An Oxford University probe has ruled that Professor Anna Lora-Wainwright committed “serious” misconduct by failing to credit her Chinese collaborators sufficiently in her BBC award-winning book.
The university’s panel recommended that Lora-Wainwright , a professor of the human geography of China at Oxford, should made amendments to her book titled Resigned Activism: Living with Pollution in Rural China.
“The University is confident that policies on academic integrity have been applied as they would be in any case, and the action taken was robust and appropriate to the circumstances,” a University of Oxford spokesperson said.
The panel, in turn, pointed out that Lora-Wainwright’s approach was “characterised by carelessness and a lack of due diligence with regard to the intellectual contribution of others”. Even so, the panel concluded that she “did not intend to deceive or mislead” others.
In a letter seen by the website Times Higher Education (THE), Chinese professors, for their part, slammed Oxford University for failing to slap stricter sanctions against the professor.
“Is this because the victims of this misconduct are Chinese scholars?” they said, rejecting the sanctions as “unacceptable”
Professor Wang Wuyi specifically referred to “a double standard here,” adding that his colleagues think that “things would be different if the collaborators were from Europe or the US”.
In addition, the Chinese professors urged the university to annul Lora-Wainwright’s award and prod her to extend a full-fledged public apology.
This came after Lora-Wainwright faced an investigation following complaints over her failure to clarify the co-production of the work in her book.
Rejecting her claims that the credits were issued in a methodology section at the back of the book, the university panel specifically urged her to include the missing citations in the book.