SHENYANG, June 15 (Xinhua) -- A philosophy professor in northeast China has been investigated by his university for alleged involvement in academic plagiarism, a university official told Xinhua on Monday.
Lu Jierong, also the vice president of Liaoning University in Liaoning Province, was suspected of involvement of plagiarism in the case of a published paper by former student Yang Lun, according to Wang Shan, party chief of the university.
The case doesn't involve direct plagiarism by the professor but rather a failure to adequately supervise a student. The student allegedly copied from an earlier paper and asked Lu to edit the work, which the student said was entirely original -- although it was not.
The article "What is Theory?" was published by the domestic journal Philosophical Researches in late April carrying the names of Lu and Yang. It has, however, been confirmed to have copied from a 2002 essay by Wang Lingyun, a teacher at Yunnan University, published in 2004 on the web.
An initial investigation Monday found that Yang, who was studying at Beijing Normal University for a doctorate after receiving bachelor's and master's degrees at Liaoning University, asked Lu to help him edit some papers for his approaching graduation.
Lu edited and returned two articles, including "What is Theory?"
Lu allowed Yang to publish that article with his name in the journal after getting Yang's promise that he wrote the article himself.
However, on June 12, the original writer Wang Lingyun happened to read the article in the journal and found his work had been plagiarized.
He told the Oriental Morning Post newspaper and demanded an apology from Lu and Yang and economic compensation.
Lu read the newspaper report Monday and called Yang, who admitted that he copied the article from the web, said Wang Shan.
Lu should share the responsibility of oversight while Yang should take direct responsibility, said Wang, citing the initial investigation.
"The university authority is not considering punishment of Lu over the incident but has reminded him to pay more attention to students' work in the future," said Wang.
Paper plagiarism was bad academic behavior and a matter of ethics, said Qu Jianwu, a party officer with the provincial universities' working committee.
The existing Chinese education system pushed university students and professors to pursue "academic fast food" as they produced papers either for graduation, promotion or research funding, said Jiang Jun, president of Liaoning Radio and TV University.
Some students started papers before they had done enough preliminary work, and tutors with a dozen students to look after were not always able to offer timely help, leaving opportunities for plagiarism.