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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Springer fake paper tally up to 18

with 5 comments

springerWe have some updates on the case of more than 120 fake SCIgen conference proceedings papers that slipped into IEEE and Springer journals.

A month ago, Springer said it would be retracting the 16 such papers it found, instead of just removing them:

On 27 February, we said that we would *remove* the articles, not retract them — because as they were so obviously nonsense we thought they needed to be taken down as quickly as possible. Retractions are usually initiated by editors or authors, whereas in this case we thought immediate action on our part was justified and appropriate.

However, retraction is the best available mechanism for correcting the literature and ensuring its integrity (including details such as pagination). In order to include a placeholder notice and explanation on all platforms, the technical retraction process was initiated and the articles are marked as “retractions” – in spite of the fact that the fake articles are not typical examples of retractions.

Springer posted another notice last week, announcing that it had found two additional fake papers:

Those authors of the 18 articles that we have been in contact with have confirmed that their submissions were not intended as a hoax. The intention seems to have been to increase their publication numbers and to increase their standing in their respective disciplines and at their institutions.

There will always be individuals who try to undermine existing processes in order to benefit personally and, unfortunately, scientific publishing is not immune to fraud. We are taking this issue very seriously, and have implemented the measures below.

Additional measures taken

1. More rigorous minimum requirements have been implemented and will apply to all new conference proceedings projects.

2. Springer’s editorial processes for conference proceedings are being intensified, and the monitoring of the peer review process of conference proceedings manuscripts accepted for publication will be increased.

3. An automatic SCIgen detection system is being integrated in Springer’s submission check system, and we will offer this system to our conference proceedings partners, who will be trained in its use.

We would like to stress that the investigation continues apace, and once it is concluded, a final report will be issued publicly.

The notices all look like this, with names of the papers and the authors changed:

Several conference proceedings have been infiltrated by fake submissions generated by the SCIgen computer program. Due to the fictional content the chapter “Developing Write-Back Caches and Information Retrieval Systems with EASEL” by “Mingqian Wang, Yingying Wang, Yueou Ren and Xi Zhao” has been retracted by the publisher. Measures are being taken to avoid similar breaches in the future.

Here’s a list of all but one of the papers, courtesy of Nature’s Richard van Noorden, who received 16 from Labbe and found another himself:

  1. Sun Ping. Application of Amphibious Technology in the ReutoMail. In George Yang(Ed). Proceedings of the 2012 International Conference on Communication, Electronics and Automation Engineering. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Volume 181, 2013, pp 409-413. Editor Affiliation: Department of Engineering Technology, Missouri Western State University. Author Affiliation: Zhejiang Water Conservancy and Hydropower College, Hangzhou, P.R. China, 310018
  2. Haibo Zhu. Analysis of Impact of Highly-Available Archetypes on Robotics. In Shen Gang, Huang Xiong (Eds.). Advanced Research on Electronic Commerce, Web Application, and Communication. Communications in Computer and Information Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Volume 144, 2011, pp 109-114. International Conference, ECWAC 2011, Guangzhou, China, April 16-17, 2011. Editor Affiliation: Wuhan University of Science and Technology Author Affiliation: Harbin University of Commerce, Harbin, China
  3. Yonghong Shao, Qingyue Kong, Yingying Ma. Synthesizing Neural Networks and Randomized Algorithms. Wu Zhang, Zhangxin Chen, Craig C. Douglas, Weiqin Tong (Eds). Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Volume 5938, 2010, pp 344-349. Second International Conference, HPCA 2009, Shanghai, China, August 10-12, 2009, Revised Selected Papers. Editor Affiliations: Wu Zhang, Weiqin Tong: School of Computer Engineering and Science, Shanghai University; Zhangxin Chen: Schulich School of Engineering, University of Calgary; Craig C. Douglas: Department of Mathematics, University of Wyoming. Author Affiliations: Yonghong Shao: Department of Art and Design, Yiwu Industrial and Commercial College, Yiwu, China; Qingyue Kong: Department of Information Engineering, Hebei Chemial & Pharmaceutical College, Shijiazhuang, China. Yingying Ma: College of Business Administration, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China.
  4. Dejian Fang. The Influence of Extensible Archetypes on Machine Learning. In Jia Luo (Ed). Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction. Advances in Intelligent and Soft Computing. Volume 137. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. 2012, pp 741-748. Editor Affiliation: National Kinmen Institute of Technology. Author Affiliations: Division of Logistic, Fuqing Branch of Fujian Normal University, Fuqing, 350300, China
  5. Sun Ping. A New Method for the Visualization of Byzantine Fault Tolerance. In George Yang (Ed). Proceedings of the 2012 International Conference on Communication, Electronics and Automation Engineering. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Volume 181, 2013, pp 233-237. Editor Affiliations: Department of Engineering Technology, Missouri Western State University. Author Affiliations: Zhejiang Water Conservancy and Hydropower College, Hangzhou, P.R. China, 310018.
  6. Chen-shin Chien & Jason Chien. The Influence of Cacheable Models on E-Voting Technology. Information Computing and Applications. In Rongbo Zhu, Yanchun Zhang, Baoxiang Liu & Chunfeng Liu (Eds). Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg.Volume 6377, 2010, pp 166-172. Editor Affiliations: Rongbo Zhu: College of Computer Science, South-Central University for Nationalities; Yanchun Zhang: Victoria University. Author Affiliations: Baoxiang Liu & Chunfeng Liu: College of Science, He’Bei Polytechnic University. Author Affiliations: Chen-shin Chien: Department of Industrial Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei County, Taiwan; Jason Chien: China University of Science and Technology Computing Center, China, University of Science and Technology, Taipei County, Taiwan.
  7. Yanchun Ma. Refining the Producer–Consumer Problem and Lamport Clocks. In W. Eric Wong & Tinghuai Ma (Eds). Emerging Technologies for Information Systems, Computing, and Management. Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Volume 236, 2013, pp 1269-1275. Editor Affiliations: W. Eric Wong: Department of Computer Science, University of Texas at Dallas; Tinghuai Ma: Science and Technology, College of Computer and Software, Nanjing University of Information. Author Affiliation: North China Institute and Technology, Yanjiao Beijing-East, China
  8. Yan Bao & Hanzhou Hao. Digital-to-Analog Converters: A Case Study. In Song Lin & Xiong Huang (Eds). Advances in Computer Science, Environment, Ecoinformatics, and Education. Communications in Computer and Information Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Volume 216, 2011, pp 107-111. International Conference, CSEE 2011, Wuhan, China, August 21-22, 2011. Editor Affiliation: International Science & Education Researcher Association. Author Affiliations: Yan Bao : Biomedical engineering College, Xianning University, Xianning, Hubei, 437100, China; Hanzhou Hao: Resources and Environment College, Xianning University, Xianning, Hubei, 437100, China.
  9. Haibo Zhu. Research on the Simulation of Neural Networks and Semaphores. In Gang Shen & Xiong Huang (Eds). Advanced Research on Electronic Commerce, Web Application, and Communication. Communications in Computer and Information Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Volume 143, 2011, pp 85-91. International Conference, ECWAC 2011, Guangzhou, China, April 16-17, 2011. Editor Affiliation: Wuhan University of Science and Technology. Author Affiliation: Harbin University of Commerce, Harbin, China.
  10. Zhong Chen. 802.11B Considered Harmful. In Jia Luo (Eds). Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction. Advances in Intelligent and Soft Computing. Springer Berlin. Heidelberg. Volume 137, 2012, pp 749-756. Editor Affiliation: National Kinmen Institute of Technology. Author Affiliation: Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Fuqing Branch of Fujian Normal University, Fuqing, 350300, China.
  11. Chen-shin Chien & Jason Chien. Controlling Web Services and 802.11 Mesh Networks. In Rongbo Zhu, Yanchun Zhang, Baoxiang Liu & Chunfeng Liu (Eds). Information Computing and Applications. Communications in Computer and Information Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Volume 105, 2010, pp 289-295 International Conference, ICICA 2010, Tangshan, China, October 15-18, 2010. Editor Affiliation: Rongbo Zhu : College of Computer Science, South-Central University for Nationalities; Yanchun Zhang: Victoria University; Baoxiang Liu & Chunfeng Liu: College of Science, He’Bei Polytechnic University. Author Affiliation: Chen-shin Chien : Department of Industrial Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei County, Taiwan. Jason Chien : China University of Science and Technology Computing Center, China, University of Science and Technology, Taipei County, Taiwan
  12. Dong-Xia Yuan & Xiao-Yu Ma. Application of Unfeaty Tenancy in Simulating Flip-Flop Gates and Location-Identity Split. In Jianwei Zhang (Ed). Applied Informatics and Communication. Communications in Computer and Information Science. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Volume 226, 2011, pp 66-72. International Conference, ICAIC 2011, Xi’ian, China, August 20-21, 2011. Editor Affiliation: Suzhou University. Author Affiliation: School of Civil Engineering, Hebei University of Engineering, Handan, Hebei Province, 056038, China.
  13. JianMing Zhao & YongNing Guo. Evaluating Gigabit Switches Using Perfect Communication. In David Jin & Sally Lin (Ed). Advances in Electronic Engineering, Communication and Management Vol.2. Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Volume 140, 2012, pp 645-652. Proceedings of the EECM 2011 International Conference on Electronic Engineering, Communication and Management, held December 24-25, 2011, Beijing, China. Editor Affiliations: David Jin: Researcher Association, Wuhan Section, International Science & Education; Sally Lin: Researcher Association, Guangzhou Section, International Science & Education. Author Affiliation: Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Fuqing Branch of Fujian Normal University, Fuqing, 350300, China.
  14. Zhong Chen & YongNing Guo. Deconstructing the Ethernet. In David Jin & Sally Lin (Ed). Advances in Electronic Engineering, Communication and Management Vol.2. Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Volume 140, 2012, pp 659-667. Proceedings of the EECM 2011 International Conference on Electronic Engineering, Communication and Management, held December 24-25, 2011, Beijing, China. Editor Affiliations: David Jin: Researcher Association, Wuhan Section, International Science & Education; Sally Lin: Researcher Association, Guangzhou Section, International Science & Education. Author Affiliation: Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Fuqing Branch of Fujian Normal University, Fuqing, 350300, China.
  15. Tian Zhuo & LiBai Cheng. Decoupling Randomized Algorithms from Robots in the Partition Table. In Yanwen Wu (Ed). Advanced Technology in Teaching – Proceedings of the 2009 3rd International Conference on Teaching and Computational Science (WTCS 2009). Advances in Intelligent and Soft Computing. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Volume 116, 2012, pp 1-6. Editor Affiliation: ? Author Affiliation: Jilin Agricultural University, Jlau, ChangChun, Jilin, China.
  16. Haiyu Li. Exploration of Write-Ahead Logging. In Rongbo Zhu & Yan Ma (Eds). Information Engineering and Applications. Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Volume 154, 2012, pp 1322-1329. Editor Affiliations: Rongbo Zhu: South-Central University for Nationalities; Yan Ma: School of Computer and Information, Chongqing Normal University. Author Affiliation: The Multifunctional Design and Research Academy, Zhengzhou University, 97, Wen-hua Road, Zhengzhou, 450002, Henan, China.
  17. Wang Minqian, Want Yingying, Ren Yueou and Zhao. Developing Write-Back Caches and Information Retrieval Systems with EASEL. In Srikanta Patnaik & Xiaolong Li (Eds). Proceedings of International Conference on Computer Science and Information Technology Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. Volume 255, 2014, p 541. Editor Affiliations: Srikanta Patnaik: Computer Science and Engineering, SOA University; Xiaolong Li: Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology, Indiana State University. Author Affiliations:?

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Written by Ivan Oransky

April 21, 2014 at 11:30 am

5 Responses

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  1. Enough already! It’s time for a “Reviewers’ Hall of Shame.” Having a listing of reviewers (and maybe editors, too) who let these bogus articles slip by might be enough to initiate more critical review processes. It’s OK to say you “cannot evaluate” a paper … but to give a thumbs-up to the paper you don’t understand is malfeasance.

    Harrison Pratt

    April 21, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    • IEEE review procedures from their web site:

      “Quality of content: papers authored by innovators of today’s top emerging technologies. Most IEEE conferences follow a paper-selection process and many have peer-review procedures”

      So there may not have been any reviewers.

      CJB

      April 22, 2014 at 9:51 am

      • BINGO! Perhaps publications should tagged as “peer-reviewed” or “not peer-reviewed.”

        Harrison Pratt

        April 22, 2014 at 9:57 am

  2. Is it just me that finds it slightly disconcerting that those examples detected to date have “Chinese” names and affiliations? Given that the only thing entered into the SCIgen is the name, is another point being made here?

    How many of the 120 papers had “Western” names and affiliations? How many have been detected?

    PWK

    April 21, 2014 at 10:05 pm

  3. Ironically, the retracted papers or chapters are still for sale for about $30 each…

    Nils

    April 22, 2014 at 6:23 am


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