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Over 120 Fake Research Papers Make Their Way Across the Web

Over 120 fake, computer-generated research papers were created and published online out of pressure per HNGN. The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and Spring have removed these fake research papers.

A French computer scientist, named Cyril Labbé, who was working with Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, has created a website where users can test to see if research papers have been created through SCIgen, a program developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology( MIT) that generates random computer science research papers. He also discovered that many research papers published online in conference proceedings between 2008-2013 are “gibberish” and were created using the program.

research papers

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Labbé indexed the computer-generated papers and found that over 100 were published by the IEEE and 16 were published by Springer. He talked with both publishers and was told that the papers are now removed.

Monika Stickel, director of IEEE’s corporate communications told Nature News that the publisher “took immediate action to remove the papers” and have also “refined the processes to prevent papers not meeting our standards from being published in the future.”

Despite all this, Cyril could not explain the reason these papers were accepted in the first place. He was also uncertain if the authors were aware these papers existed. He attempted to reach out to the conference organizers and authors of the papers, however only one author responded saying that he wasn’t aware that his name was listed as a co-author of the paper, at least not until his university was informed in December 2013.

He took note that most of the conferences were held in China, and most of the authors of the fake research papers had Chinese affiliations.

When asked about the subject, SCIgen co-author Jeremy Stribling told Nature News that, “I wasn’t aware of the scale of the problem, but I knew it definitely happens. We do get occasional e-mails from good citizens letting us know where SCIgen papers show up.”

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