It is to be hoped that Japan's new guidelines for research integrity, released recently by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), will curb research misconduct (see T. Tanimoto et al. Nature 512, 371; 2014).
Institutions in Japan have previously tended to avoid taking responsibility for misconduct by their scientists. Under the revised guidelines, a research institution must take appropriate measures against any scientist who is found guilty of data manipulation or fabrication, for example. Should it fail to do so, MEXT will cut its research budget.
MEXT has already reduced RIKEN's requested budget for next year by nearly 20% (¥12.1 billion; US$111 million) as a penalty for inefficient handling of the two 'STAP' stem-cell papers published and subsequently retracted this year (see Nature 511, 112; 2014).
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Wada, M. Research integrity guidelines in Japan. Nature 514, 35 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/514035a