November 29, 2023

French researchers discovered 243 nonsense papers

French researchers discovered 243 nonsense papers

NSDo you call the mathematical message “continuity of formation”? The book is eleven pages long, contains an impressive number of formulas, and concludes with a detailed bibliography. The author of these lines, together with his twelve-year-old son, are named after the author. Research was not necessary for this. There is one online generator, which produces great but meaningless essays on mathematics. All you have to do is enter the required author names.

French researchers Cyril Labe and Guillaume Cabanac now identify 243 nonsense articles in scientific publications. To do this, they searched the dimensions of the academic search engine. These imprints, such as the phrase “indeed, few futurists do not agree with it”, are researched using information technology. The results were checked by hand.

Funny or frustrating?

Tools are also available to generate pseudo-scientific texts for computer science (SCIgen), physics (scigen-physics) and philosophy (postmodernism generator), there is even a backup generator (SBIR automatic suggestion generator). “People sign up and submit papers to conferences and journals,” Labe and Cabanak explain to the paper. “With that reservation, the problematic publications appear to come from a few places in the world.” Of the counterfeiters, 156 came from China, 54 from India, three from Indonesia and one each from Belgium, Iran, Poland, Slovakia and the United States. States. It is not possible to specify the country of origin for other contributions.

Some papers have been edited by editors to match the style of the academic journal. “Only publishers know why these papers have passed peer review,” Labe and Cabanak say. You offer three possible explanations: Since English sounds perfect, the reviewer may be impressed by the terms. The second possibility is that the title and subtitle read only superficially. Finally, it is also conceivable that the peer review process is completely missing. But this is not the only point where publishers fail. It also takes a long time to pull out nonsensical articles in many cases, and publishers often say, “We’re still checking.”

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Nonsensical articles are somewhat of a problem in science. The two French suspects that only 75 of the million papers were generated by computers. While the existence of these articles is frustrating for Cabanac, Lappe finds them very funny. More frightening to both are the “research paper factories”, that is, the organizations that produce and sell forged manuscripts that give the appearance of real research. Data fraud is also dangerous. So, the two are working with Jennifer Byrne of the University of Sydney on tools to automatically detect errors in cancer studies (Seek and Blastn). Together with Alexander Magazinov, they also traced formulas indicating paraphrasing programs that hide plagiarism. Ultimately, none of these tools can solve the underlying problem of fraudulent behavior. By the way, the treatise “On the continuity of morphogenesis” remained unpublished.