In a Policy Forum, Li Tang argues that China’s science funding system needs to play a larger role in curbing scientific misconduct and in improving Chinese research integrity. The Chinese science grant system, which is largely subsidized by government funding, plays an important role in supporting a rapidly growing research and development enterprise well situated to have a continued impact on the global science community. However, as illustrated by a growing number of retracted scientific publications by authors affiliated with Chinese institutions, it’s becoming widely recognized that these funding programs are also facilitating problematic or false science. According to Tang, unlike other nations, Chinese authors’ affiliated institutions may be reluctant to initiate and publicize misconduct investigations. Despite this, the Chinese scientific community has taken a proactive stance on research integrity over the last several years. Here, Tang identifies five barriers that need to be addressed in the ongoing mission to improve research integrity, which include limited sanction and enforcement tools as well as uncertainties on how punishments should be carried out and who should shoulder the responsibility. Tang also proposes several suggestions that could help ameliorate these issues and further strengthen a funding agency’s role in these efforts.
A role for funders in fostering China's research integrity
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