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January 20, 2011

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Academy looks into staff plagiarism claim

SHANGHAI Academy of Social Sciences yesterday began an investigation after a staff member was stripped of her doctoral degree by a Japanese university over claims of plagiarism.

Hiroshima University issued a statement earlier this week saying Wu Mingxi, a PhD student who graduated in 2007, copied more than 4,000 words from another scholar's work. As a consequence, it was withdrawing Wu's degree.

Wu, a researcher at SASS, told Shanghai Daily that she had no idea her degree had been withdrawn and would complain to the university about the hasty decision.

Wu insisted that she pointed out in her dissertation that she made reference to the other scholar's work,

She conceded that she might have omitted some attributions in the work, titled "Researches on Chinese Small- and Medium-sized enterprises Credit Guarantee System."

A SASS official said Wu may lose her job if the accusations are founded, as a PhD is a basic threshold requirement to be a researcher at the academy.

"This is the first time that such an incident has happened in the university's history," the university said in the public statement.


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