One biologist spends an inordinate amount of time submitting faux papers with inaccurate and downright false information to be published. The surprise is that the majority of the papers are published.

This interesting, humorous, and slightly disturbing topic was brought to our attention by the Science Mag in their article, “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?”  This article is about a trick or hoax. Not an evil or mean hoax, but rather a test of the peer review process as it exists at the moment. It isn’t the first, but it is quite possibly the largest in both effort and results.

Open-access scientific journals have spent the past decade morphing into a global industry, driven by author publication fees rather than traditional subscriptions. Many of the players are questionable and work in mostly anonymity.

While the author of this particular hoax was a legitimate researcher, we can’t let this go by without mentioning that with an author or affiliation database, the publishers might have known that submitters of some other  articles were bogus, even if they did not check the really bad science in the articles themselves.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.