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, and also questions what the higher education sector is doing to tackle this problem."

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 editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).


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