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What does “autonomous?” Mean here – the great academic gray area

Those who write a master’s, master’s, diploma or bachelor’s thesis usually have to sign a declaration of self-employment.

But what does that mean?

Scientists are known to be on the “shoulders of giants”: Any modern scientific achievement, invention or discovery is based on the results of previous research. Gone are the days when Aristotle wandered through the countryside, watching the world and writing down his reflections with no footnotes and a good deal of self-confidence. Today, however, every more demanding scholarly essay is provided with extensive notes and references. Science does not take place today in the quiet little room (and if so, there is also an internet connection available, with which the results can be quickly communicated and compared!)

In view of these developments, students are often confused when it comes to writing their theses:

What else is considered self-employed, but what is questionable? Anyone who agrees with the supervisor of his work, should probably be on the safe side. But what if fellow students give extensive advice on how to better structure the work? If you offer help with literature research or even with writing yourself?

Similar questions arise in the support of research or writing activities: Is it legitimate to hand over the literature search to an agency? What about the summary of scientific texts? May the work also be corrected in terms of content?

Every serious scientific work is unique, therefore, no general answers can be given here.

What can still be tolerated in one field of science is regarded as unauthorized help in the other. The judgments – depending on the supervisor of the work – may also be very different individually.

Academic ghostwriters can work in a variety of ways. You can translate, summarize, analyze texts and come up with results independently. In doing so, ghostwriters always focus on the customer’s specific ideas and provide help where it is needed. The question of whether this help is legitimate, they can not answer, however, because they do not know the specific purpose of their texts.