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The Scientific Literature

Genius, Sheer Genius

So we have bogus scientific journals out there, and we have people who will sell you results so you can make just-add-water papers for the real journals. And we have impact factors, the overuse of which leads to still more bogosity in every part of scientific publishing. So. . .why not sell fake impact factors? That way, you can harvest publication fees from credulous impact-seeking bozos. My Iranian wife tells me that there’s a saying in Farsi that translates as “A thief robs a thief, and God smiles”.

11 comments on “Genius, Sheer Genius”

  1. Hap says:

    Another instantiation of that principle…

  2. Kirk says:

    Whoever created this website must be a superhero. I wish this web has good business for a while, eventually it’ll be a great asset for real scientists like us hanging around this blog.
    Just like a bug trap can collect pests, ideally we can simply check whatever journal that registers on this web for impact factor and label it as a water-adding journal. We should really thank the founder of IIFS, he is a real genius.

  3. pgwu says:

    They just need to redefine the meaning of journal citation. If you have 100 likes or ups, you have an impact factor of 100.

  4. J. Peterson says:

    This reminds me of the whole field of Search Engine Optimization scams, re-enacted through science “journals”. Let the cat & mouse games begin…

  5. anonb says:

    Are there journals that sell citations by inserting your name into their past issues?

  6. student says:

    I keep thinking of the show The Wire and the need for all bureaucracy’s to “juke the stats”, whether it’s artificially lowering the number of homicides before an election or raising test scores in schools so they don’t lose No Child Left Behind funding.

  7. gasp says:

    There’s another proverb (Russian?): “If I’m not stealing, then I’m stealing from my family.”
    Perhaps used to justify some of the sad behaviors you list?

  8. Anonymous BMS Researcher says:

    As a faculty kid, I frequently heard the old saying “deans can count but they cannot read.”
    Now it seems they tally metrics instead…

  9. John Wayne says:

    Tallying impact factors is slightly better than counting publications; win!

  10. jtd7 says:

    The Farsi proverb is similar in spirit to W.C. Fields’s dictum “You can’t cheat an honest man.”

  11. collabchem says:

    Add this one to the genius list.. Francis Collins and Lawrence Tabak recently suggested in their Nature 27 Jan policy piece…”NIH plans to enhance reproducibility”
    …the NIH is contemplating modifying the format of its ‘biographical sketch’ form, which grant applicants are required to complete, to emphasize the significance of advances resulting from work in which the applicant participated, and to delineate the part played by the applicant.
    Impact factors anyone?
    oh and this will apparently also miraculously solve the data reproducibility problem, which will in turn increase drug discovery and by extension cure all known diseases…

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