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Hoax-detecting software spots fake papers

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Science  03 Apr 2015:
Vol. 348, Issue 6230, pp. 18-19
DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6230.18

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Summary

It all started as a prank in 2005. Three computer science Ph.D. students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—Jeremy Stribling, Max Krohn, and Dan Aguayo—created a program to generate nonsensical computer science research papers. The goal, says Stribling, now a software engineer in Palo Alto, California, was "to expose the lack of peer review at low-quality conferences that essentially scam researchers with publication and conference fees." The program—dubbed SCIgen—soon found users across the globe, and before long its automatically generated creations were being accepted by scientific conferences and published in purportedly peer-reviewed journals. But SCIgen may have finally met its match. Last week, academic publisher Springer released SciDetect, a freely available program to automatically detect automatically generated papers.