I would like to know what the Stack Exchange policy is on helping quaerants who are engaging in blatant professional or academic plagiarism. Should we be doing it, and what should we do about such questions?

For example, the quaerant in this question has freely admitted that he is doing this in one of his comments.

Comments to John Burger's answer:
[me] I think that the OP just wanted some help in defeating an automated plagiarism checker.
[quaerant] Yes. You are right, Mick

All of the quaerant's posts are on the same topic and usually he is asking for help in altering what is perfectly good academic English, for example this question.

  • 4
    So, it seems like the easiest way to avoid being complicit in plagiarism is to not answer questions that involve rewording perfectly adequate text for no apparent reason. This seems like essentially a question quality problem. If someone uses what they learn here to get around a plagiarism checker there's nothing we can do about that except to make sure that they actually had to learn it and didn't just have us do it for them.
    – ColleenV
    Nov 19, 2016 at 3:24
  • 1
    Plagiarism should be flagged for moderator attention where it will be acted upon. This is a special case, and indeed it again would've been dealt with much more effectively by flagging for moderator attention. Don't be afraid of flagging when you sense there's a problem, people.
    – M.A.R.
    Nov 19, 2016 at 6:20
  • 3
    Before accusing someone of plagiarism, be very sure of your facts. That the user in question seems to have admitted their aim is to circumvent a plagiarism checker is not proof in itself. How can you be sure that he really understood your comment? The user's English is, objectively speaking, barely at intermediate level (B1), yet they are struggling to understand and/or write a highly technical paper. The user is asking specific questions about academic and technologic snippets, which is allowed on ELL and EL&U, nowhere does the user suggest he is the author of those snippets.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 19, 2016 at 6:46
  • Perhaps all that is required is for the user to clearly state the source(s) and the author(s). It's either that or closing the questions for proofreading which is off-topic.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 19, 2016 at 6:47


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