Lack of publicly available data on doctoral degree holders is allowing people to add fake credentials to their resumés, says research fraud expert
Universities have been urged to create publicly accessible PhD databases to allow people to check whether individuals have the doctoral degrees they claim amid concerns over arise in the number of fake CVs.
This idea from the UK is excellent and is well worth being adopted by institutions in other jurisdictions. We can see such databases being useful beyond confirming the bona fides of job applicants, and we can see other positive uses – such as checking that a dissertation is original work and not plagiarised from an earlier students work.
Professor Bishop, a leading academic fraud sleuth, was surprised to find that only “employers, prospective employers, other educational institutions, funding bodies or recognised voluntary organisations” could request verification of a doctorate and that the “student’s permission…should be acquired prior to making any verification request”.
Checking the online university Gazette, which lists notifications of viva examinations, could be attempted only by those within the university, and this information was likely to be incomplete, she added.