Years ago, computer scientists David Mazières and Eddie Kohler wrote a profanity-laden 10-page paper as a joke to reply to unwanted conference invitations. It was called "Get me off Your Fucking Mailing List."
The Standford and Harvard professors' paper has been in circulation ever since.
Recently, the joke paper, which the two professors wrote in 2005, was accepted by the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology.
Even though it only contains those seven words, repeated 863 times.
But despite sounding awfully distinguished, the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology is actually a predatory open-access journal, reported io9, which spams tons of scientists by offering to publish their work, if they pay a fee.
It turns out that the authors had nothing to do with the submission, and that an Australian computer scientist had sent the PDF of the joke paper to the journal so they might stop spamming him, according to the blog Scholarly Open Access.
"Get me off Your Fucking Mailing List" was accepted by the journal, which promptly requested a fee of $150 from the authors to publish it.
An anonymous reviewer also deemed it "excellent."
Predatory journals such as these have long been a sore spot in the scientific community. Since scientists must "publish or perish," but can have difficulty being accepted into prestigious journals, "this has created a market for bottom feeders with impressive-sounding names and absolutely no standards," IFLScience wrote, adding:
For a fee, they will publish anything. Unscrupulous, desperate or very naive scientists can pad out their CVs and hope no one notices the quality of some of the journals they list.
And though the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology claims to participate in peer review, the paper's acceptance proves otherwise.
Rachel Zarrell is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Rachel Zarrell at email@example.com.
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