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Case Study
Korean court cases regarding research and publication ethics from 2009 to 2020
Ju Yoen Lee
Sci Ed. 2021;8(1):98-103.   Published online February 20, 2021
DOI: https://doi.org/10.6087/kcse.236
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Research and publication misconduct may occur in various forms, including author misrepresentation, plagiarism, and data fabrication. Research and publication ethics are essentially not legal duties, but ethical obligations. In reality, however, legal disputes arise over whether research and publication ethics have been violated. Thus, in many cases, misconduct in research and publication is determined in the courts. This article presents noteworthy legal cases in Korea regarding research and publication ethics to help editors and authors prevent ethical misconduct. Legal cases from 2009 to 2020 were collected from the database of the Supreme Court of Korea in December 2020. These court cases represent three case types: 1) civil cases, such as affirmation of nullity of dismissal and damages; 2) criminal cases, such as fraud, interference with business, and violations of copyright law; and 3) administrative cases related to disciplinary measures against professors affiliated with a university. These cases show that although research and publication ethics are ethical norms that are autonomously established by the relevant academic societies, they become a criterion for case resolution in legal disputes where research and publication misconduct is at issue.

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