Adele Thomas ~ Forget Plagiarism: There’s A New And Bigger Threat To Academic Integrity

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CompKeyboardAcademic plagiarism is no longer just sloppy “cut and paste” jobs or students cribbing large chunks of an assignment from a friend’s earlier essay on the same topic. These days, students can simply visit any of a number of paper or essay mills that litter the internet and buy a completed assignment to present as their own.
These shadowy businesses are not going away anytime soon. Paper mills can’t be easily policed or shut down by legislation. And there’s a trickier issue at play here: they provide a service that an alarming number of students will happily use.
Managing this newest form of academic deceit will require hard work from established academia and a renewed commitment to integrity from university communities.

‘Shadow scholar’
In November 2010, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article that rocked the academic world. Its anonymous author confessed to having written more than 5 000 pages of scholarly work a year on behalf of university students. Ethics was among the many issues this author had tackled for clients.

The practice continues five years on. At a  conference about plagiarism held in the Czech Republic in June 2015, one speaker revealed that up to 22% of students in some Australian undergraduate programmes had admitted to buying or intending to buy assignments on the internet.

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One Response to “Adele Thomas ~ Forget Plagiarism: There’s A New And Bigger Threat To Academic Integrity”

  1. Peter Herrmann
    October 14th, 2015 @ 4:07 am

    One sentence in the original article caught my special attention:
    “I live well on the desperation, misery and incompetence that your educational system has created.”

    This can easily be reworded: control is not the real issue – we have to talk about the education we provide itself.
    I would still like to add one point: if we life in a society – in terms of its productive system and power structures that actually depends on “reproduction of skills” instead of knowledge and – this is another factor – that powerfully “supports teaching” by disempowering tools like blackboard, controlled by publishers that sell”handbooks” and “user manuals” (as books and as journals), and do not provide books and journals “thinking instruments”as pat of wider fora we should not be surprised at all.

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