Beijing wants all Coronavirus researches to be scrutinized before being released for publication. This is amid the tension between the US and China as to the virus’ origin.
US and China are pointing fingers regarding the origin of the virus that is paralyzing the world’s economy right now. As of writing, there are already 1.8 million people that have tested positive for the virus. More than 110,000 have died because of it.
Presently, there are only theories as to the real source of the virus. The Chinese government has been adamant that the virus cannot yet be fully traced back to China to be its conclusive origin.
In fact, they have launched a concerted effort both in the State media and social media about this information campaign.
Just last week, China has claimed that they are already recovering from the effects of the virus. But there are contradicting reports about the country’s data when it comes to the virus.
The media only relies on the veracity of the information that the Chinese government is sharing with the world. It would seem like that the government is about to control another facet of the information sharing.
Extra vetting of Coronavirus researches
An internal memo was mistakenly posted in two Chinese universities’ web pages. In these memos, researchers and scientists were told that the Coronavirus researches that come out of their labs must be vetted more than any other scientific researches.
Additionally, the memos indicated the researches would go through the Central Government’s scrutiny before they can be published.
The memos, along with the web pages, were soon taken down after their discovery.
There have Chinese researches that have been published on the virus and its possible treatments before this memo. According to an anonymous scientist that has published one, his research didn’t have to go through a series of vetting before being published.
Multiple layers of scrutiny
The Ministry of Education issued a directive that ‘academic papers about tracing the origin of the virus must be strictly and tightly managed.’
In order to get a Coronavirus research published, the particular study must be vetted by the academic committees of the particular universities where the study originates. After this, it shall go through a second level of vetting through the government’s science and technology department. Lastly, the papers shall be submitted to a task force under the State council for vetting.
The journals must pass two criteria to be published. First is the research’s academic value, and second is the timing of the publication.
Wang Lan, the editorial director of the Chinese Journal of Epidemiology, the extra level of scrutiny, has always been in place for researches regarding the Coronavirus.