Study of massive preprint archive hints at the geography of plagiarism

By John Bohannon

New analyses of the hundreds of thousands of technical manuscripts submitted to arXiv, the repository of digital preprint articles, are offering some intriguing insights into the consequences—and geography—of scientific plagiarism. It appears that copying text from other papers is more common in some nations than others, but the outcome is generally the same for authors who copy extensively: Their papers don’t get cited much.


Chinese and U.S. Researchers See Need for Earlier Training in Research Ethics

Enormous growth in research funding and scientific publishing in China is prompting unprecedented efforts to promote responsible research conduct in that country. But, globally, a "one-size-fits-all" approach to ethics training may not be sufficient, experts argued.

Participants in the China-U.S. Scientific Morality/Integrity Development Seminar at AAAS | AAAS/Carla Schaffer

Despite their countries' vast differences in culture and history, research ethics experts from opposite sides of the globe agreed at a recent AAAS meeting: teaching scientific integrity needs to start early — perhaps as early as elementary school.


This is an interesting report on research integrity in France, published on September 15, 2014, in Le Monde, .
A rough translation is possible at

L’intégrité, une exigence de la recherche

Quatre-vingt douze pour cent du public fait confiance aux chercheurs, comme l’a montré le sondage Ipsos pour le Forum 2011 « Science, recherche & société », organisé par Le Monde et La Recherche. Chercher est dans la nature de l’homme. Les attentes vis-à-vis de la recherche sont très fortes, pour accroître les connaissances et améliorer la condition humaine. Le citoyen attend du chercheur une intégrité absolue.


As the World Conference on Research Integrity will be held for the first time in Latin America, we invite all potential participants and delegates to read the following highlights on Latin American science. Although the picture is much broader, this report gives useful information on research and related topics in Brazil and other countries in the region.

South American science: Big players

B. Tafreshi/ESO

The European Southern Observatory operates the Very Large Telescope in northern Chile.
It may seem heretical to say so in the land of the beautiful game, but science in Brazil beats the World Cup — at least in a financial match-up. Government and businesses there invest some US$27 billion annually in science, technology and innovation, dwarfing the price tag for the football tournament, which tops out at about $15 billion.


The impact gap: South America by the numbers

Richard van Noorden, 2014

The expanding economies of South America have led to a significant rise in scientific output over the past two decades, and research spending has increased in most countries. But given the region’s share of the world’s population and gross domestic product (GDP), publication rates still fall short of what would be expected. Research quality has not kept pace with rising output, and the continent’s research papers still struggle to attract citations from the rest of the world. There are huge inequalities across the region, too: Brazil dominates the publication record, for example, whereas Chile takes pole position in the patent landscape and Argentina scores highly in terms of the proportion of its population working in science.


Ailing academia needs culture change

    Viviane Callier1,
    Nathan L. Vanderford2,*
    1The Ronin Institute, Montclair, NJ 07043, USA.
    2Markey Cancer Center and Graduate Center for Toxicology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.

Statement of Principles and Actions for Shaping the Future: Supporting the Next Generation of Researchers


The entire spectrum of research forms a complex system where cultivating talent, increasing knowledge and promoting innovation are intertwined across all disciplines. Increasingly, the research community is linked to a much larger global framework involving the circulation of talent, results and discoveries among the various spheres of society.
Within the global research system, the actions of GRC participants are crucial in promoting the attractiveness of research careers for new talent, as well as opportunities for professional career development for researchers in universities and research performing organisations. GRC participants should be actively thinking about the types of skills and training that will be needed over the coming decades, ways to promote socially responsible research, and how research will contribute to and be transformed by a shifting social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental global context. The GRC participants are therefore committed to developing and supporting programmes and initiatives targeted at the next generation of professional researchers consistent and relevant to the level of development and further advancement of the research ecosystem of each region.


Japan's researchers face increased ethics oversight


An Interview with Melissa Anderson

"People know worldwide what fabrication, falsification, plagiarism are," says Dr. Melissa Anderson, Associate Dean of Graduate Education and Professor of Higher Education at University of Minnesota. So a pressing question in international research is: what are the structural issues that could explain the variation in research misconduct between the United States and other foreign countries? People often highlight cultural differences as the key explanatory factor for this variation. However, Dr. Anderson believes that people jump too quickly to cultural differences, while overlooking the tremendous variation in standards and codes of ethics. Thus, international research ethics should track the differences in laws and regulatory standards in science (the organization of science, funding sources, training programs, etc.) in order to understand the source of international research misconduct and also, in order to foster future international standards of research integrity.

Who is Melissa Anderson?


Special ESOF 2014: The EuroScientist interviews Nicholas H Steneck on research integrity and ethics

Nicholas H. Steneck, PhD, is Director of the Research Ethics and Integrity Program of the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research and Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Michigan. He is also a consultant to the Federal Office of Research Integrity, HHS.



On August 14 - 15, 2014, The São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) will host the III Brazilian Meeting on Research Integrity, Science and Publication Ethics (III BRISPE), focusing on Institutional Practices for the Promotion of Scientific Integrity and Responsible Conduct in Research. The purpose of this event is to foster discussion and an exchange of experiences centered on the nature and conditions necessary for establishing and preserving research integrity.


Declaration of the 2013 Rio de Janeiro World Science Forum on Global Sustainable Development

6th World Science Forum, Rio de Janeiro, 2013



Scientists discuss science assessments and research integrity at Beijing workshop

The ICSU Committee on Freedom and Responsibility in the conduct of Science (CFRS), together with the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), held a workshop this week on the topic of "Science Assessment and Research Integrity", exploring how different methods of research assessment can be used to incentivize integrity in the conduct of science. The workshop had a special focus on the situation in emerging and rapidly developing science systems, such as China, Brazil and South Africa.

Scientists discuss science assessments and research integrity at Beijing workshop

On Wednesday, 9 April, around 60 scientists gathered at the Beijing International Convention Centre to learn about the intertwined issues of science assessment and research integrity. Several high-level speakers presented on the situation in China, including Zhang Yaping, Vice-President of CAS; Yang Wei, President of the National Natural Science Foundation of China and Mu Rongping, Director-General of the CAS Institute of Policy and Management and the Center for Innovation and Development. Speakers from Brazil and South Africa provided an international context for the discussion, and CFRS member Ashima Anand outlined how science assessment influences research integrity.