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May 26, 2010

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Steps urged to curb academic dishonesty

TRYING to stem a rising tide of academic dishonesty, a city body is urging managers of scientific projects to set up well-documented archives to assure that researchers give proper credit for successes.

At the same time, it urges toleration for scientific failures, saying scientific innovation depends on the unceasing testing of hypotheses and that many of those tests are bound to fail.

"We must tolerate failure if we encourage innovation," said Shou Ziqi, director of the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission.

The proposals are included in a draft of the city's revised regulation of scientific technology advancement. The Standing Committee of the Shanghai People's Congress, the local legislative body, discussed the draft yesterday.

The draft stresses that scientific researchers need to obey professional ethics and that the society must adopt an attitude of zero tolerance toward academic cheating, because forgery and plagiarism in scientific research have become more serious in recent years.

For scientific projects established with financial capital, managing institutions should set up carefully credited archives for project applicants and researchers who join the projects, the draft states. The archives will become a reference for later researcher appointments and approval of project application.

Those caught cheating will be stripped of their research capital and illegal income. Their cheating will be publicized and they will be ineligible to apply for local research projects for a certain period, according to the draft.


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