Looks good on paper

I was struck by a comment by a Chinese pharma CEO in a different article about corruption, in pharmaceutical research. Essentially she said, "We don't make up data any more." Apparently it's not just pharmaceutical industry research.

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As China tries to take its seat at the top table of global academia, the criminal underworld has seized on a feature in its research system: the fact that research grants and promotions are awarded on the basis of the number of articles published, not on the quality of the original research. This has fostered an industry of plagiarism, invented research and fake journals ...

China is known for its pirated DVDs and fake designer gear, but these criminals were producing something more intellectual: fake scholarly articles which they sold to academics, and counterfeit versions of existing medical journals in which they sold publication slots.

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Ruth, excellent article on research corruption. Timely and relevant. 

In 2010, Nature reported in one Chinese government survey,

“a third of more than 6,000 scientific researchers at six leading institutions admitted to plagiarism, falsification or fabrication”.

A Western surveys found that

“one-third of scientists admit to dishonesty under the broadest definition, but that a far smaller percentage (2% on average) admit to having fabricated or falsified research results”.

In 2012, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a U.S.A. journal, published a study of retractions accounting for nation of origin.

“in medical journal articles in PubMed, an American database maintained by the National Institutes of Health, there were more retractions due to plagiarism from China and India together than from America (which produced the most papers by far, and so the most cheating overall)".

The study also found

“papers from China led the world in retractions due to duplication—the same papers being published in multiple journals. On retractions due to fraud, China ranked fourth, behind America, Germany and Japan”.


It's discouraging.

It's discouraging, I agree, but I think it shows a lot of progress that we are just having this conversation.  :)

I agree with Humble Pie--it wasn't so long ago that we wouldn't have had enough access to Chinese academia to interact with it on this level. Knowing there is a problem goes a long was to avoiding it.

This story drives another nail into religion's coffin, joining the hundreds of nails already there: morality does not come from a supernatural place.

Morality comes from people after immorality has hurt or offended enough people.

I find it helpful to remind myself that my most distant ancestors were pond scum and the big and strong, without a trace of empathy, ate the small and frail.

That image helps me place myself among pond scum  descendants who in billions of years devised a way to protect ourselves and some of the small and frail: democracy.

And then, dammit, someone invented Republicans.




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