I received the strangest offers in the world: I bought a scientific article for 2 gold.

When working at Korean University, every 4-5 years, we have one year of "leave" to go to another country to work to access new knowledge. Recently, I chose the destination as a large industrial corporation in Vietnam. Here, I see the science environment being transformed strongly. I have received many invitations to co-operate with foreign-funded research projects and write international scientific publications. Including the proposal to "sell" gray matter to others with scientific papers.

Why are scientific papers so valuable? In academia, they are a collection of elaborate research results, published in internationally recognized journals. To get a scientific paper, researchers must pour a lot of sweat, effort and money into laboratory equipment, machines, supplies ... And most importantly, only scientists really serious to be able to write these articles.

For research organizations and scientific people around the world, the paper has great power. The number of articles that determine the quality and international ranking of an organization, the prerequisites of a scientist to be respected, respected and respected.

Because of such tremendous power, the article has its own "monetary value." Right here at Myongji University, I am teaching to improve the rankings on international and national rankings to serve enrollment, within 5 years, the school has a huge budget, about 3 million USD to recruit 100 Postdoctoral students each year. They require each professor to be in charge of two postdoc (postdoctoral fellows). Each graduate student receives a salary of about US $ 30,000 annually with the sole requirement of writing two articles on the SCI list (Science Citation Index). Calculated, each article costs about 350 million.

Because of this attractive funding, we have received a huge number of applications and selected many good scientists from India and Vietnam. This is probably also a form of "buying cards" but is valid and does not violate academic ethics. And at macro level, after 5 years, research capacity and number of projects and projects of the school increased spectacularly.

What I received in Vietnam is understood that the buyer pays to be named as the author or co-author in an article, although they do not contribute to the entire research and writing process. Posts. Who wants to buy? The PhD students who are close to my specialty want to order me to write a newspaper and they have their names on so that the graduation will be quick and easy; Some colleagues want a scientific paper to fulfill their school duties.

I know that some Vietnamese universities require lecturers and researchers to have international articles, and they are greatly rewarded for exceeding the international publication targets. Although the policy of rewarding articles is right to encourage scientists, it is always a form of "circumvention" because people can use the prize money to buy knowledge.

Making a small calculation, I was startled. The price of an average paper of 10 sheets of A4 paper weighing 40 grams is about VND 70 to 100 million - equivalent to 2 gold trees. Thus, the paper is twice as expensive as gold.

The Ministry of Education from 2019 has very strict regulations on international papers for academic titles and degrees. Applicants must have two international papers to secure their doctoral thesis. This is certainly a correct rule, contributing to bringing the degree of education to its true value. However, for those who want to use their qualifications for other purposes, the purchase and sale have happened as I have met.

In addition, there is a phenomenon of using relationships to apply for scientific papers, such as superiors who ask their subordinates who are working abroad to "put" their names in the article, friends ask each other to be "named ké" in the article. For those buyers who have climbed to the high chairs by this approach, an article with 2 gold trees is still too cheap. For the seller, suppose that on average, I have 4-5 articles per year, just a small gesture to add other author names, I was able to earn 300-400 million. The purity of national science then depended only on the academic conscience of the scientist.

How to manage this "science market"? The first thing is that the state should bring the title and degree back to its mission for teachers and researchers, not for promotion. Some major universities such as Hanoi University of Technology, National University, and the requirement that graduate students and graduate students attend full-time are probably the right way to do this. In the new universities, where the ambition to grow the number of research-oriented and research-oriented articles such as the Hanoi University of Science and Technology (USTH) or later, Phenikaa University has had strategies. grow the paper fairly sustainably by investing in an organic research team; Do not accept the buying and selling of gray matter.

From the perspective of educational management, according to experience from Korea where I work, the research capacity of universities and research institutes is only evaluated based on the articles that the author is a professor, a researcher. full-time rescuer for that organization. For postgraduate students, they must also be the main authors of international scientific papers, and must actually participate in research projects of the instructors to graduate.

Immediately rectifying the integrity of scientific research in Vietnam is important so that there will no longer be a problem of buying and selling gray matter, international academics will also reduce questions about our fledgling science.

Vu Ngoc Hai