Academic Integrity of Global Digital Masked Bandits Lurking the Deep and Dark Web

Academic Integrity of Global Digital Masked Bandits Lurking the Deep and Dark Web

David B. Ross (Nova Southeastern University, USA), Julie A. Exposito (Nova Southeastern University, USA), Melissa T. Sasso (Nova Southeastern University, USA), Cortney E. Matteson (Orange County School District, USA) and Rande W. Matteson (Nova Southeastern University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9715-5.ch012
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Educators are faced with an important issue as it pertains to academic writing and research. There are many studies on academic dishonesty and cheating at all levels of education. Administrators and faculty in education need to be aware of the entrepreneurial gravity of this scheme and be proactive in communication by informing all stakeholders to develop policies to this academic epidemic. This article will also research the motives of academic dishonesty, deep web schemes to defraud, avoidance of criminal prosecution, and non-conventional intellectual warfare while making recommendations for internal change and reform. The purpose of this article is to enlighten practitioners and researchers to include students and educational administrators about the growing concern of plagiarism, unintentional plagiarism, defrauding funding sources, governmental agencies, educational institutions, perspective employers, and affixing serious long-term consequences and liability to participants and placing a negative stigma on brand reputation and further stress on academia.
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There is a chasm between policy and research, and there is a need to increase the policy impact of educational research (Gillies, 2014). Gillies (2014) claimed knowledge activism is one method that research can influence policymaking. Fowler (2013) commented that in the event of a public problem, policymakers must have a policy process to examine any policy issue that is under debate. Public policy should be grounded by research, especially research on the phenomenon of academic integrity in a technologically driven society, especially with access to the deep web. When faculty at institutions of higher education recognize students’ academic dishonesty tactics, they must take corrective action by following the university’s policies by guarding the integrity of the course curricula (Larkin, Szabo, & Mintu-Wimsatt, 2017). Löfström, Trotman, Furnari, and Shephard (2015) compared academic integrity to a skill. Academic dishonesty is a phenomenon witnessed in higher education where the decision to cheat is a deliberate choice for students (Seals, Hammons, & Mamiseishvili, 2014). Moten, Fitterer, Brazier, Leonard, and Brown (2013) explicated that due to the lack of face-to-face interaction between students and faculty and because of online learning, students have a stronger opportunity to engage in cheating, which is described as defrauding the intellectual property of the institution, plagiarizing, and violating university/college policies.

No part of the educational system is immune from dishonest and illicit non-traditional schemes to attack its integrity. Although this behavior is prevalent in higher education, it is also a disturbing phenomenon witnessed at all educational levels in society. McCabe, Treviño, and Butterfield (2001) made mention of a study that by the time high school students enter college, they have had previous years of practice regarding academic dishonesty. In addition, if college freshman continues to cheat their next few years while in college, they consider high school to align with college practices of academic dishonesty. McCabe et al. conducted a ten-year research study of college students regarding cheating that occurs in academic institutions to include the importance of having integrity/honor code policies in place. Research indicates that due to the personal and professional challenges students face today, they tend to practice dishonest study habits, therefore the reason for the implementation of policies and honor codes (McCabe, Treviño, & Butterfield, 2001). McCabe et al. explained that

No campus can assume that its students, incoming or returning, will take the time to familiarize themselves with campus rules about academic integrity on their own. Even if they did, an institution’s failure to emphasize for its students the high value it places on academic integrity sends the message that it is not a high priority. (p. 231)

Key Terms in this Chapter

Plagiarism: Individuals who intentionally create and publish false information to gain an advantage or benefit.

Academic Cheating: An individual who does not utilize their own intelligence to give their interpretation of the content.

Fraud: A practice or series of acts that are designed to take advantage of individuals, systems, or other process for the benefit of someone else.

Paper Mills: Business entities created for the sole purpose for selling scholarly works and publications written by ghostwriters.

Integrity: Being whole and having a consistent set of ethical, moral, and legal practices.

Ghostwriters: Individuals who conceal their true identities from detection by engaging in schemes intended to defraud.

Cybercriminals: Individuals who commit crimes via the internet.

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