Research Ethics Blog

Cracking Down on Research Misconduct at a Chinese University

Here’s an interesting bit on one Chinese university’s efforts to crack down on research misconduct:

From Nature: Research ethics: Zero tolerance — A university cracks down on misconduct in China.

Most readers of this blog will know that research misconduct doesn’t fall under the heading of Research Ethics, as that term is normally applied to the work of Research Ethics Boards and Institutional Review Boards. But neither are the issues entirely separate.

Here’s a paragraph I found particularly interesting, about the causes of misconduct:

Cao and other experts on misconduct point to specific contributing factors. China’s research system has developed very rapidly, and universities are scrambling to train the influx of students, scientists and administrators. “As a large, newly developed system of research, China does not have the control of its research programmes that is found in the West,” says Nicholas Steneck, who studies research integrity at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Some researchers are simply oblivious to the rules, says Zhong Haining, a neuroscientist who trained at Tsinghua University and is now starting a lab at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. “The official guideline for scientific misconduct may (or may not) exist, but it’s not very well publicized, at least not emphasized so much in training,” he says.

I wonder if the causes of misconduct are so different in other places?