An article in Nature, a leading British academic journal, exposes “industrialized falsification” of papers from Chinese hospitals. (Screenshot)
According to Radio Free Asia, in recent years, the industrialization of paper falsification by researchers in mainland China has drawn the close attention of Western academics.
The station quoted an article published in the British journal Nature on March 23, saying that since January 2020, independent investigators and journals have identified more than 1,000 academic articles that may be related to “thesis factories. According to the statistics, 370 articles from mainland China were withdrawn because they were pointed out to be from the paper factory; another 197 articles were withdrawn because they were alleged to have the same pictures; and 45 articles were put on the concern list.
Meanwhile, three journals of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) retracted 70 papers written by researchers from Chinese hospitals in January this year. The society issued a statement saying it had fallen victim to a “systematic industry of paper falsification.
The Nature report also noted that the falsified papers that were “industrialized” had similar characteristics, except that the words and images were fine-tuned and appeared to have been generated using templates. Investigators say that the industrialization of fraudulent papers disclosed so far may be just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to the medical field, the same problem exists in the computer, engineering, humanities and social science communities.
The article also quotes two mainland Chinese researchers as saying that the “plague” has even begun to corrupt foreign medical journals, seriously affecting mainland China’s international image, as a result of the poor publication environment on the mainland, which has led to few people believing or citing Chinese scientists’ papers.
Since last January, journals have retracted at least 370 papers that have been publicly linked to paper mills, an analysis by Nature has found, and many more retractions are expected to follow. https://t.co/q1Z8uojUM6
- Nature (@nature) March 23, 2021
The Wall Street Journal also reported last July that Elisabeth Bik, a California microbiologist and image analysis expert, found that each of the 121 papers published by researchers at hospitals and medical schools in about 50 cities in mainland China had at least one image identical to another paper, meaning that many of the papers may have come from the same company or “paper mills. “paper mills.”
The China Daily also found that in 2019, a medical university in Yunnan province offered cash incentives of up to $42,000 for papers published in high-impact journals.
Experts say these incentives can be easily exploited by “paper mills. People who are not usually involved in research, such as clinicians, but need to publish, take advantage of “paper mills.
Taobao, the e-commerce platform of Alibaba Group Holding Limited, offers a full range of services for outsourcing research reports, from selecting a research topic to publishing the final paper. Official Chinese media previously found that prices for such services ranged from about $4,200 to $28,000.