Wednesday, April 02, 2014

A sinister use of the vanity journal

There has been a proliferation of academic vanity journals over the last few years: basically, you pay to get some "peer-reviewed" paper published. This didn't seem too serious, as most search committees know to discount these publications.

But I just realized there is a more sinister use for these journals: snake oil salesmen are placing papers in them to give credibility to their fantastic claims for their products. The spiel I heard had the chief charlatan claiming his treatment had octogenarians beating twenty-year-old kids at basketball. Then the guy backed this with a references to "peer-reviewed research" published in something like the "Luxemborg Journal of Medicine."

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