The nonsensical computer-generated articles, spotted years after the problem was first seen, could lead to a wave of retractions.
(27 May 2021) Nonsensical research papers generated by a computer program are still popping up in the scientific literature many years after the problem was first seen, a study has revealed. Some publishers have told Nature they will take down the papers, which could result in more than 200 retractions.
The issue began in 2005, when three PhD students created paper-generating software called SCIgen for “maximum amusement”, and to show that some conferences would accept meaningless papers. The program cobbles together words to generate research articles with random titles, text and charts, easily spotted as gibberish by a human reader. It is free to download, and anyone can use it.
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