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First Lecture Given by Member of the CAS--- Zhang Qifa

“This April, the international journal Tumor Biology retracted 107 papers from China in total, the amount of which is indeed shocking,” Zhang Qifa, the member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and director of HZAU Academic Committee, sighed at the first lecture to HZAU 2017 graduate freshmen on September 3.

Following the practice of HZAU formed in 2016, the first lesson for graduate freshmen lectured by Zhang will focus on ‘Norms of Science and Ethics of Academics’ instead of the textbooks.

This is the second time for Pro. Zhang to give lecture to the new graduate students. To help the new blood to churn out academic papers to the mark, he was revising the ppt a few minutes before he came to the stage.

“I intended to introduce the retraction issue to the lecture but only to find it too overfilled”, said Mr. Zhang. Although the Ministry of Science and Technology announced the investigation result of the retraction incident on June 14, so far, no punishment has been meted out to the individuals by institutions who were dragged into the scandals by their academic misconduct.

Can any institution be free of it?” questioned Zhang Qifa. He believes that it is inadvisable to wait for investigation of the authorities concerned when something bad happened. Every legal entity should assume the responsibility of punishing academic misconduct.

As one of the eleven pilot units on scientific ethics and academic norms education, HZAU has issued and implemented Academic Norms of HZAU, Provisional Measures to Academic Misconduct of HZAU, Rules of the Punishment on Academic Misconduct of HZAU and other regulations since 2014.

The three documents clearly define the academic misdeeds in the form of dictionary entry and detail the corresponding punishment of violators.

Zhang Qifa admits that academic dishonesty occasionally happened in the past, troubling the administrators a lot. Since the implementation of the new regulations 3 years ago, few people dare to violate the rules , which lessens his job as the director of HZAU Academic Committee.

We always stressed the ‘zero tolerance’ and harsh punishment toward academic cheating in the past, but how to operate remains unclear.” Zhang considers that it is the lack of workable operation that makes many regulations ineffective, thus making it easy for some to exploit the loopholes.

Then inspired by the traffic regulations, Prof. Zhang proposes that detailing the academic dishonesty punishments as the traffic rules do will be operative as well as deterrent. Once violating, one will get pigeon-holing punishment.

So far Zhang Qifa has introduced the innovative ‘Traffic-Rules Style’ Punishment System of Academic Misconduct of HZAU on many academic occasions in China, which receives recognition and recommendation from many peers and college governors. He says, although this original system is introduced by HZAU, he’s willing to spread with no consideration of copyright as it’s beneficial to all universities.