Thursday, April 28, 2011
Fang Zhouzi's Wife Responds to Charges of Plagiarism
Media attacks on Fang Zhouzi continue in China and they are now turning on his wife, Liu Juhua. The magazine Legal Weekly published another lengthy report accusing Liu Juhua plagiarism in her masters thesis completed in 2002, a couple of years before she married Fang Zhouzi.
In an essay signed as "Fang Zhouzi's Wife," a customary way for her to write in such occasions, Liu Juhua responded by saying that she keeps a clear conscience on her earlier work. She explained that she had never intended to work in academic research or publish her thesis. The thesis was done only to satisfy the degree requirement. She regarded her thesis, like any those for masters degree in liberal arts, as a review of given issue and not necessarily full of original ideas. However, she denies that she had plagiarized.
Liu Juhua expressed her frustration as being the target of vicious personal attacks on the Internet because of his husband's work. But she was confident that she could handle whatever comes with grace.
Fang Zhouzi had initially maintained his silence when the accusation first surfaced on the Internet. After the publication of this article, he forcefully defended his wife and vowed to "go after" those who had attacked his wife by "applying the same plagiarism standard"(*) to examine their thesis work.
(*) As that had been applied to his wife's work, which sometimes confuses copying and paraphrasing.
At the same time, however, Fang Zhouzi allows that her wife's thesis could have been improved with better citation and quoting techniques, a skill that was rarely taught to students in China. It is a common and wide-spread problem for which he has been advocating that a thesis should not be required for earning a bachelors or masters degree.