Re. Ethics of editing theses

Subject: Re. Ethics of editing theses
From: Geoff Hart <geoff-h -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 1995 08:44:31 LCL

Gary Merrill made some important points in response to my
original suggestion that there are opportunities for
freelancers to ethically work with grad students to produce
their theses.

Clarification: I wrote my original post wearing my editor
hat, and that's where I continue to stand on this. Students
must indeed write their own theses, but there's no reason
why they can't benefit from editorial feedback. Indeed,
this is a large part of the thesis committee's role, and
virtually the entire role once the research and data
analysis are complete.

Moreover, in the sciences, the idea of hiring someone to do
your work is common: this includes data analysis to some
extent (e.g., hiring a statistician) and creation of
professional-quality graphics to a much larger extent.

My main warning: get the prof's approval first, ideally in
writing so that both of you understand what's involved. The
university is also likely to have guidelines on this (check
with their ethics committee).

--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one of our
reports, it don't represent FERIC's opinion.

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