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Turnaround time and market capacity in contract cheating

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Contract cheating is the process whereby students auction off the opportunity for others to complete assignments for them. It is an apparently widespread yet under-researched problem. One suggested strategy to prevent contract cheating is to shorten the turnaround time between the release of assignment details and the submission date, thus making it difficult for students to make arrangements with contractors. Here, we outline some characteristics of the current market for contract cheating and demonstrate that short turnaround times are unlikely to prevent contract cheating because requested turnaround times for university-level assignments completed via contract cheating are already short (average 5 days). In addition, for every contractor awarded a job, there are an average of 10 others offering to complete it within the specified time suggesting that there is abundant excess capacity in the market.
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Keywords: academic integrity; cheating; custom essay; essay mill; plagiarism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK 2: College of Medicine, Swansea University, Swansea, UK

Publication date: March 15, 2014

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