Does SafeAssign Flag References?

Today, there are numerous tools that students, professors, and professional writers use to detect possible cases of plagiarism in their submissions. An excellent example of such tools is SafeAssign, a widely accepted software used in both educational institutions and publishing companies.

Professors find it an essential tool to help detect and prevent plagiarism among the students, while the students themselves dread it because of its effectiveness.

However, even with its competency and authenticity, the platform has its own flaws. For example, one would ask; Does SafeAssign flag references?

To answer this question and more on this platform, kindly read this article comprehensively to the end.

How Does SafeAssign Work?

SafeAssign is a text-matching software that students, professors, and professional writers use to detect possible cases of plagiarism in different papers. Apart from being a plagiarism detection and prevention software, instructors use SafeAssign as an educational tool.

The tool is used to assist students in writing plagiarism-free papers by helping them cite the sources from which they look up content.

This platform employs a unique and effective text-matching algorithm responsible for identifying cases of both exact and inexact matching texts. It does so by comparing the submitted document to its numerous databases that contain documents from the internet, global reference database, institutional document archives, and the information database.

After comparing your piece of writing to its massive database, SafeAssign generates a similarity report which shows the total percentage of the matching text in your paper compared to the already existing documents. This report is what indicates whether your article appears to be plagiarized or not.

It highlights the parts that appear to be plagiarized, with each matching section having a specific color that is different from the rest. This originality report even provides links to those sources.

If the overall similarity score is below 15 percent, the probability of plagiarism in such a paper is pretty minimal, and a further investigation will be a waste of time. This means that SafeAssign only identified a few quotes and common phrases that match the existing sources.

If the similarity score averages between 15 and 40 percent, the paper contains paraphrased content and many quotes, which necessitates the professor further investigating plagiarism. If the score exceeds 40 percent, there is a high probability that the student has plagiarized.

Does SafeAssign Flag References?

SafeAssign often flags references, especially if the references have been used in other papers. It is vital to note that this platform may fail to differentiate between the paper’s main section and the reference page. This happens regardless of whether you have referenced appropriately or not.

When SafeAssign flags some of your references, you should not worry. Instead, go through the matching instances in your paper to crosscheck whether you cited your sources and referenced them correctly. Remember, your citations and reference list should be as per the writing format you are using, whether APA, MLA, or Chicago.

Also see: Does SafeAssign Check Previously Submitted Papers?

Why is My Reference List Flagged in SafeAssign?

Your reference list is being flagged because SafeAssign finds it to be matching existing sources in its database. This is, especially the sources from which you lifted your content from have been repeatedly used by multiple students and have, therefore, included those references in their reference list.

In such cases where this software generates a high similarity score because of flagging the reference list, it is your professor’s responsibility to determine if you committed plagiarism or not. They will do so by checking the reference list and determining if you referenced your sources correctly, both in the body and in that reference list. After doing so, they should reprocess your paper and exclude those sections that match those texts that you referenced properly.


So, does SafeAssign plagiarism checker detect references? After going through this article comprehensively, you could agree that the answer to this question is: safeassign does detect references in papers submitted. Nevertheless, SafeAssign is an effective text-matching tool with the ability to detect cases of possible plagiarism