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Prosecutors start investigation into academic scandal

TAIPEI -- Prosecutors launched an investigation Monday into allegations that a local scholar with ties to the education minister published articles in an international journal based on bogus peer reviews he cooked up himself.

Peter Chen, a former associate professor of National Pingtung University of Education who left over the scandal, may face forgery charges if the allegation is proven true, according to the Pingtung District Prosecutors Office.

The publisher of the international Journal of Vibration and Control earlier this month withdrew 60 papers by Chen, accusing him of creating a number of false accounts to subvert the peer review process.

Five of the 60 papers, written by C.W. Chen, Peter's brother, bore the name of Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling as a co-writer but also listed Peter Chen as one of the writers. Chiang, a professor at the time, has claimed no knowledge that Peter Chen's name had been added to the papers.

The mere implication of Chiang in the scandal has triggered calls for his resignation.

Peter Chen resigned from National Pingtung University of Education in February after the university began to probe his peer review process at the request of the journal publisher, SAGE Publications.

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