FAILURES OF PEER REVIEW AT JOURNALS WITH LEGITIMATE PUBLISHERS. Charles Seife is troubled by something more important than bogus journals. He says: “The SCIgen scandal shows that even old-fashioned big-budget scientific publishing houses are sometimes faking the process of scholarly peer review.” SCIgen is an algorithm developed over ten years ago that writes phony academic papers. It is used to expose bogus peer review. Major scientific publishers are having to withdraw fake papers—Springer pulled 18 and IEEE pulled over 100. Seife gives an example of a major publisher that recently “wrapped up its investigation into 43 articles that were ‘published on the basis of reviews from fabricated reviewers.’”)

Seife is especially concerned about a recent announcement of a computer program that has been designed to detect phony papers. Genuine peer review would readily identify this kind of fraud. In his view reliance on this kind of algorithm indicates a lack of trust in the existing peer review process. “It is a tacit admission that even at the most reputable publishing houses, some peer-reviewed journals are incapable of providing even the most minimally competent peer review.”

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