The Catholic University of America




 Plagiarism Detection

Blackboard SafeAssign and Turnitin are Plagiarism Detection tools offered for faculty use at Catholic University. They are both used to prevent plagiarism and create opportunities to help students properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase. SafeAssign and Turnitin each use data mining to compile large databases of electronic academic materials, which are then compared against student papers to assess originality. These tools are effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool.

SafeAssign is integrated with Blackboard. When creating assignments, SafeAssign is the plagiarism detection option within Blackboard. Because it is automatically available for all courses and assignments, SafeAssign is very easy to use for checking papers. Student papers are simply submitted and checked, with no need to navigate to external sites. By using SafeAssign, one can compare submitted papers with the following:

  • 15+ million papers submited by students
  • About 1,100 publication titles and 2.6 million articles published starting in the 1990's
  • Articles in the ProQuest database
  • Internet pages using Yahoo! Boss search
  • Distinguish between properly cited text and plagiarized text
  • Catch improperly paraphrased text, made-up facts, or false citation
  • Analyze students' writing style
  • SafeAssign is available through your Blackboard courses. When creating assignments, look for the SafeAssign option under Submission Details

General SafeAssign information with video tutorial  

Creating SafeAssignments

Running SafeAssign Originality Reports

Managing and Grading Submissions



Turnitin is a web-based service outside of Blackboard. 

If you as an instructor would like access to Turnitin, please submit a service request ticket by emailing with your full name.

Students must be given access to Turnitin through their instructor. 

Once your instructor has given you access, you navigate to and create an account in order to begin using the service.

Turnitin Instructor Quick Start Guide

Turnitin Student Quick Start Guide


It is important to know that any use of Plagiarism detection systems must be in full compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

To view the full FPCO guidance on this topic please see:

Additional information on FERPA may be found at