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How to Solve a Problem Like Plagiarism

A short while ago, a scientific journal in China found that 31 percent of its submissions since October 2008 contained plagiarized material. Now, says In the Pipeline's Derek Lowe, the Chinese government has stepped in to drain the "swamp" that is journal publishing in China. By January 2011, the government says, new regulations will be in place to "terminate weak journals," adds David Cyranoski at Nature. How the reform will be accomplished has yet to be determined, as will the consequences for any journals found to be "weak." Strong journals will receive support from the government, such as tax breaks, Cyranoski says. The news "startled" many publishers, he says, but the government says the reforms are necessary to turn China into "a powerful science and technology publisher." Lowe adds that while reforms are certainly necessary, he worries about the way they're being accomplished. "This sit-still-while-we-fix-you approach may work in the short term, but if there's a demand for the Journal of Our Results (from authors, if not readers), then won't such titles just spring back up again under different names?" he asks.

The Scan

NFTs for Genome Sharing

Nature News writes that non-fungible tokens could be a way for people to profit from sharing genomic data.

Wastewater Warning System

Time magazine writes that cities and college campuses are monitoring sewage for SARS-CoV-2, an approach officials hope lasts beyond COVID-19.

Networks to Boost Surveillance

Scientific American writes that new organizations and networks aim to improve the ability of developing countries to conduct SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.

Genome Biology Papers on Gastric Cancer Epimutations, BUTTERFLY, GUNC Tool

In Genome Biology this week: recurrent epigenetic mutations in gastric cancer, correction tool for unique molecular identifier-based assays, and more.