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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Retract THIS!

This is just toooo rich not to pass along (a math paper retraction from Elsevier as reported by "Retraction Watch"):

http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/math-paper-retracted-because-it-contains-no-scientific-content/

...just to whet your appetite, here's the entire abstract of the above 2010 paper:
"In this study, a computer application was used to solve a mathematical problem."
And the posting-author asks:
"How on Earth does this stuff get past editors, peer reviewers, and publication staffs? And how did it remain in print for two years?"
…be sure to read the comments section as well (they're as entertaining as the main piece).

2 comments:

Sam said...

Lately I've been subscribing to various journals' RSS feeds. Just for kicks, after adding those feeds in Google Reader, I look at the statistics to see how many people have subscribed.

In most cases, it's a single-digit number, usually a small one.

Based on this, it seems nobody really reads these journals in a subscription sort of way. We just read individual articles based on recommendations/word of mouth/etc.

And that's how this was able to fly under the radar for 2 years.

"Shecky Riemann" said...

Hi Sam, I'm not sure how representative RSS feeds would be since I assume lots of professionals still receive and read the actual physical journals. In any event, what remains odd is that this article even got past initial editorial and peer review to make it into the journal.