China Targets an Academic Culture of Cut-and-Paste

The Christian Science Monitor reports on academic fraud in China:

The latest fraud to rock Chinese academia centers on He Haibo, an associate professor of pharmacology at the prestigious Zhejiang University. He now admits to copying or making up material he submitted in eight papers to international journals and has been fired, along with the head of his research institute.

The affair has drawn particular attention because a world-renowned expert in traditional Chinese medicine, Li Lianda, lent his name as coauthor to one of the fraudulent papers. His tenure will not be renewed when his contract expires soon, the president of Zhejiang University has said.

“This biggest-ever academic scandal is for sure a wakeup call that the Chinese universities are facing a crisis of credibility,” editorialized the state-run “China Daily.”

Academic fraud is not new in China; scandals have broken sporadically over the past decade, but most cases never come to light, says Fang Shimin, founder of a website for academics.

March 23, 2009 9:00 PM
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Categories: Society