The paper mill


The image above has next to nothing to do with this post, but I found it irresistible and had to share it.

Here’s a nice little item in the online edition of Nature magazine:

The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense.

Over the past two years, computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, has catalogued computer-generated papers that made it into more than 30 published conference proceedings between 2008 and 2013. Sixteen appeared in publications by Springer, which is headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, and more than 100 were published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), based in New York.

I love it that this discovery emanates from Joseph Fourier University. I have always admired Fourier, and believe that his eponymous Transform is about the coolest thing going.

I used to be a member of the IEEE, and in those days, their publications were full of pretty good stuff — at least, the ones I read were. See what happens when you turn your back, just for a minute?

I would like to see PMLA purge itself of gibberish papers. Of course this would mean that the last forty years’ worth of the journal would be empty covers, with no pages inside. But think of the space saving on library shelves!

The depressing thing about PMLA is that very few of its gibberish papers were computer-generated, I feel sure. People actually wrote them.

2 thoughts on “The paper mill

  1. Hey Michael! So great to see you back again!

    As an electrical engineer and lifetime amateur mathematician I have SO MUCH to say about how totally FAKE “democracy” has been since the French Revolution.

    This is by light-years the biggest conspiracy ever.

    Simple score voting is the ONLY non Rockefeller, Ford Foundation, Carnegie Foundation voting method. Unlike the fake “IRV” it could work. Compare it with the other HOPELESSLY COMPLICATED methods.

    My website is dedicated to it:

  2. You should get this book. Forget set theory, Category theory. Crummy first order logic. Get the real thing. Second order logic. (Unfortunately conflated with linguistics, but that will pass.)

    Rudolph Carnap:
    Introduction to Symbolic Logic and Its Applications

    The truth will set you free.

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