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  • Cleaning up Chinese science


China's top scientific leaders have acknowledged the need to change the country's science system following an unprecedented number of fraud cases.

Writing in Science, Hao Xin outlines the problem and government plans to tackle it.

Lu Yongxiang, president of the Chinese Academy of Science says the way China evaluates research and provides incentives for scientific productivity have both contributed to the rise in academic misconduct.

Critics say China's 'top-down' system of funding research nurtures unhealthy relationships. Successful funding applications often depend on a scientist's influence among funding officials and only a small percentage of awards are allocated on the basis of Western-style peer-review.

Another concern is that China, by evaluating research on the number of publications generated, discourages long-term or risky work and encourages plagiarism.

When 120 mostly US-based Chinese researchers called for action (see China 'must act on rising claims of scientific fraud'), the government responded by issuing guidelines on 'strengthening academic ethics'. In May it formed a committee to devise rules for universities on how to handle fraud allegations.

Link to full article in Science

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