Rampant Plagiarism, Fraud Could Hold Back China

It's pervasive in academia and in the business world
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2010 1:23 PM CDT
Marchers wave national flags as they march past Tiananmen Square during a military parade in Beijing in 2009.   (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

(Newser) – China's stated goal of becoming a "research superpower" could be held back by one big problem, reports the New York Times: Its researchers keep making stuff up and plagiarizing each other. The newspaper finds that fraud is pervasive in education and scientific research as state universities pressure academics to rack up credentials and raise the nation's image. To wit, a third of the 6,000 scientists polled in a recent government study of the nation's six top science institutions said they had plagiarized or fabricated data. As a result, collaboration with scholars abroad is suffering.

“If we don’t change our ways, we will be excluded from the global academic community," says one professor in Beijing. “We need to focus on seeking truth, not serving the agenda of some bureaucrat or satisfying the desire for personal profit.” The article makes the case that the integrity problem extends into all aspects of Chinese life, from students who cheat on entrance exams to companies selling tainted milk.

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