Disgraced scholar issues apology statement

Taipei, July 13 (CNA) A Taiwanese scholar implicated in a peer review and citation ring issued a statement Sunday offering his apology to Taiwan's education minister and others involved in the alleged academic scandal. Peter Chen, former associate professor of National Pingtung University of Education, admitted to his "indiscreet practice" of using Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling's name in some of the papers he contributed to the Journal of Vibration and Control without Chiang's knowledge. The publisher of the Journal of Vibration and Control earlier this month withdrew 60 papers by Chen, accusing him of creating false accounts to subvert the peer review process. Five of the 60 papers, written by C.W. Chen, Peter's brother, bore Chiang's name as a co-writer but also listed Peter Chen as one of the writers, without Chiang's knowledge, C.W. Chen said. The mere implication of Chiang's name in the alleged international academic scandal has triggered calls for Chiang to step down, who said he will not shirk his responsibility if found to be respopnsible for the matter. C.W. Chen also offered an open apology to Chiang, his former thesis advisor, acknowledging that the papers in question bore Chiang's name without Chiang having been informed in advance because they were a continuation of research on subjects related to his thesis. "It was my decision," C.W. Chen said. In a press conference earlier in the day, C.W. Chen said the minister did not have any links to his now disgraced bother Peter Chen. C.W. Chen said his brother and Chiang had met on two occasions only -- once in 2004 on his graduation from a doctoral degree program at National Central University (NCU) where Chiang was his advisor, and again at a science forum in Kaohsiung when he asked his brother to say hello to Chiang. C.W. Chen, a professor at the National Kaohsiung Marine University, entered NCU in 1999 to pursue a master's degree and went on to study for a doctorate that he completed in 2004. Peter Chen 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 publisher of the Journal of Vibration and Control. (By Cheng CHi-feng, Chen Chih-chung, Hsu Chih-wei and S.C. Chang)