“Term Paper Mills” Factories or the Art of Impersonation in the Academic Environments
In this paper we present a descriptive analysis carried out from the Research Group “Educació i Ciutadania”, based at the Balearic Islands University (Spain), regarding one of the most extensive forms of academic dishonesty nowadays: the trade of academic essays and the impact that the Internet has had in its development in the last years, specially trough the “Term paper mills” portals. ICT and its characteristics and functionalities has eased the extension of some forms of academic misconduct such as plagiarism, data falsification in academic tasks, cheating, etc. As so has happened with the buy-and-sell market of academic essays and works amongst students. Although not being new, the phenomenon it is in a clear increasing tendency during the last years. In our work we map the development of the “academic trading” when buying and selling pre-made essays from the Pre-digital Era to the present and we describe the diverse forms of “products” offered and demanded. In the last section of the paper we present the results from a quantitative research in which we have analyzed the content, services offered and profile of 514 “Term paper mills” portals.
Keywords: Term Paper Mills, Academic Integrity, Academic Misconduct, Plagiarism
Dr. Ruben Comas Forgas
Assistant Professor, Department of Applied Pedagogy, Balearic Islands University (UIB)
Prof. Jaume Sureda Negre
Professor, Department of Applied Pedagogy, Balearic Islands University