Kim Kardashian pairs up with an MIT post-doc to publish a scientific paper

Tomáš Pluskal

Kim Kardashian is known for many accomplishments. But now she can add another to her resume: First author of a paper in the Drug Designing & Intellectual Properties International Journal. What can we say? It’s international, and it’s a journal. We talked to Tomáš Pluskal, a post-doc at MIT and the last author of the paper — the middle author is Satoshi Nakamoto, the elusive “inventor of Bitcoin” — for the inside scoop.

Retraction Watch (RW): Our guess is that few scientists will have the opportunity to work with Kim Kardashian. How did you end up collaborating?

Tomáš Pluskal (TP): I have always thought that Kim’s scientific talents were a bit underappreciated, so I wanted to give her the opportunity to show this unknown side of her. It was a very smooth and productive collaboration. Obviously, Kim is very busy, being a celebrity and all, so we never actually managed to meet in person. But she has been talking to me through her Instagram posts, and needless to say, the science presented in the paper would never have reached such high quality without her input.

RW: Your paper is apparently about Wanion, which means, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “plague” or “vengeance.” Whom exactly are you wishing a plague or vengeance on?

TP: I would rather not spoil the surprise here, but I suggest everyone read the paper carefully. The message is very clear.

RW: The paper bears a striking resemblance to others written by SCIgen, a random paper generator that, we note, was developed at MIT, your present institution. Can you comment on whether this is the case?

TP: Indeed, I have been using SCIgen for a while. It is a fantastic tool that saves so much time and reduces the burden and stress associated with paper preparation. It’s cutting-edge MIT technology at its best.

RW: Can you describe your experience with publishing in the Drug Designing & Intellectual Properties International Journal?

TP: You know, some scientists look down on these open-access journals (they even call them “predatory journals” – how awful), but my experience was just terrific. We had had some difficulties trying to publish this paper in so-called “traditional” journals, but DDIPIJ was just so polite and welcoming. Peer review was finished in 4 days, and we didn’t even need to revise the paper. It’s like every scientist’s dream, isn’t it? I now recommend DDIPIJ to all my colleagues (especially those who also use SCIgen).

RW: Some might wonder if this is just a ploy to increase your K-Index, where K stands, of course, for Kardashian. How do you respond?

TP: Since I do not have a Twitter account, my K-Index is, by definition, zero, and I hope it stays that way. Whether this paper will have any impact on Kim’s K-Index is hard to predict at this point. Her K-Index is already pretty high, after all.

Hat tip: Marco

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16 thoughts on “Kim Kardashian pairs up with an MIT post-doc to publish a scientific paper”

  1. Kim must be *very* talented!

    Check out reference 19:

    19. Hennessy J, Gupta N, Needham R, Kardashian K, Suzuki V (1991)
    Towards the evaluation of IPv4. In Proceedings of the Symposium on
    Permutable, Wearable Symmetries.

    Wikipedia lists her birthday as October 21, 1980, so she published this when 11 years old! Amazing person!

      1. Well, Kris Jenner *was* known as Kris Kardashian for a few months in 1992…She didn’t marry Bruce until April of that year. 😀

    1. True, we have seen fake papers in fake journals a thousand times and yet we still have fake journals. I find it funny and sad at the same time.

      What this really draws attention to is that the open access movement has created an ethically conflicted business model that continues to feed predatory publishers. I like open access, but I hate APCs.

      There are so many things institutions, funders and reputable publishers could be doing to stop this kind of scam but for the most part they aren’t… Things like:
      1. Stop publishing author email addresses – use a contact form instead. No spam, no spam journals.
      2. Share a blacklist of spam journal domains among university IT admins to filter spam.
      3. Support platinum open access journals that charge no fees and are instead funded by libraries, societies, or funders.
      4. Support alternative open access business models, like submission fees, that incentivize and reward journals for upholding rigor rather than accepting papers.
      5. Have a research librarian or research integrity officer screen papers before they go out to check for major issues and the suitability of the journal.

      But no, someone decided the vanity press business model was the way to go for OA and so now here we are.

  2. So what did the corresponding author do with the invoice?

    I assume he did not pay it – postdocs don’t earn enough to be able to afford APCs from their own pockets.

    Are the publisher’s contemplating legal action to retrieve the fees from Ms Kardashian? Joint and several liability could be at play.

  3. Funnily enough, I just discovered the infamous Alireza Heidari of the fake California South University (see e.g. http://groverlab.org/hnbfpr/2017-12-10-csu.html) is on the Editorial Board.

    His presence is rapidly becoming the easiest way to determine if a journal or conference is of such low quality you’d better avoid it like the plague!

  4. Alireza Heidari was reported as editing for “Crimson Publisher”, which is essentially the same as the Lupine Publisher behind the present journal (the same scammer operates both).

  5. The existence of predatory journals is an old stuff.
    However, it is always fun to read such masterpieces of no-sense generated by SCIgen (and to see them published).

    Talking seriously, things are not going to change til predatory publishing becomes a new kind of felony.

    1. But do you know if Bharat Bhushan is really an editor at Lupine? Look at his ORCID – it has nothing to do with drug discovery. It seems to me that the publisher just stole his photo from his university and his bio from his ORCID profile. In which case, he’s a victim not a perpetrator.

  6. Some of the members of the Lupine Editorial Committee and the Associate Editorial Committee have also contributed papers, taking advantage of their editorial role to pad out their CVs without paying the APC. Arguably this makes them accomplices. But as Hold Up points out, there is no particular reason to believe the claims of the journal’s publisher, and other members of the committees could have been listed there without their knowledge.

  7. Important: Lupine modified the authors list now, without updating the date.
    Kim Kardashian and Satoshi Nakamoto were removed.
    I could not spot any dated mentioning of the change.
    “Introductiom” is still misspelled.
    So not only, Lupine faked the peer review, they also clearly failed at the most basic publishing skill: spell checking.

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