Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 23, 2010
This week, the organizers of the Xiamen Marathon event has to disqualify almost a third of its top 100 finishers. Some elite runners were found to carry multiple timing chips in order to obtain results for others who did not participate in the race. Other kinds of cheating were also reported.
The main motivation for such a wide-spreading cheating occurrence appeared to be gaining an advantage for college entrance. In China, a high school graduate can receive extra-credit in college admission consideration if he or she can demonstrate elite-level athletic ability, e.g., finishing a marathon within 2 hours and 34 minutes.
Not surprisingly, the disqualified runners, actual or non-existent, all had their finishing time within that threshold.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
In another related news, BBC News reported that the market for fake academic papers have grown to 100 million US Dollars.
Thursday, January 7, 2010
What is surprising and interesting, though, is its mention of Rao Yi renouncing his American citizenship:
Rao Yi, a 47-year-old biologist who left Northwestern University in 2007 to become dean of the School of Life Sciences at Peking University in Beijing, contrasts China’s “soul-searching” with America’s self-satisfaction. When the United States Embassy in Beijing asked him to explain why he wanted to renounce his American citizenship, he wrote that the United States had lost its moral leadership after the 9/11 attacks. But “the American people are still reveling in the greatness of the country and themselves,” he said in a draft letter.There was no words about Shi Yigong, who had been criticized in China for preaching/teaching patriotism to Chinese students while holding an American passport himself.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Except for the fact that the journal is a part of the Science Citation Index (SCI) since 2001. In recent years, many universities in China has adopted a policy of awarding faculties for publications in SCI journals. So, naturally, this journal became the preferred target where SCI "papers" can be massively produced with relatively little efforts.
This publication boom is quite remarkable, as the following statistics show:
|University||number of "papers"||first appearance|
But it gets worse from here, much worse. Jinggangshan University (井冈山大学) is a relative newcomer in this game but is already getting ahead of itself. It appears that a couple of professors in that school can not even be bothered to mass-produce their papers. It is much easier to simply falsify them, massively!
In an unusual editorial, the journal revealed that they have found at least 70 "papers" from Jinggangshan University to contain fraudulent data:
At Jinggangshan University, the school swiftly fired the two professors named by the Journal and claimed that they had recovered at least part of the associated award money. However, the school was silent on other co-authors in these papers.
The initial set of falsified structures arises from two groups. The correspondence authors are Dr H. Zhong and Professor T. Liu, both from Jinggangshan University, Jian, China. The co-authors on these papers included other workers from Jinggangshan University together with authors from different institutions in China. Both these correspondence authors and all co-authors have signed forms agreeing to the retraction of 41 papers published by Dr Zhong and 29 by Professor Liu. Details of these retractions appear elsewhere in this issue of the journal. Having found these problems with articles from Jinggangshan University, all submissions from this University to Acta Crystallographica Sections E or C have now been identified and are being checked for authenticity. Preliminary results indicate that further retractions will result from this exercise.
All Co-editors of Acta Crystallographica Sections E and C have been alerted to these fraudulent practices and have been advised of the warning signs that can be used in most instances to identify such attempts to deceive. It should be noted that many other possibly fraudulent submissions were rejected at the refereeing stage by alert and conscientious Co-editors, but until the scope of the fraud became apparent, these were reasonably regarded as one-off examples of incompetence or honest mistakes.
Meanwhile, names of other professors who have been mass-producing papers in this Journal continue to be exposed on XYS. A few have gone public to deny wrong-doings or a motive for personal gain. Some are quietly removing the "publications" from their online resumes. One particular researcher has even claimed that he has been doing this on purpose to expose the shortcomings of the SCI-based awarding policies.