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The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) has published on its website the names of three scientists punished for misconduct. The disclosure, made last month, is part of a campaign to improve the research ethics among China's scientific community, and is a first for the country.

Neurologist Su Bingyin, accounting student Cui Jianwei and Li Guibao, former director of the Water Environment Security Lab at China's Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, have been ordered to reimburse funding they received from the foundation and were barred for up to four years from submitting new grant proposals.

Since 1998, the NSFC has recorded 542 cases of alleged misconduct. More than one in ten of these allegations — ranging from plagiarism to falsifying data – led to a finding of actual misconduct. Most were resolved without being made public.

An official at the Chinese Academy of Sciences says that the main purpose of exposing the three researchers was to help them to correct their mistakes. For this reason, the foundation continues to protect the privacy of scientists whose misconduct is less serious.

Link to full news story in Science

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