Scientific fraud is indeed rampant in China (Nature 463, 142–143; 2010). Sanctions against guilty individuals can help in countries everywhere, but these aren't enough in the longer term to correct a dangerous misperception of misconduct among China's scientific community.

As editor-in-chief of Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology, I recently came across a case in which a Chinese scientist had simultaneously submitted essentially the same data set to three journals. All three papers were eventually published, although later withdrawn by the respective journals.

When alerted to this incident, the corresponding university reacted swiftly by firing the author who was apparently primarily responsible. It also initiated an important new policy to train all new postdocs and junior faculty in the principles of research integrity.

Such structural measures could prove to be a valuable addition to the armamentarium of fraud prevention and should be part of scientific training in every academic institution.