Chinese University Fires Teacher for Academic Fraud
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2017-09-14 10:39:26

East China Normal University in Shanghai has dismissed a teacher after finding out that his academic paper wasn’t entirely his own work.

The teacher, Lu Jinkui, was the author of one of 107 articles published in Tumor Biology that were retracted in April of this year after the scientific journal’s publisher, Springer, discovered that the email addresses of the papers’ peer reviewers were fake. Afterward, ECNU initiated an investigation into Lu’s work.

In his paper, Lu had used experimental data provided by an unidentified third party, the school announced in a statement late Wednesday. In addition, that third party had polished the language in Lu’s article and submitted it for publication on Lu’s behalf.

As the paper’s main author, Lu was responsible for the ethical lapse, ECNU said, adding that he admitted his error when confronted with the findings. “The incident is extremely bad and has severely damaged the reputation of the university,” the statement said.

Following the retractions by Tumor Biology, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology said in July that 486 out of a total of 521 authors involved — most of whom were Chinese — had indeed committed a variety of academic offenses. It was up to the authors’ employers to investigate matters further and decide on how to handle each case, the ministry added.

So far, only a few institutes have publicly acknowledged punishing the authors involved.

In August, Taizhou Municipal Hospital, in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, disciplined four employees responsible for four retracted articles with punishments ranging from public criticism to seven years’ ineligibility for promotion.

And Xiangya Hospital, which is affiliated with Central South University in Changsha, capital of central China’s Hunan province, in early September punished two employees responsible for retracted articles. One was publicly criticized, the other demoted.

Editor: Kevin Schoenmakers.

(Header image: E+/VCG)