COVID-19 Advice for the JCU Community - Last updated: 5 May 2022, 3pm (AEST)

Safe Assign

SafeAssign is an originality checking tool in LearnJCU assessment items.

It allows students and lecturers to check submissions for originality and does this by text-matching submitted papers against web sources, proprietary databases and other student submissions that have been included in the SafeAssign database.

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:

  • Use (and make visible) the 'Draft submission - SafeAssign Originality Report' item  in the JCU Subject Template, this will allow students to check the quality of their referencing prior to submitting the final version and is set up not to add the submission to the institutional database.

  • 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.

Important note:

SafeAssign will match text blocks that are allowed, for instance, references in the bibliography, common names (i.e. School names, organisations), and quoted text. Therefore, the originality report is to be used as a guide to look at the highlighted blocks, it is not recommended to go by the score alone.

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