"Fraud in science is alarmingly common. Sometimes researchers lie about results
and invent data to win funding and prestige. Other times, researchers might pay
to stage and publish entirely bogus studies to win an undeserved pay rise –
fuelling a “paper mill” industry worth an estimated €1 billion a year.
Some of this rubbish can be easily spotted by peer reviewers, but the peer
review system has become badly stretched by ever-rising paper numbers. And
there’s a new threat, as more sophisticated AI is able to generate plausible
The latest idea among academic publishers is to use automated tools to screen
all papers submitted to scientific journals for telltale signs. However, some
of these tools are easy to fool.
I am part of a group of multidisciplinary scientists working to tackle research
fraud and poor practice using metascience or the “science of science”. Ours is
a new field, but we already have our own society and our members have worked
with funders and publishers to investigate improvements to research practice."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics