Plagiarism blight

0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, July 9, 2010
Adjust font size:

Wang Hui, a professor of Chinese at the Tsinghua University, has been criticized for lifting without citation several passages from other works for his dissertation on famed 20th century writer Lu Xun. His thesis was published in 1985 when he was a doctoral student at Nanjing University, and it subsequently became the basis for a book during the early 1990s.

Some Chinese have devised software to detect words or sentences plagiarized from other sources. This software has been installed in more than 20 institutions of higher learning since late 2008. Yet, cheating has become rampant in academic institutions despite an effective Copyright Law. Quite a few scandals have involved academics caught plagiarizing others' literary or academic work.

It is amply clear that the way to stop this practice is not by installing sophisticated software but by discouraging the cut-and-paste culture in academic circles.

The practice of plagiarism is a form of academic high treason because it undermines the entire scholarly enterprise, so says Canadian professor Irving Hexham.

To some Chinese intellectuals brought up in the Confucian tradition, plagiarism is not a crime but a well-established methodology - at least that is what some people believe. They say scholars must demonstrate their learning and marshal their arguments by copying copiously from the works of their scholastic forbearers.

This is an incorrect view. The Confucian tradition definitely does not justify plagiarism.

Though the Ministry of Education claims zero tolerance for inappropriate acts including plagiarism, it is by now evident that the nation needs better regulations to counter the practice in academia.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comments

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from