Friday, June 19, 2009


Another day, another "peer-reviewed" journal snookered. The Guardian:
The editor-in-chief of an academic journal has resigned after his publication accepted a hoax article.

The Open Information Science Journal failed to spot that the incomprehensible computer-generated paper was a fake. This was despite heavy hints from its authors, who claimed they were from the Centre for Research in Applied Phrenology – which forms the acronym Crap.
Maybe you might miss the acronym, but applied phrenology?
The journal, which claims to subject every paper to the scrutiny of other academics, so-called "peer review", accepted the paper.

Philip Davis, a graduate student at Cornell University in New York, who was behind the hoax, said he wanted to test the editorial standards of the journal's publisher, Bentham Science Publishers.

Davis had received unsolicited emails from Bentham asking him to submit papers to some of its 200+ journals that cover a wide range of subject matter from neuroscience to engineering.

If their papers are accepted, academics pay a fee in return for Bentham publishing the papers online. They can then be viewed by other academics for free.

Davis, with the help of Kent Anderson, a member of the publishing team at the New England Journal of Medicine, created the hoax computer science paper. The pair submitted their paper, Deconstructing Access Points, under false names. Four months later, they were told it had been accepted and the fee to have it published was $800 (almost £500).
What a racket. Expect to see Ward Churchill published in one of their journals any time now. Here, by the way, is the paper. Note how they slyly sneak Noam Chomsky into the footnotes.

(via judders brud)

Update: They sneak in Alan Turing as well, for a paper supposedly written in 2003; Turing died in 1954.

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