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ResourcesResearch IntegrityPublish or perish in China – Nature (Jane Qiu | January 2010)

Australasian Human Research Ethics Consultancy Services Pty Ltd (AHRECS)

Publish or perish in China – Nature (Jane Qiu | January 2010)

 


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The pressure to rack up publications in high-impact journals could encourage misconduct, some say.

Even though this piece is from 2010 the volume of recent research integrity/human research ethics misconduct cases from the PRC (e.g. as reported by Retraction Watch) suggests it remains relevant today and perhaps the suggested reasons remain a factor.

The latest in a string of high-profile academic fraud cases in China underscores the problems of an academic-evaluation system that places disproportionate emphasis on publications, critics say. Editors at the UK-based journal Acta Crystallographica Section E last month retracted 70 published crystal structures that they allege are fabrications by researchers at Jinggangshan University in Jiangxi province. Further retractions, the editors say, are likely.
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Chinese universities often award cash prizes, housing benefits or other perks on the basis of high-profile publications, and the pressure to publish seems to be growing. A new study from Wuhan University, for instance, estimates that the market for dubious science-publishing activities, such as ghostwriting papers on nonexistent research, was of the order of 1 billion renminbi (US$150 million) in 2009 — five times the amount in 2007. In other studies, one in three researchers surveyed at major universities and research institutions admitted to committing plagiarism, falsification or fabrication of data.
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