Oct 14, 2012

Vietnam - Workshop on a revolutionist shows the “plagiarism disaster” in Vietnam

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VietNamNet Bridge – Even scientists with doctoral degrees and well-known researchers have also been found as making plagiary or copying text from others’ findings.

Historians distort history…

On October 5, a scientific workshop on the revolutionist Chau Van Liem (June 29, 1902 – June 4, 1930) was organized in An Giang province on the occasion of the 110th his birthday anniversary.

The workshop would have caught the attention from history experts, because this was a scientific workshop, where researchers were expected to present their findings about the well-known revolutionist.

However, the workshop has become a special event in the eyes of educators because of too many big problems in the reports presented there.

According to the organization board, there were 46 reports to be presented at the workshop. Of these, many reports show terrible problems. They were either copied from unreliable sources, misspelled the names of the parents of the forefather revolutionist, or showed wrong information.

Scientists all agree that it is easy to access the materials about the revolutionist, because his life and achievements have been recorded in history. Therefore, one could not imagine that the reports presented at the workshop were so terrible with wrong and confusing information.

Regarding Chau Van Liem’s education, Dr Dang Phong Vu from the Ton Duc Thang Political School, MA Le Thanh Dung from the Dong Thap University, MA Vo Thanh Hung from the Southwest Region Steering Committee) all believed that after finishing the village school, he left for the Collège de Cantho – now Chau Van Liem High School, where he got the “thanh chung” degree (a kind of degree existing in the French ruled period) in 1922 before he finished the Dong Duong (Indochina) pedagogical school in 1924.

However, historians believe that Chau Van Liem could not get the thanh chung degree in 1922, because Collège de Cantho only opened the first training course in 1921.

Meanwhile, there was no pedagogical school named Dong Duong at that time.

While the official history reports that Chau Van Liem laid down his life for the motherland on June 4, 1930, Ho Thi Hong Chi from the An Giang provincial History Science Association still wrote on his report that it was May 4, 1930.

There were too many different figures about the number of people attending the demonstration organized by Chau Van Liem before his death, thus making people confused. Some scientists believed that there were 1000 or 1500 people at the demonstration, while other said 5000 or 10,000.

… and making plagiarism

It seems that the historians were very “creative” when giving new names to Chau Van Liem’s parents. Official history sources report that Chau Van Liem is the son of Mr Chau Khac Chan and Tran Thi To. However, Thai Tri Hai, a panel speaker, believed that they were Chau Van Chan and Tran Thi Toi. Especially, Vo Thanh Hung, MA, gave a completely new name Tran Khac Chuan.

However, this is just the “tip of the iceberg.” The terrible mistakes were found only on the reports presented at the workshop. Meanwhile, according to Dr Ngo Quang Lang, Deputy Chair of the An Giang History Science Association, 65 articles by 68 authors were sent to the workshop, but 19 articles, or nearly 30 percent, were not accepted.

Explaining this, Lang said that the organization board found clear evidences that the reports were copied from other sources, plagiarized from other scientists’ finds. Especially, some of the reports were found as containing “strangely similar” with the ones on Internet.

Thu Uyen

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