, compares submitted papers with a large database and reports on similar passages. It compares student papers with materials posted on the Web, such as academic journal articles, Wikipedia and papers from Web sites that sell term papers, and other student papers submitted at ASU using SafeAssignment. It provides a copy of the student’s paper in which passages matching sources in the database are highlighted and scored for similarity to the outside source. It also provides links to the online source. Faculty can use SafeAssignment to:

  • Check an individual paper, using the Quick Submit feature.
  • Have students submit course assignments via SafeAssignment and get reports on all papers.
  • Allow students to submit drafts to SafeAssignment and view the assessment of their drafts.

Getting Started

Faculty access SafeAssignment through BlackBoard. To check an individual paper, all you need is instructor access to any BlackBoard course. To have students submit assignments through SafeAssignment, you must have a BlackBoard site for their course. SafeAssignment:

Limits

SafeAssignment is a powerful tool for identifying incorrect use of sources when faculty members recognize its limits. It compares texts; it does not identify plagiarism. This means that it:

  • Reports correctly and incorrectly referenced quotations and paraphrases in the same way.
  • Identifies similar passages in papers that are due to similar ideas rather than cheating. For example, if several students rephrase an essay assignment as part of the introduction to an essay, the phrases may be flagged in the SafeAssignment report.)
  • Only identifies similarities between student papers and materials in its database. It will not identify plagiarism of paper-only sources, such as older books or journal articles. 

Reducing cheating

Many good teaching practices, such as changing exam questions from year to year and breaking large writing assignments into parts, can deter cheating as well as improve learning. Here are links to pages with easy-to-implement tips on stopping cheating.

Writing assignments

Exams, general suggestions

Detecting cheating

ASU Resources