×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Science Magazine "Sting Operation" Catches Predatory Journals In the Act

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the how-to-be-a-famous-person dept.

The Media 194

sciencehabit writes "A sting operation orchestrated by Science's contributing news correspondent John Bohannon exposes the dark side of open-access publishing. Bohannon created a spoof scientific report, authored by made-up researchers from institutions that don't actually exist, and submitted it to 304 peer-reviewed, open-access journals around the world. His hoax paper claimed that a particular molecule slowed the growth of cancer cells, and it was riddled with obvious errors and contradictions. Unfortunately, despite the paper's flaws, more open-access journals accepted it for publication (157) than rejected it (98). In fact, only 36 of the journals solicited responded with substantive comments that recognized the report's scientific problems. The article reveals a 'Wild West' landscape that's emerging in academic publishing, where journals and their editorial staffs aren't necessarily who or what they claim to be."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

194 comments

Click (5, Insightful)

mynamestolen (2566945) | about 7 months ago | (#45029903)

How many of the open access journals rely on click through advertising? Follow the money, I say.

Re:Click (3, Insightful)

moteyalpha (1228680) | about 7 months ago | (#45030189)

Science Magazine did a bad experiment about submitting a spoof scientific report so that you would click on them! How can you trust a science magazine that uses bad scientific methods to make a point. Real scientists create experiments that can be reproduced and independently verified and they did not. Q.E.D.

Re:Click (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 7 months ago | (#45030405)

What is stopping someone from "independently" creating a bogus paper and submitting it to numerous peer-reviewed, open-access journals and analyzing the results? It seems reproducible and independently verifiable to me.

Re:Click (3, Insightful)

moteyalpha (1228680) | about 7 months ago | (#45031143)

It would be a de novo experiment as the first was not independent. It seems much like the Microsoft "Scroogle" ads. It made me think they must be desperate to employ such methods. "Coke says Pepsi sucks, Coke confirms it" It was not intended to be a real serious poke at them as I really like their magazine and they do have good articles in my opinion. It sounds like marketing department logic at work here.

Re:Click (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45031371)

Doctors lie to patients ad give placebos. Does that make the placebo effect invalid?

Re:Click (3, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 7 months ago | (#45030479)

How many of the open access journals rely on click through advertising? Follow the money, I say.

I think they're all trying to figure out their business models.

I know some respected organizations have created open access journals, though they rely on member fees to pay for the costs. Others rely on the author to pony up some cash (some up to $1500) which pays for it.

I think the author-pays is an interesting one - and quite possibly might be a way to cut down the number of bad articles - after all, if you're not willing to pony up, you probably don't have enough belief In your research.

Re:Click (3, Informative)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 7 months ago | (#45030695)

It depends. What impact will publishing a paper have on your career? If âoepublishingâ 10 papers is the difference between a associate professorship and a full professorship, $15,000 is cheap.

One might ask how valuable fake papers are â" and it turns out they can be worth quite a bit.

http://www.economist.com/news/china/21586845-flawed-system-judging-research-leading-academic-fraud-looks-good-paper [economist.com]

Re:Click (2)

ffflala (793437) | about 7 months ago | (#45030561)

Few if any, I'd guess. Academic journals are usually not ad-based publications. The "open access" model described here means that either the author pays for the publication, the author's institution, or the publication has an institutional grant to pay for it.

When you follow the money, it leads you to two groups. At the bottom of the pole will be the individual scammers who've set up these "journals" -- the article mentions a few professors who were at best slipping and at worst cynically & intentionally running this simply for a profit. For the individually-published papers, it stops here.

For the rest, the money continues to a publishing company that cynically generates profits using a catalog that includes one, several, or only fake journals. These publishers include some big names in the traditional closed-access academic journal model (where subscriptions, often incredibly expensive ones, are required to read journal articles), such as LexisNexis owner Elsevier, Wolters Kluwer, and Sage.

Awesome, now let's test schools the same way (3, Insightful)

intermodal (534361) | about 7 months ago | (#45029919)

Seems like degree-mills are more common than actual universities by the same token.

Re:Awesome, now let's test schools the same way (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 7 months ago | (#45031043)

Seems like degree-mills are more common than actual universities by the same token.

To solve the problem simply eliminate final exams and meaningless accreditation and implement entrance exams for jobs. Instead of the traditional degree mill one of the others stories shows how Makerspaces could be the answer: "And here we have a 3D printed degree, and over here a Degree Lathe, and this one's a 3 axis CNC degree mill..."

The total number of these journals is irrelevant (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 7 months ago | (#45029933)

What matters is the results from the top journals only, or maybe expand that to only the ones that people are currently trusting. The same argument is made about the number of crappy apps in a specific app store. Go ahead, add another ten million crappy apps to the library. It's irrelevant. Show the number of crappy apps that actually get downloaded or show up high in search results. Nobody cares how many fake journals are out there as the majority are painfully obvious. What matters is if the top ones have poor quality.

Re:The total number of these journals is irrelevan (4, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | about 7 months ago | (#45030095)

The problem is that serious decisions are made by people who have no idea which journals are top quality. Bad tenure decisions, bad engineering choices, and god forbid bad medical decisions are being made daily on the basis of nothing more than "hey, the European Journal of Chemistry sounds legit."

Re:The total number of these journals is irrelevan (5, Interesting)

semi-extrinsic (1997002) | about 7 months ago | (#45030409)

In Norway, we have a "level" system that is used in academia throughout the country. It is used for evaluating researchers and research groups when it comes to employment, tenure, funding etc. Your "point score" is summed up, 2 points for publication in a "level 2" journal, 1 point for "level 1".

A journal is either "level 2", "level 1" or "level 0". "level 2" is a selection of top journals from each field in science, 2000 in total (for all of science, from computational physics to the sociology of music). "level 1" means the remaining serious peer-reviewed journals. "level 0" either means "bullshit journal" or "journal that was founded just last year".

Researchers may nominate journals for a change in status, e.g. 2->1, 0->, etc. The decisions are made by a government-appointet body on a yearly basis. It's nowhere near perfect, but it's a lot better than nothing.

Re:The total number of these journals is irrelevan (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | about 7 months ago | (#45031407)

A journal is either "level 2", "level 1" or "level 0". "level 2" is a selection of top journals from each field in science, 2000 in total (for all of science, from computational physics to the sociology of music). "level 1" means the remaining serious peer-reviewed journals. "level 0" either means "bullshit journal" or "journal that was founded just last year".

Here's the problem with doing that so systemically: it is fundamentally anticompetitive, and leads to stagnation. Nobody would bother submitting to a "level 0" journal because it won't earn them any props at all, which means that the journal can never become anything more than a "level 0" journal. This means that you don't get fresh blood with new ideas on the review boards, so progress moves at a snail's pace. There's something to be said for disruptive innovation, even in academic publishing circles.

Also, the entire notion of judging the value of your scientific contribution based on what journal agreed to publish it is as absurd as judging the value of a car based on what dealer sold it. A paper should stand or fall on its own merits. A good article that pushes science forward, even if published in a minor journal, should weigh significantly in your favor for tenure, and a lousy article, even if published in a major journal, should not. A system that does the opposite is abject stupidity, pure and simple.

Re:The total number of these journals is irrelevan (4, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 7 months ago | (#45030619)

The total number of these journals is perhaps the more relevant part of this article. There are 304 journals that are potential relevant places for that one submission? How can anyone keep up with the current science in any field when there are 304 places to look? Never mind that many of those aren't sufficiently vetting the product.

And if you are just writing them off and basing your reading on the "top ones", of what value are these?

While science journals are often used by researchers to find out what their colleagues are doing and can thus be vetted by the reader, they are quite often the bases for undergraduate and graduate educations, and putting deliberate crap in front of them is a Bad Thing.

Re:The total number of these journals is irrelevan (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 7 months ago | (#45031181)

How can anyone keep up with the current science in any field when there are 304 places to look?

1. By reading specific articles that colleagues recommend.
2. By using a search engine.

Controls? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45029937)

Did he send the bogus articles to closed publishers too? How did the rates compare? I tried to RTFA, but didn't see anything about controls.

Re:Controls? (2)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#45029983)

Isn't the point of open access journals to let the Science world decide if the papers are any good rather than some gatekeeper?

Re:Controls? (4, Insightful)

godrik (1287354) | about 7 months ago | (#45030105)

No that is not the point. The point of OpenAccess papers is to allow a larger communicatino of the papers by removing the barrier of ridiculously high access fees. Accessing a single paper can cost $50 for a researcher that do not have the proper subscription. OpenAccess journals are mainly designed to take the editors and publishers which ask for a ridiculously high publication fee. or cost of access.

Open Access does not mean that anything get published in there. Though as a reviewer for many computer science journal, I can guarantee you that everybody can publish in there... assuming the level of contribution and style are up to standard of scientific method and writing. That is a very difficult thing to achieve for a non academic because of the time comitment in "learning" how to write these papers.

Re:Controls? (1, Insightful)

uslurper (459546) | about 7 months ago | (#45030809)

Maybe the cost is not so rediculously high if you consider that serious journals pay for the staff and resources to actuially read what is being submitted.

Re:Controls? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45031067)

Peer reviewing is done on a voluntary basis by other researchers. A journal doesn't pay anithing for that..

Re:Controls? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030123)

Isn't the point of open access journals to let the Science world decide if the papers are any good rather than some gatekeeper?

Who is the "Science world"?

Re:Controls? (4, Informative)

TheGavster (774657) | about 7 months ago | (#45031421)

There is a certain amount of irony in someone attempting to prove that open access journals publish bad science through the use of bad science. I read the article, and his only mention of testing closed publications is in his conclusion, quoting a colleague who suggested just such a step. He discounts this by restating his thesis (that open access journals are more numerous and publish more papers than closed ones) before shifting topics.

Bias (1)

goodmanj (234846) | about 7 months ago | (#45029945)

Wow, clearly I should avoid publishing in those no-name open journals, and stick to big-name proprietary journals like Science!

Science is just a liiitttle bit biased here. I don't doubt the result, but I'd like to hear it from a neutral source.

Re:Bias (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030071)

Actually, it's really really badly done.

To actually make any of the conclusions (or inferences) about the quality or rigor of open-access journals REQUIRES a control group of traditional journals to be operated on in a similar manner. In other words, there needs to be a sting on both open-access and traditional journals simultaneously.

Without that, no claims can be made. None. Not even one. Because we DO NOT KNOW how many traditional journals, like Science, would also have accepted their falsified paper(s). It's possible the traditional journals could have lower standards of quality and rigor than the open-access group.

Science and AAAS (of which I'm presently ashamed to be a member) should be blasted for publishing this tripe. It needs to be retracted, immediately. If they want to have the slightest shred of credibility here, they should at least conduct scientifically rigorous stings.

Disgusting.

Re:Bias (5, Insightful)

goodmanj (234846) | about 7 months ago | (#45030205)

Yes, but. This isn't entirely a binary scientific question. If the question were "are open-access journals worse than traditional journals?", you'd obviously need a control. But "Is the peer review process at open-access journals acceptable?" is not a scientific question, but one of values and personal preference. Most people would decide that a 50% failure rate is not acceptable, control or no control.

Now, we're all *very* curious to know whether traditional journals fare better than open ones, and Science is showing bias and intellectual dishonesty by avoiding that question, BUT that doesn't mean that this study has no value.

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030283)

Did you also notice that nearly half the OA journals were taken from a list of "unprofessional" journals? Seems a bit too much like stacking the deck for my taste.

And we already know that Science's record is not perfect ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch%C3%B6n_scandal )!

Re:Bias (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 7 months ago | (#45030289)

No, it's not disgusting. It's biased and would be better with a control arm (which the author admits to). It also points out a significant issue on it's own - that there are a lot of scams in open access journals.

The more interesting question certainly is "are traditional, purportedly higher quality journals any better?" The author, or someone else, could certainly do that and I suspect someone will. But his methodology stands alone. He was not trying to find who was better or worse, just if there was a problem in the first place. It is a biased, somewhat arbitrary view of the scientific publishing word but he does bring some clarity to this rather murky field.

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030733)

IT doesn't point out a 'scam,' it could as easily be explained by reviewers who aren't on the lookout for scam papers because (A) they aren't expecting them, and (B) they aren't paid enough to worry about it.

There are plenty of possible explanations, you can't draw any conclusions from the results except that one paper was accepted by several journals when it shouldn't have been.

Re:Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030529)

Maybe the published paper *is* the control group. Hmmmm??

Re:Bias (3, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about 7 months ago | (#45030645)

In fact, over the years, Science has published numerous scientifically fraudulent papers, some of which were pretty blatant. So, in a sense, we already have a control. In addition to control experiments, it needs three more things experiments usually need: a statistically representative data set, a justification, and a clearly defined hypothesis. It lacks all of those.

Peer review isn't meant to eliminate all errors from scientific papers, it's simply intended to make life a little easier for readers by weeding out papers they are probably not interested in. So, if the hypothesis is that "lower cost journals have less stringent peer review", that doesn't require any testing: it's almost certainly true, but it doesn't matter to anybody. Publishing a bad paper in a peer reviewed journal doesn't hurt anybody, except maybe the reputation of the journal.

Re:Bias (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about 7 months ago | (#45031237)

you didn't rtfa, did you?

From the start of this sting, I have conferred with a small group of scientists who care deeply about open access. Some say that the open-access model itself is not to blame for the poor quality control revealed by Science's investigation. If I had targeted traditional, subscription-based journals, Roos told me, "I strongly suspect you would get the same result."* But open access has multiplied that underclass of journals, and the number of papers they publish. "Everyone agrees that open-access is a good thing," Roos says. "The question is how to achieve it.

so he didn't miss it, maybe he is doing this right now, but isn't telling

Democratization (5, Insightful)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | about 7 months ago | (#45029947)

A lot of people cite the democratizing power of "open access" and "crowd sourcing". I feel this is an example of the same principle at work.

On one hand, it is easier for those that are not entrenched within the bastions of power to be heard, but on the other hand, all data received from these sources must be treated much more cautiously.

In the past "being published" was a big deal, as it required a fairly high bar of factual accuracy, and that is still the case of many prestigious journals, but in the rush to Twitter-ize research and accept as many publishable details as rapidly as possible in the name of profit and prestige, the barriers to entry have eroded.

In much the same way that hard investigative journalism with strong ethical guidelines, verifiable sources and solid editing will always have a place in my heart, these reputable journals can serve to establish a foundation of trust in the scientific arena. And now, in much the same way that one should treat any writing within the "blogosphere" as suspect until verified, many open access journals must now be treated with the same level of suspicion until it is proven otherwise that they hold themselves to a higher standard.

TLDR: Democratization is not always a good thing.

Re:Democratization (1)

icebike (68054) | about 7 months ago | (#45030081)

On the other hand, publishing nonsense can quickly be modded troll, if the journals have such a mechanize in place.

Moderating by scientists in the field seems better than letting some gatekeeper decide which new ideas get to see the light of day, and which get deep sixed simply because they are unpopular points of view at the moment.

How much actual damage can be done by publishing rubbish? (Its a serious question, because I don't pretend to know the answer).
Aren't all results subject to verification by peers anyway?

Re:Democratization (2)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 7 months ago | (#45030119)

Moderating by scientists in the field seems better than letting some gatekeeper decide which new ideas get to see the light of day, and which get deep sixed simply because they are unpopular points of view at the moment.

I take it you're unfamiliar with how journals such as Science decide whether or not a paper should be published?

Re:Democratization (2)

petermgreen (876956) | about 7 months ago | (#45030571)

AIUI what happens is they send the paper to a small group of reviewers who they regard as experts in the field. The reviewers aren't supposed to know whose paper they are reviewing but they can often figure it out anyway just from prior knowlage of who is doing what.

Some of those reviewers will do their job as honestly as they can (though I bet they will still be more faourable to stuff that confirms their beliefs), others will deliberately try to discredit any paper they see as being from a rival so they can later publish their own paper in the area with less competition.

Re:Democratization (1)

mpe (36238) | about 7 months ago | (#45030799)

Moderating by scientists in the field seems better than letting some gatekeeper decide which new ideas get to see the light of day, and which get deep sixed simply because they are unpopular points of view at the moment.

Even for more trivial reasons like disliking the author or where they are from.
Science isn't ment to work by "argumentum ad populum" or "argumentum ad auctoritatem" in the first place.

How much actual damage can be done by publishing rubbish? (Its a serious question, because I don't pretend to know the answer). Aren't all results subject to verification by peers anyway?

Sometimes a good way to test a theory can be obvious to an "outsider", but completly overlooked by "experts in the field". Even more potential "loss of face" if it's someone pointing out a basic flaw in the reasoning behind a popular theory.

Re:Democratization (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 months ago | (#45030113)

You might think so, but being published is not always necessarily hard [wikipedia.org] . That is, the story is a repeat of an experiment that was already performed, except with a print journal instead of online journals.

Most likely what will happen over time, is that some open access journals will gain more prestige than others, and some will be more reliable than others; just like with print journals.

Re:Democratization (5, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | about 7 months ago | (#45030507)

First the disclaimer. I do believe that professionally peer reviewed journals and reporting still has a place. I pay significant sums of money to subscribe to a newspaper, a few top magazines, as well as Science and Nature. They serve a purpose and, to me, are worth the costs.

That said Science is not beyond reproach on accuracy. Both journals has had a very scandalous path over the past few years with their accepting clearly fraudulent papers. In July, evidently, Alirio Melendez had a paper retracted. This researcher fooled many major journals with at least 13 papers. Science also published the paper on bacteria living on arsenic, which is generally seen as having major issues. I recall reading a paper related to dancing and sexual attraction, maybe in Nature, being retracted due to fabricated data.

That said, there is little wrong with a single suspect paper being published. This is how scientists communicate. There is little protection against fraud such as occurred in this case because it is so patently silly. Building a system to protect against such silliness would mean that we would no longer be focused on science. The real problem here is that the popular media does not understand the difference between a single piece of research and the process of research. Places like /. should know better, but they don't. The process of science is to reproduce and extend results. When a bad paper corrupts the process, as has happened when Science and Nature has published suspect paper, that is a problem. These journals, having high impact factors, have a responsibility to proctor what they publish. A backwater online journal does no necessarily have such responsibility, rather relying on the ethics of the researcher and a faith in the process of science to ferret out unethical and silly people like these.

What is truly alarming is the simple bad science present in this research project. This experiment has no control group and does not try to match the target journals to an equivalent paper journals.

If the research was done properly the open access journals would be matched with closed journals on the basis of several relevant criteria, like impact factor, cost to publish, region predominately served, or the like. This is the way research is done. One can't just go out onto the street, ask 10 people who you don't like if they ever thought of killing someone, then claim that everyone in this group are murderers if 7 say yes.

The paper would then be submitted to all the journals, the results generated using well known statistical methods, and then, if there is some degree of confidence, the results published.

My prediction is that if you were paying a closed source low ranking journal to publish a paper asserting that the moon was composed of coagulated casein in a mesh of lipids they would not blink at printing it.

At the end of the day, in this case Science is no better than your average corrupt advertising agent.

Re:Democratization (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 7 months ago | (#45030657)

On one hand, it is easier for those that are not entrenched within the bastions of power to be heard, but on the other hand, all data received from these sources must be treated much more cautiously.

More cautiously than what? A Science paper? Science has published numerous scientific frauds over the years. In fact, if you're looking for a high profile scientific fraud, you're more likely to find it in Science than in an open access journal, because that's where the rewards are highest.

Re:Democratization (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45031089)

"And now, in much the same way that one should treat any writing within the "blogosphere" as suspect until verified, ..."

Oddly enough, the entire point of science is that all claims are suspect until verified. And I applaud anyone that approaches any testimonials in that fashion. Whether it's in the blogosphere of the sciencesphere.

Who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45029979)

I've never heard of this person John Bohannon.

John Bohannon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030291)

He's published on Facebook and LinlkedIn, he must be legit.

The Wikipedia Bio In Full (3, Informative)

westlake (615356) | about 7 months ago | (#45031369)

I've never heard of this person John Bohannon.

John Bohannon [wikipedia.org] is a biologist, science journalist, and dancer based at Harvard University. He writes for Science Magazine, Discover Magazine, and Wired Magazine, and frequently reports on the intersections of science and war. After embedding in southern Afghanistan in 2010, he was the first journalist to convince the US military to voluntarily release civilian casualty data. He received a Reuters environmental journalism award in 2006 for his reporting on collaborative research in Gaza. He was also involved in some controversy over an article he wrote critiquing the Lancet survey of Iraq War Casualties.

At Science Magazine, Bohannon also adopts the ''Gonzo Scientist'' persona, where he ''takes a look at the intersections among science, culture, and art -- and, in true gonzo style, doesn't shrink from making himself a part of the story. The stories include original art and accompanying multimedia features.'' As the Gonzo Scientist, Bohannon's research on whether humans can tell the difference between pate and dog food led to Stephen Colbert eating cat food on the Colbert Report.

Bohannon is probably best known for creating the Dance Your PhD competition, in which scientists from all around the world interpret their doctoral dissertations in dance form. Slate Magazine ran a profile on Bohannon and the competition in 2011. He performed with the Black Label Movement dance troupe at TEDx Brussels in November 2011, where he satirized Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal by modestly proposing that Powerpoint software be replaced by live dancers. Bohannon then went on to perform with Black Label Movement at TED 2012 in Long Beach.

Advisory Board - John Bohannon [lifeboat.com]

While visiting the Harvard University Program in Ethics and Health, he is working on two areas of research: 1) torture --- in particular the complicity of scientific and medical workers in torture, and 2) ethical problems involved with obtaining global health data, stemming from his journalistic coverage of the controversial attempts to estimate the health and mortality of the Iraqi population since the US-led invasion.

After completing a Ph.D. in molecular biology at the University of Oxford in 2002, John focused on bioethics as a Fulbright fellow (2003 --- 2004) in Berlin.

Invitations to publish (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45029987)

I get regular solicitations via email to submit papers to these open-access journals - the big selling pitch is usually speedy review and acceptance. It's very disquieting.

Science is the new religion (2, Interesting)

nine-times (778537) | about 7 months ago | (#45030001)

I've made comments before comparing science and religion, and too often people think that I'm a religious person trying to belittle a genuine quest for knowledge. On the contrary, I think the genuine quest for knowledge is an amazingly worthwhile thing. However, science has become a method for the "practitioners" and "priests" to exert social, economic, and institutional influence by swaying the beliefs of those who are not educated enough or informed enough to differentiate between genuine knowledge and blind dogma.

It's less that I'm a backwoods book-hating theist. It's that I've "lost the faith" and don't believe in what we call "science". We've gotten into muddy waters, studying soft sciences in ways that will never reach definitive answers, and allowed politics and media to have too much sway. We've gotten better at engineering, and worse at knowledge.

Go ahead. Mod me as flamebait.

Re:Science is the new religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030073)

studying soft sciences in ways that will never reach definitive answers

Psychology, for one.

Re:Science is the new religion (3, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 7 months ago | (#45030203)

The soft sciences were never rigorous. Nothing has been lost or gained.

Very few are fooled. Sociologists/Psychologists/Economists can say they've 'proved' something till they're blue in the face. Nobody will take them seriously.

Re:Science is the new religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030307)

Oh, really? There seem to be all sorts of pseudo-intellectuals who spam links to useless study after study (which haven't even been replicated or anything of the sort). A lot of people are fooled by the soft sciences.

Re:Science is the new religion (3, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 7 months ago | (#45031149)

Very few are fooled. Sociologists/Psychologists/Economists can say they've 'proved' something till they're blue in the face. Nobody will take them seriously.

I agree. You know which branch really bugs me though? Entomology.

Re:Science is the new religion (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 months ago | (#45030213)

Science is the process of getting closer to truth by experiment. Here's Richard Feynman explaining it [youtube.com] .

The institutions and scientists at the heads of those institutions have become corrupted (and purged) multiple times throughout history (Lord Kelvin the traditional example), but the principles of science seem sound and correct over time.

Re:Science is the new religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030333)

that was so last century. Science is a religion now.

Re:Science is the new religion (2)

nine-times (778537) | about 7 months ago | (#45030407)

Science is the process of getting closer to truth by experiment.

That's insufficient to explain what science is, when it is what it should be. And then science today is not what it should be. "The process of getting closer to truth by experiment" is not what most people are talking about when they talk about 'science'.

Re:Science is the new religion (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030231)

On the contrary, I think the genuine quest for knowledge is an amazingly worthwhile thing. However, science has become a method for the "practitioners" and "priests" to exert social, economic, and institutional influence by swaying the beliefs of those who are not educated enough or informed enough to differentiate between genuine knowledge and blind dogma.

You have no idea what you are talking about. A paper published anywhere is just correspondence. It is intended for scientific community. That's all.

If you can't tell a boson from a photon, or you don't know what HDL actually is beyond the talking points you see on TV, then journals are NOT INTENDED FOR YOUR CONSUMPTION. It is like reading latest materials research while you don't know how to join two 2x4s together without using fasteners or glues. And journalists are just as bad or worse than general public.

If you want to listen to real knowledge, to real conclusions, then ONLY deal with scientific consensus. Organizations like IPCC are there to present a consensus and that's what they do. If you start reading individual papers, you will not know what they are talking about and you may not even know what research is simply wrong because you are not in that field.

If you really really really want to read journals, then only stick to reviews or reviews of reviews that present a consensus, not original research. Original research is useless unless it is repeated, studied and understood. And most of papers are just that - research that may or may not be valid that may or may not have any immediate application.

We've gotten better at engineering, and worse at knowledge. Go ahead. Mod me as flamebait.

They go hand-in-hand. You can't get better at engineering without getting better at science. And if you try to diminish science, then the end result will be the same as Roman Empire.

Finally, if you try to understand science based on some blog entries by random people about some papers, then you are completely lost. What you are reading is religion, and not science.

Re:Science is the new religion (1)

drsmack1 (698392) | about 7 months ago | (#45031009)

I think Mr. Galileo might take issue with bowing to scientific "consensus." Nowadays you only need follow the money - and I know that you have an erection right now thinking I'm getting ready to hand you the "Big Oil" funding climate "deniers." I'm talking about the BILLIONS tied to producing research that supports the manmade global warming hoax.

There is no single scientific issue today where the scientific process is so thoroughly ignored than so-called climate research. Just think of the word YOU people use: denier. Science today is a manufactured product; funded by special interest groups that take GREAT pains to hide themselves, or paint themselves as non-partisan. You know who has things to hide? Liars do.

When you're right, you don't need to lie. You don't need to ignore the scientific process. If you have (accurate) science on your side, you don't need to suppress contrary opinion, try to destroy the credibility of opponents. The science *should* take care of itself - unless it is a false god that cannot show it's true face.

That's why you are wrong. The climate people can never show their true face: the marxist/socialist face that is only interested in wresting power from the citizens of the world - so that a benevolent government can control things. The biggest polluters in the world are marxist / socialist governments. This includes the USA. I'm not talking about the regulations foisted upon businesses - I'm talking about the toxic messes made by our sanctimonious government.

But that's classic liberalism, isn't it. When a conservative see something that needs fixing, he puts his efforts and his money towards it. When a liberal sees something that needs fixing - he ises that ill to gain power over his peers - then forces others to put their money and efforts towards the problem. Why is that bad? The evil person'd power is tied to the problem. So what the fuck is his motivation to really permanently fix said problem?

Liberals have been "helping" the black man so well since the 60's that the entire black culture is now destroyed. How do we fix it? More liberalism of course.

I don't need to know the science as to why the sky is blue. I can look up and know it's so. But autistic fucks like yourself need the science behind it - then you assume that whatever you have arrived at is God's word and that anyone who doesn't agree is evil and should be treated as such.

Guess what, normally people are a hell of a lot smarter than the scientists. Normal people have hundreds of thousand years of evolution shaping their perceptions, instincts, and sensibilities. But autistic people have neurological defects that make them blind to things which are plainly obvious to normal people - this makes the autistic person incredibly easy to bias - after all, they are truly blind to many things and depend on "science" to define the world for them. And they are as effective in that as a blind person trying to intellectually visualize the color red. So by controlling "science," you control this segment of the population.

I'll start paying more attention to the biased autistic fucks feathering their own nests with the money for climate science, just as soon as they start respecting the scientific process. And the last I checked, following the scientific process does not include: conspiring amongst peers to suppress research that is contrary to the "consensus," trying to get people fired for not agreeing, trying to prevent a professor from getting tenure for disagreeing, or impuning scientists who produce research when some of the funding for it came from energy companies. Who gives a fuck where the money came from? If you are following the scientific process - bad research will be shown as such. There is no reason to try to destroy the man behind it - unless you are in the wrong and you simply cannot refute their research using science.

Fuck you asshole - it is you and the people like you that are fucking everything up. And without conspiracy and lies, you have no power at all.

Re:Science is the new religion (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 7 months ago | (#45030361)

Oh, I think you have a point. Lots of people deify 'science'. Even people who are supposed to know better (ie, this crowd). It's hard, we're stupid humans, not Vulcans. Science is a weird, counter intuitive thing to most people. Science knowledge is also enormous. No one human being can understand but a tiny fraction of what goes on and thus be in position to truly debate the merits of something. This crops up all of the time in the Climate Change debate. Yes, to really understand it you can go back to the research, tackle the requisite skills to understand the data and pour through thousands of articles in dozens of fields. Nobody can do it, so there is going to be a leap of faith about something for everyone.

The good news is that Science usually gets it right. Eventually. Fits and starts, forwards and backwards, but there is no substitute for being (more or less) correct.

Can look like a real mess from down in the trenches, though.

Re:Science is the new religion (1)

Kwyj1b0 (2757125) | about 7 months ago | (#45030413)

However, science has become a method for the "practitioners" and "priests" to exert social, economic, and institutional influence by swaying the beliefs of those who are not educated enough or informed enough to differentiate between genuine knowledge and blind dogma.

While I agree with you on some aspects, you seem to miss out in that (in theory) other people can call upon those priests to verify their miracles. True, most people never do it. The scientific method requires that there are people to verify claims and catch mistakes. For most important problems, however, there are enough of people to catch mistakes sooner rather than later.

Losing faith in science would be like losing faith in open source because most people aren't educated enough to view the source and verify the code. What matters is that you trust that enough smart people have viewed it and validated the results. My obscure open source project might have a backdoor, but Firefox is unlikely to have one. The problem isn't with open source or the priests, it is that the method assumes enough of resources, which isn't likely for unimportant projects.

In some fields where computers are being used for huge simulations, the problem gets worse. I've known lots of papers that get accepted based on models that were flawed (in Engineering) because there was a sign change in a 20,000 line code. The problem is very hard to catch. However, if it is important enough (or enough eyeballs are looking at it), it will get caught.

I'm not sure what you mean by better at engineering but worse at knowledge.

Re: Science is the new religion (1)

Eugriped3z (1549589) | about 7 months ago | (#45030651)

He didn't mean knowledge, he meant worldliness (experince that challenges belief when God doesn't smite you), verily.

Scientific methodologies used to develop knowledge don't require belief, but they demand a rational mind and offer discrete explanations. Religious sytems don't require a rational mind, but they do demand belief, offers no explanation but dogma.

The difference is in the intended purpose of each. Science seeks to explain the external world and allow people to manipulate it. Morality is an after thought. Religion seeks define the internal world, control the definition of morality and manipulate the people outside it.

Re:Science is the new religion (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030755)

Science is so much richer than a thing only for "practitioners". It's specialized, but I think people underestimate their ability to understand the basics of a scientific topic *if* they are willing to devote the effort to understand it. Problem is, most people aren't. They want the quick answer in a couple of newspaper articles, press releases, or maybe a wikipedia page. Nope. You'll have to dig further. That's not a fault of science, but the challenge of learning subjects that are genuinely complicated.

I'm not interested in swaying the public like some kind of religious leader, I'm interested in informing them and motivating them to ask questions and look into things more deeply themselves. Don't merely "trust" me. I want them to be skeptical and cautious.

If you want to believe that science is like religion, about the only way I would agree is that both of them are human constructs and subject to the same kind of social faults as any other human project. But that's where the similarities end. In criticisms of science there's way too much mileage given to the idea that scientists are somehow "dogmatic". Sure, some are, but on the whole science is not. It's quite willing to consider new ideas and surprising results, IF there is good evidence for it. When I see people faulting science as being too dogmatic, usually I find that's just an excuse for offering a really weak scientific argument themselves, and then the advocates of that idea try to blame science and scientists for the problem. Obviously it's never the person proposing the idea that has a problem, it's just those dogmatic scientists!

Or is it that you're one of those "science purity" types that thinks the only legitimate science is physics?

Don't get me wrong. I agree with you that politics and media have muddied things considerably, and sometimes scientists are as much a part of that problem as the politicians and media types. Scientists can have agendas too. But overall if it's good science it gets out there, if scientists make a genuine effort to communicate it accurately, and if people are interested enough in it, they can figure it out even if they aren't scientists. They just have to care enough to put in the effort. You make it sound like such an effort is futile. It isn't.

I wouldn't mod you flamebait for your view. I just think you're wrong. Nothing wrong with that.

Re:Science is the new religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030819)

You're right on the money IMO. I'm a fan of science, and I'm a Bible believing Christian. I don't think in the truest sense the two have ever been incompatible. It wasn't until they were both hijacked by people who had interest in neither that both became so poluted.

Re:Science is the new religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030969)

What? You mean like all those zombie fucks out there who think Tesla "invented" alternating current because there is some infomeme out there saying he did? Yeah, I love those fuckers.

Nothing to see here (1)

drsmack1 (698392) | about 7 months ago | (#45030003)

Of course everyone should still reflexively support and promote any study supporting your political beliefs.

Mediocrity in Academics (4, Informative)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 7 months ago | (#45030011)

For years we have known that there is a glut of graduates in the system. I remember my freshman year at university, the attitude of a lot of students was "the Masters is the new Bachelors, you have to have one to get an entry level job" or when I got closer to graduating it was "well I don't want to be done with school and my parents are helping me out so I'm going to go for my Masters". While education is awesome, the fact is that you don't have to be all that smart anymore to get a Masters or PhD.

Even as an undergrad I was pressured to publish. I didn't have the time nor the resources to do anything meaningful but my professors all said that I had to publish to even consider going to graduate school. They said that pretty much no matter what I do, even if its not novel or valuable to the academic community there will be a journal that will publish it. That's the current state of academics now.

Lets be clear: I'm not talking about MIT or Berkley. I'm talking about the thousands of research institutions across the country that while also doing amazing research, churn out Masters and PhDs like a printing mill. When you dilute the pool of researchers there is going to be subpar research. When there is a glut of subpar research there will be journals that see the business opportunity and publish anything you pay them to publish. This is not new.

Re:Mediocrity in Academics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030125)

While education is awesome, the fact is that you don't have to be all that smart anymore to get a Masters or PhD.

Agreed. The only problem being... you never did.

Re: Mediocrity in Academics (1)

Eugriped3z (1549589) | about 7 months ago | (#45030749)

Exactly what and where were you studying that you felt pressured to publish as an undergrad?

It seems odd that a prof would push so hard unless you had a very specific and competitive grad study program in mind, something important to offer or you prof didn't.

Where are the names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030023)

I didn't see the names of the creationists who accepted the articles listed. Since it's known that this group is the only one practicing dubious science, I'd have preferred if their names were given. You know, to keep track of them.

Not submitted to proprietary journals? (4, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | about 7 months ago | (#45030029)

Science has an axe to grind here, obviously, and this "experiment" is seriously biased.
It does not appear that it was submitted to any closed, for-profit journals (like Science). It would have been much more interesting to see how many of them would have accepted the paper.

Re:Not submitted to proprietary journals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030139)

http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=1439

Re:Not submitted to proprietary journals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030401)

Link shows a bad paper was submitted to Science and accepted.

Re:Not submitted to proprietary journals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030141)

The experiment was clearly biased towards low-quality open access journals, not just open access in general. There is more profiteering in low-quality open access journals simply because the publication costs are so much higher (typically 2-3x closed journals).

Anyone with experience with submitting papers to peer review in higher-quality journals (open or closed) knows that it is difficult enough to get a good paper published.

Re:Not submitted to proprietary journals? (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 7 months ago | (#45030347)

Science has an axe to grind here, obviously, and this "experiment" is seriously biased.

Please, feel free to explain the bias - because you signally fail to do so.
 

It does not appear that it was submitted to any closed, for-profit journals (like Science). It would have been much more interesting to see how many of them would have accepted the paper.

Indeed, it would have been very interesting. But not doing so is not an indication of bias on Science's part - anymore than taste testing chewing gum but not bubble gum is a bias against chewing gum.

Re:Not submitted to proprietary journals? (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 7 months ago | (#45030417)

Basic reading and comprehension.
Try reading it slowly (without moving your lips).
Have you ever heard of a "control" group? (Hint: It's a basic part of the scientific method)

Re:Not submitted to proprietary journals? (1)

JanneM (7445) | about 7 months ago | (#45030481)

Yes, they should have submitted it to a similar number of similarly ranked closed-access journals and seen if there's any difference due to the open access policies specifically. As it stands it's sort of interesting, but doesn't tell us squat about open access.

Re:Not submitted to proprietary journals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030537)

Bingo.

Re:Not submitted to proprietary journals? (2)

Bill Dimm (463823) | about 7 months ago | (#45030539)

It does not appear that it was submitted to any closed, for-profit journals (like Science).

But they did submit a bogus paper to Science. It was titled "Who's Afraid of Peer Review?" The paper lacked a control group, but Science published it anyway in spite of its obvious failure to measure up to scientific standards.

Re: Not submitted to proprietary journals? (1)

Eugriped3z (1549589) | about 7 months ago | (#45030915)

It's self-promotion, pure and simple. It's obviously not a scientific experiment. It's a "hand wavy" sort of thing, an estimate, a facsimile, a wild-ass guess. It's like reality TV. There should be a term of art to describe and distinguish it from a formal experiment or legitimate research. Maybe Science should create a new category, like "reality typing."

After all, they are asking us to look askance at anything outside their rarified realm of the rigorous standards they claim to uphold. Why do their editors believe they should be able to get away without meeting the same level of scrutiny? Perhaps all is not what it seems at the top?

Re:Not submitted to proprietary journals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45031131)

Yeah, it is biased for journals run with strict review processes. Also, Science is published by the non-profit American Association for the Advancement of Science. When you get this wrong, how the fuck can I take anything you say seriously?

The question is: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030067)

What are the numbers if you try the same with pay for read journals?

I'd guess if you try the same with several hundred non-open journals the number would not be that different...

really? (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about 7 months ago | (#45030069)

His hoax paper claimed that a particular molecule slowed the growth of cancer cells, and it was riddled with obvious errors and contradictions.

And this is different from the average Science paper... how?

Re:really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45031097)

His hoax paper claimed that a particular molecule slowed the growth of cancer cells, and it was riddled with obvious errors and contradictions.

And this is different from the average Science paper... how?

They admitted it?

Is that any worse then traditional journals. (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 7 months ago | (#45030087)

Ask any academic and they will tell you how to get articles published no matter what.
Did they try this with traditional journals and get better results?

BTW, the readers are supposed to be trained in the subject. They should be able to spot a paper riddled with obvious errors and contradictions.

BTW didn't Pons and Fleischmann, publish a paper in Science?

Peer Review (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030193)

I am not a scientist, but isn't the point of publishing a paper in a journal, so it can be reviewed and tested by other scientists around the world who will either confirm or reject (parts of) it.
If this is the case, then what's the difference between this and any other erroneous paper, other than the fact that in this case it was done intentionally?

Arsenic in DNA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030245)

Science published the "Arsenic in DNA" paper. They decided to publish it because the results were unusual, therefore "interesting". They didn't seem to care the results were false.

some pretty valid pushbacks on this article (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030277)

This article is being widely panned as lacking controls, published without any critical review, and driven by self-interest from a traditional publisher with the most to lose from Open Access taking off (as it is). Some have gone so far to assert it's an over-reach for how badly it was done, and will make Science as a journal look partisan.

For example, quick scan brought up these three scathing responses:

Mike Eisen (HHMI Berkeley Professor)
http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=1439

Peter Suber (Author of the book "Open Access", Director of the Harvard Open Access Project, Faculty Fellow at the Berkman Center)
https://plus.google.com/u/0/109377556796183035206/posts/CRHeCAtQqGq

Mike Taylor (programmer with Index Data and a research associate at the department of earth sciences, University of Bristol)
http://svpow.com/2013/10/03/john-bohannons-peer-review-sting-against-science/

I'm sure this will heat up some much needed debate about poor quality journals and the failings of peer review, but with the lack of any controls at all, it says basically nothing about open access as a model for publishing.

several valid pushbacks from this article (4, Informative)

drDugan (219551) | about 7 months ago | (#45030321)

This article is being widely panned as lacking controls, published without any critical review, and driven by self-interest from a traditional publisher with the most to lose from Open Access taking off (as it is). Some have gone so far to assert it's an over-reach for how badly it was done, and will make Science as a journal look partisan.

For example, quick scan brought up these three scathing responses:

Mike Eisen (HHMI Berkeley Professor)
http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=1439 [michaeleisen.org]

Peter Suber (Author of the book "Open Access", Director of the Harvard Open Access Project, Faculty Fellow at the Berkman Center)
https://plus.google.com/u/0/109377556796183035206/posts/CRHeCAtQqGq [google.com]

Mike Taylor (programmer with Index Data and a research associate at the department of earth sciences, University of Bristol)
http://svpow.com/2013/10/03/john-bohannons-peer-review-sting-against-science/ [svpow.com]

I'm sure this will heat up some much needed debate about poor quality journals and the failings of peer review, but with the lack of any controls at all, it says basically nothing about open access as a model for publishing.

SCIENCE is just such a predatory journal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45030341)

This paper is a tour-de-force of ironic brilliance.

This is a paper describing an experiment with NO CONTROLs, and SCIENCE snapped it up because it met their editorial biases. Bohannon sent the other buggy paper to no closed-access journals, and this one to no open-access journals.

http://svpow.com/2013/10/03/john-bohannons-peer-review-sting-against-science/ [svpow.com]

Such subtlety must be admired.

What do we want in a paper? (1)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about 7 months ago | (#45030381)

I've been studying this (publishing) for some time, in the context of learning, verifying assumptions, and the scientific method.

It turns out that there is really no bar in scientific publishing. It doesn't have to be understandable, nor innovative, nor even correct. You only need to be ethical (ie - don't lie about the data), cite anything that you got from other sources, and show that there is less than a 1-in-20 chance that you are wrong (p > 0.5).

What exactly do we want in a published paper, anyway?

Many cancer studies can't be reproduced [popsci.com] . Many studies are statistically significant [xkcd.com] but valueless (the IQ of people in NYC is higher than Chicago by 1 point: this can be statistically certain but have no practical significance). There are lots and lots of ways to frame the conclusion the wrong way such as confusing correlation with causation, reversed conditionals (if the defendant is innocent, there is a 1 in 1 billion chance that this evidence is wrong), and other logical errors.

Then there's the enormous economic incentive of needing to publish to keep your job, that reviewers will oppose maverick thought and agree with community beliefs, and that no one examines their assumptions.

Would you like to publish a paper? MathGen [thatsmathematics.com] will write one for you. Pass it around and chances are it will be accepted [google.com] .

So when I talk to people about my research, the inevitable comment is "you should publish". And my inevitable answer is: why?

What do we want in scientific papers? What are they even for?

Re:What do we want in a paper? (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 7 months ago | (#45030715)

What do we want in scientific papers? What are they even for?

They are for communicating useful ideas. And papers do that and do it well.

But you don't need peer review or journals for that. With the Internet, people increasingly just put papers out as tech reports, and they get cited and used by others.

The problem is more that of peer review (3, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#45030525)

It's more who is reviewing the material, and to what level, that matters.

A lot of high-grade peer reviewed journals, like Science and Nature, have been hoodwinked by researchers from South Korea and China, where cheating is more endemic than here.

Or, as most of us say, Wait Until The Second Journal Article.

Karma! (1)

almechist (1366403) | about 7 months ago | (#45030669)

This is the same problem the internet has faced right from the beginning, and is not confined to academia: who do you trust online, and how can you be sure they're on the level? Someone or something is needed to weed out the bad apples... In other words, moderation. And yes, the same basic principles apply equally to discussion forums like Slashdot as they do to online scientific research journals. Ultimately it comes down to reputation, and some form of karma system. Slashdot's system uses temporary moderators selected by an algorithm, but for scientific journals there is currently just the one site mentioned in the article, run by one guy who is single handedly attempting to keep track of who the legitimate journals are. I don't see why this function couldn't eventually become more automated, perhaps even incorporating random moderation and meta-moderation overseen by an algorithm, just like Slashdot. There's been plenty of research into reputation management systems over the years, surely there must be something that could apply to the chaotic research journal situation described in the article, perhaps even an already existing software package. The phenomenon of open online academic journals is relatively new, these things usually work themselves out over time, as with any new technology. The idea of open journals is a good one, sooner or later some system of useful self-regulation will emerge, and the useless and/or predatory journals will eventually fall by the wayside.

He would have submitted it to 304 closed journals (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | about 7 months ago | (#45030685)

But it would have cost him millions of dollars. And there was no chance that the open journals would pay him to discredit their competitors.

Is there a list of the open journals that caught the fraud?

The problem isn't open access journals... (2)

blahplusplus (757119) | about 7 months ago | (#45030777)

... the real probem is that as problem size increases, the human brain just can't deal with all the stress and energy one must expend to fact check everything. This is why we need automation in checking papers for errors and contradictions, i.e. the number of facts you need to know grows exponentially as things get more complex. What we're really seeing is that the human brain is the biggest bottleneck since human beings have limited time and energy. So no one should be surprised it's easy to 'dupe' or game a system because the resources you need to stop untrustworthy people is unrealistically expensive. Any area of human endeavor is only as good as the people themselves.

subjects are extremely vital (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45031059)

Shady journals and conferences might be a problem when it comes to someone applying to a job at some small company that doesn't have any PhDs in that field, but for anyone who's spent any time in legitimate academia, this isn't an issue. If someone comes claiming to be an expert in networks with a whole bunch of great publications, and none of those publications are in SIGCOMM, NSDI, CoNEXT, etc. I'm going to assume they're a fraud.

I like the comments above about this being perhaps somewhat of a shrill reactionary takedown attempt on open access venues. Paywalled conferences/journals are absolutely disgusting, given the setup today - a bunch of professors (and/or their grad students) reviewing papers for free, because it's what's expected of them. There's really no excuse, especially with USENIX as a model (good peer review, they run nicely put together conferences, and once the conferences are done, the papers are free for the world to read).

Well ... (0)

PPH (736903) | about 7 months ago | (#45031373)

... this appears to be a Global problem in scientific publishing. I'm glad that some journalists are finally Warming up to the problem.

DARPA Inference Cheking Kludge Scanning (1)

utkonos (2104836) | about 7 months ago | (#45031379)

This article sounds like the DICKS plugin for nmap that was described in this issue [nmap.org] of hakin9. This was a beautiful trojan horse.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...