Wed, Dec 19, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Legislator warns against academic ghostwriting

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

A growing number of companies are offering to ghostwrite dissertations for graduate students, PhD candidates and professors, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said yesterday, describing the practice as potentially harmful to education in Taiwan.

Huang told a press conference that his office found at least eight companies on the Internet providing ghostwriting services to academics.

The ghostwriters charge about NT$70,000 for a master’s thesis or a thesis for publication in periodicals; more than NT$100,000 for a National Science Council (NSC) report; NT$350,000 for a thesis at Science Citation Index or Social Sciences Citation Index level; and more than NT$400,000 for a doctoral dissertation, Huang said.

The practice could constitute an offence of fraud, said Wang Ming-yuan (王明源), senior executive officer of the Ministry of Education’s department of higher education, adding that the ministry would send suspected cases to the judiciary.

It would not be possible for the ministry to proactively probe such cases, Wang said, adding that the ministry urges people to report any such offense they are aware of to the authorities.

If students or academics used the ghostwriting service, schools are entitled to revoke students’ diplomas, Wang said.

Professors who paid for their promotion dissertations would be reprimanded and would not be promoted, he added.

Professors who had reports written by others in their name would be stripped of all funding for their research projects and would be banned for several years from applying for project subsidies, said Chen Tsun-chuan (陳宗權), director of the NSC’s central processing department.

“We have not received any reports so far of academics using ghostwriting services,” Chen said.

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