Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) yesterday said that he has never associated either privately or professionally with the academic who allegedly published articles in an international journal using fraudulent peer reviews.
The publisher of the Journal of Vibration and Control earlier this month withdrew 60 papers submitted by former professor Chen Chen-yuan (陳震遠), also known as Peter Chen, accusing him of creating false accounts to give his articles favorable peer reviews.
Five of the 60 papers had Chen’s twin brother, Chen Chen-wu (陳震武), listed as the main author, with Chiang and Chen Chen-yuan cited as cowriters.
Chen Chen-yuan was an associate professor at National Pingtung University of Education, but resigned in February after the university began to probe his peer review process at the request of the journal’s publisher.
Chiang told a press conference in Taipei yesterday afternoon that he respected the main author’s decision to list whomever he wants as a coauthor, but insisted that he had not been aware of the credits listed on the articles in question.
Saying that “a person’s integrity is their life,” Chiang said that his priority now is to get to the bottom of the matter, adding that only by working to clear the allegations up can justice be served and the nation’s reputation in academic circles restored after those “who incurred the problems” apologize for their actions.
Chiang added that he would not shirk his responsibilities if an investigation into the matter implicates him in any fraudulent behavior.
Chen Chen-wu was also present at the press conference, where he backed the minister’s claim that there is no link between him and Chen Chen-yuan.
Chen Chen-wu said his brother and Chiang had only met on two occasions: In 2004 at Chen Chen-wu’s graduation from a doctoral program at National Central University, where Chiang served as his thesis advisor, and again at a science forum in Greater Kaohsiung when he asked his twin to say hello to the minister.
Chen Chen-wu said he had listed his brother as one of the writers without Chiang’s knowledge, adding that over the past 11 years, he has worked with the minister on 17 academic pieces, some of which were based on research he carried out with Chiang’s assistance and others that were written by Chiang’s students, but edited by him at his advisor’s request.
All of those papers listed Chiang as a cowriter, Chen Chen-wu said.
Chen Chen-wu said he had sought the opinion of his twin brother on some of the articles and therefore listed him as a coauthor, but reiterated that he had not informed Chiang of this. Chen Chen-wu said his academic advisor and his brother had never met to discuss the papers.
Chiang was employed at the university as a professor until 2012, when he was appointed minister of education.
Chen Chen-wu, a professor at the National Kaohsiung Marine University, enrolled in National Central University in 1999 to pursue a master’s degree and went on to doctorate studies, which he completed in 2004.