Taiwanese Education Minister Chiang Wei-ling resigns over academic publishing scandal
Chiang Wei-ling resigned as Taiwan's education minister yesterday after he was implicated in an academic scandal that sparked public outrage and a police investigation.
The controversy surfaced earlier this month when Chiang was linked to a scholar whose papers were retracted by a British publisher following allegations he used bogus identities to peer review his work.
Chiang appeared as a co-writer in five out of 60 articles that were withdrawn.
"After reflection overnight, in order to safeguard my own reputation I've decided to resign as the education minister," Chiang told reporters as prosecutors launched an investigation into the scandal.
The resignation deals another blow to the beleaguered administration of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou. It was beset by a series of protests earlier this year over a controversial services trade pact with Beijing and a contentious nuclear power plant.
Chiang, a 56-year-old civil engineer, was president of National Central University before he was appointed education minister in February 2012.
His name appeared as a co-writer in five articles written by local academic Peter Chen in the last four years.
Earlier this month, British publisher Sage withdrew Chen's articles from the Journal of Vibration and Control, alleging he had been able to review his own work by using peers that did not exist.
At a press conference on Sunday, Chiang tried to distance himself from the scandal saying he did not know Peter Chen personally. Instead, he said he had advised Chen's twin brother, Chen Chen-wu, in his doctoral thesis about 10 years ago. He stepped down the next day amid political pressure.