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Will journals accept papers written by a … computer?


peer-review-hub2  They’ll even try to review them. Computer science prof Robert Marks writes at The Best Schools:

Should we be surprised that phony papers generated by SCIgen have been accepted by conferences and journals? The pressure to publish has been applied to professors almost everywhere. Supply and demand dictates that journals and conferences be created to meet the demand. Many of these conferences and journals, motivated by profit, are not picky about the quality of the papers they accept. They are more interested in collecting fees. Although I’m not a big fan of peer review as it is currently practiced, there always needs to be a gatekeeper to ban entrance of garbage trucks.

Okay, but what if we are paying for a gatekeeper who does not ban the entrance of garbage trucks?

A phony paper written by the computer program SCIgen was accepted at the ninthWorld Conference on Systematics, Cybernetics, and Informatics (WCSCI) in Orlando, Florida. After accepting the paper unreviewed, the WCSCI organizers found the SCIgen webpage where the paper’s authors announced their triumph and were soliciting donations to allow them to travel to the conference and present the paper. After the discovery, the conference wrote “… since you gave the information in your web page that the paper was a fake one, we think we should not accept your registration even if you have total responsibility on the content of your paper (as a non-reviewed one).” Whatever that means.

And, in anther case, how does one review a paper generated by random word sorts?

For some reason, the editor could not catch the main point of pure gibberish. He continues. “In this paper, we may find that there are so many mathematical expressions and notations. But the author doesn’t give any introduction for them.” That’s because no explanation for the paper exists. More.

The above is from Part V of a series on peer review at The Best Schools.

See also: This is not a hoax: 120 computer-generated nonsense papers are being removed from science papers database

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