Academic Cheating: China and India need to clean up their acts

The number of scientific research papers published in India stood at 22,215 in 2007, up from 11,067 a decade earlier.  Chinese academies published a similar number of papers in 1997 — 12,632 but that figure had leapt to 67,433 by 2007.  China in 2007 contributed8.6 percent of the world’s scientific papers while India produced 2.4 percent.




Publish or perish is the prevailing paradigm in both countries and plagiarism, data manufacture and manipulation and just downright cheating are endemic to academia. (Plagiarism is rampant in the Indian movie industry and in book publishing as well so academia merely reflects the society at large).

Where cases of plagiarism come to light as with the recent high profile case of plagiarism in reports on GM crops or the cases of plagiarism at IIT-Kanpur, the whitewash committees soon swing into action. Even if sometimes suspended, it does not take long for the parties involved to regain their former positions. CYA prevails.

But the solution does not lie just with correcting institutional processes and better monitoring. A fundamental change in institutional and personal standards of ethics  is required. Academia will need to lead society and not just be sheep.

Just some of the recent cases of academic plagiarism in India and China are given below:


  1. Plagiarism: a scourge afflicting the Indian science
  2. Plagiarism plagues India’s genetically modified crops
  3. Biotechnology Advances retracts 3 papers from India for plagiarism
  4. Scientific plagiarism in India
  5. We must restore scientific integrity in Indian research
  6. In India, plagiarism is on the rise
  7. Call for Indian plagiarism watchdog
  8. Copycats from IIT-Kanpur?


  1. Do plagiarism, fraud, and retractions make it more difficult trust research from China?
  2. Rampant Fraud Threat to China’s Brisk Ascent.
  3. Scientists behaving badly; Recent events show China needs to clean up its scientific act.
  4. Academic corruption undermining higher education: Yau Shing-tung.
  5. CHINA: Universities fail to tackle plagiarism.
  6. In China, academic cheating is rampant; Some say practice harmful to nation.
  7. CHINA: Professor sacked for academic plagiarism
  8. Nearly half of China’s science workers think academic cheating is “common”.

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