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4405 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Feb 2014 at 4:49 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-25 04:56:54 PM  
"They were created using software called SCIgen, which was invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers"

It`s easy to publish nonsense papers?
 
2014-02-25 05:02:55 PM  

dready zim: "They were created using software called SCIgen, which was invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers"

It`s easy to publish nonsense papers?


"Most of the papers were submitted to conferences based in China and were published with Chinese affiliations."

It's easier in some places than others.
 
2014-02-25 05:04:38 PM  
Most of the papers were submitted to conferences based in China and were published with Chinese affiliations.

So it's less that fradulent articles slipped through into a peer reviewed journal in the US and more that nonsense papers wound up in Chiense conference proceedings? Sort of seems like a non-story to me...
 
2014-02-25 05:04:44 PM  
invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers in conference proceedings.

Um... that's not actually publishing a paper.  Conference proceedings are 'published' in the literal sense, but not in the scientific sense-- they're not peer reviewed and you can't generally use them as references in real articles.  They're just informal 'hey, this is what the lab is doing' updates.

So... yeah.  It's not news that some of them don't hold up under further examination, that's what "incomplete work" means.  You certainly  can go to a conference and babble nonsense, that was never in doubt.  Most people don't because they're primarily networking deals and pissing off your peers by wasting their time is not a good networking plan.
 
2014-02-25 05:08:50 PM  

dready zim: "They were created using software called SCIgen, which was invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers"

It`s easy to publish nonsense papers?


i.huffpost.com

Evidently so.
 
2014-02-25 05:09:43 PM  
They were created using software called SCIgen, which was invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers in conference proceedings

That's awesome. I'd love to get ahold of the sofware and write a paper about an alien takeover of Earth.
 
2014-02-25 05:16:02 PM  

whidbey: They were created using software called SCIgen, which was invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers in conference proceedings

That's awesome. I'd love to get ahold of the sofware and write a paper about an alien takeover of Earth.


http://lmgtfy.com/?q=SCIgen&l=1
 
2014-02-25 05:26:07 PM  

WelldeadLink: whidbey: They were created using software called SCIgen, which was invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers in conference proceedings

That's awesome. I'd love to get ahold of the sofware and write a paper about an alien takeover of Earth.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=SCIgen&l=1


Deploying Compilers Using Cooperative Modalities

Bill Kristol, WH Mumfrey, Alex jones, Jonah Goldberg and Whitley Strieber


Hm. Not quite the solution I expected.
 
2014-02-25 05:27:39 PM  
...conference proceedings...

This reminds me of the spam I get about calls for papers for dodgy-sounding conferences that nobody's heard of.
 
2014-02-25 05:29:02 PM  
" It's still unclear as to why the papers were submitted, or whether their authors are even aware that they were.  "

No comment.
 
2014-02-25 05:32:48 PM  

Damnhippyfreak: ...conference proceedings...

This reminds me of the spam I get about calls for papers for dodgy-sounding conferences that nobody's heard of.


Plus the shaky abstracts and submissions you sometimes see from 'independent researchers', NGOs, and of course, students.

/how come the thing that sticks in my mind years after these things is how good the food was?
 
2014-02-25 05:34:04 PM  

Jim_Callahan: invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers in conference proceedings.

Um... that's not actually publishing a paper.  Conference proceedings are 'published' in the literal sense, but not in the scientific sense-- they're not peer reviewed and you can't generally use them as references in real articles.

That's true in some fields, but not others, and of some conferences and not others. Some conf proceedings, will publish any old nonsense, but I've published in IUTAM conf proceedings, and they are absolutely 100% peer reviewed.
 
2014-02-25 05:37:15 PM  
error 303:
So it's less that fradulent articles slipped through into a peer reviewed journal in the US and more that nonsense papers wound up in Chiense conference proceedings? Sort of seems like a non-story to me...

Well, the last paragraph was kind of interesting at least. I've heard of such things brought up before, especially in Asia.
I'm not sure how you would reform it, however.
 
2014-02-25 05:38:17 PM  
...Getting an abstract into a conference isn't that difficult.

I mean, for the American Physics Society march meeting, for instance, the requirements are 1) Submit an Abstract. 2) Be an APS member.

Now, where you get PUT in the conference depends on just how good it is. I.e. what category, and with what other talks. (Do you follow an expert in your field... or is your talk put in the "Crazy guys what have solved he universe, really this time, it's orgonne energy" section of talks?)
 
2014-02-25 05:38:38 PM  

Erix: dready zim: "They were created using software called SCIgen, which was invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers"

It`s easy to publish nonsense papers?

"Most of the papers were submitted to conferences based in China and were published with Chinese affiliations."

It's easier in some places than others.


Not only is it easier to submit, but it's also easier to resubmit. Under different names, of course.
 
2014-02-25 05:41:14 PM  

Damnhippyfreak: ...conference proceedings...

This reminds me of the spam I get about calls for papers for dodgy-sounding conferences that nobody's heard of.


I got one today whose subject line said "honorable speaker invitation" - it wasn't my field and it was just a call for abstracts (and presumably the 'invitation' was for me to pay my own way).


/at least it felt good for a few seconds until I read the email
//sigh.
 
2014-02-25 05:47:49 PM  

Erix: dready zim: "They were created using software called SCIgen, which was invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers"

It`s easy to publish nonsense papers?

"Most of the papers were submitted to conferences based in China and were published with Chinese affiliations."

It's easier in some places than others.


"16 fraudulent papers appeared in publications from Germany-based Springer, and more than 100 were published by the New York-based Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)."


Yup.
 
2014-02-25 06:04:46 PM  
sisterfarking dirtbags claiming this means global warming and evolution are bullshiat in 5.....4....3....
 
2014-02-25 06:19:40 PM  

minuslars: Erix: dready zim: "They were created using software called SCIgen, which was invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers"

It`s easy to publish nonsense papers?

"Most of the papers were submitted to conferences based in China and were published with Chinese affiliations."

It's easier in some places than others.

"16 fraudulent papers appeared in publications from Germany-based Springer, and more than 100 were published by the New York-based Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)."


Yup.


Apparently my comment was submitted and accepted without proper review.
 
2014-02-25 06:22:54 PM  
This is one of the reasons why, whenever anyone starts talking about their graduate degree, I start laughing uncontrollably and have to leave the room.
 
2014-02-25 06:27:05 PM  

baconbeard: This is one of the reasons why, whenever anyone starts talking about their graduate degree, I start laughing uncontrollably and have to leave the room.


Good for you. Now if you know anybody without a graduate degree doing science in industry you only know the bottom level people since everyone else has a PhD
 
2014-02-25 06:37:20 PM  
So how do you make a science paper take a Turing test?
 
2014-02-25 06:44:45 PM  
 
2014-02-25 06:48:15 PM  
How about revising this impact factor nonsense as well as local rules regarding publishing requirements for phd students?
This only results in having crappy papers replicated ad nauseum so that advisors can maximise their own visibilty as second authors.

God, I've read some utter tripe in my field (I'm not in university/research anymore, however, I'm talking from my experience from 7-10 years ago and yes, I contributed to the amount of steamig horseshiat myself). Of course, you always find the occasional 20/25 years old genius, then and there, but most of the scientific production is pure amateur works with little or no use (as in 'making advances in the field of research').
Considering the amount of hogwash produced by the system, I don't think taking out 15 bogus papers is going to make any advance. Even 1500.
But hey, look on the birght side, you're allowed to get your useless degree (unless you want to pursue an academic career) and your advisor gets a new ergonomic chair. Enjoy your ramen!
 
2014-02-25 06:50:41 PM  

whidbey: WelldeadLink: whidbey: They were created using software called SCIgen, which was invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers in conference proceedings

That's awesome. I'd love to get ahold of the sofware and write a paper about an alien takeover of Earth.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=SCIgen&l=1

Deploying Compilers Using Cooperative Modalities

Bill Kristol, WH Mumfrey, Alex jones, Jonah Goldberg and Whitley Strieber

Hm. Not quite the solution I expected.


On the other hand, I'd read a paper about deploying compilers if it were written by those collaborators.
I'd probably want to drop acid first, though.
 
2014-02-25 06:54:17 PM  

baconbeard: This is one of the reasons why, whenever anyone starts talking about their graduate degree, I start laughing uncontrollably and have to leave the room.


Boy, you sure showed them book-learnin' types.
 
2014-02-25 06:56:19 PM  

baconbeard: This is one of the reasons why, whenever anyone starts talking about their graduate degree, I start laughing uncontrollably and have to leave the room.


images.encyclopediadramatica.es
 
2014-02-25 06:59:03 PM  

ScaryBottles: baconbeard: This is one of the reasons why, whenever anyone starts talking about their graduate degree, I start laughing uncontrollably and have to leave the room.

[images.encyclopediadramatica.es image 550x550]


I own't know what them werds is, but thar's one purty pitcher.
 
2014-02-25 07:14:07 PM  
Thought this was going to be another Egon thread.

/Disappointed
 
2014-02-25 07:19:45 PM  
'Research'.

If the jackholes had done it right the first time, they wouldn't have to
REsearch, now would they?
 
2014-02-25 07:20:10 PM  
BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH...

Sorry guys... have to leave...
 
2014-02-25 07:20:13 PM  
Now I don't feel bad about letting my IEEE membership expire. Who am I kidding (besides the publishers of conference proceedings)... I never felt bad about dropping IEEE membership.

Also academic publishing in general is a huge mess of middlemen sucking money out of the university system and poor peer reviewers cloaked in the emperor's new clothes. The whole system needs to be destroyed and rebuilt from the ground up.

/Elsevier should go choke on a bag of moose genitals while burning in the sun
 
2014-02-25 07:54:05 PM  

baconbeard: This is one of the reasons why, whenever anyone starts talking about their graduate degree, I start laughing uncontrollably and have to leave the room.


Because in your degree, casual professional brainstorming sessions (conference papers) are held to the same standards of rigor as finished products (journal papers), and none of your co-workers has ever said something stupid in or outright trolled a meeting?

... or because you have a panic-based laugh reflex against fairly simple things that are somehow still beyond your comprehension?
 
2014-02-25 07:57:26 PM  

EngineerAU: /Elsevier should go choke on a bag of moose genitals while burning in the sun


To be fair, I've always found their review process to be fine.  I mean, in my field you generally suggest 4 or 5 reviewers and they pick 2, so if there's a shiatty reviewer it's our fault.

However, when they changed their graphic guidelines  after I submitted and made me spend 15 hours wrestling with my obsolete version of photoshop to do everything, I did kinda want to find the nearest Elsevier employee and kick him in the balls.
 
2014-02-25 08:16:11 PM  
I would like to know what journals this happened to.  Maybe one where as long as you pay a fee your paper is accepted?   It is hard as hell to get a paper accepted at a reputable journal and I find it hard to believe some computer generated nonsense paper could be accepted when a study I sweated over for months gets rejected.
 
2014-02-25 08:18:26 PM  
Ha! This means science is a hoax and Sarah Palin is now President!
 
2014-02-25 08:32:50 PM  

baconbeard: BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH...

Sorry guys... have to leave...


There he goes. We shall never see another of his like. Not in this life.....

global3.memecdn.com
 
2014-02-25 08:37:49 PM  
CSB and possibly relevant to the article:

I used to be a program chair for a security conference with on-site proceedings, and over the years we noticed an apparent scam.  Authors would submit a paper to the conference and, if accepted, completely change the authors' names just before the final copy was due.  Then they would announce at the very last second that they couldn't get a visa or funding to travel from China for the conference.

At first we thought that it was a matter of some jerk trying to get a conference publication without paying for travel or conference registration.  But then noticed the author names changing, and found out that the initial author names included legitimate researchers in the US and Europe who had no knowledge of these papers---indeed, it turned out they were listed on the papers with bogus email addresses, so they would receive no notice of the paper submission.

In the end, it seemed like an outright paper-selling scam.  Someone gets a bogus paper accepted to a conference with on-site proceedings, sells authorship to people who want a publication, and then vanish once the proceedings are printed, ditching the conference.

You may be asking why we accepted bogus papers in the first place.  Our bogus papers weren't noise; they seemed to be legitimate papers, possibly copied from some obscure conference, although we couldn't find them by web search.  They could have been papers translated from proceedings in another language.

You may also ask why we didn't simple put some rules in place to stop this.  We did enforce three policies:  authors must provide institutional email addresses (no gmail), no author changes without permission from the PC, and every paper must have at least one author pay for a conference registration before final printing of proceedings.  The scammers easily beat all three of these with various tricks from exploiting the conference management software to social engineering.  They apparently had dealt with this before.

Which brings me to your last question:  who in Hell would do this?  Wouldn't it destroy your career if you were found cheating a conference to pad your CV?  My theory is that the scammers weren't selling publications to professionals or academics, but to Chinese students applying to American grad schools.  In a highly competitive admissions environment, a student could provide a preprint of a publication to give an application an edge.  Those students may not realize how bad this could be for them if caught---or they may not care that much, given the high probability of not getting in if they don't cheat.

This article may have uncovered another, more automated version of the same thing.
 
2014-02-25 10:41:54 PM  
I posted in another thread about the amount of cheating going on in Arizona State's engineering college when I attended.

I remembered an interesting conversation held in the hallway of the main engineering building. A professor caught a student cheating--the prof would embed a date deep inside a drawing that was distributed for use in the semester project that every student had to complete in the introductory engineering class (this idiot turned in an earlier version that appeared to be the same year's project)--and he had walked the student out into the hall before he said loudly "I've gotten you kicked out of the engineering college and I'm going to try to get you kicked out of the university, too."

Based on that encounter, I later went to a head professor to complain about all of his students cheating in his class. He shrugged his shoulders and laughed.

Apparently even within the same institutions there is a vast difference on what is cheating and whether cheating is something to be punished or rewarded. Fascinating.

One of my professors started a class off one night by saying "I don't take too kindly to being threatened." He was tough on his exams and papers but consistent and fair. But he didn't give high marks unless they were warranted. So a student of his texted him that "he had never received a 3.0 and he better not receive a 3.0. He just better not. That's all."

So I can understand a department head or other professor not wanting to face retribution from a. his department for creating a stink about something everyone is condoning, encouraging and rewarding and b. his students for turning them in as cheaters when everyone around them is cheating.

It's just very interesting to see the nuances.
 
2014-02-26 06:47:18 AM  

gwowen: Jim_Callahan: invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers in conference proceedings.

Um... that's not actually publishing a paper.  Conference proceedings are 'published' in the literal sense, but not in the scientific sense-- they're not peer reviewed and you can't generally use them as references in real articles. That's true in some fields, but not others, and of some conferences and not others. Some conf proceedings, will publish any old nonsense, but I've published in IUTAM conf proceedings, and they are absolutely 100% peer reviewed.



Same here. My most highly sighted paper to date is technically a conference proceeding, but from a reasonably well-respected organization.
 
2014-02-26 08:24:10 AM  

because I care: gwowen: Jim_Callahan: invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers in conference proceedings.

Um... that's not actually publishing a paper.  Conference proceedings are 'published' in the literal sense, but not in the scientific sense-- they're not peer reviewed and you can't generally use them as references in real articles. That's true in some fields, but not others, and of some conferences and not others. Some conf proceedings, will publish any old nonsense, but I've published in IUTAM conf proceedings, and they are absolutely 100% peer reviewed.


Same here. My most highly sighted paper to date is technically a conference proceeding, but from a reasonably well-respected organization.


You mean the one the most people have laid eyes on? Or did you mean "cited", and if so, how did you get to a position where you would have papers cited but not know the word is "cite" and not "sight"?
 
2014-02-26 08:36:38 AM  

untaken_name: You mean the one the most people have laid eyes on? Or did you mean "cited", and if so, how did you get to a position where you would have papers cited but not know the word is "cite" and not "sight"?


I took it to mean it contained many "I"s
 
2014-02-26 08:39:03 AM  

Vlad_the_Inaner: untaken_name: You mean the one the most people have laid eyes on? Or did you mean "cited", and if so, how did you get to a position where you would have papers cited but not know the word is "cite" and not "sight"?

I took it to mean it contained many "I"s


That was pretty cornea, but I'd say you're an apt pupil.

/sclera
 
2014-02-26 10:09:16 AM  

Damnhippyfreak: Damnhippyfreak: ...conference proceedings...

This reminds me of the spam I get about calls for papers for dodgy-sounding conferences that nobody's heard of.

Plus the shaky abstracts and submissions you sometimes see from 'independent researchers', NGOs, and of course, students.

/how come the thing that sticks in my mind years after these things is how good the food was?


Lots of these conferences are excuses for a vacation. I've seen abstracts with more co-authors than observations. At the largest conferences, you can find slots to learn things and get work done, though.

/I sometimes feel like I'm kicking a puppy when I point out the flaws in some young researcher's work at these conferences.
 
2014-02-26 12:23:20 PM  

Jim_Callahan: invented by MIT researchers in 2005 to prove how easy it is to publish nonsense papers in conference proceedings.

Um... that's not actually publishing a paper.  Conference proceedings are 'published' in the literal sense, but not in the scientific sense-- they're not peer reviewed and you can't generally use them as references in real articles.  They're just informal 'hey, this is what the lab is doing' updates.


Many conferences use peer review to select papers, and some have multiple stages of peer review, requiring revision after presentation.

In fact, until about 2006, proceedings published in Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science were actually indexed as Journals by ISI web of Science (or whatever it's called nowadays.)  The extra peer review, selection of papers and editorial board were enough to get them to count as journals by accident.

In some fields, conferences almost completely supplant journals as peer-reviewed publication venues.
 
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