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Credibility Evaluation System to Curb Frauds
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China will set up a credibility evaluation system for scientists to curb the repeated frauds in the academic circle, said China's Minister of Science and Technology Xu Guanhua Tuesday.

At a meeting of China's top advisory body, Xu said China will improve the evaluation organizations in the academic circle and establish archives to record the scientists' mistakes and violation of regulations.

The evaluation in the academic circle should be authoritative and strict, Xu said in a report delivered at a meeting of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) National Committee.

China will record and evaluate the credibility of the research organs who apply for national scientific funds, Xu said.

Those scientists or research organizations who lose credibility will be warned and made public, Xu said.

He stressed that it is an important task for the academic circle to combat scientific fraud and misconduct.

"Although the number of scientific frauds is still small, its harm on China's scientific progress cannot be underestimated," Xu said.

The ministry will reform its evaluation and awarding system, improve administration on experts and strengthen supervision on the use of scientific funds to systematically curb the scientific misconduct, Xu added.

The meeting was chaired by Jia Qinglin, chairman of the CPPCC National Committee. One of the topics of the four-day meeting is to offer suggestions on increasing national creativity.

According to Xu, China's investment in science and technology will reach 71.6 billion yuan (US$8.95 billion) in 2006, up 19.2 percent over that in 2005. The scientific investment will be doubled in provinces including Liaoning, Shandong, Hubei and Hunan.

"The figure is very exciting," said Xu, adding that an environment encouraging creativity and innovation is coming into being.

But the scientific community is seriously concerned about how to allocate such large public funds. As the top agency overseeing the research fund allocation, the Ministry of Science and Technology disseminates about 30 percent of China's total R&D funds via conduits of national R&D programs.

Xu said his ministry will post information on inviting applications for state R&D projects online. Meanwhile, they will build databases of candidate researchers and expert panels, with their credit history.

(Xinhua News Agency July 5, 2006)

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