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A Chinese Scientist Calls to Reopen the Plagiarism Case
Against Dr Burton's Student

29 September 2010

by Ray Li

It takes a person's capability and appreciation of both Chinese and English languages to find out whether Fang Zhouzi (Shimin) has committed plagiarism.

(1) Firstly, let's read the Science magazine's response to the accusation:

“Although I do not read or speak Chinese, I have had access to an English version of Fang's article, translated by an independent source.

“We believe that Fang's article would not be considered acceptable journalism in the United States. He did not give the names of the researchers who carried out the research or the journal in which it was published, nor did he include quotes from other scientists. All these aspects would be essential for a journalistic article in a US publication.

“However, a charge of plagiarism would be difficult to uphold since Fang did say the work was performed by researchers at Princeton University, and--unless the translation I have is wrong--he neither implied that the work was his own by writing in the first person nor directly copied the language in the Science paper. ”

(2) Except Fang Zhouzi himself, there is no one else having defended Fang from his plagiarism charge. All we heard so far are just some excuses from Fang and his supporters appeared on his own website, and those supporters' real names are never revealed.

(3) There are a number of Chinese scholars and professors voiced publicly that Fang did have committed plagiarism, and many have compared his article and that of the original one published on the Science magazine word-by-word. These professors include 刘华杰,Liu Huajie, professor of Beijing University, 田松,Tian Song, professor of Beijing Normal University, 赵记军,Zhao Jijun, professor of Dalian University of Science and Technology,just to names a few.

(4) One of the books with detailed analysis of Fang's plagiarism case has been published online and can be viewed at the following address:

(5) This book also discloses the details about how Fang and his supporters keep attacking Xiao in all these years. Since its first release, the book has been downloaded by a great number of people, including many bloggers at, which is a website hosting forums and blogs for thousands of scientists and professors in China.

(6) Because of the evidences exposed in the book, more and more scientists become to realize that Fang Shimin had been pulled wool over their eyes for so long. One of such bloggers is a PhD candidate at Chinese Academy of Sciences, whose blog won a website's top award:

(7) I would like to urge those who are still confused over the issue or are still supporting Fang to spend some time to read this book.

I am a Chinese scientist trained both in China and the United States. I wish to see the improvement of academic culture in China, thus I feel hard to put up with the attack on and insult of numerous outstanding Chinese scientists including Dr. Xiao by Fang and his website.

I strongly urge Science magazine to review Fang's plagiarism case by appointing a panel of at least 3 scholars with good knowledge of both English and Chinese. It will help determine the nature of Fang's plagiarism offence.

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