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Research IntegrityAllegations of Erasure – Inside Higher Ed (Colleen Flaherty | February 2018)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Allegations of Erasure – Inside Higher Ed (Colleen Flaherty | February 2018)

Published/Released on February 21, 2018 | Posted by Admin on March 3, 2018 / , , , , ,

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Scholar says a new book on China’s “leftover women” fails to acknowledge her years of research in the area — and the fact that both authors have corresponded on the topic since 2011.

Leta Hong Fincher, a well-known independent scholar of China, has been researching and writing about the country’s unmarried, educated, urban female population for years. The topic doesn’t belong to Hong Fincher alone, and Chinese even has a special term for this group of women over about 25: “leftover,” or sheng nu. But Hong Fincher is something of a pioneer in the area, and many colleagues consider her 2014 book, Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China (Zed Books), required reading.

A useful example of situations where the contribution of others needs to be acknowledged, even if they don’t meet the criteria to be listed as coauthors.

So Hong Fincher was surprised to find that a major new book, Leftover in China: The Women Shaping the World’s Next Superpower (W. W. Norton & Company), doesn’t acknowledge her at all in its extensive bibliography. And it’s more than a matter of ego: Hong Fincher says the book’s author, Roseann Lake, a journalist who now writes about Cuba for The Economist, has been following her work since 2011.
Back then, Lake reached out to Hong Fincher saying she admired a recent article Hong Fincher wrote about sheng nu for Ms. magazine. Lake said she was in the early stages of writing a book about China’s leftover women and she wanted to interview Hong Fincher. Busy with graduate school at the time, Hong Fincher declined. But she said she eventually shared an unpublished conference paper and asked Lake to cite her if she used any of her ideas. Lake also attended talks and conferences where Hong Fincher was speaking when they both lived in Beijing, Hong Fincher said.

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