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Springer and IEEE Withdraw More than 120 Gibberish Conference Papers

By now many of you have already seen the story, first reported in Nature, wherein a researcher determined that 120 or more papers in conference proceedings published by Springer and IEEE were in fact neither based on actual research nor even written by human authors but were rather the computer-generated product of a piece of software. The program, SCIgen (go ahead and try it for yourself!), has the ability to create plausible-sounding but in fact entirely meaningless academic ‘papers’ on computer science topics.

In recent developments in the story, a few of the identified authors for these conference papers are beginning to come forward and disavow being involved with them in any way–that the papers were neither ‘written’ nor submitted by them. This would seem to militate toward the idea that this is a form of elaborate practical joke or oblique commentary rather than a case of academic or professional fraud.

Van Noorden, R. Nature. USA http://doi:10.1038/nature.2014.14763 (2014).

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