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Over 100 published science journal articles just gibberish

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Over 100 published science journal articles just gibberish

By Maxim Lott

Published March 01, 2014

  • fake%20articles%20in%20science%20journal

    But how could gibberish end up in respectable science papers? The man who discovered the recent frauds said it showed slipping standards among scientists. (FOXNEWS.COM)

Do scientific papers ever seem like unreadable gibberish to you? Well, sometimes they really are.

Some 120 papers published in established scientific journals over the last few years have been found to be frauds, created by nothing more than an automated word generator that puts random, fancy-sounding words together in plausible sentence structures. As a result they have been pulled from the journals that originally published them.

The fake papers are in the fields of computer science and math andhave titlesexternal-link.png such as “Application and Research of Smalltalk Harnessing Based on Game-Theoretic Symmetries”; “An Evaluation of E-Business with Fin”; and “Simulating Flip-Flop Gates Using Peer-to-Peer Methodologies.” The authors of those papers did not respond to requests for comment from FoxNews.com.

This is not the first time nonsense papers have been published.

In 1996, as a test, a physics professor submitted a fake paper to the philosophy journal Social Text. His paper argued that gravity is “postmodern” because it is “free from any dependence on the concept of objective truth.” Yet it was accepted and published.

'We are in the process of investigating… [and] taking the papers down as quickly as possible.'

- Eric Merkel-Sobotta, a spokesman for the publisher Springer

But how could gibberish end up in respectable science papers? The man who discovered the recent frauds said it showed slipping standards among scientists.

"High pressure on scientists leads directly to too prolific and less meaningful publications," computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph Fourier University in France, told FoxNews.com.

But he has no explanation as to why the journals published meaningless papers.

"They all should have been evaluated by a peer-review process. I've no explanation for them being here. I guess each of them needs an investigation," he said.

The publishers also could not explain it, admitting that the papers “are all nonsense.”

“We are in the process of investigating… [and] taking the papers down as quickly as possible. A placeholder notice will be put up once the papers have been removed. Since we publish over 2,200 journals and 8,400 books annually, this will take some time,” Eric Merkel-Sobotta, a spokesman for the publisher Springer, which published 16 of the fake papers, told FoxNews.com.

The fraud was first reported in the journal Natureexternal-link.png.

Labbé has made it his mission to detect fakes, and ironically has published a paper in a Springer journal about how to automatically detect fake papers. He also built a websiteexternal-link.png that detects whether papers are computer generated.

“Our tools are very efficient to detect SCIgen papers and also to detect duplicates and plagiarisms,” Labbé said. SCIgen is the program that generates random papers.

Some professors said that pay rules that base professor salaries on the number of papers they publish may lead to fakes.

“Most schools have merit raise systems of some kind, and a professor’s merit score is affected by his or her success in publishing scholarly papers,” Robert Archibald, a professor of economics at the College of William and Mary, who studies the economics of higher education, told FoxNews.com.

He noted that because other professors may not read the paper, “publishing a paper that was computer-generated might help with merit pay.”

Labbé also said that overly numerical measures might encourage fraud.

“In aiming at measuring science it is perturbing science,” he said.

The author of this piece, Maxim Lott, can be reached on twitter at @maximlott or at maxim.lott@foxnews.comexternal-link.png

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I mean, I am amazed there are a good amount of people on this board that are so against the thing that is literally the driving force of every luxury they have in their life right now. Their car, computer, phone, etc. So many are so quick to criticize and willingly live completely in the dark. "Hey, it was cold yesterday. How about that 'global warming'. Stupid scientists." or "That there Bill Nye guy is saying the Bible isn't true! What an idiot!"


Yes I know not every religious person is like this, I get it.


Cal wants to talk about "big, serious trouble" all the time in the future (and finding some way to blame the liberals for everything). I say the "big, serious trouble" will come from an increasingly ignorant population. One that laughs at scientists and is increasingly divided politically, choosing to just blindly follow a party (among other things...). How can we have our general public voting on policies when they don't even have a basic understanding of the issue?









about 25% of Americans think the Sun orbits the Earth...

45% think Astrology is a science

about 50% believe that man didn't evolve from earlier animals



That is not good. And because some idiot made some phony papers and Fox News reported it a whole lot of ground was lost on a lot of conservatives. Ugh...

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Diehard, that article reads like a woodypeckerhead term paper !!!


Why is it that lib idiots like the only one on this board, (woodypeckerhead), bitches

about using "libs" as a generalization, then uses "everybody who disagrees with me hates

all science" ?


Note to woodypeckerhead:


There is a lot more to science that the cherry picked science that pertains to your special favorite



I worked ten years in an R&D lab, in high end plastic colorants. I -wrote-, a corporate secret

software that ran two 50,000 dollar machines on one pc, from the pc keyboard. And I had to write

it by myself, because it was a very secret test, back then, at least, that ascertained the degree of dispersion

of colorant molecules, and even overlaid sample test progression charts of the test from previous tests, in line graph form,

over real time current tests. The software gave the company a unique, powerful, strategic advantage in quality in the industry.


So, woodypeckerhead, please realize you are an ignorant dipsheet every time you say everybody

who disagrees with your bs hates all science and doesn't know any science because "you're an engineer".


All sorts of us know about science to a degree. Grow the hell up.

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They aren't "cherry picked subjects". They're the issues we talk about on here and they all have a clear scientific almost consensus.


I say you're an idiot, and you definitely come off as one, but maybe it is all because of your political beliefs. You will choose one side or another solely based on what conservative stance is. You'll then just seek out what you can on sites you already know you'll agree with to back it up. Maybe you aren't literally stupid, you're just incredibly blinded by your political bias. Reasoning, facts, etc get thrown out the window. I am not saying all conservatives are stupid (I try not to so blatantly generalize like you do) but anyone on EITHER side that just blindly follows everything that side has to say does not come off as very intelligent

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I literally didn't say most of what you just posted I did. Woodypeckerhead


Paybacks are a moochelle obamao, eh? Think about it.


And, you are too young to understand it, but a lot of the rest of us have had our opinions

for decades and decades.


For example, when I was talking about the Russian/Georgian conflict, and blabbed that

both sides were at fault.... Logic disagreed and said the Georgians did nothing to provoke



I already knew better for years. So, I went and looked it up, found what I was talking about in

Wikipedia, and posted it. That's all. There are times I remember ...incorrectly, and I laugh

and admit it.


We're older by a lot, usually, and we've learned and read and witnessed more and forgot more of it,

that you ever have in your little weaselly four walls, woodypeckerhead world.


And yes, you cherry pick. The only sources you accept are the ones that suit your bias, because you

bitch about any and every single other source on the internet that anybody brings up.


It's been done before. I've posted the same information with conservative sites, .gov's, cnn, msnbc,

Huffington, other liberal sites...hell, I've even posted from Pravda once.


And the same bitch happens, "oh, you just pick conservative sites so they agree with you".


Petty and inane on your part, woodypeckerhead. Grow the hell up. At least talk to somebody,

even a homeless person on the street, to get an idea of how to at least FAKE growing up a bit.

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You still don't understand the reputable source thing, I got it. That just plays into the whole "blinded by political bias" statement.


I am not sure how being entrenched in your beliefs over decades and decades is a positive here, lol. The world changes bro

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You still don't understand that trying so much to be the mz the pussy the pussy resident smart ass

doesn't make you make any sense on this board.


Everybody is biased to a point. It's a poltiical board. Grow the hell up, and

start your own little "pure science only" board, and see how it goes.


Coward - you hide behind science as a way of never being wrong, but you

cherry pick your science. There's all sorts of science on different sides of some

issues. There are differing theories in place because of both. I accept science

on both sides. So, I don't believe in things like "mmgw". You DO, but you cherry

pick only science on your side to make you seem like a genius.


Then you name call. You still don't understand, that you go "personal insult" to me,

you get smarted off to, back in return. You can't stop it, at least so far.


Nobody on this board is an "idiot", woodypeckerhead.


The world changes all the time, sure. But history does not. History never changes.


And that is the point you're missing, and missing badly. Learn at least a little

tiny eensy wittle bit of history. The whole world will start to open up, and perhaps

you will stop being an immature, bitchy little woodypeckerhead.

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It's an opinion board. Libs never accept ANY "reputable sources" that

don't agree with them. READ peoples posts. Stop just glossing over them

to try to bitch about a part, or imaginary part, of them.


It ....is......not.....a.....science......board. In the past. I've posted

from scientific sites, .gov sites....


but of course, none of those are "reputable" if they show you're wrong.

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