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May 30, 2017

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Chiang shows journal's response to prove his innocence

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Former Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) yesterday said that an email from the Journal of Vibration and Control shows that he is a victim in the recent academic fraud scandal.

Chiang announced his resignation on Monday in order to defend his personal reputation and to avoid affecting policy promotion after it was alleged that he was involved in academic fraud involving National Pingtung University associate professor Peter Chen Chen-yuan (陳震遠), whose 60 academic articles were withdrawn by an international journal; Chiang is listed as a co-author on five of the 60 academic articles.

Chiang issued a statement yesterday, saying that the Journal of Vibration and Control emailed him back and confirmed that the academic articles were withdrawn because the reviewing process of the articles was questionable.

According to Chiang, some local media accused him and the research team of plagiarism, which damaged his reputation.

According to Chiang's statement, the Journal of Vibration and Control wrote in an email that they can confirm that the papers were not retracted as a result of plagiarism, but they cannot comment on the content and quality of the retracted papers due to the fact that they were not assessed in line with appropriate, correct and quality peer review standards.

According to Chiang's statement, the Journal of Vibration and Control said that they are able to clarify that they believe there are innocent parties involved, which may include many of those listed as co-authors, such as Chiang.

The Journal of Vibration and Control also said that the submitting author on Chiang's manuscripts did not provide an accurate contact email address for Chiang on the papers and therefore it appears that he did not receive the correspondence which is sent to all authors and co-authors notifying them of the retractions, according to Chiang.

Ministry of Education (MOE) Chief Secretary Wang Tso-tai (王作臺) said that media reports suggested plagiarism when reporting about the academic fraud scandal, and he expressed that a scholar's reputation should not be damaged in such a manner.

Wang said that everyone should wait until a third party finishes the investigations before commenting on the case.

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

Five of the 60 papers were written by Chen's twin brother C.W. Chen and bore Chiang's name as a co-writer — without Chiang's approval — but also listed Peter Chen as one of the writers, according to Wang.

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