During Plagiarism Across Europe And Beyond 2019, I presented a new study examining the extent of contract cheating across different discipline areas.
There will be a full paper based on this data, but you can see some of the highlights as they were shared during the talk. The slides I used are available on my SlideShare account. The slides are also included below.
The paper considered the demand for contract cheating services, based on requests posted online by students across multiple previous studies. These noted that the extended area of Business attracted substantial contract cheating requests.
New data presented looked at the online visibility of contract cheating service marketing across 19 main discipline groups, as identified by the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). This showed that, although essay mills are already visible in search engine results, most disciplines show several opportunities for further essay mill exploitation.
The visibility of discipline specific contract cheating advertising is surely something that search engines, such as Google, need to address with their algorithms. They should aim to ensure that students looking for help online receive useful information rather than links to essay mills.
My recent research has focused on the companies and writers who are fueling the contract cheating industry.
The Plagiarism Across Europe And Beyond Conference 2019 provided me with the opportunity to update the audience with my latest research in the area. This was focused on changes on the way in which the use of the Fiverr.com marketplace is used by writers, with comparative research from 2016 and 2018 presented.
The slides I used are available on my SlideShare account. They are also included below.
As the slides show, the supply of essay writing labour on Fiverr.com has increased. At the same time, the pricing of essays has dropped substantially, potentially making this more affordable to students.
A full paper based on this area is in review, giving more observations on the underlying data analysis. There is a lot more data on sites like Fiverr.com that is ripe for analysis and which will provide more evidence about the scale of essay mill operation and the continued development of the contract cheating industry.
How much does it cost to buy a full PhD thesis from an academic ghost writer or an essay mill?
This infographic illustrates how much it would cost to buy a PhD of around 75,000 words.
The PhD pricing is based on the PhD providers I discussed in this post. There, you can find out more about the problem of original PhD theses available for sale on the Internet.
It is harder to fake your way to a PhD qualification than just a bachelor’s degree. You also have to plan to successfully complete a viva, or find some way of cheating the system to get away without this. Although some companies do offer training for this, it’s likely to involve an additional expense.
Some countries make the viva process even tougher by requiring the PhD to defended in public, in front of an open audience. This puts much of the burden of ensuring that the candidate is prepared back on the supervisor, as it would reflect badly on the supervisor if they sent an ill-prepared candidate out in this public setting. Perhaps the public defence approach is one that needs to be more widely considered in light of the PhD mills?