From what we understand running the paper (originally in Chinese) through Google Translate, the reviews were published in Takming University’s in-house journal, Deming Journal. The editorial board received an anonymous letter on November 3 accusing Jen-Chang Liu of duplicating — aka self-plagiarizing — three of the reviews.
The editorial board provided Liu with the documents, and together with another Takming professor, Mark Yeats, he wrote a refutation of each of the accusations. It was published on December 20 on Social Science Research Network, a preprint repository for academic works.
Here’s the English abstract for “Academic Ethics: Plagiarism, Anonymous Accusation, and Self-Plagiarism”:
Based on the experience of using textbooks, I found that some publishers were not due diligence in publishing textbooks of adequate quality, some of which are even suspicious of violating Copyright Act. Consequently, I wrote a series of articles criticizing textbooks in a hope that the publishers would incorporate my suggestions when revising the textbooks. This would enhance the textbook quality and lower the cost of revising textbooks. In addition, teachers providing critiques and suggestion get credit of providing academic contribution, and readers are benefited from improved quality and lower price. However, my proposal and action summon anonymous accusation to my University that three of my research works are suspected of self-plagiarism. The purpose of this article is to refute the mistaken message implied by the anonymous accuser. I will explicate self-plagiarism from academic perspective, different from the wrong interpretation of the media report provided by the anomymous accuser. I proclaim that the purpose of academia is the cumulation of knowledge and the practical contribution to the society. Most importantly, we must fulfill the rights of speech, lecture, and publishing granted by the Constitution, citizens and scholar should discuss and communicate openly and publicly, instead of sending anonymous accusation. It is procedurally immoral and irresponsible.
We’ve reached out to Liu and to Takming University, and will update if we find anything else out.
In the meantime, here’s our take on anonymous whistleblowers.
Hat tip: Rolf Degen