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Fri Feb 28, 2014, 08:45 AM

Science publisher fooled by gibberish papers

From phys.org:

Publisher of science journals Springer said Thursday it would scrap 16 papers from its archives after they were revealed to be computer-generated gibberish.

The fake papers had been submitted to conferences on computer science and engineering whose proceedings were published in specialised, subscription-only publications, Springer said.

"We are in the process of taking down the papers as quickly as possible," the German-based publisher said in a statement.

"This means that they will be removed, not retracted, since they are all nonsense."

more ...


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Reply Science publisher fooled by gibberish papers (Original post)
Jim__ Feb 2014 OP
Baitball Blogger Feb 2014 #1
exboyfil Feb 2014 #2
tridim Feb 2014 #3
Wounded Bear Feb 2014 #5
eppur_se_muova Feb 2014 #4
caraher Mar 2014 #6
kristopher Mar 2014 #7

Response to Jim__ (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 08:50 AM

1. Too bad we can't do the same to the Patriot Act.

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Response to Jim__ (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 08:54 AM

2. Still begs the question

How did they get through the peer review process, but, if they did or if no review process went on, why would anybody bother reading those journals.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 09:04 AM

3. Probably the same reason I once got an "A" on a paper I wrote an hour before class.

The lazy TA didn't read it. It was 100% "F" worthy.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 03:29 PM

5. IIRC, there was a formula for that a few years back...

If you used enough of the proper buzz words in a paper, reviewers would sign off on it, even if the rest of the text was nonsense. If you used a computer algorhythm that generated random words, but injected a buzz word programmed to satisfy the reviewing agency, whose eyes are probably glazed over from reading thousands of pages of academic crap for weeks leading up to it, you're home free.

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Response to Jim__ (Original post)

Fri Feb 28, 2014, 01:29 PM

4. IEEE also fooled, total 120 papers ... (BBC)

Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers

Richard Van Noorden
24 February 2014 Updated: 25 February 2014

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.

Over the past two years, computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, has catalogued computer-generated papers that made it into more than 30 published conference proceedings between 2008 and 2013. Sixteen appeared in publications by Springer, which is headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, and more than 100 were published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), based in New York. Both publishers, which were privately informed by Labbé, say that they are now removing the papers.

Among the works were, for example, a paper published as a proceeding from the 2013 International Conference on Quality, Reliability, Risk, Maintenance, and Safety Engineering, held in Chengdu, China. (The conference website says that all manuscripts are “reviewed for merits and contents”.) The authors of the paper, entitled ‘TIC: a methodology for the construction of e-commerce’, write in the abstract that they “concentrate our efforts on disproving that spreadsheets can be made knowledge-based, empathic, and compact”. (Nature News has attempted to contact the conference organizers and named authors of the paper but received no reply*; however at least some of the names belong to real people. The IEEE has now removed the paper).

*Update: One of the named authors replied to Nature News on 25 February. He said that he first learned of the article when conference organizers notified his university in December 2013; and that he does not know why he was a listed co-author on the paper. "The matter is being looked into by the related investigators," he said.

How to create a nonsense paper

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 — and, as they put it, “to maximize amusement” (see ‘Computer conference welcomes gobbledegook paper’). A related program generates random physics manuscript titles on the satirical website arXiv vs. snarXiv. SCIgen is free to download and use, and it is unclear how many people have done so, or for what purposes. SCIgen’s output has occasionally popped up at conferences, when researchers have submitted nonsense papers and then revealed the trick.
***
more: http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-withdraw-more-than-120-gibberish-papers-1.14763

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Response to Jim__ (Original post)

Sat Mar 1, 2014, 03:46 PM

6. I suppose this is inevitable

In an age with computers, unpaid reviewers and literature produced less for communicating with peers and more for career purposes, it would be more surprised if this did NOT happen!

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Response to caraher (Reply #6)

Sun Mar 2, 2014, 11:42 PM

7. Add to that a strong element in society that wants to tear down the system.

Science works against what a lot of people want.

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