Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ministry of Health Recommends Fang Zhouzi's Book

In yet another sign that Fang Zhouzi is gaining recognition and influence, the Ministry of Health recently included one of his books, Achieving Health Scientifically (科学成就健康), in its official list of recommended books on health.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rao Yi Reports on a Fraud Case

In his online blog, Rao Yi reported a recent case of scientific fraud in a Shanghai institute of the Chinese Academy of Science.

About a month ago, the Journal of Neuroscience informed the institute that a paper authored by a researcher of the institute contained practices of scientific fraud. After investigating for a month, the institute informed the Journal of their findings. It decided to fire the researcher and close the laboratory within a year.

Rao Yi praised for the swift and strict disciplinary action. However, he did not mention the name of the accused or disclose any details of the case.

Academician Accuses Former Student for Plagiarism

It is quite unusual for cases of academic integrity to be discussed in open media in China. Therefore it is quite amazing when an Academician from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, Lu Daopei (陆道培), called for a press conference to accuse his former student for plagiarism. The accused is now the head of a research institute of the People's Hospital affiliated with Peking University by the name of Huang Xiaojun (黄晓军).

Lu Daopei alleged that Huang Xiaojun's 2008 award-winning research in stem cell was a direct derivative of Lu Daopei's earlier research in 2006, in which Huang Xiaojun was also a participant. Lu Daopei accused Huang Xiaojun for plagiarizing the earlier research as well as falsifying data in the later work.

Chinese Medical Association, which awarded a first class prize for Huang Xiaojun's work asked Peking University to investigate, which found Huang Xiaojun innocent. Lu Daopei organized an expert team of his own which concluded that Huang Xiaojun has committed multiple fraud including plagiarism and falsifying data.

Lu Daopei said in the press conference that it is a last resort of his to appeal to public on this matter. He hoped that a third-party investigation could help clarify the matter.

"A Chinese Scam"

Europe's Life Science journal Lab Times reported a case of plagiarism with an analysis article titled "A Chinese Scam." Its byline summarizes the story:
Fred Schaper from the Technical University of Aachen, Germany, gives a talk at a Keystone Meeting. A couple of months later he discovers the figures he presented in a fresh paper. The author is a Chinese who also attended the meeting.
The article chronicles the entire incident. Fred Schaper had given a speech of his research at the Keystone Meeting in January 2007 and then, on August 6, 2008, he found a preview of a to-be-published paper contained several figures that appeared to be his used during the speech. The authors of the later paper were a group of Chinese from Lanzhou University, led by Yang Jinbo (杨金波).

Fred Schaper launched an investigation effort that involved the editors of the journal Cellular Signalling, the organizers of the Keystone Meeting. Yang Jinbo had first responded by claiming that he had repeated Schaper's experiments himself, obtained the same results, but neglected to cite Schaper's work. But confronted with strong evidence, Yang Jinbo eventually caved in and "admitted that all the figures in question had indeed been pirated." Someone had downloaded the data from the computer at the Keystone Meeting for them. He promised to destroy all data and promised never to work in this field ever again.

There seems to be no mention of this incident in the Chinese media. A search on the schoo's web site failed to turn up any hits on the name Yang Jinbo.