For instance, the Arabian Journal of Geosciences has a problem: their articles are too obviously fake.
Some titles of the farkakte research: “Simulation of sea surface temperature based on non-sampling error and psychological intervention of music education”; “Distribution of earthquake activity in mountain area based on embedded system and physical fitness detection of basketball”; “The stability of rainfall conditions based on sensor networks and the effect of psychological intervention for patients with urban anxiety disorder.” A complete list of the retracted papers can be found here.
They read a bit like a college student throwing around big words to cover up a lack of understanding. Though purportedly written by humans, the content of each paper definitely reads as if it were put together by a computer that doesn’t quite grasp speech patterns or grammar. The papers are filled with redundancies and generally lack logic.
Right away, I noticed a problem: they should have used the more formal German “verkakte” rather than the alternative Yiddish spelling. Oh, right, and the paper titles are absurd, too.
I see two sources of problems: institutions that demand frequent publications, even where it isn’t warranted, and extremely lazy journal editors who rubberstamp everything.
As amusing (or alarming) as the idea of earthquakes being connected to basketball might be, the screwup highlights issues in science publishing that let farcical research slip into the realm of real work. As highlighted by the Chronicle of Higher Education in August, when the 400-odd papers in the geosciences journal got expressions of concern attached to them, many suspicious papers appear to have been written by scholars affiliated with Chinese institutions, where researchers are incentivized (sometimes financially) to publish in notable journals and where many doctoral students must publish a paper before graduation. The founder and editor-in-chief of the Arabian Journal of Geosciences told the Chronicle at the time that he reads every paper published in the journal each month (which would mean about 10 papers per day, including weekends), and that he thinks the fabricated research got into the journal through hacking.
Sure. Abdullah M. Al-Amri, editor-in-chief of the journal, reads every submission, and all those ridiculous papers must have been hacked into place. He reads every article, except he never takes a look at the journal once it’s been published. And he never reads the correspondence from legit researchers who point out the kind of crap getting splattered all over the pages. He just failed to notice that “Structure of plain granular rock mass based on motion sensor and movement evaluation of dancers” got published.
Just wait until Chinese researchers discover ChatGPT. We desperately need our pseudoscientific garbage to be more readable.