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ResourcesResearch Integrity(China) How to tackle academic misconduct among China’s top scientists – Times Higher Education (Futao Huang | January 2020)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

(China) How to tackle academic misconduct among China’s top scientists – Times Higher Education (Futao Huang | January 2020)

Published/Released on January 12, 2020 | Posted by Admin on April 11, 2020 / , , , , , , ,
 


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Preventing unethical behaviour requires regulatory and institutional reforms, as well as lead researchers remaining close to work done in their name, says Futao Huang

Since the implementation of China’s national strategy to build world-class universities in 1998, the country has rapidly increased its output of scientific papers. According to the US National Science Foundation’s 2018 Science and Engineering Indicators report, China published more than 426,000 studies in 2016, accounting for 18.6 per cent of the publications indexed in Elsevier’s Scopus database. This means that China has surpassed the US to become the world’s largest producer of research papers.

China has grown to surpass the US and be a powerhouse of academic publishing, but its research misconduct problems have grown as well. It will be interesting to see if its recently toughened stance and approach will improve matters.

However, as early as 2002, the number of cases of academic dishonesty among top scientists in China had begun to rise. According to a 2018 report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, there were 64 cases of academic dishonesty between 2007 and 2017. In 2016, at least 10 scientists were questioned and charged. These incidents occurred at 46 universities and one national research institute. More than 65 per cent of academic misconduct cases took place at leading national universities; and 16 of the universities were included in the Project 985 national excellence initiative and 12 were participants in Project 211.
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By academic rank, 38 of the accused academics were professors, and eight were associate professors. Among the more recent incidents of alleged misconduct is that of the immunologist Cao Xuetao, president of Nankai University in Tianjin, who faces questions about image manipulation in dozens of papers produced by laboratories that he leads.
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