Over 100 fraudulent peer-reviewed papers discovered…

by accident.

And these were only cases of blatant cases of obvious fraud in one area.

When “science” is an industry that depends largely on “publish or perish” just to get government and corporate funding en masse, why is it crazy or “conspiracy-theorist” to think that reforms are needed and that there’s not much good reason for the public at large should trust something just because it’s from “Scientists” with a capital “S?”

This is, frequently, taxpayer money on the line, and I’m rather sick of hearing that the general public is out of line to even ask questions like this, or just trust that because someone’s a scientist, they know what they’re talking about and are telling the truth.

Question: if you had a few million dollars in funding on the line, and you discovered the hypotheses you were working on were failed and had reached a dead end, but you had your own career and those of many under you on the line, how likely would you be to do the noble thing and say “this is all wrong, we need to start over from scratch,” versus, trying to find every way you could to justify continuing to support a failed paradigm or hypothesis?

I think this incident goes to show what at least some would do.

And please don’t use “but they were found out!” as a defense. This crap got right past the reviewers, they were found by computer search. No one else even frickin’ noticed.

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  • rerutled

    The article doesn’t name the journals, only the publishers (IEEE and Springer). Both publishers publish non-peer reviewed compendium of conference papers. Unless the journals are named somewhere, demonstrating your assertion that they are “peer-reviewed”, it seems far more likely to me that gibberish papers were thrown on to those typically unsorted stacks.

    • Yeah, and charge an utterly disgusting amount for institutional access to IEEEXplore. Some academic publishers are better than others (ACM is not nearly so bad, for example), but some, like Elsevier, border on scam artistry with the way they manipulate copyrights.

      Want to get published? Have to assign copyright. Want to put your paper on your website? That’s copyright violation.

      Elsevier, I think, acquired Mendeley (academic social networking tool, especially for sharing papers) not all that long ago, and it’s anybody’s guess what they’re up to or what will happen to Mendeley.