Balearic Islands University (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Page: 157 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.0089
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
This paper describes a study carried out on the trading market of Final Master Thesis Dissertations through a Spanish digital marketplace: The trading and outsourcing of Master's Theses is a serious and worrisome problem that has an increasing tendency in the last years (Comas et al., 2020), and contracting ghost writing services it is seen as one of the more challenging dishonest academic behaviours amongst university students in general (Králíková et al., 2019).
The portal is a platform of online classified ads, offering digital spaces to insert ads of various categories and hosting a wide range of users. It has a very simple functionality where ads are included for free by the users themselves, thus launching offers for different services and buying and selling products and goods. When you search for a product on Google, gets very good visibility from its ads, as it appears in the top positions of the search engine. In addition, the portal inserts advertisements for well-known brands in its interface and in a very visible way, in order to obtain economic income and increase user confidence, thus encouraging the use of its services.

The main objectives of our research were:
1. Recognize and describe the main features of the Final Master Thesis for sale offered in
2. To know the typology of the academic essays offered in the digital marketplace
3. Analyse the strategies of advertisers when offering their ghost writing services.

The study is based on the content analysis of a sample of 400 advertisements, published in, that offer Final Master Thesis and we analysed aspects such as: who the advertisement is aimed at, who offers the services and various variables that enable establishing and describe the main characteristics and profiles of the offer of Final Master Thesis currently existing in this major Spanish digital marketplace, following the approach taken by other works of similar characteristics (Comas et al., 2020).

• contains a large number of advertisements for the sale and purchase of Master Dissertations, we identified more than 2,500 advertisements when the study was conducted (January 2021).
• In the analysis of the sample, the trend that dominates (80.5%) in the services offered, are the writing of customized academic essays and dissertations that are elaborated according to the desires and needs of the clients (students) who demand. In these cases, advertisers offer their services by inserting phrases in the ads to attract the customer attention.
• As for the postgraduate specialization for which master theses are offered, are mostly: Business Administration and Economics, Law, Nursing, Teaching, Engineering and Psychology.

This paper is a result of the project "IApost" (Reference: RTI2018-098314-B-I00), funded and supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (MCI), the National Research Agency (AEI) and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

[1] Comas, R., Sureda, J., & Morey, M. (2020). Spanish contract cheating website marketing through search engine advertisements. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 1-13.
[2] Králíková, V., Foltýnek, T., & Vajdíková, R. (2019). Global Essay Mills Survey: Is Student Cheating Related to the National Economy? Ethical perspectives, 26(1), 91-118
Academic integrity, contract cheating, postgraduate.