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Springer Nature retracts 44 “utter nonsense” papers

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Gizmodo is unsparing: “Unadulterated gibberish snuck into Springer Nature’s Arabian Journal of Geosciences, and not for the first time.

The publisher Springer Nature was forced to retract over 40 papers from its Arabian Journal of Geosciences after realizing they were nothing more than garbled jargon. This is just the latest in a series of shoddy research papers getting past the publisher.

First reported by research journal watchdog Retraction Watch, the slew of retractions comes on the heels of other issues at the publisher, where hundreds of papers were previously flagged with “expressions of concern” for research integrity breaches…

They read a bit like a college student throwing around big words to cover up a lack of understanding. Though purportedly written by humans, the content of each paper definitely reads as if it were put together by a computer that doesn’t quite grasp speech patterns or grammar. The papers are filled with redundancies and generally lack logic.

Isaac Schultz, “Science Publisher Retracts 44 Papers for Being Utter Nonsense” at Gizmodo (November 5, 2021)

The editor of the journal has suggested that the autobabble papers got into the journal via hacking. Retraction Watch says that that does happen, giving an example.

Here’s the Retraction Watch piece on the current spout of nonsense.

As we’ve noted earlier, it’s getting to the point where “Trust the science!” is sounding more ridiculous all the time. It’s like saying “Trust the mountains” or “Trust milk.” It’s not a rational response to a lot of what we face just now.

You may also wish to read: Neil deGrasse Tyson vs. SteakUmm on the philosophy of science The thing is, the saucy social media team at Steak-Umm has a point: What does it mean to say that science is “true”? Was all the contradictory nonsense barked at us during the COVID pandemic “true”? That isn’t even possible. Yet all the barkers will insist that whatever stuff they said was “science” and we will, it seems have to believe them on that one. But with what outcome… we shall see.

8 Replies to “Springer Nature retracts 44 “utter nonsense” papers

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    These Chinese students haven’t mastered the art of FASHIONABLE nonsense.

    “Distribution of earthquake activity in mountain area based on embedded system and physical fitness detection of basketball”

    is unfashionable nonsense, and the journal editors finally rejected it. The students should have written:

    “Distribution of earthquake activity in mountain area based on embedded system and mental illness detection of Trump voters”

    Guaranteed high citation count for the journal, and possible Nobel material.

  2. 2
    ram says:

    “Trust science” is like saying “trust your hammer” or “trust your gun.” These things are tools and are subject to misuse and abuse. 1/2 of all peer-reviewed experimental evidence ends up being falsified. Consensus is not science. Just-so stories, opinions and speculation of “scientists” is not science.

    “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself — and you are the easiest person to fool.” –Richard Feynman

    –Ram

  3. 3
    Joe Schooner says:

    Ram

    1/2 of all peer-reviewed experimental evidence ends up being falsified.

    Is there a reference for this statistic?

  4. 4
    chuckdarwin says:

    Compared to fashionable nonsense, i.e. “intelligent design.”

  5. 5
    jerry says:

    Compared to fashionable nonsense, i.e. “intelligent design

    Chuckdarwin is the Whack a Mole of ID.

    Disappears from a site when he is challenged but turns up elsewhere to make a nonsense snarky remark. What are the odds that Chuckdarwin will ever defend one of his comments?

  6. 6
    EDTA says:

    CD also doesn’t have a grasp of PR. He’ll never win people over with comments like that.

  7. 7
    johnnyb says:

    Joe –

    There’s been a lot of ink spilled on the “replication crisis” that is happening across a number of scientific fields. One of the biggest reasons is that Big Data is actually just as prone to give you false correlations as real truths, and it is super-easy to do p-hacking, even accidentally, with large datasets.

    There’s a lot of papers on this, but probably the one that Ram was referring to was this one:

    https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

  8. 8
    Joe Schooner says:

    Thanks Johnnyb, interesting article. But as a couple of the commenters on that article said, the title was misleading.

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