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ERIC Number: EJ1180636
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1833-2595
A Close Encounter with Ghost-Writers: An Initial Exploration Study on Background, Strategies and Attitudes of Independent Essay Providers
Sivasubramaniam, Shiva; Kostelidou, Kalliopi; Ramachandran, Sharavan
International Journal for Educational Integrity, v12 Article 1 2016
Academic dishonesty presents in different forms, including fabrication of data, falsifying references, multiple submissions, collusion, and sabotage, with two forms haunting academia, namely plagiarism and contract cheating or ghost writing. These latter forms have received considerable attention and have been subjects for research. This interview-based study provides some further insight into the problem of ghost writing through presenting the attitudes, justifications and networking practices of some hired 'ghost-writers' from a developing country and discusses the depth of this emerging threat to the academic community. Initially, through simple internet searches using specific keywords, an array of professional advertisements selling contract writing services were identified. Some of these promotional advertisements were found in Facebook® posts, and/or Twitter® feeds. The second part of this study presents a summary of findings from interviews of a group of ghost-writers including their background, attitude and justifications for setting up this new business. The study identifies several high calibre post-graduates who have come to understand the Western (European/North American/Australian) ways of scientific writing and have produced a network of 'consultancy' services. Although the birth of their business was ad-hoc, they have established a good network and are now able to share projects and practices. Many of them offer services to home and foreign students with varied levels of customer focus. Some of them are even using Turnitin© software to identify text matching issues. This study suggests that these paper mills have widely been subscribed to by students. The article finally discusses wider issues arising from these interviews and proposes some ways of tackling this new threat to academia.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A