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Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as "the wrongful appropriation, close imitation, or purloining and publication, of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions, and the representation of them as one's own original work." In order to determine the originality of work submitted online, many college and university campuses and individual faculty utilize plagiarism detection software.

Taking the notion of plagiarism detection a step further, educational software companies have developed "plagiarism prevention" systems, designed to help deter or prevent further plagiarism in educational settings. One example of a plagiarism prevention tool is Another is Blackboard's own SafeAssign. One of the primary goals in using such systems is that of providing rich, meaningful feedback to students about their writing.


PO: Mark Lewis, UMB
TO: Tim Lambert, UMOL
Others: Ellie Kutz, UMB*; Theresa Nelson-Miller*, UMB*; Rrezarta Hyseni*, UMB, Pat Schmohl, QCC, Bret Holloway, UMA  


Additional information


Any associated SIGs?


Plagiarism prevention products such as can provide a site license based on Student FTE or users who could potentially have accounts. SafeAssign work via a Powerlink from within an existing Blackboard license, therefore eliminating the need for a separate license for SafeAssign based on FTE. Both tools can be integrated within Blackboard Learn 8 or above; additionally, has additional integration functionality with other learning management systems.

Enabling SafeAssign for all instructors:

In Fall 2010, the UMass Boston Instructional Support service decided to enable SafeAssign and SafeAssign Direct Submit by default for all course sections of Blackboard. This made it easier for faculty to begin use, since they no longer needed to request a designer or administrator to "enable" SafeAssign on a case by case basis.


UMassOnline supports the integration of these Building Blocks in Blackboard Learn.

For end user support of SafeAssign, visit this page.

For end user support of TurnitIn, visit this page.


Training Model here

Current Status

While previewing LMS systems with a group of UMB faculty on May 18, 2011, a faculty member noted that the use of plagiarism detection software is now essential to our everyday practice [as educators]. The idea expressed by many faculty is that we need to make it a priority to integrate this functionality easily and effectively into the next LMS.

Associated Systems