Posted by: David Harley | February 26, 2014

Fake conference papers

An article on Slashdot reports that Publishers Withdraw More Than 120 Fake Papers: the papers referred to are apparently ‘computer-generated papers’ that were published in conference proceedings between 2008 and 2013, the publishers involved being Springer and the IEEE.

The article is referring to a far more detailed report by Richard van Noorden for Nature: Publishers withdraw more than 120 gibberish papers. While the automation aspect is new to me, it’s been apparent for quite a while that dubious conferences and  journals that have more to do with quantity than quality, and more to do with the exploitation of the need many academics have to publish in order to maintain tenure, have been a considerable blot on the scientific escutcheon for some time. I posted a brief article addressing some of the issues for the Anti-Phishing Working Group blog about a year ago: Academic Vanity Press: Who Gets Scammed?

There may not be any direct connection, but those of us who have got tired over the years of being contacted every few months by editors at the security magazine Hakin9 in search of lengthy but unpaid articles from the security research community had a quiet giggle in 2012 when Hakin9 published an article on DARPA Inference Checking Kludge Scanning (note the acronym) apparently submitted to draw attention to the magazine’s poor editorial standard. John Leyden’s Register article Experts troll ‘biggest security mag in the world’ with DICKish submission has the detail on that story.

David Harley
ESET Senior Research Fellow

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