BEIJING — China issued guidelines on May 30 to strengthen scientific integrity, encourage innovation and scale heights in science and technology, to lay a solid social and cultural foundation for building the country into a world scientific power.
A scientific integrity mechanism will be built to encourage innovation and tolerate trials and errors while maintaining zero tolerance for severe academic dishonesty, and anyone who violates the integrity rules will be held accountable by law, according to a document released by the General Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council.
China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) will take the leading responsibility in coordinating and managing the work of scientific integrity in the fields of science and social sciences respectively.
According to the guidelines, MOST and CASS plan to build an integrity information system to record and assess conduct of scientists and scientific institutions across the country.
The guidelines strictly prohibit practices such as plagiarism, fabrication of data and research conclusions, ghost-writing, and peer review manipulation.
The guidelines say great efforts will be made to reform the scientific research evaluation system, making scientific integrity an important indicator in various evaluations.
Papers, patents, titles, projects, and honors should not be taken as the restricting qualifications for evaluation, according to the guidelines.
MOST also plans to build a journal warning mechanism to put any domestic or international academic journals that ignores academic quality while seeking high payments onto a blacklist, and papers published in such journals will not be recognized in any kind of assessment.
The guidelines say intermediary service agencies which engaged in illegal activities such as buying and selling scientific papers, ghost writing, and forging, fabrication, and distorting research data, will be punished severely.
Those who are found to have committed academic misconduct will be banned from teaching or doing any kind of research work in government-run schools and scientific institutions. Their research grants will be canceled and honors revoked, according to the guidelines.
The guidelines encourage Chinese researchers to conduct exchanges and cooperation with relevant countries and international organizations, strengthen study on scientific integrity, jointly improve international norms of scientific research, and positively cope with transnational cases regarding scientific integrity, the guidelines say.