Following Mason’s untimely passing, thoughts turn now to the way in which the nation can pay tribute to an athlete who has broken barriers while competing for Jamaica, Land We Love, as well as being so gracious in the execution. National honours come immediately to mind. Having said that, there is hesitation. A recent experience informs that the process to recommend someone thought to be worthy is a very awkward one. In filling out the required form, a lot more is required than a mere rehearsal of the nominee’s performances that triggered the idea. One would have thought that an account from a witness to a particular act or series of acts, should be sufficient, especially when there is corroboration from elsewhere or can be easily checked. Not so, as the feeling is that unless details of the individual’s background are cited, the exercise is one of near futility. Foster’s Fairplay, with all said in mind, issues two calls to the Minister holding the sports portfolio. First, given the contribution to the sport by Mason, consideration should be given to granting him a posthumous award. There is no intention to steer the minister’s mind in any particular direction as to the type of award to be offered. There is not even a compulsion that it should be under the heading of an existing one, as there should be no difficulty in creating a suitable one. The honourable lady is blessed with good judgement, and has over time, clearly shown that she is alert and sympathetic to the deeds of our athletes when they don the black, green and gold. In Mason’s case, his attributes, as already described, stretch even further. Whatever she might miss, there are enough knowledgeable individuals in her midst to afford the quality advice necessary. Once the decision to take the suggested advice is cemented, the second ask is that the system of nomination be streamlined and made less cumbersome to recommend a candidate. Germaine Mason’s image and the qualities he has left with us who follow the sport should be indelible. Let them be recognised as a memento to his family and friends. Rest well, soldier. • For feedback email firstname.lastname@example.org Tributes Jamaica’s sporting family lost one of its finest sons this past week, when outstanding high jumper at both senior and junior levels, Germaine Mason, left us tragically as a result of injuries sustained during a motorcycle crash on the Palisadoes Road. It has been a bitter blow to all who were privileged to know him. The comments on social media, as the news took a telling effect early on Thursday morning, succinctly sum up the nature of the young man. They depicted a humility of spirit which was in alignment with his admirable disposition and demeanour, as he displayed his skills in an area of competition where Jamaica had not before him medalled at the global level. That happened for the first time in 2000, when he took a silver medal at the World Junior Championships in Santiago, Chile, followed by bronze in 2002 at the subsequent staging on home soil of the biennial event. In 2003, he proceeded to a still personal best Pan American gold at 2.34m, which broke Jamaica’s record for the event, and equalled it while taking silver for his new country, Great Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Competing at the 2003 World Indoors, he copped a bronze medal. Foster’s Fairplay worked as a journalist covering several competitions in which the Wolmerian participated. The experience was made extra special given not only his gentlemanly attitude when approached, but to be selfish, his journalist-friendly behaviour at all times. There was an incident while this columnist was covering the Kingston-staged World Juniors in 2002. It is recounted to further demonstrate the air of cordiality that he carried, even when dealing with virtual strangers. There was an embargo placed on this journalist to interview athletes, following a comment that had made team management a bit uncomfortable. Mason was approached. In low apologetic tones, he expressed a reluctance to oblige for the reasons given. However, he escorted this surprised journalist to a secluded area and did what he was required to do. A story on his performance was made on the back of an act of goodwill to someone he was meeting for the first time.
There have been reports of unscrupulous journals printing research papers without proper vetting, and other reports suggesting that there exists a black market in paper authorship. This new investigation by Science, is the first to publish direct evidence of such a black market operating in China. Hvistendahl reports on one instance where a suspected black-marketeer was contacted to inquire about having a name applied to an existing research paper. The contact quoted different prices for having a name included, depending on whether the person paying wished to be listed as the primary writer, or as merely a co-author, or even as just one of the team members. No money changed hands, as that would have been unethical for a Science reporter, but Hvistendahl reports that the paper that had been part of the earlier investigation showed up at a later date published in a reputable journal, along with different names attributed to the research effort—names of people that had all bought their way on.Hvistendahl notes that such a black market has arisen in China due to the enormous pressure Chinese researchers are feeling to publish something. In that country, it appears having one’s name attached to a research paper, matters more than actually conducting research. Hvistendahl also reports that people in China are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for the “honor” of having their name printed as an author on a research paper.Hvistendahl writes that Science’s undercover investigation revealed a thriving black market in China for paper authorization, which includes “shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and compromised editors.” The undercover operation was conducted over a five month period and resulted in numerous examples of people at all levels of research in China participating in the black market in one way or another. They also found that it was possible to pay for someone to write a paper, attach a name and then submit and have it published in a reputable international journal—so long as the research it described passed a traditional vetting process.The investigative team also found doctors and others engaged in medical research that were willing to openly admit that the black market for research papers is thriving in China. All in all, the investigative team contacted 27 agencies involved in helping researchers get their work published—only five of them refused an offer to pay for adding a name to a research paper. Research paper publishing sting reveals lax standards of many open-access journals Citation: Investigation reveals black market in China for research paper authoring (2013, November 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-11-reveals-black-china-paper-authoring.html Journal information: Science More information: China’s Publication Bazaar, Science 29 November 2013: Vol. 342 no. 6162 pp. 1035-1039. DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6162.1035 © 2013 Phys.org (Phys.org) —The journal Science has uncovered, via investigation, a thriving black market in science paper authoring—people are paying to have their names added to papers that have been written to describe research efforts. Mara Hvistendahl was the lead investigator and author of a paper published by Science, describing the operation and what was found. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.