Introducing Authorship Investigation

Authorship Investigation was built in response to a growing demand from customers alarmed by the rise of contract cheating and its effect on their institutions’ values.

Contract cheating, sometimes known as ghostwriting, is the practice of students engaging a third-party individual or service to complete their assessments. Research from around the world has reinforced the scope and global nature of this concerning behavior. According to a recent Australian survey, 68% of instructors suspect that their students may have submitted work that they did not author.1 With the help of academic integrity researchers, forensic linguists, and machine learning experts, Authorship Investigation counters this rising threat.

Available in the second half of 2018, education leaders worldwide are currently testing and advising development.

 
 
 
 

What the Research Says



50% of surveyed students were willing to purchase an assignment.2

67% of instructors say they may not act on suspicions of contract cheating due to insufficient evidence to support their claims.3

10% decline in number of university applications an institution receives following a scandal.4

Resources



Contracting to Cheat in Higher Education

Find guidance on addressing the problem from the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education.5

Good Practice Note: Addressing contract cheating to safeguard academic integrity

Read advice on policies and practices to confront contract cheating from the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency in Australia.6

Webcast from the International Center for Academic Integrity

Learn about contract cheating and how institutions can prevent and detect contract cheating.7

Authorship Investigation is a critical next step in Turnitin’s 20-year commitment to helping institutions support a culture of academic integrity.

Sign up for exclusive updates on Authorship Investigation and more information on contract cheating.



  1. Contract Cheating and Assessment Design. Infographic. Retrieved from https://cheatingandassessment.edu.au/resources/ on January 31, 2018.
  2. Rigby, D., Burton, M., Balcombe, K., Bateman, I., & Mulatu, A. (2015). Contract cheating & the market in essays. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 111, 23-37. doi:10.1016/j.jebo.2014.12.019. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268114003321 on January 31, 2018.
  3. Turnitin. (2017). The Challenge of Contract Cheating. Retrieved from https://go.turnitin.com/auth-inv-infographic on January 31, 2018.
  4. Luca, M., Rooney, P., & Smith, J. (2016). The Impact of Campus Scandals on College Applications (16-137). SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2798756. Retrievedfrom http://www.people.hbs.edu/mluca/CollegeScandals.pdf on January 31, 2018.
  5. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. (2017). Contracting to Cheat in Higher Education (QAA1964 - Oct 17). Retrieved from http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/Contracting-to-cheat-in-higher-education.pdf on January 31, 2018.
  6. Australian Government Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency. (2017). Good Practice Note: Addressing contract cheating to safeguard academic integrity – October 2017. Retrieved from https://www.teqsa.gov.au/sites/g/files/net2046/f/good-practice-note-addressing-contract-cheating.pdf?v=1507082628 on January 31, 2018.
  7. Bertram Gallant, T., International Center for Academic Integrity, Turnitin. (October 10, 2017). What Is Contract Cheating and What Can We Do About it? Retrieved from https://go.turnitin.com/l/45292/2017-09-25/b7vrw2 on January 31, 2018.