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Once I had prepared the fake papers, I carried on with my investigation and sent these three papers that had been “written” by my librarian friends for editing in the “anti Scigen” program.I went to the page Anti Scigen⁵, and saw that the only requirement was that the group of PDF files should be sent as an file.
In their introduction of this program, the authors state the following: SCIgen is a program that generates random computer science research papers, including graphs, figures and citations.
It uses a hand-written context-free grammar to form all elements of the papers.
I created three papers by using combinations of the different authors – and all this took me less than 5 minutes.
Next I generated the PDFs for these papers and downloaded them to my computer for review. Even the bibliography was correctly laid out, and helpfully included in some of the bibliographic references were the names of my librarian friends cited as authors!!!
– so we should not be taken aback when it can also be found in academic publications.
To clarify my view point, I am going to relate what I did when I read the news item which appeared in Nature, and invite readers to do the same thing because it was a very entertaining experience.
(free translation) In the world of computing, we are accustomed to viruses, trojans, hackers, phishing, spamming and so on, and for these we set up firewalls, antivirus programs, blacklists, passwords and all other kinds of security.
The people who create and use those “IT works” are computer science graduates who often develop these programs as part of their studies or simply as personal challenges, even just for fun. Duplicate and fake publications in the scientific literature: how many SCIgen papers in computer science.
This news generated shock effects because these fake papers, automatically created by a computer program, had been accepted by prestigious journal publishers, 16 by the German publisher Springer, and more than 100 were published by the Institute of Electronic Engineers (IEEE) in the USA.
However, nothing like this should really shock us, since spamming exists on the Internet – well, doesn’t it?