SafeAssign is a plagiarism prevention service to assist faculty in the prevention of plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student papers and providing a report for review. The SafeAssign plagiarism detection service (run and hosted by the Blackboard company) supports the following file formats:

  • Microsoft Word documents i.e. files with .doc and .docx file name extensions
  • Acrobat documents: .pdf
  • HTML files: .htm and .html
  • rich-text files: .rtf
  • plain-text files: .txt
  • open office documents: .odt
  • zip files: .zip
For the latest list of supported formats, faculty and teaching staff can initiate a SafeAssignment Direct Submit under the Blackboard Control Panel.
Also, it is highly recommended that students and instructors name documents submitted to SafeAssignment using only alphanumeric characters, the period, the underscore and the hyphen, and one of the aforementioned filetypes; for example: or 
In particular, using space/blank characters, quotation marks, diacritical marks, the pound sign, percent sign and any other special characters should be avoided when naming documents for SafeAssignment and for most any other Web-based/could computing application. 
Likewise, students and instructors should keep in mind that Acrobat PDF is usually easy to generate out of any program, in case a particular file format is not supported.  As long as the generated PDF is not primarily a raw bitmap image but actually contains plain-text inside the PDF, SafeAssignment ought to do a good job running the PDF file through its plagiarism detection analysis.
The SafeAssignment service is run and hosted by the Blackboard company, and not by the UIC Blackboard learning management system (LMS).  That is, while the UIC Blackboard LMS provides a seamless interface to students and instructors for submitting documents for plagiarism analysis, the actual SafeAssignment plagiarism analysis is run off-campus, by Blackboard Inc. servers.  Typically, the SafeAssignment service returns SafeAssignment originality (SA) reports within a few minutes, but during busy periods, it may take several hours for links to the SA reports to appear on Blackboard course sites.

Using SafeAssign at UIC

How to Use SafeAssign in Your Assignments

1) On the Create Assignment page, expand Submission Details


2) Select Check submissions for plagiarism using SafeAssign.

3) Optionally, select one or both options:

4) Allow students to view the SafeAssign originality reports on their submissions.

5) Exclude all student submissions for this assignment from the institutional or global reference databases.

6) Complete the Create Assignment page.

7) Click Submit.


Last updated: 

March 13, 2015