Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hoax Paper Incident

"Publish or perish" is a popular mantra one encounters in academia. Well, a recent story about a hoax article that was accepted for publication suggests that this mantra might need to be be re-thought! Naturenews reports about the embarrassing incident where a computer-generated manuscript was accepted for publication in an open access journal. A computer generated paper contains grammatically correct but nonsensical text.

This story brings back memories of the the "Sokal Affair" from the mid-1990's.

This new hoax raises real concerns as it is common practice for open access journals to charge authors for publishing their papers. By introducing the profit motive in this way there are real potential threats to the integrity of the review process.