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George Lucas and Anakin Skywalker

George Lucas and Anakin Skywalker of Star Wars

How Easy Is to Publish Fake Papers in American Science Journals


A neurology expert revealed he was able to convince a trio of medical journals to publish a Star Wars-themed fake manuscript, despite it being packed full of references to George Lucas’ iconic series.

The author, who writes online under the name Neuroskeptic, said their paper titled “Mitochondria: Structure, Function and Clinical Relevance” was poorly written and “an absurd mess of factual errors, plagiarism and movie quotes.”

“I wanted to test whether ‘predatory’ journals would publish an obviously absurd paper,” the hoax’s author wrote. “So I created a spoof manuscript. I filled it with other references to the galaxy far, far away, and submitted it to nine journals under the names of Dr. Lucas McGeorge and Dr. Annette Kin.”

The name of the authors given in the fake piece are thinly-veiled references to Lucas — Star Wars’ creator — and Anakin Skywalker.

The paper was picked up by four different journals — the American Journal of Medical and Biological Research, the International Journal of Molecular Biology: Open Access, the Austin Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and American Research Journal of Biosciences.

The AJMBR did not publish the paper but did request a $360 fee in order to do so.

“It’s just a reminder that at some ‘peer reviewed’ journals, there really is no meaningful peer review at all,” Neuroskeptic said. “All I did, as Lucas McGeorge, was test the quality of the products being advertised.”

A fake paper filled with fantasies was approved in three science journals. So a paper with only some fake references would be likely to be approved by a larger number of science journals.

In an age when people believe everything science journals say, including its praises of irrational fantasies about homosexuality, especially when in obvious conflict with human reproductive functions and natural biological differences and complementarity, often readers forget that humans err, even when they are scientists, and sometimes they are malicious in the defense of their preferences and ideologies.

With information from DailyMail.

Portuguese version of this article: É fácil publicar documentos fraudulentos em revistas científicas americanas


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