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China exposes cases of academic misconduct

Updated: Dec 13,2016 7:23 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) on Dec 12 disclosed cases of scientific misconduct in an effort to curb such fraud and boost the integrity of research.

A total of 117 academic papers involving Chinese authors were withdrawn from publishers including Nature, Springer and Elsevier since 2015, the NSFC, a major source of funding for basic research and frontier exploration in China, said in a statement.

Of the revoked papers, 28 had received or were applying for research funds, it said, adding the 28 papers either involved in forged peer reviews made by third party agencies or directly authored by ghostwriters.

Normally, peer review assesses a paper’s quality. Third party agencies forge peer reviews and send positive opinions to the publisher in order to manipulate the appraisal.

From 2015 to the end of Nov 2016, the NSFC reviewed 382 such cases and punished 172 people, it said.

Yang Wei, head of the NSFC, said the foundation has zero tolerance of academic fraud.