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Cleansing Chinese Publishing

The country vows to curb misconduct in scholarly publishing.

By | April 26, 2012

image: Cleansing Chinese Publishing Flickr, Brian Turner

FLICKR, BRIAN TURNER

The Chinese government and publishing industry are determined to weed out misconduct and bad publishing practices from the more than 5,000 of the country’s scholarly journals by committing to be more vigilant and implementing punishments such as blacklisting and the public disclosure of misconduct. In a statement issued by The China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) in Beijing earlier this month, the association vowed that its 1,050 affiliated journals will adhere to CAST guidelines set in 2009—which outlined various forms of misconduct and their associated penalties.

“The declaration will purify the academic environment to create first-class medical journals, thus achieving social and economic benefits,” Suning You, president of the Chinese Medical Association Publishing House in Beijing, told Nature.

The Chinese government has also in the last few years announced plans to dissolve some of the country's most problematic journals (although, Nature noted, it has yet to do so) and, starting later this year, will begin offering monetary incentives to top tier Chinese journals for achieving high impact factors and international influence.

“Many are just commercial journals, just there to make money,” Chun-Hua Yan, associate editor-in-chief of the CAST-administered Journal of Rare Earths, told Nature. “We cannot make an announcement that ‘these are bad journals’ but we can show the right way to publish.”

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Avatar of: YouKnowBestOfAll

YouKnowBestOfAll

Posts: 16

April 26, 2012

Authors, editors, publishers, and institutions should be held accountable for the academic publishing.

Current system for awarding grants is based predominantly on the number of publications, which creates incentives for misconduct/fraud. Some authors commit data fabrication/manipulation and/or plagiarism/self-plagiarism ONLY in order to get an extra paper published. In some cases these authors conspire with friendly editors/publishers (who turn a blind eye on such misconduct/fraud) to publish such papers with the ONLY goal to get more public money in the form of grants. 

This is per se a CONSPIRACY to obtain public money by deception.

However, in the era of internet, sooner or later the misconduct/fraud INEVITABLY is revealed.

There should be mechanisms in place to give the authors opportunity to acknowledge their mistakes (guilt) and do the right thing, i.e. to retract the paper.
The problem is that MOST of them stubbornly REFUSE to admit that they have committed misconduct/fraud.

In such cases, there should be mechanisms in place for editors/publishers/institutions to do the right thing instead, i.e. to retract the paper. Regrettably, these are often linked to the offenders, and consequently ALSO refuse to do the right thing.

In such cases, where the editors/publishers/institutions also FAIL to do the right thing, there should be mechanisms in place to hold the above mentioned parties ACCOUNTABLE for conspiracy to obtain public money by deception. 

This will have immense moralizing effect to all involved in academic publishing. Ultimately, this will be beneficial for everyone: for the tax payers (who fund the whole venture), for the honest researchers, academic institutions, reviewers, honest editors, honest publishers, for all users of peer reviewed publications, and in long-term even for the potential offenders as well.

I see the Chinese government moving into the right direction, and should the above mentioned is put in a law, China could give example to rest of the world for combating the conspiracy to obtain public money by deception, what the publication misconduct ultimately is.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

April 26, 2012

Authors, editors, publishers, and institutions should be held accountable for the academic publishing.

Current system for awarding grants is based predominantly on the number of publications, which creates incentives for misconduct/fraud. Some authors commit data fabrication/manipulation and/or plagiarism/self-plagiarism ONLY in order to get an extra paper published. In some cases these authors conspire with friendly editors/publishers (who turn a blind eye on such misconduct/fraud) to publish such papers with the ONLY goal to get more public money in the form of grants. 

This is per se a CONSPIRACY to obtain public money by deception.

However, in the era of internet, sooner or later the misconduct/fraud INEVITABLY is revealed.

There should be mechanisms in place to give the authors opportunity to acknowledge their mistakes (guilt) and do the right thing, i.e. to retract the paper.
The problem is that MOST of them stubbornly REFUSE to admit that they have committed misconduct/fraud.

In such cases, there should be mechanisms in place for editors/publishers/institutions to do the right thing instead, i.e. to retract the paper. Regrettably, these are often linked to the offenders, and consequently ALSO refuse to do the right thing.

In such cases, where the editors/publishers/institutions also FAIL to do the right thing, there should be mechanisms in place to hold the above mentioned parties ACCOUNTABLE for conspiracy to obtain public money by deception. 

This will have immense moralizing effect to all involved in academic publishing. Ultimately, this will be beneficial for everyone: for the tax payers (who fund the whole venture), for the honest researchers, academic institutions, reviewers, honest editors, honest publishers, for all users of peer reviewed publications, and in long-term even for the potential offenders as well.

I see the Chinese government moving into the right direction, and should the above mentioned is put in a law, China could give example to rest of the world for combating the conspiracy to obtain public money by deception, what the publication misconduct ultimately is.

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