Flood of Fake Science Forces Multiple Journal Closures

May 14, 2024 article from The Wall Street Journal.

As light continues to be shed on the problems within the world of academic science, publishing company Wiley has announced it will shut down 19 of its journals. In the face of research fraud, Wiley has retracted over 11,300 papers in the past two years.

The sources of the fake science are ‘paper mills’—businesses or individuals that, for a price, will list a scientist as an author of a wholly or partially fabricated paper. The mill then submits the work, generally avoiding the most prestigious journals in favor of publications such as one-off special editions that might not undergo as thorough a review and where they have a better chance of getting bogus work published.

“World-over, scientists are under pressure to publish in peer-reviewed journals—sometimes to win grants, other times as conditions for promotions. Researchers say this motivates people to cheat the system. Many journals charge a fee to authors to publish in them.”

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