How to Deal with Contract Cheating: A Collection of Resources

Last updated: 01 October 2020

I have been getting a lot more requests lately about how to determine if a student has outsourced their academic work. I am noticing a need for more practical hands-on tools, particularly for educators who work at institutions that do not have an academic integrity office or staff with roles dedicated to academic misconduct investigations.

Resources for educators and administrators

Here are some of my favourite free, open-access resources to help educators and administrators:

  1. Bretag, T., & Harper, R. (n.d.). Impossible to prove? Substantiating contract cheating. Retrieved from
  2. Deakin University: CRADLE. (2018). How to detect contract cheating. Retrieved from
  3. Eaton, S. E. (2020). 15 Strategies to Detect Contract Cheating. Retrieved from
  4. Eaton, S. E. (2019). U Have Integrity: Educator Resource – How to Lead a Discovery Interview About Contract Cheating. Retrieved from
  5. Ellis, C. (2015). Know the signs of contract cheating (Fact sheet). Retrieved from
  6. Sambell, K., Brown, S., & Race, P. (n.d.). ENhance QUICK GUIDE: Combatting Contract Cheating. Retrieved from
  7. UC San Diego. (n.d.). Detecting Contract Cheating in Narrative Assessments. Retrieved from
  8. University of California – San Diego. (n.d.). Excellence with Integrity: Combating Contract Cheating. Retrieved from
  9. University of New South Wales. (n.d.). Have you contact cheated? Retrieved from

Resources for Institutions

  1. International Center for Academic Integrity. (2016). Institutional toolkit to combat contract cheating. Retrieved from

Resources for Quality Assurance Agencies

  1. International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE). (2020). Toolkit to support quality assurance agencies to address academic integrity and contract cheating. Retrieved from

I hope you find these helpful. It is important to have practical tools to be able to identify if a third party has completed work on the student’s behalf. I will update this post with more tool as I find them, review them and then assess their quality and utility, as I have done with all of the resources included in this post.

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Sarah Elaine Eaton, PhD, is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, and the Educational Leader in Residence, Academic Integrity, University of Calgary, Canada. Opinions are my own and do not represent those of the University of Calgary.

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