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August 24, 2011

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Home » Metro » Education

Academic punished over student's theses fraud

A TOP medical academic in the city has been banned from working as an advisor to PhD candidates, after one of his students was found guilty of academic fraud.

Sun Xinghuai, president of Shanghai Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital, affiliated to Fudan University, will not be allowed to work as a doctoral adviser for two years, university officials said yesterday.

Last September, the Academic Committee of Fudan University began investigating five papers by PhD Yao Jing, after receiving anonymous claims they contained doctored experiment photographs and plagiarism.

After almost a year's investigation, the university concluded that two papers contained fake pictures but rejected the plagiarism accusation.

Yao has been downgraded from her doctor position to a resident doctor for one year.

Sun was also punished as he was Yao's tutor.

Yao wrote the theses in 2005 and graduated in 2006. She was on a two-year postdoctoral program at Harvard University in the United States during the investigation.

She admitted altering pictures and using them inappropriately to support her theses.

Yao said she did this because she wanted to make a name for herself in her field by publishing work to help her get a job in the hospital.

"I had no idea of the problem before it was exposed," Sun said. "I learned the truth after communicating with Yao."

Sun blamed himself for the lax review. After learning the truth, he advised two journals to remove the papers.

The university said Yao should bear the major responsibility for the incident.


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