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posted by janrinok on Monday March 03 2014, @09:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the twas-brillig-and-the-slithy-toves dept.

AnonTechie writes:

"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 Labbe 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. Both publishers, which were privately informed by Labbe, say that they are now removing the papers.

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bd on Monday March 03 2014, @11:25PM

    by bd (2773) on Monday March 03 2014, @11:25PM (#10325)

    "Ruth Francis, UK head of communications at Springer, says that the company has contacted editors, and is trying to contact authors, about the issues surrounding the articles that are coming down. The relevant conference proceedings were peer reviewed, she confirms - making it more mystifying that the papers were accepted."

    So those "reviewers" have some explaining to do.

    What do you expect the publisher to say ;-). Fact of the matter is, it is already well known that "peer-review" for proceedings is - let's say - not very rigorous. Actually, IEEE proceedings are sometimes one page of abstract and a page filled with figures not related to the abstract, that seem like the author had flying around on his desk. I don't know whether humans read them, I have until now never got interesting information out of one. Computer generated or not.

    But you are right, someone was probably given the designation "peer-reviewer" for each of the sessions these talks were in, and I would not want to be him right now.

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  • (Score: 2) by weeds on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:29AM

    by weeds (611) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @01:29AM (#10386) Journal

    Yeah, they seem to be backing themselves into a corner don't they?

  • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Tuesday March 04 2014, @10:24AM

    by TheRaven (270) on Tuesday March 04 2014, @10:24AM (#10541) Journal
    That's highly dependent on the field. In computer science, the top publication venues are in conferences (especially the ACM SIG* conferences) and journal articles tend to be retrospectives on longer-running projects. In physics, conferences are where you talk about your work, then you publish the preliminary work directly in the arxiv and eventually might bother with a journal paper. In many humanities subjects, journals are the only valued form of publication.
    sudo mod me up