Re: Facing up to fraud - China's exponential research growth could fuel fraud

From: (wrong string) édon <>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 19:06:34 +0100

This has to be one of the most telling (and funniest) non sequitur I have ever
read. A textbook example if there ever were one. Why would Open Access (which is
about access, not peer review) lead to sloppy peer review? When an OA journals
such as PLOS biology with an impact factor hovering over 12 does peer review, is
it being sloppy?

Sloppiness can affect OA journals as easily as toll-gated journals. Neither OA,
not toll-gated journals guarantee good peer-review. The bond between mode of
access and peer review is certainly not covalent, not even ionic; it is either
mythical or absurd.

Jean-Claude Guédon

Le jeudi 18 février 2010 à 21:00 -0800, Dana Roth a écrit :

The January 25 issue of Chemistry & Industry (issue 2, 2010) has a short article
 on research fraud which includes a sidebar on the situation in China (see below
). This suggests that, contrary to Heather Morrison's suggestion, scholar led o
pen access publishing is not a viable solution. Without a cadre of truly profes
sional peer-reviewers, publication in Chinese journals will become increasingly


China’s research output has exploded four-fold over the past decade, far outpaci
ng research activity in the rest of the world, according to a global research re
port by Thomson Reuters. The country generated nearly 112,000 research papers in
 2008, up from just over 20,000 in 1998. China surpassed Japan, the UK and Germa
ny in 2006 and now stands second only to the US (C&I 2009, 22, 7).

‘All the data we analyse refer to publications in journals that meet Thomson Reu
ters editorial standards, including those on peer review,’ says Jonathan Adams,
director of research evaluation at Thomson Reuters. ‘We can therefore regard the
 indexed growth of China’s share of world publications as representing a real in
crease in research outputs meeting international quality standards.’

It has been reported that rates of duplicate publications are higher in China an
d Japan than other industrialised countries (Nature doi:10.1038/451397a). Howeve
r, it is not clear whether the levels of other fraud or misconduct are elevated
in Chinese academia. ‘We understand that there is significant pressure on resear
chers to publish and, where possible, to publish in high-quality international j
ournals. This may be more explicit in China – for example, it has been reported
that incentive payments are offered to those who publish in Nature and Science,’
 says Adams. But he points out that pressure is also applied to researchers in t
he UK and the US to meet these challenges, and that promotion and tenure in many
 countries may hang on regular output in top quality journals.

Nevertheless, a recent editorial in The Lancet paints a picture of growing scien
tific fraud in China (Lancet, 2009, 375, 94). Recently, 70 Chinese papers had to
 be retracted by Acta Crystallographica Section E after the crystal structures w
ere discovered to be fabricated. The journal’s editors warn that preliminary inv
estigations suggest that the number of retractions will rise. The editorial call
s on China’s government, which funds nearly all scientific research, to take a m
ore active role in promoting integrity and establishing robust and transparent p
rocedures to handle misconduct.

Dana L. Roth
Millikan Library / Caltech 1-32
1200 E. California Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91125
626-395-6423 fax 626-792-7540
Received on Fri Feb 19 2010 - 20:43:29 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Dec 10 2010 - 19:50:06 GMT