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Culture and Plagiarism

Because of problems with plagiarism in scientific journals, software developers have designed automated programs that check for similar blocks of text, which many journals now use before publishing a paper, says In the Pipeline's Derek Lowe. The first journal in China to sign up for one of these services, the Journal of Zhejiang University–Science, recently reported in Nature that a whopping 31 percent of manuscript submissions it has received since October 2008 contain "unoriginal material," Lowe says. The letter asks researchers and journal editors to be on the alert for plagiarism and "to work against cultural misunderstandings" as, the letter continues, Chinese students were traditionally told to copy the words of their masters. Cultural issues aside, Lowe also says the old publish-or-perish problem is rearing its ugly head in this case. He adds that publicizing the problem is the first step to fixing it.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.