A startling report indicates that over 100 academics associated with 33 universities across the nation may have engaged in fraudulent practices concerning their research undertakings. It not only sheds light on the unethical behaviour exhibited by some academics, but also exposes the shortcomings in the country’s research and development (R&D) financial allocation system.
This story from Thailand highlights how cash incentives from countries and institutions can be a perverse fuel that drives questionable research behaviour and encourage the adoption of research misconduct by researchers. Rather than encouraging research excellence and publication in high-profile journals, they instead prompt individuals to cheat and lie. This is an important lesson for countries and institutions around the world.
Academic fraud in Thailand first gained attention this year when suspicions arose regarding two academics — one from Chulabhorn Royal Academy and another from Chiang Mai University. They were believed to have paid to be credited as authors on research papers written by others, which were subsequently published in academic journals, mostly open-access ones.
In response, MHESI directed universities to investigate whether similar misconduct had taken place in their academic communities. The preliminary findings revealed an alarming trend that more than 100 academics, affiliated with 33 universities nationwide, may have submitted papers that were procured online to claim authorship.