China's research capacity has grown dramatically in the past decade, an expansion that is reshaping the landscape of global scientific investigation. This rapid growth has not necessarily been accompanied by an equally measured promotion of the cultural norms of the scientific enterprise. Most troubling is a lack of research integrity, which may hinder China's growth in original science, damage the reputation of Chinese academics, and dampen the impact of science developed in China.
An unhealthy research environment in China is being driven by several factors. In many research-intensive universities and institutions, competitive research grants constitute oversized fractions of their budgets, providing an economic incentive for ethical violations. Misconduct is also inadvertently encouraged by the use of quantitative rather than qualitative measures of merit, which can lure young scientists to climb the academic ladder by stepping outside ethical boundaries. Performance-based subsidiary income is a policy that can entice scientists to act unethically. And there is a talent hierarchy in academia that encourages scientists to overblow their findings