Attentive Troppodillians will recall Rooter, one of Troppo’s stable of cars, frequently flown to locations around the world in order for the winners of our comps to to take do a few doughies with it. Now comes the learned journal article on Rooter (pdf). It’s a hoax generated by a computer program. And more than a hundred of them have been accepted to conference databases. Pretty amazing stuff.



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8 Responses to Rooter

  1. john Walker says:

    Most of these ‘conferences’ are, provably, scams aimed at getting the gullible -desperate to be ‘published’, in any thing that looks like a ‘pier review’ context. And they seem to be a growing phenomena across the board , from the arts to the sciences -New scientists feedback page reports some of the more unbelievable of these ‘calls for papers’ almost ever week.

  2. Paul H says:

    “Pier review” indeed, John.

    Some of these papers should be thrown off the end of a pier, along with their authors. :)

  3. conrad says:

    Apart from a small number of areas, conferences papers are worth approximately zero in terms of research, so this is really no big deal. Indeed, most conferences accept anything since most organizations don’t have the resources to review everything (that’s why they’re conferences after all — and often you only given in an abstract), and it would be waste of money in any case.

    • john Walker says:

      The Frenchman who submitted the 120 nonsense papers did so because he had detected a number of other nonsense papers in the Springer and IEEE lists. Do citations (of other published papers) in conference papers help push up the citation ranking of those papers?

      • conrad says:

        It depends on search the Engine. Google scholar picks up quite a few (and misses many others), whereas Scopus and Web of Science only pick them up if they are registered, and very few are registered. So Google Scholar scores give you perhaps 30% more citations than the other two engines.

        Also — even 120 “fake” citations are not going to get you that far. From Google Scholar, a quick search around the mainly Australian political blogosphere for academics I can get easily shows, for example, that John Quiggin is the winner (about 10K), Paul Frijters (5.2K), myself (4K), Robert Merkel at LP (529 in an area difficult to get citations), Sinclair Davidson at Catallaxy (around 200), Steve Kates at Catallaxy (217), Joshua Gans at core economics (5.2K), and the now politician Andrew Leigh (3.1K). Obviously people do lots of stuff (e.g., government work, tendors…) and these are just citations, but it shows that to get into the “high” category for citations, even many self citations and cheat citations won’t work.

        If you’re looking at Maths and worldwide stats, then the top young Australian born person (Terence Tao) is on about 32K.

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