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Investigation launched into plagiarism scandal

A SHANGHAI university set up a team yesterday to investigate a suspected plagiarism scandal involving one of its professors.

The investigation in the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics followed media reports that an academic paper written by one of its professors, Liu Lanjuan, is very like a paper by a part-time postgraduate at Shanghai Maritime University's College of Information Engineering called Liu Gang.

The two papers, both published more than four years ago, were exactly the same in their keywords, references and four sub-headings out of five. Their structures and wording also bear similarities. Both are themed around a security plan for an information distribution platform run on the unilateral satellite broadcasting system, the two papers make almost the same conclusion.

"We've downloaded the two papers from the Internet and they do look quite similar," said Yu Chunhui, director of SUFE's scientific research department.

Liu Lanjuan's paper was published on January 5, 2005, in a journal called Computer Engineering. Liu Gang's paper was published in the quarterly journal Computer Aided Engineering, on December 15, according to the China Journal Full-text Database.

Submission dates

"But Liu Lanjuan submitted her paper to the journal on July 19, nearly two months before Liu Gang," Yu said. "Based on that, it's almost impossible she committed the plagiarism."

Liu Gang, who graduated from Shanghai Maritime University more than four years ago, told Shanghai Daily he didn't know whether he had copied the other paper.

"I was busy with my postgraduate study at that time. Some of my friends collected material for me, and I wrote the paper based on that material," Liu Gang said.

Shanghai Maritime University said it would not conduct an investigation into Liu Gang as the paper wasn't his graduation essay.

"He isn't an employee in the university, and this would not lead to his degree being canceled," said Peng Dongkai, director of the university's media office.

Liu Gang's paper is co-authored by his former supervisor, Yang Liping. Yang now serves as vice professor at the Maritime University.

Yang's cell phone wasn't answered yesterday. Peng said Yang revised the finished paper for Liu Gang and hadn't found any similar publication after consultation.


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