In the latest set of measures put forth by President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption initiative, the Chinese government introduced at the end of May a new set of regulations to improve research quality in the country. Over the past 20 years, the government has attempted to restructure the scientific research system to weed out fraudulent publications and enhance the quality of its science with little to no success; however, the new set of regulations is much stricter and are expected to be more effective. A key deterrent for Chinese researchers is the blacklist that the Chinese government will compile of "predatory journals" that the government deems as low quality and set up solely for profit. If a researcher publishes in one of these blacklisted journals, they will receive a warning and will not be credited for the publication when they apply for grants and jobs. An even worse situation for researchers is if they use government grants to pay for the publication fees in these journals, which is a common practice. In most countries, including China, institutions are usually responsible for investigating any allegations against its own researchers, which has thus far proved to be largely ineffective, as institutions generally prefer not to tarnish their reputations. With this new set of regulations, however, China is appointing the federal science ministry to investigate scientific misconduct. Not only is the government assigning investigations to another government body, but additionally, any institutions that attempt to protect scientists engaging in misconduct may be punished through lost funding. Source: Nature

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