The ghostwriters seem to be getting more and more brazen - and seem to be earning lots of money.
The plagiarism conference I attended last month in England noted that there was a rising tide of ghostwriting that we needed to be fighting. The only question is: how? It is legal to pay someone to write something. It is just not legal to submit it to a university as your own work. Not only do you not learn what you were supposed to - and that might end up being very costly when you enter your profession - but you cheat.
I just discovered that a magazine that is put out for free at all German universities and colleges, Unicum, takes open advertising for ghostwriters and prints ads for ghostwriting services. I have written to the magazine to ask why they accept such advertising. If I do not get a satisfactory answer, I will request my school to forbid this magazine from distributing to our students.
Of course, that doesn't hurt the ghostwriters. But maybe it gets the ball rolling. What strategies can we come up with to combat the ghostwriters? Perhaps apply to be a ghostwriter ourselves and then hide a "bomb" somewhere in the text, as was done in the case described in 2005 in Inside Higher Education. Any good (legal) ideas?