Safe Assign


Safe Assign provides text-matching functionality as part of the LearnJCU Assignment tool. It checks submitted papers against web sources, proprietary databases and lecturer-submitted materials for matching phrases and provides a report identifying the proportion of text in the student’s submission that matches other sources found on the internet or matches another student’s submission.

Lecturers may also upload papers directly for checking using the Direct Submit feature without student involvement.

Why use Safe Assign?

Safe Assign provides support to students to develop appropriate academic writing habits, discipline appropriate referencing, and avoid negligent plagiarism.

What sources does Safe Assign check?

Safe Assign checks all submitted papers against the following databases:

  • Internet - comprehensive index of documents available for public access on the Internet

  • ProQuest ABI/Inform database with over 1,100 publication titles and about 2.6 million articles from '90s to present time, updated weekly (exclusive access)

  • Institutional document archives containing all papers submitted to Safe Assign by users in their respective institutions

  • Global Reference Database containing papers that were volunteered by students from Blackboard client institutions to help prevent cross-institutional plagiarism.

Effective use of Safe Assign

The following practices are recommended to enhance the usefulness of Safe Assign as an educational tool:

  • Provide a draft version dropbox and final version dropbox for each assessment item to be submitted. Draft submissions are not added to the institutional database and allow students to check the quality of their referencing prior to submitting the final version

  • Be conscious of the time period given to students to submit drafts. Be clear how many days the draft will be available before the final submission

  • Be clear about what should be referenced and how it should be referenced. Students should be provided with the preferred method of reference be it Harvard, APA or MLA

  • After an assignment has been submitted Safe Assign will provide a Matching Score report. Be clear on how this output from the matching report might be best interpreted. Discussion with peers may assist this since acceptable matching with attribution may differ between assessments across and even within disciplines (e.g. an essay comparing codes of conduct would have more direct quotes than a simple research essay)

  • Safe assign works best when students are well informed about what it does and why it is used.  In your subject outline and through discussion provide students information on why it is being used with drafts (e.g. provide formative feedback on academic writing, assist students avoid academic dishonesty, help develop graduate attribute of ethical professionalism, development of culture of trust) and how they should interpret their results.

Frequently Asked Questions

I want to prevent students from seeing the marks I’ve given to an assessment item submitted to a Safe Assign dropbox. How do I achieve this?
To prevent students from seeing any marks associated with this assessment set the 'Show this column to students' option for the appropriate column in the Grade Centre to 'No'. This prevents the item from being displayed in My Grades. Then make the dropbox itself unavailable after the submission period has ended. This removes the option for students to click 'View/Complete' link under the dropbox to see their marks.