SOURCE: Blackboard Inc.

July 10, 2007 14:15 ET

Blackboard Unveils Plagiarism Prevention Service

SafeAssign, Available as New Blackboard Beyond Service, Aims to Prevent Plagiarism and Protect the Originality of Work

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - July 10, 2007) - BbWorld '07, Blackboard Annual Users Conference -- On the opening day of BbWorld™ '07, the annual Blackboard Users Conference, Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBB), a leading provider of educational enterprise software and services, unveiled a new plagiarism prevention service, SafeAssign™. This new service helps prevent plagiarism by detecting unoriginal content in student papers and delivering reports within the Blackboard Learning System™. SafeAssign empowers faculty and students to protect the originality of work, as well as creates 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 on college campuses and the proliferation of web-based "paper mills." 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); and a
--  Global Reference Database of papers voluntarily submitted by students
    and faculty.
An originality report is then delivered to the faculty member, student or both (as determined by the instructor), 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. Instructors can then determine the appropriate next steps, based on their own judgment and campus' 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™, for questions ranging from how to use SafeAssign to what to do if a student has submitted plagiarized 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™, 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® or Blackboard PowerLink™ (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 Asia.


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Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our Form 10-Q filed on May 4, 2007 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of July 10, 2007. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to July 10, 2007.

Contact Information

  • Senior Manager Public Relations at Blackboard:
    Melissa Chotiner
    Blackboard Inc.
    202-463-4860 ext. 2404
    Email Contact

    Media Contact, Fleishman-Hillard:
    Amy Storey
    Fleishman-Hillard Inc.
    +1 202 828-8819
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