Predatory Journals Hit By “Star Wars” Sting

intellitech quotes an article from Discover’s Neuroskeptic blog:
A number of so-called scientific journals have accepted a Star Wars-themed spoof paper…an absurd mess of factual errors, plagiarism and movie quotes. I know because I wrote it… I created a spoof manuscript about “midi-chlorians” — the fictional entities which live inside cells and give Jedi their powers in Star Wars…and submitted it to nine journals under the names of Dr. Lucas McGeorge and Dr. Annette Kin… The American Journal of Medical and Biological Research accepted the paper, but asked for a $360 fee, which I didn’t pay. Amazingly, three other journals not only accepted but actually published the spoof.

At one point the paper simply transcribes dialogue from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith. (“Did you ever hear of the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? I thought not. It is not a story the Jedi would tell you….”) And the author also cut-and-pasted big chunks of the Wikipedia page for mitochondrion (after globally replacing mitochondr* with midichlor*), then admitted in the paper’s “Methodology” section that “The majority of the text in the current paper was Rogeted from Wikipedia” — with a direct link back to that Wikipedia page. One sentence even mentions “JARJAR syndrome.”

Three more journals did reject the paper — but at least one more unquestioningly asked the author to revise and resubmit it. The author calls it “a reminder that at some ‘peer reviewed’ journals, there really is no meaningful peer review at all” — adding that one journal has even invited Dr. Lucas McGeorge to join their editorial board.


Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Clip to Evernote

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *