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The Media

Publishers Withdraw More Than 120 Fake Papers 62

bmahersciwriter writes "Over the past two years, computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, has cataloged computer-generated papers that made it into more than 30 published conference proceedings between 2008 and 2013. Sixteen appeared in publications by Springer, which is headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, and more than 100 were published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), based in New York. Both publishers, which were privately informed by Labbé, say that they are now removing the papers." Looks like journal trolling is really easy.
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Publishers Withdraw More Than 120 Fake Papers

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  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @09:45PM (#46330325) Homepage
    In many fields conference proceedings have little to no oversight. These papers don't get noticed at all or cited and for most purposes don't exist. The only real issue I can see here is that a large fraction of these are apparently coming from China and this is consistent with prior reports of serious problems with academic quality coming from China. It is possible that people are using these essentially fake papers to boost their publication counts which may give them some advantages as long as no one looks closely, but any institution that is a serious institution will look at everything one has published. I actually found this point more interesting:

    Labbé emphasizes that the nonsense computer science papers all appeared in subscription offerings. In his view, there is little evidence that open-access publishers — which charge fees to publish manuscripts — necessarily have less stringent peer review than subscription publishers.

    Considering how many complaints there are about low-quality open-access journals, this suggests that that isn't nearly as much of an issue as some people are claiming.

  • by pz ( 113803 ) on Monday February 24, 2014 @10:11PM (#46330489) Journal

    Conferences are not journals. The peer-review comes during the presentation, not when the abstract is submitted. If the session moderator doesn't know the submitter, maybe he'll look at the abstract a bit more closely, but he's not going to send the abstract out to three other people in the field to vet it. So it gets published.

    Depends on the field. Some conferences are very hard to get into, and there is a rigorous peer-review process (I can think of two of the conferences in my field with acceptance rates at or below 30%). Others accept essentially anything and everything (like those semi-scam conferences in China I keep getting invited to). I'd wager, however, that the majority of meetings are somewhere in the middle, accepting most submissions that sound reasonable, as the organizers trust that the cost of attending and presenting is sufficient disincentive to trolls.

This login session: $13.76, but for you $11.88.