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China's Fake Science Industry: How 'Paper Mills' Threaten Progress

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volumes of research journals on a library shelf

Chinese academics complain about the crushing pressure to publish to gain prized positions at research universities.

Chinese researchers have become some of the world's most prolific publishers of scientific papers. But experts say that China's impressive output masks systemic inefficiencies and an underbelly of low-quality and fraudulent research.

The world's scientific publishers are becoming increasingly alarmed by the scale of fraud. An investigation last year concluded: "The submission of suspected fake research papers . . . is growing and threatens to overwhelm the editorial processes of a significant number of journals."

Bernhard Sabel at Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg is one of many journal editors calling for "swift global action to restore the health of the scientific record and to prevent the erosion of trust in science."

Estimates of the extent of fake scientific output vary from 2 percent to 20 percent or more of published papers.

From Financial Times
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