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Vietnam university publisher apologizes Australian author, pulls journalism book over plagiarism

Sunday, April 25, 2021, 19:32 GMT+7
Vietnam university publisher apologizes Australian author, pulls journalism book over plagiarism
This image shows a book on journalism and communication, published in Vietnamese by the publishing house under the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City in 2020, that has been recalled over plagiarism. Photo: Tuoi Tre Contributor

A publisher in Vietnam has apologized an Australian author and recalled a book on journalism and communication after he found two university lecturers who are the writers of an article in the book plagiarizing his journal paper.

The publishing house under the Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City (VNU-HCM) had already pulled the book, published in Vietnamese in 2020, and registered for its republication, Tran Nam, chief of the communication and corporate relations bureau of the VNU-HCM’s University of Social Sciences and Humanities, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday.

Hoang Xuan Phuong and Vu Mong Lan, the writers of an article in the book, had been found plagiarizing a paper by Australian author Jim Macnamara in Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, a peer-reviewed academic journal.

Phuong admitted to such plagiarism, saying Lan translated 85 percent of the paper into Vietnamese and included it in their book article without crediting Macnamara.

She claimed that Lan had asked her to symbolically co-author the article, which was meant to make it easier for the writing to be approved for publication, as Phuong was then head of the applied communication department, which is a part of the journalism and communication faculty under the top-tier University of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Phuong would have never made such straight lifting if she had written the article herself, she said.

“This is an oversight and a stain on my career,” Phuong admitted.

“I’m not denying that it has cost me my credebility, affecting the universities I’ve worked for.

“It is a painful lesson for me.”

Phuong is now vice-dean of the communication and public relations faculty under Van Lang University in Ho Chi Minh City, while Lan is a lecturer of the faculty.

Phuong quit her job at the journalism and communication faculty in October 2020.

On January 13, Macnamara emailed the journalism and communication faculty, which was responsible for compiling the book, to protest Phuong and Lan’s plagiarism.

The Australian author said that both had copied his paper, which was published in the Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly journal in 2016.

The Vietnamese publisher then apologized Macnamara and he accepted it, said Nam, the communication and corporate relations bureau chief.

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