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September 20, 2017

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Science Ministry may summon Chiang

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) Deputy Minister Lin Yi-bing (林一平) yesterday said his ministry has kicked off an "ethics review mechanism" to look into the recent academic scandal, noting that the MOST does not rule out the possibility of demanding that former Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) explain the incident.

Chiang yesterday morning tendered his resignation over his connection to local scholar Peter Chen Chen-yuan (陳震遠) who had 60 research papers retracted from the Journal of Vibration and Control (JVC) — an international scientific journal — because of alleged academic fraud. Chiang was listed as co-author of five of the pulled papers.

Lin said the MOST will demand that Peter Chen and his twin brother C.W. Chen (Chen Chen-wu, 陳震武) clarify whether or not Peter Chen created false accounts online in order to forge peer reviews or even plagiarized the contents of his published articles.

Lin further said that as the MOST funded Peter Chen's research to the tune of about NT$5.08 million, his ministry will complete an investigation this week to determine if his research is related to the retracted articles.

Lin said the MOST will write to the JVC requesting a detailed outline of the reasons the papers were withdrawn.

The deputy minister went on to say that this is the first case ever in Taiwan of a local scholar allegedly forging peer reviews, noting that the MOST may have to revise its academic ethics regulations based on Peter Chen's case.

According to the MOST's regulations, an academic ethics review committee is convened by a MOST deputy minister and is formed by nine to 15 members. The committee members are college professors, research assistants from various research institutes and domestic legal experts.

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