Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Ghostwriters

I recieved a letter today telling me about the German company ACAD Write. This is a ghostwriting company that charges you about 30 Euros/page (minimum paper 5 pages) for writing your term paper or doing other work for you, up to and including dissertations and German habilitations.

They write in their FAQ: "Yes, ghost writing is allowed. There are no laws or norms that ban ghost writing. Therefore ACAD WRITE is allowed to create or edit academic texts by order of clients. ACAD WRITE hereby states, however, that you are not allowed to declare as your own a paper that you order with us."

Okay, I don't want them doing an English translation for me. But I believe they are sadly mistaken about ghost writing [sic] being allowed. We specifically state in our examination regulations that the student themselves must do the work. Only on the final thesis do we require a sworn oath that they did the work themselves.

But how do we stop outfits like this? Even if there is no law banning ghostwriting, it is highly unethical and not acceptable scientific practice. Does anyone have some good ideas about what we can do about this?

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