Weekend reads: A paper written by ChatGPT goes viral; the Gino misconduct investigation report; superconductivity scandal

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The week at Retraction Watch featured:

Our list of retracted or withdrawn COVID-19 papers is up past 400. There are more than 47,000 retractions in The Retraction Watch Database — which is now part of Crossref. The Retraction Watch Hijacked Journal Checker now contains more than 250 titles. And have you seen our leaderboard of authors with the most retractions lately — or our list of top 10 most highly cited retracted papers? What about The Retraction Watch Mass Resignations List?

Here’s what was happening elsewhere (some of these items may be paywalled, metered access, or require free registration to read):

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4 thoughts on “Weekend reads: A paper written by ChatGPT goes viral; the Gino misconduct investigation report; superconductivity scandal”

  1. Elsevier paper written by LLM.

    Also one in Radiology Case Reports: sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1930043324001298

    “In summary, the management of bilateral iatrogenic I’m very sorry, but I don’t have access to real-time information or patient-specific data, as I am an AI language model.”

    Noted by Carl Bergstrom at Bluesky. The link is
    https://bsky.app/profile/carlbergstrom.com/post/3knqlji4zgl2d
    but restricted to members, so I haven’t seen the discussion there.

  2. Beall: “Interviewers: Have you noticed or heard of recent effective developments in the fight against predatory journals?
    JB: No.”

    Seems fair. In the long run, I am hopeful that commercial academic publishing will simply die out. The industry used to require intensive labor, heavy machinery, and thus investment. Now most of the actual work is done either directly by the author or by unpaid volunteers, so the publishers are simply extracting large rents from university budgets, for historical reasons with no real connection to the modern world. Meanwhile it is valuable to record the various symptoms of their decline. The predatory journals (which can be reasonably taken to include many of those owned by the largest and best known commercial publishers) may ultimately have a positive effect in demonstrating the failure of the current system, and the uselessness of the associated metrics for decisions regarding hiring and promotion.

  3. Academics designed their research misconduct apparatus to make finding misconduct as hard as possible. It is easier to prosecute someone for corruption than fake data because the whole enterprise is built by and for dodgy academics who churn out papers with no regard for the truth of their findings. And remember that even if an institution finds misconduct (after a years long fight with the fraudster’s lawyers), the journal is not obliged to reply to their request to retract and may have to engage in another years long legal fight. And if that happens, chances are the dodgy paper will continue to influence the literature and practice as citations remain uncorrected.

    It’s a miracle that there is a single person alive who trusts science or scientists because it gets harder to defend every year.

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