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Fake Paper Written With iOS Autocomplete Gets Accepted At Nuclear Physics Conference

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A bogus scientific paper under an equally bogus name made its way into an International Conference on Atomic and Nuclear Physics in Atlanta, highlighting how people can take advantage of the “publish or perish” mentality in the academe.

Dr. Christophe Bartneck, an associate professor of computer science at New Zealand’s University of Canterbury, decided to perform an experiment. He made up the name Dr. Iris Pear – an anagram of “Siri Apple” – and used keywords like “atomic” and “nuclear” to generate a completely nonsensical paper created by the iOS’ autocomplete function.

Bartneck received an invitation to submit research for a conference on nuclear physics, a topic he had zero background in, Christian Science Monitor reports. In a blog post, Bartneck says, “I started a sentence with ‘atomic’ or ‘nuclear’ and then randomly hit the autocomplete suggestions.” He adds,

The text really does not make any sense.

Completely incomprehensible and off-topic, Bartneck’s paper contained only a handful of scientific terms. One paragraph read, “Atomic Physics and I shall not have the same problem with a separate section for a very long way. Nuclear weapons will not have to come out the same day after a long time of the year he added the twos ideas will have the two leaders to take the same way to bring up to their long ways of the same as they will have been a good place for a good time at home the united front and she is a great place for a good time.”

He even added some stock Wikipedia images and placed random scientific references in. he even claimed that Dr. Pear was a lecturer at “Umbria Polytech University” in California, according to Inquirer.

Three hours after Bartneck submitted Iris Pear’s research, he was astounded to receive an email that his work had been accepted. He could now pay $1,099 to register as an academic speaker at the conference to be held in Atlanta, Georgia.

New studies suggest that many open-source journals are slacking off on peer review. For example, John Bohannon, a biologist and science journalist from Harvard University, submitted false research to 304 journals under fake names. Over half accepted his works.

In 2014, Peter Vamplew, a lecturer of computer science at Federation University in Victoria, submitted a paper titled, “Get Me Off Your [expletive] Mailing List” to the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology that kept sending unsolicited invitations. Vamplew told the Guardian, “They’re predatory journals, preying on young, inexperienced researchers who unwittingly don’t realize they’re of questionable quality.”

Needless to say, Bartneck will not be attending the Nuclear Physics conference.


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