More than 800 Russian academic articles retracted after "bombshell" report reveals plagiarism and other misconduct

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In Russia, cheating is as natural as breathing. Possibly more so.


Beat me to it!


Good on the academy. Only honesty and purging can save them.



You think two wrongs make a right?

There are cheaters everywhere, but I’ve never been anywhere, or seen anywhere, where dishonesty is just such a fundamental part of life as in Russia (maybe it’s just Eastern Euro, instead of specifically Russia, but I’ve never been to Ukraine, etc.) It’s pervasive, from academia to big business to small business to sports to medicine - it’s just accepted that honesty is a form of weakness and you should screw those weak people. It’s top down and bottom up.

Just look at their entire olympic program, which is entirely predicated on cheating at an unprecedented scale, to the point of having the Russian government doing Mission Impossible stuff to sneak in and tamper with evidence already collected of their athletes being doped by the government. I know there are some honest people, because I met some who weren’t trying to screw me, and even some who were quite generous, but I had to be constantly on guard more than anywhere else except mainland China.


No, I don’t.

But I do find American sneering about the innate corruption of other societies to be darkly ironic. It’d be funny if it weren’t so destructive.


I Never Trusted the Russians

Ffft, ‘other societies’. I’m wouldn’t call Japan fundamentally dishonest like Russia, nor would I call most of the other places I’ve been to like France, Canada, Iceland, Switzerland, Greece, blah blah. Mainland China yes, and I’m calling Russian society fundamentally dishonest because it is abnormally dishonest. American societal dishonesty would be somewhere above Canada and under Mexico. This is all easily visible in global corruption indexes as a proxy. Russia’s corrupt from top to bottom whether I’m sneering about it or not.

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Gee, I’m beginning to believe that academia (right round the world) is full of bullshit and frauds! Can’t be, tho, right?

He does not. He’s noting about the entire world is full of this kind of shit. It’s not just “them” that are the problem. Until we look at our own society and root out evil shit like this, we’re going to continue to spiral down the tubes as a planet…

But hey, as long as we get one over on those Ruskies and on those Commies, eh? /s


Yes, yes, where there’s humans, there will be cheating, stealing, and corruption. However, in the non-Baltic former republics of the USSR it is endemic and very, very common. I encountered here at university, and while living and working there. It’s a cultural feature.

When my nephew from Russia came to attend university here in the US my wife, who is Ukrainian, and I sat him down to explain the differences in the educational systems he failed to take it to heart. He’d been used to bribing, wheedling, and cheating his way through school. Needless to say, after a few Fs he finally believed us.


You are absolutely correct in your observations of former Soviet republics. However, the rest of Eastern Europe is no where near as corrupt

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I worked as scientist and academic teacher at university in Poland and there were many students coming from Russia, Ukraine and other Eastern European countries. Generally speaking most of them had to adjust to studying in different language first, but they were honest and hard working. I didn’t notice any cheating.

Maybe not full, but there’s truly impressive amount of both. During my career I’ve met some unbelievably toxic people and I’ve decided to resign after finishing my PhD due to hostility, toxic masculinity and other pathological behavior at workplace.
Most people were nice, hard working and very passionate about their work, but those who weren’t have ruined the experience for me.


13 posts were split to a new topic: Kieth McClery’s pedantic Russian digressions on racism: a treatise

Yes. That’s the joke, I’m in academia too, and wonder why I wasted my life.


Corruption dates back all the way to the Soviet era, when there was a rigid planned economy and everything was in short supply. Calling in favours and bartering what you could get (including by pilfering from work) for what you needed was how people survived.

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Hungary says hello. Our entire economy runs on corruption, and no, I’m not exaggerating - we’ve achieved practical state capture at this point. Sorry to say but corruption here is as natural as breathing, it’s present everywhere, from healthcare (where “gifts” to doctors are pretty much expected) to the so-called judicial system, etc. Our politics is basically powered by corruption, Fidesz and Orbán in particular built up their power by literally stealing EU funds, fixing tenders so that their business circle gets all business, etc., and again, no, I’m not exaggerating, if you’re curious, get a bowl of popcorn, Google “corruption in Hungary” and be prepared to spend a nice evening reading shit you’d normally see in political satires. The richest person in the country is a former gas-fitter who just happens to be a childhood friend of our Dear Leader, and just happened to have really good luck with his business endeavours. Our current administration has an obsession of building football stadiums not only because the Dear Leader really loves football (there’s a huge stadium literally in his backyard), but also because his father just happens to own a stone mining business, and people in his business circle just happen to be in the building business… and I could go on. Hell, our previous President (not to be confused with the Prime Minister ie. our Dear Leader) plagiarized his doctoral thesis, MPs have been known to have bought their language proficiency certificates, diplomas… Our current administration has been known to send “doctored” translations of reports and official documents to the EU more than once, to distort reports, etc.

Corruption and generally craftiness and trying to circumvent rules, exploit loopholes, etc. is rooted very deep within the collective psyche of the nation, because the ~half century of “building communism” under Soviet leadership, in which older generations have grown up absolutely encouraged this kind of mindset. No, hating on other ethnicities is absolutely not cool, and every single nation and ethnicity has its own deep-rooted societal issues, but also I think it needs to be acknowledged that Eastern Europe does in fact have a pretty serious corruption/cheating issue.


Thankfully, I never had the urge to go into academic life, but I continue to get some insight into it via relatives. It is fucking ripe with bullshit, cheating and petty politics.

Noble scientific ideals are rare to be found and the people who adhere to them are usually the only ones who can afford to: tenured professors (and even then, only a portion of them). Since tenure is increasingly hard to come by, everyone else is left to fight each other scratching and biting for funding and lecture hours like peons.


Yeah, I’d pin the problem on the Soviet system. It was a society built on open dishonesty and maintained by oppression, where corruption was often a necessity, and things like reporting the right numbers on production was vastly more important than actually producing things. Several generations of that had a warping effect on Russian culture, and sadly, the faux-democratic Putin regime hasn’t made things any better since the fall of Soviet Union either.