Instead of attributing research misconduct to an individual researcher’s lack of ethical integrity, recent scholarship in Science and Technology Studies has tended to link scientific fraud closely with the characteristics of specific fields, institutional and cultural systems of science (including the reward structure), and national politics concerning science. By analyzing the Hwang scandal in South Korea, the Obokata scandal in Japan, and the BMC retraction scandal in China, this issue also highlights aspects of the unique social and cultural environment of scientific research in East Asia, such as the strong state power over academic research, the weak culture of self-regulation in research organizations, and the emphasis on international journal articles in research evaluation. In this way, each article demonstrates that research misconduct can be a valuable window for understanding the characteristics of institutional and cultural systems of science in each society. This issue also suggests that we should not only focus on traditional misconduct, which concerns fraudulent ways of producing scholarly publications, but also address new types of research misconduct: those that involve the rapid commercialization of science and/or target the publication system itself.
Read the introduction to the issue, made freely available.