Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Publishing: It's Not Just For People Anymore

I was searching for material related to the cost of publishing in scientific journals, and then stumbled across an article entitled "Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers". The article states that publishes Springer (academic journals) and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) are removing over 100 papers after a French researcher discovered they were fake, computer-generated nonsense. Cyril Labbé, a French computer scientist, has been publishing computer-generated papers and has had over 30 works printed between 2008-2013. Labbé used software called SCIgen which randomly combines strings of works to produce computer science papers. Invented in 2005, MIT used SCIgen to prove that conferences would accept fake papers, and also, just for fun.

In 2010, Labbé generated more than 100 papers using SCIgen and submitted them to Google Scholar under the fake name Ike Antkare. "Labbé showed how easy it was to add these fake papers to the Google Scholar database, boosting Ike Antkare’s h-index, a measure of published output, to 94 — at the time, making Antkare the world's 21st most highly cited scientist. Last year, researchers at the University of Granada, Spain, added to Labbé’s work, boosting their own citation scores in Google Scholar by uploading six fake papers with long lists to their own previous work."

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