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.
Culture and Plagiarism
Sep 10, 2010