Monday, August 31, 2009

Plagiarism in China

A German researcher about plagiarism in China, Lena Henningsen from the University of Heidelberg, passes on this great article about plagiarism and cheating in China: "No stopping China's cheaters", by Stephen Wong, Asia Times, Aug 22, 2009.

Some of the high points:
  • Organized cheating on college exams is rampant.
  • A novel experiment in detection of cheating on exams found that young pupils made much better proctors, catching two and a half times more cheaters than the adults did. The average age of the pupils was 12 years old.
  • Wong notes that "A commentary of the national Guangming Daily newspaper stated that adults don't lack the eyes to see problems. They lack the courage to expose them."
  • There is an examination law being proposed, but the question of enforcement lurks unsolved.
  • Southwest Jiaotong University vice president Huang Qing has had his dissertation revoked. He has protested that it was "only 7%" and doesn't understand what the fuss is all about.
  • Tsinghua University has developed software that supposedly detects plagiarism. But it doesn't detect much, there is counter software available that helps people "fix" their stolen papers.
I think the comment from Guangming Daily is spot on for the Western world as well. We see problematic behavior (read: scientific misconduct of all shades and strengths), but we lack the courage to call people out on their misconduct.

Thanks for the link, Lena!

1 comment:

  1. This is absurd. I have been keen over plagiarism for as a writer, I am absolutely required by the my company to turn in papers with 0% plagiarism. I think, aside from the students the bulk of the initiatives must come from the teachers so they will be forced to abide bu the rules.

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