Amid a series of research misconduct cases involving universities and research institutions in the nation, such as the recent controversy over articles on stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency (STAP) cells, there is increasing criticism over insufficient investigations into suspected research misconduct.
For example, an investigative panel at Waseda University probed the work of Haruko Obokata, a unit leader at government-backed research institute RIKEN, who is at the center of the scandal over STAP cells. It said there was no need for the university to retract her doctorate although the panel admitted the doctoral thesis contained misconduct and irregularities.
Meanwhile, RIKEN's internal investigative committee that was in charge of reviewing the STAP articles had overly narrowed down the range of issues to be covered, raising one new doubt after another since its investigation was closed.
These cases shed light on the lenient attitude of research institutions and universities toward their colleagues and fellow researchers.
"I can never go along with such a result. Japan's academics will lose trust if this goes on," a Waseda professor in a department related to science and technology said with anger after the university's investigative panel announced its final report on the probe of Obokata's doctoral thesis Thursday.
The panel identified intentional misconduct in six parts of Obokata's thesis, including the fact that text on 20 pages-about one-fifth of the entire thesis-were copied from the website of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, while also pointing out a total of 20 irregularities such as fraudulent use of images.
About 60 pct of teachers at public junior high schools in Japan worked at least 60 hours per week in fiscal 2016, beyond the dividing line used by the state for determining death from overwork, an education ministry survey revealed Friday. (Jiji)
The Tokyo High Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by three former school teachers who claimed it was unreasonable they were banned from working part time after retirement because they had in the past refused to stand and sing the national anthem. (Japan Times)
Princess Kako, a granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, will study at the University of Leeds in Britain from September this year to June next year as an exchange student, the Imperial Household Agency said Monday. (Japan Today)
Japan again saw a record number of minors falling victim to crimes such as molestation through the use of social media last year, with many of those affected having had unrestricted Internet access, police data released Thursday showed. (Japan Today)
Japanese 15-year-olds may top their international peers in science and math, but when it comes to a sense of satisfaction with their lives, they rank near the bottom, according to a first-ever global assessment of student well-being released Wednesday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (Japan Times)
The man arrested over the death of a 9-year-old Vietnamese girl in Chiba Prefecture had been seen talking to the victim while he was on patrol duty near her school, investigative sources said Saturday. (Japan Times)