For the past six months, University of Windsor law student Maya Kanani ('16) and University of Ottawa law student Megan Jamieson have conducted research for the International Center of Academic Integrity (ICAI) through Pro Bono Students Canada on the legality of essay mills in Canada. Essay mills sell essays, written by their employees, tailored to the student's course requirements. These purchased essays often go undetected when submitted through plagiarism detection software.
After exploring potential claims of negligence and fraud against essay mills, through current legal means, Maya and Megan, along with their supervisors, drafted model legislation to be considered ICAI members from around the world. Their proposed legislation is a blunt instrument recognizing that universities cannot be expected to bear the sole responsibility for discouraging and detecting this widescale contract cheating.
Maya and Megan presented their research and hosted a workshop in Vancouver in February 2015 at the ICAI Conference to academics, students and educators from across the world. In recognition of their efforts, they received the 'Academic Integrity Advocacy' award for their exemplary work on this project. Maya will remain active on this project and is hoping to publish a position paper outlining their research in the months ahead.
Congratulations to Maya and to her supervisor, Windsor Alum Giselle Basanta '07.