Blackboard Debuts Anti-Plagiarism Technology for LMS


Blackboard this week debuted a new tool called SafeAssign, which is designed to eliminate plagiarism in student assignments. The service detects plagiarized works in student papers and delivers reports on such incidents through the Blackboard Learning System.

According to the company, "The topic of plagiarism has gained significant attention in recent years with several high profile incidents reported in a range of educational institutions and contexts. Concerns have been raised about the effect this might be having on academic reputation and quality...."

To tackle this problem, SafeAssign checks assignments against databases of published articles and also scans the Internet for materials that might have been plagiarized. The databases the system uses include:

  • ProQuest ABI/Inform database, which includes more than 2.6 million articles and is updated weekly;
  • Archives of papers submitted to SafeAssign by users; and
  • Global Reference Database of papers submitted by students and faculty.

Once the system checks these sources, a report is delivered to the student and/or faculty member for review, including links to the original sources.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director, education for 1105 Media's Public Sector Media Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal. A 22-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).