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January 14, 2011

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Fudan rejects claims ex-student copied

FUDAN University yesterday rejected a charge of plagiarism against a former PhD student, who is now a professor at Shanghai University, although it did find methodology errors in his paper.

Zhu Xueqin, a professor of History, asked his old university to clear his name following online claims that his doctoral dissertation in the 1990s copied Chinese and Western researchers' work.

The university's academic board issued a report yesterday, which stated: "Zhu neglected and omitted some references to the relevant published work of others, but that is different from plagiarism."

Books that the academic failed to annotate are general descriptions of facts rather than opinions, the report concluded.

"The major idea and thoughts are his own," said Ge Jianxiong, a member of the board.

"Isaiah", who made the online accusations, did not assist the academics in their investigation, despite the university issuing a public invitation.

The board based its investigation on the online posts which said Zhu's doctoral dissertation, "The Collapse of Moral Utopia," had lifted sections from several sources, including "Rousseau and the Republic of Virtue" by American scholar Carol Blum.

Zhu received his PhD in 1992 and his doctoral dissertation was published in 1994.

Yesterday, Zhu said he was pleased that the Fudan University investigation cleared his name and that he will rectify the problems raised.


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