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Release Notes for SafeAssign

Looking for more information about the SafeAssign tool? Go to the SafeAssign overview page.

About SafeAssign

SafeAssign is used to prevent plagiarism and to create opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase. It compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works. SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool.

SafeAssign includes a central service component and a Building Block. The latest Building Block can be installed through Software Updates, or refer to the latest Release Notes to download the Building Block for manual installation.

Release Basics

  • Building Block Name: SafeAssign
  • Version: SafeAssign 4.0.19
  • Supported Blackboard Learn Versions: Learn 9.1 October 2014, Q4 2015, Q2 2016 and Q4 2016 releases only
  • Date Released: December 19, 2016
  • Released by:
    • Download using Software Updates. The SafeAssign building block appears as an update in the Software Updates module within 24 hours.
    • Download the .war file. Note: Clients running Q4 2016 need do use this method to install this B2 because of a temporary issue preventing from installing B2s with Software Updates with this release)

To learn more, see Install and Manage Building Blocks.

Markets and Verticals

SafeAssign is available to all markets and verticals.

Resolved Issues & Improvements

  • This release contains a new feature for Instructor roles (and above) called the "URL Adder".  The URL Adder was created to allow users to suggest to SafeAssign additional webpages and websites that may not have been flagged or referenced in Originality Reports and submission analysis
    • The URL Adder tool is accessible to instructors through: Course Tools -> SafeAssign -> URL Adder (new UI option)
    • If a user suggests a specific webpage, SafeAssign will attempt to include all webpages available under the base website URL; e.g. suggesting will attempt to find all webpages associated with the base website URL
    • Any URLs included using the URL Adder tool will be available to all SafeAssign users and institutions, meaning that suggesting URLs can benefit the entire SafeAssign community
    • URLs suggested to SafeAssign will be added to the overall SafeAssign Internet Search database on a monthly basis
  • Additional bug fixes to support Tomcat8

Default State



  • Instructors can use SafeAssign to investigate plagiarism potential in assignment submissions.
  • If allowed by instructors, students can review their own work for plagiarism potential.

Managed Hosting Clients

The Blackboard Managed Hosting team will apply this Building Block on hosted Production systems currently using the October 2014, Q4 2015, Q2 2016 or Q4 2016 Release during a standard maintenance window. Customers will be contacted in a separate communication with the date and the time scheduled along with the expected impact to the hosted systems. For clients that want the update sooner they may update the Building Block via Software Updates module and create a Support case on Behind the Blackboard to schedule the recommended server restarts (to expedite the scheduling process please include a desired day and time for the restarts to begin).