Contract Cheating In The Gig Economy – Presentation From International Center For Academic Integrity Conference 2019

My first research presentation in the United States in 18 years took place as part of the International Center For Academic Integrity conference 2019. Held in New Orleans, I discussed “jazzing up” academic integrity, being far from the only conference presenter to include a local reference.

The talk focused on my recent work showing the low-cost (and free) providers of contract cheating services to students. Really, this isn’t all that new, as even the earliest studies of contract cheating agency websites I conducted with Robert Clarke showed that students could connect directly with providers for low-cost solutions. The Gig Economy just brings that finding into the mainstream.

The slides I used are available on my SlideShare account. They are also included below.


This was one of my favourite presentations to give, thanks to a highly receptive audience in the United States who are just starting to come around to the idea of contract cheating being a problem there. Someone asked after they could buy the book on Slide 22, but it is a fake book, designed to just show what is easily possible.

Contract cheating did turn out to be one of the major themes of the conference, with presentations showing different levels of maturity of understanding of the global problem.

Here’s a photo from the start of the presentation. Thanks to Sarah Eaton for capturing it.

Who Writes The Assignments For Our Students? Presentation From Plagiarism, Ethics, Pedagogy and Practices 2018

I was invited to accept the prime speaking slot at the Plagiarism, Ethics, Pedagogy and Practices 2018 conference, held in Stockholm, Sweden in August 2018. This conference is supported by URKUND and has been running for a few years now, although it is the first time I’ve been able to attend.

I took the opportunity to share what I know about the writers and other individuals who are working for essay mills and keeping the contract cheating business running. Previously on the blog, I’ve looked at the type of individuals taking essay mill writing jobs. I’ve done a lot more research since and have some papers going through review in this area, so this talk allowed me to give an updated overview, including 12 things you should know about academic writers for essay mills.

The slides I used are available on my SlideShare account. They are also included below.


With the essay industry becoming such a complex beast, the reasons why writers join the business remain varied. For many, it is a low paid profession, but still one that is desirable, with the opportunity to work from home on a flexible schedule. It remains a fascinating area.