11,000 “Peer-Reviewed” Papers Exposed As Fakes: The Dark Side Of Science Revealed!

Australian blogger Jo Nova recently revealed the dark side of science, exposing 11,000 “peer-reviewed” papers in the 217-year-old Wiley science publication as fakes.

11,000 "Peer-Reviewed" Papers Exposed As Fakes: The Dark Side Of Science Revealed! 1

It serves as another example of why it might not always be the wisest course of action to ‘trust the science’ blindly in the future.

It has been discovered that the 217-year-old Wiley science publication “peer-reviewed” more than 11,000 papers that turned out to be fake without ever realizing it. Australian blogger Jo Nova described the papers as “naked gobbledygook sandwiches” on her blog last week.

“It’s not just a scam, it’s an industry,” she stated. “Who knew, academic journals were a 30 billion dollar industry?”

According to Nova’s piece, expert cheating services are using artificial intelligence (AI) to rearrange words in academic papers to create what appear to be “original” works. As an example, phrases such as “breast cancer” became “bosom peril,” while the “naïve Bayes” classifier became “gullible Bayes.”

Similar to this, a publication once strangely renamed an ant colony as an “underground creepy crawly state.”

Terminology misusage sometimes occurs in machine learning, when a “random forest” is haphazardly rendered as “arbitrary timberland” or “irregular backwoods.”

Remarkably, according to Nova, these publications go through peer review without any stringent human scrutiny, which makes it possible for serious mistakes to go unnoticed, such as misinterpreting “local average energy” as “territorial normal vitality.”

11,000 "Peer-Reviewed" Papers Exposed As Fakes: The Dark Side Of Science Revealed! 2

Publisher Wiley has acknowledged that fraudulent activity has compromised 19 of its journals to the point where they need to be closed. As a result, the sector is creating depressing but necessary AI systems to identify these fakes. As Nova puts it:

The rot at Wiley started decades ago, but it got caught when it spent US $298 million on an Egyptian publishing house called Hindawi. We could say we hope no babies were hurt by fake papers but we know bad science already kills people. What we need are not “peer reviewed” papers but actual live face to face debate. Only when the best of both sides have to answer questions, with the data will we get real science:

In March, it revealed to the NYSE a $US9 million ($13.5 million) plunge in research revenue after being forced to “pause” the publication of so-called “special issue” journals by its Hindawi imprint, which it had acquired in 2021 for US$298 million ($450 million).

Its statement noted the Hindawi program, which comprised some 250 journals, had been “suspended temporarily due to the presence in certain special issues of compromised articles”.

Many of these suspect papers purported to be serious medical studies, including examinations of drug resistance in newborns with pneumonia and the value of MRI scans in the diagnosis of early liver disease. The journals involved included Disease Markers, BioMed Research International and Computational Intelligence and Neuroscience.

The problem is only becoming more urgent. The recent explosion of artificial intelligence raises the stakes even further. A researcher at University College London recently found more than 1 per cent of all scientific articles published last year, some 60,000 papers, were likely written by a computer.

In some sectors, it’s worse. Almost one out of every five computer science papers published in the past four years may not have been written by humans.

Concerns about the public’s declining trust in universities—which are increasingly viewed as companies rather than educational institutions—have been covered by ABC in Australia. This impression is reinforced by instances in which academic fraud is ignored by universities due to financial incentives.

The foundation of science is eroded, made worse by organizations such as the ABC Science Unit, which frequently protects questionable research instead of investigating it.

A change from traditional peer review to rigorous live debates is necessary to stop this continual degeneration. By having people discuss their cases in real-time, live debates ensure accountability.

A new record of almost 10,000 papers being retracted in 2023 was announced by Nature in December of that year.

Last year, GreatGameIndia reported that Retraction Watch revealed over 300 COVID-19 papers had been withdrawn for not meeting the standards of scientific soundness.

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