Beijing's new move to fight fraud

Bruce Einhorn

The Chinese government, embarrassed by some high-profile accusations of plagiarim and fraud among professors at top universities, is taking action. Last Friday, the People’s Daily reported that the Ministry of Education had set up a commission to deal with the problem of misconduct among the country’s elite researchers. (Apologies: The government newspaper reported the news on Friday but I was in the midst of a no-blog weekend so didn’t see it till today.) According to the People’s Daily, the “commission will set guidelines for colleges and universities to curb academic fraud, and specifying punishment for those caught cheating.” This sounds like what the 120 Chinese academics based in the U.S. asked for in their recent open letter to the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Chinese Academy of Science. (Here's the BusinessWeek story from a few weeks ago that reported on the controversy and the plea of these U.S.-based academics.) But the government’s mouthpiece doesn’t mention them, let alone give them any credit for lobbying for this idea. Hmmm. Taking someone else's idea and passing it off as your own. Sounds like something worth investigating.

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