CAS to investigate Nankai University president for academic misconduct

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/18 22:23:40

Photo: website

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on Monday said they will investigate the alleged academic misconduct of its researcher Cao Xuetao, who also serves as the president of Nankai University in North China's Tianjin Municipality. 

"We've noticed online complaints about Cao and will investigate into the matter," Shanghai-based news portal quoted an employee of CAS as saying on Monday. The employee did not give further information on  the process of investigation. 

The employee's comments came after Elisabeth Bik, a former research fellow with Stanford University, suspected some papers of "inappropriate duplications in figures" which Cao, an esteemed immunologist in China, co-authored. Bik published her inquiries on Pubpeer, a website that allows users to discuss and review scientific research, last week. 

Cao replied to Bik's inquiries on Pubpeer on Monday morning, saying they had made her concerns "highest priority" and already started to examine manuscripts, raw data and experiment records.   

"We'll work with the relevant journal editorial offices immediately if our investigation indicates any risk to the highest degree of accuracy of the published records," Cao wrote. 

Cao said he was confident of the validity and strength of the publications, but admitted the lapse in supervision and laboratory leadership may have fallen short.   

Some of the similarities in figures have been explained by authors on Pubpeer, including accidental similarities and a real error in figure selection for presentation. 

Academic integrity has gained increasing attention in China. After the plagiarism scandal of a famous actor and PhD holder, Zhai Tianlin, for performance studies, an unprecedented emphasis on research ethics has been placed on students in higher education. 

Global Times 

Posted in: SOCIETY

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