University in Japan suspends professor one month for plagiarism

Hyogo University of Teacher Education

A professor at a Japanese teachers college has admitted to plagiarism, according to a university report, and was suspended for one month.

On Nov. 24, Hyogo University of Teacher Education announced the results of a misconduct investigation; according to the report, the professor confessed to plagiarizing in a paper.

We translated the notice and were able to learn a little bit about the investigation. Notably missing: both the professor’s and paper’s names.

Here’s how the investigation happened, according to the report:

On March 16, 2017 an anonymous third party conveyed their suspicions that a research paper by an associate professor may be plagiarized. An academic misconduct committee was immediately established to investigate the matter, and consequently, on Sept. 1, 2017 the respondent admitted to plagiarizing one research paper.

The only identifying information provided in the report is that it was a male associate professor in his 50s.

On March 17, a day after the university says it received the allegations, the blog Tantei File reported that Kazuki Yasuhara, an associate professor of student guidance and counseling at Hyogo, allegedly plagiarized from Wikipedia in a two-part paper, titled “Fundamental research on the evaluation and methods in lifelong learning: focusing on facility management methods that ensure the learning environment for local residents with the reorganization of local governments.”

The site noted that Yasuhara published part one in 2013 and part two in 2014. Both articles have been removed from a Hyogo-run database, but archived versions are available. The papers have not been indexed by Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science.

The university noted that it had suspended the professor for one month, starting Nov. 24.

We reached out to Yasuhara for comment, but he did not reply.

The notice left us wondering what the university hoped to accomplish with a one month suspension, and if that type of punishment was standard for this type of research misconduct. We emailed the school’s public relations office to follow up, but have not received a reply.

Hat tip: Lemon-Stoism, Author of world fluctuation watch

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