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中国每10篇生物医学类论文有4篇涉嫌学术不端 精选

已有 9960 次阅读 2017-9-26 09:29 |系统分类:科研笔记

编者按:我们团队分别在2010年和2015年对在公司注册的中国生物医学科研工作者进行了问卷调查,了解他们对我国科研工作中存在的学术不端行为的看法。该研究结果于今年3月发表在《科学与工程伦理》(Scienceand Engineering Ethics)杂志上,引起了多方关注[1]。应RetractionWatch特邀记者MarkZastrow的邀请,该文的共同通讯作者夏华向教授和何华女士接受了MarkZastrow的电话采访[2]

Retraction Watch

撤稿监察

Four in 10 biomedical papers out ofChina are tainted by misconduct, says new survey

一项新的调查估计:中国每10篇生物医学类论文有4篇涉嫌学术不端

Chinese biomedical researchers estimatethat 40% of research in their country has been affected in some way bymisconduct, according to a new survey.

根据一项新的调查,中国生物医学研究人员估计中国有40%的研究在某种程度上受到学术不端行为的影响。

The authors are quick to cautionagainst putting too much stock in this figure due to the subjective nature ofthe survey, published in Science and Engineering Ethics. The estimatesalso spanned a wide range, with a standard deviation of ±24%. But they say thatthe responses to this question and others on the survey suggest that scientistsin the region feel academic misconduct remains a major problem that authoritieshave failed to adequately address. (Indeed, a recent analysis from Quartz usingRetraction Watch data showed that researchers based in China publish morepapers retracted for fake peer reviews than all other countries put together.)

此项调查结果发表在《科学与工程伦理》(Science and Engineering Ethics)杂志上。由于调查类研究的主观性,同时也由于估计的范围比较广(标准差达到±24%),作者们提醒不要过于关注这个数字(40%)。但是,他们同时指出,从对问卷上的这一问题和其他问题的回复来看,生物医学研究人员认为学术不端行为依然是一个尚未被有关管理部门足够重视的重大问题。(事实上,Quartz近期通过调取撤稿监察的数据所进行的一项的研究表明,中国的研究者因为虚假评审而遭到撤稿的论文数比其他所有国家加在一起还要多。)

The survey was designed by employeesat Medjaden, a Hong Kong-based editing company that assists mainland Chinesebiomedical researchers publishing in English-language journals. They invitedall of their registered users by email to complete two surveys—roughly 10,000users in 2010 and 15,000 in 2015. Like most online surveys, this one had a lowresponse rate—around 5%, so caveats about sampling bias apply.

这项研究是由美捷登(Medjaden)的工作人员设计和完成的。美捷登是一家注册在香港、致力于协助中国大陆生物医学研究者将科研论文发表在英文期刊上的编辑公司。他们使用邮件邀请了所有美捷登公司的注册用户,分别于2010年(约10000个用户)和2015年(约15000个用户)完成了两次调查。如同大部分的网上调查一样,这份调查的回复率较低(在5%左右),所以可能存在样本偏倚性的问题。

Study co-author Hua He, who is alsoMedjaden’s CEO, said:

该文的共同通讯作者、美捷登的CEO何华说:

To be very honest, no one can reallyknow the actual statistics. And the data we collected from surveys are based onpersonal experience or subjective individual perception. [...] So I wouldsuggest we look at the data not literally, but rather use them as an indicatorto draw a bigger picture.

实事求是地说,没有一个人知道确切的统计数字。我们问卷的数据来自于个人的经验或者是个人主观的感受……所以我希望大家审慎地对待这个数据,最好将它作为管中窥豹的一个指标。

This bigger picture, she said, showsthat perceptions among biomedical researchers have changed little between 2010and 2015—despite Chinese authorities’ efforts to crack down on academicmisconduct. Overall, 55% of respondents thought that academic conduct was“serious,” “very serious,” or “extremely serious,” and 71% thought thatauthorities were paying little to no attention to the issue. Roughly as manythought that punishments for academic misconduct were too lenient.

从更高的层面上来看,尽管中国有关管理部门已经做出了很大努力来打击学术不端行为,生物医学研究者们的认知从2010年到2015年几乎没有转变。她说。总体来说,在参加调查的研究者中,55%认为学术不端问题是严重的非常严重的,或者极其严重的71%认为管理部门对于这一问题关注度较低。许多被调查者认为对于学术不端行为的惩罚力度过于温柔。

The survey also shows that scientistsstrongly feel authorities have done little to address the underlyingpublish-or-perish environment that breeds misconduct; 72% thought that reformsto current systems of academic assessment was the most important measure, withonly 13% prioritizing stronger systems of monitoring for misconduct.

这项调查同时也表明,科学家们强烈地认为管理部门没有花大力气来改善不发表就出局Publish-or-perish)的环境,而正是这个环境催生了学术不端行为;72%的被调查者认为改革现有的科研评价体系是一项最重要的举措,而仅有13%的人认为更应优先强化对学术不端行为的监管体系。

Hua He told us:

何华告诉我们:

We think the most important factorthought to be associated with scientific misconduct, which is the academicassessment system in China, has to be fundamentally solved to tackle thisproblem. So I think the main problem largely remains.

我们认为,与学术不端行为相关的最重要的一个因素是中国的科研评价体系,而要解决学术不端行为问题就要从根本上改革科研评价体系。所以,我认为这个主要问题还会存在一段时间。

The forms of misconduct that were mostconcerning to respondents—ahead of falsification, fabrication, andduplication—were plagiarism (25%) and the “inclusion of someone withoutpermission or contribution in the authorship” (28%).

被调查者提到最常见的学术不端的形式是抄袭(占比25%)和将没有得到许可或没有任何贡献的人列为作者(占比28%),它们的比例超过歪曲和伪造数据以及重复发表的比例。

The latter encompasses two behaviors,the first of which is putting more famous names on the author list withoutpermission to enhance a paper’s credibility. But the bulk of cases in thiscategory—roughly 70%, estimates study co-author and Medjaden editor-in-chiefHua-Xiang Xia —refers to adding names to the author list as a favor.

而后一种(即将没有得到许可或没有贡献的人列为作者)包括两种行为,一种是未经允许将一位名人列为作者以增加论文的可信度;另一种是将没有贡献的人列为作者作为一种人情。据本文的共同作者、美捷登的主编夏华向估计,后一种行为更常见,大约占70%

This is known as “gift authorship,”said education policy researcher Shuangye Chen of East China Normal Universityin Shanghai, who was not involved in Medjaden’s study. Although academicauthorship back-scratching can happen anywhere and is often regarded as simplecourtesy, she said,

It’s more complicated in the Chinesecontext. [...] They try to do it as a kind of collective. They know thatsomeone who is [up for promotion] needs this kind of paper or authorship. Theywould gift this kind of authorship, not as an individual act, but to benefitthe whole group or the whole lab.

上海华东师范大学教育政策研究员Shuangye Chen(并未参与美捷登的调查)将这种行为称为礼赠性作者署名。她说虽然这种学术作者署名的问题会在任何地方发生,并通常被认为只是出于一种简单的礼节,但在中国则更为复杂。……… 他们试图将这种作法作为集体化的体现。当他们知道某人[由于晋升职称]需要这类论文或作者署名时,他们会赠与这种作者署名,这不是某个人的行为,而是为了使整个团队或实验室获益。

This practice has a darker side whenentrenched lab hierarchies and power dynamics deny first author status tojunior researchers who did the bulk of the work in favor of more seniorresearchers.

在根深蒂固的实验室等级制度和权力动态情况下,有时为了照顾更高级研究人员的利益而使得做了大量研究工作的初级研究人员不能成为第一作者。此时,这一行为就具有更加黑暗的一面。

Chen told us she thinks the study’sfigure of 40% is significantly inflated from reality due to the low responserate, citing Chinese studies that suggest its more around 20%. But she agreedthat reforming academic assessments is key to stemming the tide of misconduct.

Chen提到,由于回复率较低,她认为这项研究中的40%这一个数值显然比实际夸大了。她引用了几项中国的研究,显示这一数值更倾向于在20%左右。但是她认可科研评价体系的改革是遏制学术不端行为的关键。

We are in a stage of trying to pushand press those young scholars, especially, to publish more and higher qualitypapers. Otherwise we wouldn’t have this kind of survival crisis. Being underthat kind of high pressure is most conducive to academic misconduct.

我们目前正处于一个极力推动和逼迫年轻学者,特别是要他们发表更多和更高质量论文的时期。否则,我们就不会有这种生存危机了。但在那种高压之下更易滋生学术不端行为。

Xia argued that although the responserate is low, those motivated to respond may be a relatively neutral group ofactive researchers:

夏(华向)解释道:虽然回复率很低,但那些积极响应者可能是相对中立的、而且仍然在研的那一群研究人员。

We’re getting firsthand informationbecause they are true biomedical researchers. The response rate is only 5 or6%, but I think the people who did respond to us are those who wanted to sharetheir real perceptions.

我们得到的是第一手数据,因为他们是真正的生物医学研究者。虽然回应率只有5-6%,但我认为这些回应者是那些愿意分享他们真实感受的人。

But still, those are only perceptionsof misconduct rates—not data on misconduct itself—so both he and studyco-author Hua He also warned against overinterpreting the 40% figure.

不过,这些只是对学术不端比例的感受,并不是学术不端本身的数据,所以夏(华向)和他的共同作者何华也提醒大家不要过度解读40%这个数据。

This pressure to publish inEnglish-language journals included in Thomson Reuters’ Science Citation Index(SCI) has given rise to editing companies like Medjaden in China. As our loyalreaders know, some of these companies have been caught in unsavory practices inrecent years. These include selling authorships (as covered by Science‘sMara Hvistendahl) and creating fake reviewers to whisk manuscripts through peerreview (which we reported on for Nature). These have led to massretractions,like Springer’s recent batch of 107papers retracted from a single journal.

在汤森路透的科学英文索引(SCI)的英文期刊上发表论文的压力在中国催生了许多像美捷登这样的编辑公司。我们的忠实读者都知道,有些公司近年来被发现有一些不当的行为,包括被《科学》(Science)杂志的Mara Hvistendahl揭露的买卖论文作者署名和被《自然》(Nature)杂志揭露的伪造虚假同行评审。这些都导致了大量的撤稿,比如斯普林格(Springer)最近从同一份杂志上撤下了107篇论文。

Xia told us:

夏(华向)告诉我们:

This has seriously jeopardized theimage and reputation of scientific editing in China. [...] Those companies,they have not been punished. The researchers, they are cheated.

这已经严重损害了中国科学编辑(行业)的形象和声誉……那些编辑公司还没有受到任何惩罚,而研究人员还在受到(这些公司的)欺骗。

The Chinese Association for Scienceand Technology (CAST) and other government organizations even issued guidelinesfor Chinese researchers last year that told them not to use third-partyservices in writing or submitting papers.

中国科学技术协会(CAST)和其他的政府机构去年甚至给中国研究者发布了指导方针,告诫他们不要在论文撰写和投稿上使用第三方服务。

He and Xia told us that, to theirknowledge, none of the papers they’ve worked on have been retracted, andeditors will check original data and scan text for plagiarism whenever manuscriptsraise concerns.

何(华)和夏(华向)告诉我们,就他们所知,他们(美捷登)所负责编辑的论文没有一篇被撤稿。当对文稿有疑问时,(美捷登)的编辑会查看原始数据,并对文稿进行查重以检查文字是否存在抄袭。

Medjaden says it hopes to root outthese nefarious practices from their industry. In October 2015, Xia spearheadedthe formation of the Alliance for Scientific Editing in China (ASEC),consisting of Medjaden and five other editing companies with operations inChina. They adopted an editing code in line with standards from theinternational Committee on Publication Ethics.

美捷登表示,他们希望在编辑行业铲除这些恶劣行为。在201510月,夏(华向)率先倡导成立了由美捷登和其他五个业务在中国的编辑公司组成的中国英文科技论文编辑联盟(Alliance for Scientific Editing in China, ASEC)。他们采用的编辑规范与国际出版伦理委员会(COPE)标准一致。

Although it’s questionable how much ofa difference self-imposed discipline can make, Xia said ASEC also plans to pushfor structural reforms. In March, they met with COPE representatives in Beijingto strategize opening a dialog with Chinese authorities on academic assessmentreform.

尽管不知道这种自我约束能带来多大的改变,夏(华向)提到ASEC还计划推进结构性的改革。今年三月,他们同COPE的代表在北京见面,商讨如何开启与中国有关管理部门对话大门并探讨科研评价系统改革。

Xia told us:

The reason causing the misconduct isthe scientific assessment system. So we are trying to [change] that andhopefully with all this work, we can really help the scientists to do realresearch and publish quality papers.

夏(华向)告诉我们:造成学术不端行为的原因是科研评价体系。所以,我们正在致力于改变这个体系,同时也希望通过这些努力,我们能够切实地帮助科学家们做真研究,发好文章


参考文献:

[1] Liao QJ, Zhang YY, Fan YC, Zheng MH, Bai Y, EslickGD, He XX, Zhang SB, Xia HH, He H. Perceptions of Chinese BiomedicalResearchers Towards Academic Misconduct: A Comparison Between 2015 and 2010.Sci Eng Ethics. 2017 Apr 10. doi: 10.1007/s11948-017-9913-3.

[2] RetractionWatch. 2017. http://retractionwatch.com/2017/05/18/four-10-biomedical-papers-tainted-misconduct-chinese-scientists-say/.

(本文已获得Retraction Watch的翻译许可)

本文所涉及的数据请参考博文:学术不端行为:中国科研人员怎么看?


夏华向教授呕心沥血,倾情奉献....30年科研历程,500万科研经费,3项科技进步/发明奖,180余篇科研论文……由诺贝尔生理学或医学奖获得者Barry Marshall教授,American Journal of Gastroenterology前主编Nicholas J. Talley教授,JAMA杂志副主编Edward H. Livingston教授,New England Journal of Medicine编委照日格图教授联合作序力荐!《一本通》是生物医学科研工作者最实用的论文写作与发表工具书,更是医药健康企业馈赠合作机构和关键客户的超值选择。

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