How Terrible Are Some Scientific Journals?

Recently, a reporter for the Ottawa Citizen wrote a completely fabricated and incoherent paper on soils, cancer treatment, and Mars. Its full title? “Acidity and aridity: Soil inorganic carbon storage exhibits complex relationship with low-pH soils and myeloablation followed by autologous PBSC infusion.” The paper, comprised solely of unrelated phrases lifted from existing research, was then submitted to 18 low-level, for-profit journals that cater to the segment of the academic market comprised of individuals willing to pay for publication and, by extension, their own tenure and promotion.

The result? Eight quickly responded with offers to publish the work for payments between $1000 and $5000.


  1. I think “some” may be overly kind. SciGen has been one of the more prolific authors of the last decade. The “Herbert Schlangemann” blog presents a classic account from 2008 and a 24 February 2014 article on claims that 120 papers were recently pulled from the on-line archives of refereed Springer and IEEE publications — and that’s not even counting all their global warming sermons!

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