From Turnitin to SafeAssign: Librarians Collaborate with Faculty to Help Students Avoid Plagiarism

Plagiarism on college campuses is an issue of great concern not only to instructors, but also librarians, and college administrators.  CSI’s subscription to plagiarism detection/prevention services have provided librarians and classroom faculty excellent opportunity to collaborate to promote academic integrity and help students avoid plagiarism.

CSI provided access to the Turnitin service from 1994 to August 2011.  A total of 237 CSI instructors and 5,983 students created Turnitin accounts, and 17,752 student papers were submitted to Turnitin to be checked for plagiarism.

Librarians served as CSI Turnitin account administrator, helped instructors and students set up Turnitin accounts, and worked with instructors to integrate anti-plagiarism instruction and library resources into their courses. Many of the library instruction sessions for students also included how to use APA, MLA, or Chicago styles. As a result, an increasing number of students learned how to work with sources creatively and ethically, and wrote better papers.

In August 2011, CSI made the decision to switch from Turnitin to SafeAssign, a plagiarism prevention service offered by Blackboard at no additonal cost to CUNY. SafeAssign helps instructors prevent plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student papers.  The tool is integrated seamlessly into Blackboard courses, and requires no additional login.

Efforts to collaborate with faculty from various departments to incorporate course-related library resources, SafeAssignments, anti-plagiarism and citation instruction into Blackboard courses are underway. Several courses in Business and Nursing are in progress this semester.

If you are interested in working with a librarian to improve student learning and help students become life-long learners, please contact:

Prof. Judy Xiao
Instruction/Reference Librarian