Washington, DC, August 14, 2007 — Blackboard Inc., a
leading provider of educational enterprise software and services, today
announced a new plagiarism prevention service, SafeAssign(tm). This new
service helps prevent plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in
student papers and delivering reports within the Blackboard Learning
System(tm). SafeAssign empowers academics and students to protect the
originality of work, as well as creating an opportunity to educate
students on the importance of proper attribution and citation. It is
currently available at no additional cost to all enterprise licensees of
the Blackboard Learning System.
The topic of plagiarism has gained significant attention in recent years
with several high profile incidents reported in a range of educational
institutions and contexts. Concerns have been raised about the effect
this might be having on academic reputation and quality, and also
questions what the higher education sector is doing to tackle this
In addition to those who admit cheating, many students are simply unsure
of what plagiarism is and if and when they are cheating. Through
SafeAssign, Blackboard is proud to help its clients educate students on
the importance of academic integrity and attribution.
Here´s How SafeAssign Works:
SafeAssign, checks papers and assignments (submitted via the Blackboard
Learning System) against information on the Internet (scanning billions
of web pages) and several different databases, including:
* ProQuest ABI/Inform database with more than 1,100 publication
titles and 2.6 million articles (updated weekly)
* Institutional document archives containing all papers submitted
to SafeAssign by users in their respective institutions (in accordance
with such institutions´ existing policies)
* Global Reference Database of papers voluntarily submitted by
students and faculty
An originality report is then delivered to the academic member of staff,
student or both (as determined by the tutor), highlighting any blocks of
text in submitted documents that match reference sources, with links
back to the matching documents on the Internet or in supported content
databases. Tutors can then determine the appropriate next steps, based
on their own judgment and their institutions policy or code.
Blackboard will also dedicate resources from Ask Dr. C, a question and
answer service moderated by an expert group of Blackboard clients, to
ensure clients´ success with the SafeAssign tool. Ask Dr. C will serve
as a central online platform, accessible both on Blackboard´s corporate
website and client extranet, Behind the Blackboard(tm), for questions
ranging from how to use SafeAssign to what to do if a student has
submitted plagiarised work.
SafeAssign is a unique plagiarism prevention service because student
and/or faculty papers are included (with prior consent from the author)
in a Global Reference Database.
"SafeAssign provides a valuable new tool to Blackboard clients, helping
shed light on the important issue of plagiarism while working to prevent
it," said Michael Chasen, president and CEO of Blackboard. "Perhaps one
of the greatest benefits of using Blackboard technology is being part of
the Blackboard community; SafeAssign is a tool that truly takes
advantage of this extensive community. As more and more institutions add
materials and papers to the SafeAssign Global Reference Database,
detecting plagiarism will become more efficient and accurate. No other
solution can bring so many clients together to help address an issue
that affects all institutions."
SafeAssign is part of the Blackboard Beyond Initiative(tm), a series of
innovative, centrally-hosted web services designed to empower the
Blackboard client network. SafeAssign is currently available by
downloading the SafeAssign Blackboard Building Block(R) or Blackboard
PowerLink(tm) (applications which extend the Blackboard platform) from
Behind the Blackboard and will be included pre-installed in future
versions of the Blackboard Learning System enterprise product line.
About Blackboard Inc.
Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB) is a leading provider of enterprise
software applications and related services to the education industry.
Founded in 1997, Blackboard enables educational innovations everywhere
by connecting people and technology. Millions of people use Blackboard
everyday at academic institutions around the globe, including colleges,
universities, K-12 schools and other education providers, as well as
textbook publishers and student-focused merchants that serve education
providers and their students. Blackboard is headquartered in
Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Australia and
Educate. Innovate. Everywhere.(tm)