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Interpreting Safe Assign Reports

Matching passages

On the display of a Safe Assign Report, passages of text that are highlighted match, or very closely resemble, texts in other sources. Clicking a highlighted passage brings up a comparison of the two documents, with a statistical measure of how closely the passages match (by words). Clicking on the source's link displays that entire document, if it is publicly available.

Overall matching score

The SafeAssign "percentage" does not reflect the percent of the document that is marked as possibly from another source. It represents the probability that the submitted file contains copied content from other sources. Here is Blackboard's explanation of the statistic:

The overall SafeAssign score indicates the probability that the submitted paper contains matches to existing sources. This score is a warning indicator only. Review papers to see if the matches are properly attributed.

  • Scores below 15 percent: These papers typically include some quotes and few common phrases or blocks of text that match other documents. Typically, these papers do not require further analysis as there is no evidence of plagiarism.
  • Scores between 15 percent and 40 percent: These papers include extensive quoted or paraphrased material, or they include plagiarism. Review these papers to determine if the matching text is properly referenced.
  • Scores over 40 percent: A very high probability exists that text in these papers was copied from other sources. These papers include quoted or paraphrased text that may be excessive, and need to be reviewed for plagiarism.

For more details about Safe Assign, see Blackboard's help site.

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