Fake Science News Is Just As Bad As Fake News


Image: Shutterstock
Image: Shutterstock
Fake news has been getting a lot of attention around the US election, and rightly so. But science has its own problem with fake news—and fake research published in scientific journals. To prove how bad it is, a journalist at a Canadian daily newspaper got some plagiarized ‘research’ published. According to watchdogs, the problem might be getting worse.

By Bryson Masse | MOTHERBOARD

This year, OMICS International, based out of Hyderabad, India, purchased two Canadian medical research journal publishers, which are now “churning out low-quality OMICS material, while still using their Canadian names,” as journalist Tom Spears put it in his piece in The Ottawa Citizen.

This summer, OMICS reached out to Spears, who has previously demonstrated how to game the scientific publishing system, and now gets a lot of spam from journal publishers. This time, he decided he might have some fun with them.

Spears explained that he „mostly plagiarized from Aristotle“

“I’d sent test submissions to a couple of predators in the past and had kind of moved on, but then I got this request to write for what looked like a fake journal—of ethics,” Spears wrote me in an email. “Something about that attracted me so I just thought: Why not? And one morning in late August when I woke up early I made extra coffee and banged out some drivel and sent it to them.”

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