About Thomas Lancaster

I am an experienced Computer Science academic, best known for research work into academic integrity, plagiarism and contract cheating. I have held leadership positions in several universities, with specialty in student recruitment and keen interest in working in partnership with students. Please browse around the blog and the links, and feel free to leave your thoughts.
Website: http://thomaslancaster.co.uk
Thomas Lancaster has written 160 articles so far, you can find them below.


Discipline Differences in Contract Cheating – Presentation Slides

Here are the slides I prepared for the International Center for Academic Integrity Conference 2020, which was held in Portland, Oregon.

The presentation focused on why we need to address contract cheating at discipline level and why we need to consider methods other than surveys for deciding what is happening regarding contract cheating.

Unfortunately, for me the presentation was rather a blur, as I heard that my long-term research partner and friend, Robert Clarke, had passed away. I got the news just before delivering the presentation. I’m very grateful to the audience regarding how they received the presentation in what was a very challenging time.

You can see the slides I used below (and also on my SlideShare account).


Robert Clarke and I have collected data on contract cheating dating back to 2004, so we’ve seen lots of interest in the area since that point, but little change in academic practice. But, at the same time, the companies marketing contract cheating services are very aware about the need to market to different subjects and students and how they need to play a long-term game to develop relationships. We need to adapt to this and continue academic integrity research at all levels.

Contract Cheating – Addressing An International Problem – Presentation Slides

As part of the activity for the 4th International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating being held at Deree, the American College of Greece, I delivered an introductory presentation on contract cheating, designed to help open up the dialogue in Deree.

You can see the slides I used below (and also on my SlideShare account).


The talk provided a lot of background to contract cheating, discussing why academic integrity is so important and the type of assignments students outsource. I looked at many of the solutions available, including working with students as academic integrity partners. The questions provided a lively discussion and I’m sure the debate continued long after my online contribution ended.

I’m always happy to deliver presentations for other institutions, either in person or over the Internet, so feel free to contact me if that’s of use.

Reducing Contract Cheating – Challenges And Solutions – Presentation Slides

How can we deter and detect contract cheating at all levels within an institution? That was the topic Irene Glendinning and I discussed on a webinar in the run up to the 4th International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating.

Here are the slides we used.


You can also access these slides and those from many of my other presentations on my SlideShare account.

We also looked at the process of detecting and reporting on contract cheating. What are the steps to take to ensure that this process is fair and consistent? Such considerations are important as we try and preserve academic integrity throughout the process.

You can also watch the video recording of the webinar here.

Reducing Contract Cheating – More International Opportunities For Action – Presentation Slides

Here are the slides from a webinar Irene Glendinning and I ran in the run up to the 4th International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating. After the first webinar, it was obvious that people wanted more information and opportunities to get involved.


You can also access these slides and those from many of my other presentations on my SlideShare account.

This presentation contains examples of contract cheating, but focuses mainly on the International Day of Action, what’s involved with it, how other institutions have promoted the event and how to get involved. There are lots of examples of whiteboard pledges and other activities.

You can also watch the video recording of the webinar here.

Reducing Contract Cheating – International Opportunities For Action – Presentation Slides

We’re now in the run up to the 4th International Day of Action Against Contract Cheating. This annual event, aimed at raising awareness about contract cheating and getting the discussion going, began in 2016. The event has got bigger every year, with more international institutions taking part.

One of the biggest strengths of the event is when students themselves have taken leadership roles in organising local activities (or have partnered with academic staff).

Irene Glendinning and I are part of the group organising this year’s event and we delivered a webinar to encourage people to get involved.

The slides we used for the webinar are available on my SlideShare account. They are also included below.


The slides contain examples of why contract cheating remains a problem and the measures that the contract cheating industry is taking to continue to grow and prosper. There are lots of examples of activities used in previous International Days of Action Against Contract Cheating, as well as ideas for more.

The webinar attendees shared several of their own good ideas. Whiteboard pledges are a well-established part of the event, but I love the idea of group pledges. There was also a suggestion of running a contract cheating based escape room, which would be a lot of fun if someone can figure out good puzzles and activities.

You can watch the whole video of the webinar here.

Do try and get involved if you’re not already taking part. Even if you can’t sign up your institution, you can still show your support on the day and get involved with the online discussions. It is really important to make noise and show that the whole academic community is in favour of academic integrity, not contract cheating.

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