In DepthSCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS

In Iran, a shady market for papers flourishes

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Science  16 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6305, pp. 1197
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6305.1197

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Summary

A veritable army of outfits in Iran offer to write theses and scientific papers for a fee, advertising on the internet, through fliers, and via the placard-carrying touts who line the sidewalk outside the University of Tehran. It's unknown how many papers and theses are ginned up under false pretenses. In 2014, a member of Iran's Academy of Sciences estimated that each year as many as 5000 theses—roughly 10% of all master's and Ph.D. theses awarded in Iran—are bought from dealers. Such transactions may soon be illegal. This autumn, Iran's parliament is expected to take up work on a bill that would outlaw shady practices in scientific publishing.

  • * in Tehran