Academic Fraud

Solving the Crisis in Modern Academia

  • Paul Wilson WMG - University of Warwick
Keywords: Academic Fraud, Research Misconduct, Predatory Publishers, Fraud Solutions, Peer Review, Bibliometric Indices


Academic fraud is a rising threat. Schemes to defraud funding bodies, institutions and researchers for personal gain are not a modern invention within academia but one that threatens to topple the integrity of research practice. These manifest in the form of internal research misconduct and external predatory practice, the former perpetrated by the over-ambitious and the latter by organizations predating on unsuspecting researchers. Such academic fraud can undermine academic integrity, profoundly influence key legislation, and cause societal damage. Major reform of the academic system is required to overcome these difficulties. These measures are discussed and can be divided into detection and prevention methods. Detection methods include peer-review, replication, whistle-blowing, external review bodies, digital solutions, and incentivization. Prevention methods include awareness, data repositories, institutional and editorial policies, punishment and deterrence, transparency indices, and changes to the ‘publish or perish’ mentality. These solutions are as of yet immature, flawed or in need of major revision but do have some potential in overcoming the rising threat of academic fraud.


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