Japan’s Education Ministry will be requiring graduate students and researchers to undergo ethics training in light of recent allegations of plagiarism from Japanese scientists in high-profile papers published in journals. The most recent case is that of the groundbreaking stem cell production paper that the Riken Institute published in Nature earlier this year but later on retracted because of the allegations.
The ministry expressed concern that the researchers don’t have enough background when it comes to ethics in academic paper writing and so they have to be taught as early as possible. They will be partnering with the Science Council of Japan as well as other relevant organizations to go to universities and ensure that the basics of ethics in academic writing is being taught. They will also check if these institutions have code of ethics that are shared with the academic body and also establish guidelines on proper reporting for misconduct.
The ministry will be revising their guidelines on this as well as early as May. They will also impose penalties for the universities and institutions that will not comply with the new training requirements, like reducing by 15% their personnel costs for research programs. They will also be required a certain number of days to report on any alleged misconduct and if they fail to report it within that period, they will be asked to give proper explanation for the delay.
[ via Nikkei ]