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Shanghai scholar revoked of her PhD for plagiarism

SHANGHAI Academy of Social Sciences yesterday began to probe the allegation that one of its scholars plagiarized for her doctorial dissertation and her PhD has been revoked by a Japanese University.

Hiroshima University issued an online statement yesterday, saying Wu Mingxi, who graduated in 2007, copied more than 4,000 words from another scholar's paper and therefore decided to withdraw her degree.

Keisuisha Co Ltd, a Japanese publisher that printed her dissertation, has started to recall all the copies and apologized to the readers.

Wu told Shanghai Daily that she had received a letter about her plagiarism but nothing was said about her degree withdrawal. She said she would complain to the university about their hasty decision.

Wu said she had noted in her dissertation that she made references to the scholar's work though she might have omitted some attributions in her dissertation entitled "A Study on the Credit System for China's Small and Medium-sized Enterprises."

A SASS official said Wu might lose her job if the accusation proved true because a doctorial degree is a basic requirement for working at the academy.
"This is the first time for such an incident to happen in the university's history," the university said in the public statement.
Similarly, a SASS official surnamed Lou responded, "This rarely happened in the academy. We are so shocked!"
Lou said the academy officials and human resources department would discuss the case and deal out punishment to Wu, who joined the academy in 2008.

The university said it received plagiarism complains from Tetsuya Komagata, associate professor of Keio University, in 2009 that Wu copied more than 4,000 words from his s work without giving attributions.

"Japanese academic norms are much stricter than Chinese ones," Wu said. "They will accuse you of plagiarism if you omitted attributing one or two sentences."

She said she had tried to contact her tutor who has retired. "To investigate the case, I need to go to Japan because the materials I referred to cannot be found in China."

Wu is deputy director of the Department of Career Development for Disabled Persons under the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.


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