Hong Kong doctor cleared of plagiarism

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 11 March 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:618

An epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong has won a battle to keep his job after rulings by the colony's high court and appeal court that he plagiarised a colleague's questionnaire. Dr Lam Tai Hing, a reader in the university's department of community medicine, was found not guilty of “disgraceful or dishonourable” conduct after an inquiry by a committee of six professors. The decision follows a $HK16m (£1.3m) legal wrangle between Dr Lam and a colleague, Dr Linda Koo, which has rocked the world of epidemiology and led to the first court ruling anywhere that a research questionnaire may be protected by copyright and confidentiality.

Dr Lam and Dr Koo, a lecturer in the department, started separate research in the early 1980s into the high incidence of lung cancer among non-smoking Chinese women. Dr Koo, who began her research first, accused Dr …

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