Over 120 Fake Papers Got Published in Journals
|March 8, 2014||Posted by Staff under Corruption|
This 2014 excerpt of Nature, Feb 24, is by Richard Van Noorden.
The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense.
Labbé developed a way to automatically detect manuscripts composed by a piece of software called SCIgen, which randomly combines strings of words to produce fake computer-science papers. SCIgen was invented in 2005 by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge to prove that conferences would accept meaningless papers.
SCIgen is free to download and use, and it is unclear how many people have done so. SCIgen’s output has occasionally popped up at conferences, when researchers have submitted nonsense papers and then revealed the trick.
Labbé showed how easy it was to add these fake papers to the Google Scholar database, boosting a fake scholar’s h-index, a measure of published output, to 94 — at the time, making him the world’s 21st most highly cited scientist.
There is a long history of journalists and researchers getting spoof papers accepted in conferences or by journals to reveal weaknesses in academic quality controls — from a fake paper published by physicist Alan Sokal of New York University in the journal Social Text in 1996, to a sting operation by US reporter John Bohannon published in Science in 2013, in which he got more than 150 open-access journals to accept a deliberately flawed study for publication.
Ed. Notes: Even the non-fakes are not gospel. Most scientific papers have to be corrected. Good thing for economics it’s not a science. But in which half did that study appear?