Shame for IEEE, Springer Verlag, ACM, AIP, WorldScientific, Taylor and Francis, Elsevier

For more than 8 years our blog has identified that IEEE, Springer Verlag, ACM, AIP (American Institute of Physics), WorldScientific (Singapore), Taylor and Francis, Elsevier conferences are fake, bogus, scam, sham, mock and predatory. Now we have additional Proofs:

Visit: http://www.nature.com/news/publishers-withdraw-more-than-120-gibberish-papers-1.14763

http://retractionwatch.com/2014/02/24/springer-ieee-withdrawing-more-than-120-nonsense-papers/

or google: IEEE 120 SCIgen Papers

The IEEE SCIgen Papers were 85 two years ago:
http://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/71/35/55/PDF/0-FakeDetectionSci-Perso.pdf
Several Blogs (included netdriver.blogpost.com) reported this. In 2014, these SCIgen papers in IEEE were 120.

Let''s start with the IEEE SCIGen Fake Papers of 2009. What's happened in 2009:
In 2009, we had received the following email from a girl that was working in IARIA's secretariat.

IEEE Computer Society Press sent it in January 17 (2009) to all the IEEE Sponsored, Co-Sponsored Conferences as well as to conferences
that publish their Proceedings with IEEE CS Press. It is impressive how many IEEE conferences are based on a review on the Abstract!.


From: EButterfield@computer.org
to: EButterfield@computer.org
cc: ABurgess@computer.org,
John Walz: , Reisman, Sorel" , AStickley@computer.org, TBaldwin@computer.org, r.sterritt@ulster.ac.uk
date Sat, Jan 17, 2009 at 4:03 AMsubject Confidential: Important CPS Message Regarding Fraudulent Machine-Generated Paper Submissions


TO: CPS Clients FROM: Evan Butterfield, Director of Products and Services RE: Fraudulent Machine-Generated Paper Submissions (CONFIDENTIAL) DATE: 16 January 2009

The IEEE Computer Society (CS) has evidence that multiple (IEEE) conferences are receiving machine-generated papers. In two cases, conferences have actually accepted an obviously fraudulent submission. This is a serious issue that threatens the credibility of your conference, the quality of the digital library, and the reputation of both the IEEE and CS. It requires your immediate attention. Please take this opportunity to ensure that your peer review processes are being followed, and adapt to any new requirements that may be communicated by the IEEE or the Computer Society. No conference published by CPS should rely on an abstract review. It is very important that you review carefully the full text of all papers submitted to your conference. If you have already accepted papers, your program committee should review the full text again. While CPS staff will be conducting random spot-checks of conference papers in the publishing queue, we are relying on you to authenticate the content of your proceedings. Any papers that were not actually presented at your conference need to be brought to our attention, and should receive close review. In known cases, the machine-generated origin is obvious from a reading of the first few paragraphs of the paper; the abstracts are human-generated and do not indicate the quality of the paper itself. In the past, papers have been submitted by “Herbert Schlangemann,” but be mindful that the perpetrator of this fraud will change the approach over time. In the event you discover any evidence of questionable content or behavior, please communicate that to us immediately along with an action plan for addressing the problem. Thank you for your help in maintaining the quality of our products.

END OF 2009 IEEE EMAIL

5/26/2009

IEEE Bogus Papers: All science is organized around "journals"and "conferences"??

All science is organized around "journals"and "conferences".

In principle, the (laudable) goalis to generate and disseminate scientific information to us all.The decision about which articles and/or talksget into which journals and conferences is made byunbiased expert "referees".

Sounds great, but let's examine howthis actually works in practice.REFEREESFirst of all, 80% of all referees are idiots and 100% are amateurs.
By "idiot" I mean, either way too lazy to do a good job, or incompetent, or too biased due to some goofy agenda to judge the work unbiasedly(in roughly descending order of frequency),and in any of these cases, their effect is essentially that of tossing a coin.

In the remaining 20% of cases, let us say that the refereeis good and makes the right decision. In that case, the effect of anyone referee is a 60-40 biased coin toss.

In that case, if you have3 independent referees (which is common, although in some cases they use fewer) the probability is .4^3 = .064 > 1/16 that a unanimous wrongdecision is made.

Thus, you can publish essentially ANY garbage (especially in the thousand of IEEE Spamferences) if you simply keep re-submitting and have enough patience (and political skills probably help, e.g. being friendly with editors).

Note that on average 1 out of every 16 garbage submissionsleads to a unanimous acceptance decision, so if you submit and re-submita total of up to 8 times, the probability is >50% you'll get it published.It is considered unethical to keep resubmitting, and especiallyunethical to submit simultaneously to more than 1 journal,since these tactics overload the (already busted) system. Thisethical notion makes sense to me.

Unfortunately there is essentially no way todetect or (especially) enforce these ethics and I believe (and haveheard several scientists simply tell they do it and I should) theseunethical methods are simply standard methodology for many scientists.Indeed I have encountered several cases where apparently somebody slipped upin their tricks so that almost-verbatim copies of the SAME articlegot published in more than 1 journal roughly at the same publication time (which definitely is unethical; every published article is supposed to beNEW original research, aside from articles that clearly are reviews).


On the other hand, if you wrote an excellent paper, then the probabilityis still quite considerable that it will be rejected. Each rejection or acceptance can easily require years due to thepresence of super-slow referees (remember, all refereesare amateurs, i.e. unpaid volunteer do-gooders withzero accountability, indeed whose identities are kept secret!).Indeed in maybe 50% of all submissions, the journal simply apparentlyloses the paper (or something) and no rejection or acceptance ever comes back to the author. Ever.
You get a slip acknowledging receipt of thearticle, but that is all you ever get.

Note the expected number of submissions for an excellentpaper before it gets accepted unanimously is 1/(.6^3) = 4.6. Thusif you are ethical you could easily wait 10 years even before even beingable to publish an excellent paper. If you do not have the luck, patience,organization (and political skills?) necessary for this - merely theethics - then you aren't going to be very successful at publishingeven if your science is superb.The entire referee system is a non-working anachronism from the Victorian Ageof Noble Rich Dilettante Do-Gooders.

It is sort of like the asininenotions of "Amateurism" in athletics which are FINALLY being scrapped(e.g. the Olympics) after over 100 years. As science became bigger and becamean enterprise of numerous professionals rather than few amateurs, this systembecame incapable of doing the job, but everybody refused to admit it.

The resulting cost to society has been, and continues to be,absolutely immense.
MERE ANECDOTES?All the above numerical figures are based on my experienceas a professional scientist. However, my opponents couldattack them as merely my biased special anecdotal claims.To respond to that, consider the following study [PLACE CITE HERE LATER]:The authors of the study took 18 random already-published scientificpapers, changed the authors and titles, and sent them in to thesame journal as submissions, in all cases within a few years oftheir publication date (thus the articles were still reasonably up to date).Result: 16 of the 18 got rejected. (In 0 cases was the plagiarism detected.) I think this study totally supports my "anecdotal" conclusions from my personal experience, don't you? Case closed.JOURNALSMany are exceedingly overpriced. Often they adopt two-tier pricing systemswhere "libraries" have to pay an enormous rate (such as $20000 per yearper journal!?) while certain individuals pay a far smaller rate(otherwise none would buy it).

This combined with the vast proliferationof journals means few libraries can afford the cost. The result is thefailure of the whole mission of journals in the first place. The outrageousprices (which also vary by vast amounts from journal to journal;

Elsevier journals have particularly outrageous prices seem particularlyhard to understand since many scientist-authors now do their own computer typesetting, and the editing and refereeing costs are usually free (done by volunteer amateurs). Many journals have reams of "for show" editors who are selected because putting their names on the masthead makes the journal "look prestigious" -but those "editors" actually do no work.

Example: Turing Award Winnerand famous scientist Robert Tarjan told me he was a for-show editoron numerous journals and he'd finally decided to tell them all to removehis name - although he was primarily concentrating on getting thejournals which actually made him do work, to remove his name first!If you send your submission to some of those prestigious "editors" you can be in for an especially high probability your submission ends up inlimbo land - never accepted or rejected! (In my experience, this happened100% of the time I submitted to a non-chief editor, since at thatyoung and naive stage in my life I had not realized that only the CHIEFeditor is for real and should actually be submitted to, despitewhat the journal submission policy and masthead may say.)
CONFERENCES
Since journals are so screwed up (and they seem especially screwed up in fast-growing fields such as Computer Science, as opposed to say, physics,perhaps because everybody has been too rushed to get a semblance of professionalism going) many subfields of science (especially computer science) have instead become reliant on conferences. Conferences usually have far shakier standards of "refereeing" than journals(which already are pretty shaky!) and often lie by pretending tohave more refereeing than they in fact do have (in an effort to appear more "prestigious").Example: A too-typical "scientific" conference was VIDEA'95 organised by the Wessex Institute of Technology. (VIDEA = "Visualization and Intelligent Design in Engineering and Architecture", '95 is the1995 incarnation.) The fact that in this case the emperor had no clothes wasexposed by Werner Purgathofer, Eduard Groeller, and Martin Feda(Institute of Computer Graphics, Technical University of Vienna).

Previously, one of them had accepted the role of "member of the programcommittee" for VIDEA'93 and noted that (a) he received exactly zeroabstracts and zero papers to review, and (b) was never informed about anyprogram committee meetings nor of any reviewing results. So for VIDEA'95, these 3 generated and submitted 4 bogus papers withvarying degrees of hilarity (in one case the "call for papers"was submitted AS a paper, in another they"took a dictionary of information processing words and selectedrandomly some 40 phrases from there and joined them togetherto a fantastically technical sounding text."

All four were then "reviewed and provisionally accepted"! Their conclusion was: "VIDEA accepts EVERYTHING!" At that point the only remaining requirement for their 4 nonsensepapers to be published in the Elsevier proceedings ("high-quality books") wasthat the authors pay a "registration fee" (these fees often are $600 per paper). Oho, now we see the motivation...Wessex Institute of Technology also does 25 other conferences whichPurgathofer, Groeller, and Feda now suspect are also a joke.

Personally I think this kind of thing is quite typical of many ofthe high-volume low-quality conferences out there.At the other end of the scale, let us consider theallegedly highest quality conferences out there, which inTheoretical Computer Science means the SFOCS "Symposiumon Foundations of Computer Science" and STOC "Symposium onTheory of Computing" annual conferences. I've heard a professionalcomputer scientist say "Journal publications do not matter.Only FOCS and STOC papers matter." Careers can rest on publicationsin these conferences, which supposedly have a high rejection rate, andare refereed, thus assuring high quality. Oh? Really? Actually, for manyyears, the only "refereeing" you'd get back was a number from 1 to 5, as opposed to a referee's report.

Indeed often this was condensed into 1 bit,rather than 1 number! Oh yeah. We can be sure a lot of consideration went into that. And indeed various well known completely wrong FOCS and STOC papers were published, although it was much rarer for anybody to ADMIT that(the first ever example I saw where it actually was admitted was again a paper by the admirable Tarjan, who in the next conference published a retraction [R.E. Tarjan, C.J. Van Wyk: Correction to ``A Linear-TimeAlgorithm for Triangulating Simple Polygons''.

SFOCS 1987 page 486]perhaps in a failed effort to convince the rest of the conferenceauthors to be equally responsible - since apparently this was the first such retraction in about 20 years of these conferences). In fact, once when I was a referee and wrote a long referee report for a paperI cared about, the editor (Valerie King) REFUSED even to GIVEmy report to the paper authors, saying "I don't want a report. I want anumber from 1 to 5."

I then had to bypass her and send it tothem directly. I complained to the conference's editor-in-chief about this but nothing came of it. Also, once, after my paper was rejected (this was back when I was a grad student) with of course zero explanation, I luckily managed to get some verbal explanation of the reason bytalking to a Committee Member. It was:"Oh, well, somebody said this was all basically done before by Lovasz,so we rejected it." So then I said "But - Lovasz was the professor who advisedme to submit this paper!"

A typical scenario - the judgementsare based largely on vague rumors. Another amusing case demonstratingthe importance of being in the politically "in group" and the shallownessof the acceptance considerations was by my friend Bruce Maggs.He was in his advisor's (Leiserson, MIT) office one day.Advisor: "Well Bruce, I just was at the Program Committee Meeting for SPAA andthere was considerable debate about whether to accept your paper. The goingwas tough, but finally, I managed to ram it through. You are In."Bruce: "That's great doc, and I appreciate it a lot. But... I never submitted a paper."Nowadays these 2 conferences actually do send back actual reports (sometimes)although sometimes you still get nothing back, and more often than notthe reports are just 1 useless hastily written paragraph. IndeedI recently submitted 3 papers to one of these conferences, result:2 rejects and 1 accepted. I wrote to the editor saying inall 3 cases the judgement should have been reversed(!)documenting my reasons. I concluded the reasons for the errors werea combination of stupidity, low quality, zero referee accountability, andpolitical biases both pro and con (e.g. in one case the single referee, whoseidentity was obvious, found it very convenient for his career if my paper criticizing a certain approach, would just vanish. In the case wheremy paper which contained numerous errors and unsupportable hype,was accepted, it was politically inconvenient for it to be rejectedfor reasons of a similar but opposite kind.).
JUNKETSAs far as I can see, conferences are not good ways to disseminateinformation. Often authors are forced to talk for 20 minutes at most -and that is in the GOOD conferences like FOCS & STOC; in someconferences I have seen time limits below 10 minutes. This is a joke.In some conferences there are hundreds of such micro-talks. What percentageare you going to get anything from?One is supposed to fly 1000s of miles, consuming 100s of gallonsof irreplaceable petroleum (more than the annual per capita consumptionof average people in the world - each such flight is thus costingsome average world inhabitant over a year worth of the economicbenefits of gasoline) and the benefit that results is: a 10-minute talk??!

You get far more information by reading the paper in the proceedingsrather than seeing the talk.This is the communication age: The telephone; internet; Email; computerizedsearch tools to find just the paper you need to find. In such an age,it is scientifically and morally unsupportable to have most ofthese conferences. The real reasons many of them exist is NOT their scientific value, but
(a) insane holdovers from past ages,
(b) bean counting based promotion decisions causing pressure to "publish",
(c) opportunity by scientists to abuse their funders or employers to get free junkets to faraway places in the guise of "working".
(d) The conference organizers pocket hefty fees (over $600 per participant easily). The airlines and hoteliers are also happy of course...Only people who should be unhappy are the granting agencies and employers(and taxpayers), but they are manned by scientists who are in on the junkets too, so they don't complain and the corrupt system cruises on.

There have been cases [e.g. the "Winter brain conference"]where conferences held at ski resort areas have beencancelled due to lack of snow. My colleague Kevin Lang actually witnesseda medical conference at such a ski resort. Rather than giving their talks,the MDs had pre-recorded the talks on videotapes (allegedly this allowedthem to present a better quality talk in less time, plus it gotrecorded that way - sounds like a good idea I guess), and they thenplayed the videos at the lecturns. Lang witnessed a case where anabsent lecturer was lecturing via videotape-player to an empty room - while all the MDs involved presumably cavorted on the ski slopes.SCIENTIFIC CAREERSAre often advanced or stalled by boards who mainly utilize"bean counts" (publication counts) as their decision making tool,as opposed to actually trying to READ one's papers (that would requirework). Thus the pressure to publish can be immense, leadingto a giant proliferation of garbage publications,a trend toward more papers with fewer ideas, overloading of the busted system,and encouraging non-ethics. I believe bean-count is anti-correlated to ethics.The fact that most of these boards are mainly populated by coprolitescauses any consideration of the idea that maybe, just maybe, somethingis screwed up about the current system of Journals, Conferences, Referees,bean counts, Zero Accountability, and 100% Amateurism, to be dismissed. That in turn prevents any reform of the system.


HOW TO FIX THE SYSTEM:
1. Referee anonymity and consequent lack of accountability and responsibility has to be got rid of. Papers should beplaced on a web site like the xxx.lanl.gov site BUT submissions, andcomments, ref reports, and author responses to said reports, and rejections, should non-eraseably accumulateas attachments to it on the site. This also will make the tactic ofmultiple unethical submissions, visible.

2. I think if anything the anonymity should work in theother direction: refs should be named, author-identities should behidden from them.

3. Boards should actually (gasp!) read the scientist's work,which I believe they do not do, in general. (There even have been cases of scientists who enjoyed numerous promotions, including being grantedtenure, who in fact had zero publications, but listed a lot of fakepublications on their resumes. Evidently nobody actually went to thejournal "cites" in the resumes to actually read those "articles.")

If Boards plan to rely on bean counting, they could be replaced by my (non-scientist) sister, for a lot cheaper! This could be forced (or at least we could try) by making them make a report public reviewing that work.

4. Boards generally should be forced to operate in a non-secret mode (and all votes by them should be revealed vote-by-vote) and the evaluations and salaries of those they judge have to be made public so that info exists so that feedback and restoration-to-sanityforces become a possibility to try to at least have the possibility toget rid of incompetent board members, etc.All my attempts to make 1-4 happen have been failures, however.

The whole way refereeing is run (amateur volunteerism with zeroresponsibility) is a ludicrous way to run science.The whole journal system is obsolete and massively overpricedand fortunately may FINALLY be BEGINNING to collapse under its own weight,being replaced by web sites.

Note that web sites featuring a plethoraof unrefereed scientific papers actually in many ways have papersof HIGHER quality than do refereed journals:

(a) the papers can be searched by computer to find what you want,
(b) they can include data and programs no journal would publish (for space reasons)
(c) they could in future include actual software calculators, e.g. the reader fills in the blank with a number and out pop more numbers...
(d) the cites could be implemented as hyperlinks (including cites OF this paper by future papers, could be traversed both directions)
(e) accumulating positive and negative Comments and author Responses could be attached, ultimately having a referee-like effect far more accurate and severe than most actual refereeing ever is
(f) If the paper is bogus (as in MANY IEEE Conferences that you told me) this could eventually be revealed by an attached
Comment, preventing the paper from sitting around permanently as a trap waiting to destroy the work of some poor gullible graduate student or waste the time of some other reader.Meanwhile conferences show no sign of slackening - to the contrary.

2 comments:

  1. I fully agree with the previous commentors. Nobody can doubt the
    http://diehimmelistschoen.blogspot.com/
    All the material is genuine.

    Moreover the material in http://iaria-highsci.blogspot.com/ is also
    genuine
    They have letters of IEEE acceptance for quite crappy papers


    All these things prove how fake , how bogus and crappy is the IEEE

    Of course, in America, everything is Business and the IEEE is one more
    american business
    Failure to cease this discrimination jeopardizes the future of the
    IEEE as an international organization.


    ---------------------------LOOK WHAT THE DENIS BAGGI DECLARED
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    This episode is a good measure of the bull*** that goes on in large
    conferences, to which academicians feel like participating to be able
    to list an extra paper in the CV which amounts to nothing and which
    nobody reads. Selection criteria such a refereeing etc. are
    meaningless. Articles should be written only if someone has something
    to tell others, in which case the validity of the paper is obvious.

    Denis Baggi
    Chairman, IEEE CS on CGM

    ReplyDelete
  2. My name is Arye Nehorai and I am IEEE Fellow


    My name is Arye Nehorai and I am IEEE Fellow
    I sent the follwoing email to IEEE , but i did not receive any answer



    "Arye Nehorai" arye.nehorai@ymail.com
    To:
    "mcm-info@ieee.org" , "mps@ieee.org" , "ieeemaltasection@ieee.org" , "florentfourreaux@hotmail.com" , "president@ieee.gr" , president@ieee.org, sales@IEEE.ORG
    Cc:
    "Arye Nehorai"
    CAN YOU REPLY? I SENT THIS EMAIL YESTERDAY. WE NEED A CLEAR ANSWER

    *********************************************

    Dear IEEE France, IEEE Malta and IEEE Greece,

    I wonder, if it is real that you sponsor all these conferences of IARIA
    http://www.iaria.org
    For example, in every place that IARIA has a congress, it seems that has alreadyan agreement with the local IEEE. Is it true for your case?Example: Is the Greek Section of IEEE sponsor or not for these 2 conferences?

    http://www.iaria.org/conferences2009/SENSORCOMM09.html
    and

    http://www.iaria.org/conferences2009/MESH09.html

    and some other conferences in Greece that you can see through the portal http://www.iaria.org/


    The reason is that this IARIA Conferences have accepted many SCIgen, auto-generated papers (remember: papers Nagib Callaos style) and some sites have also posted the letter of acceptance of these fake papersAnyway, as a member of IEEE, this is only a caution for you because the IARIA name destroyes the reputation of IEEELooking forward for your replyNot only these are non-reviewed conferences, but they ask also from companies huge amounts of
    money:

    http://www.iaria.org/confsponsorship.html

    Look also this:http://www.iaria.org/conferences2009/ICN09.html

    If the IEEE in France was sponsor,

    then why didn't the IEEE france have a link to them?

    Sincerely,

    Arye,

    ReplyDelete