Only 6 out of 20 Fake Articles Were Rejected From Peer-Reviewed Journals
Three scholars have recently exposed what appears to be a severe lack of integrity, critical examination and self-reflection in the most prominent sociological journals in academia. They made 20 fabricated papers with ludicrous and obviously-satirical claims about society and oppression at large, marketing them to recent, emerging disciplines as queer studies and fat studies. Their findings are the culmination of a year-long effort to raise awareness of the lack of verifiability in so-called scientific journals, even supposedly reputable ones.
The papers were sent to peer-reviewed journals, which are supposed to be the gold standard in scientific research, subject to rigorous criticism for potential mistakes or bad and exaggerated conclusions. Yet, somehow, 7 of the 20 fake articles had been fully accepted for publishing, and only 6 had been rejected. One paper even gained “special recognition for excellence in its journal.”
The three scholars were James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian. They made use of the most popular jargon and buzzwords to disguise conclusions that no reasonable person would take seriously, usually decrying the perceived oppression and cruelty of even the most mundane aspects of society. The topics had zero basis in real life experimental or observational data, and yet were accepted as such under fake names.
For example, one paper claimed to have studied the impact of dogs’ mounting behavior in public dog parks, and concluded the actions to be complicit in “rape culture.” Another paper purported to challenge “straight male homohysteria, transhysteria and transphobia,” and recommended that straight men should “self-penetrate” to help understand the implications of transphobia and rape culture in society. The actual content of the papers read like most of the words had been copy-pasted from a thesaurus.
It is generally very difficult to introduce fabricated data to the “hard sciences” such as mathematics, engineering, physics and computer sciences because they have extremely defined ways of checking if the numbers and outcomes follow. Social sciences, however, have long been criticized for being ill-defined and difficult to quantify into any meaningful numbers, because they study human behavior and thinking, which is very difficult to label and model.
However, in recent times, highly-prominent critics such as Dr. Jordan Peterson have levelled new accusations against the social sciences and humanities: activist research. This fake paper experiment seems to confirm that the academic scholars in the social scientists, who are all extremely left-wing politically, are willing to publish and endorse any claims that support their political views, regardless of veracity. Worse, they are accused of using their positions of credibility as academics to push their specific agenda. Such ideologues tend to begin with a conclusion they declare to be unwaveringly true and then work to find evidence of said conclusion. This is the exact opposite of the scientific method upon which the vast majority of discoveries have been built upon.
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