Reading Ghost Written Books and Articles Online and Offline

It seems that the public and the publication industry accept the role of ghost writers/authors and ghost-written articles as a standard to live by in the realm of popular literature. This appears the same for both the traditional offline as well the new online writings. Some of the blogs and websites owners have no qualms in admitting that their materials are produced by someone else and they just own the copyright and ownership of those digital products. 

In the offline publication world, one would immediately assume that books are ghost-written when within a space of less than one year, a newly elected president of a country seems to be able to produce at least three large volumes books of various genres simultaneously. In one of the series of a popular British crime drama on the cable TV network, there was an episode of murders committed surrounding the issue of the darkness of publication world which include the role of ghost writers/authors. Of course the motive behind the murders were the large amounts of financial transactions involved in producing a ghost-written book.

Ironically, the issue of ghost-writing in the academic world is discussed in the context of Intellectual Property rights and Plagiarism. It is absolutely unacceptable and downright unethical for someone’s work to be proclaimed by someone else’s to be theirs. There is no place of financial transaction in enforcing this standard in academia. This is of course the ideal that the academic publication authors and editors are striving for with the realization that there can still be some loopholes for the ghost writer/authors to come in. The most obvious conduit where this can happen is in the article written by multiple authors, which is acceptable in the academic world. New knowledge derived from complex observations and research, especially in the areas of the sciences demand multiple input from many different people with diverse expertise and specializations and hence the final intellectual product can be shared by all the contributors. But amongst the many contributors, one can never measure the significance of the contributions of every single person in the final publication.This is the loophole where a ghost writer/author who is usually “powerful” can come in.

The public are encouraged to devour in reading to increase their knowledge and expand their horizon.It is unknown what psychological impact there is should they know that the pieces they are reading are ghost-written. There is a sense of cynicism in this matter but if the written materials are of tremendous values to the readers,the status of the authors may seem irrelevant.But for the concerned, the vanguard of the ethics of publications seem to be more elusive than ever.