Thursday, June 18, 2009

Take that, Open Access Journal!

Sometimes one just has to prove a point, as a Cornell graduate student has recently done with one particular open-access journal by submitting a hoax paper that was written algorithmically. For some of you, this incident should ring familiar, as physicist Alan Sokal submitted a hoax article in 1996 to attempt to prove his opinion that a certain field of study was crap.

One thing that really interests me is that I found out about this via Cornell University's official Facebook posting. I think it's awesome to prove the point because sometimes that's just what needs to be done, but I'm a bit surprised that the University would be willing to publicly endorse the action. This incident might have some interesting fallout... (Hopefully, it won't include the grad student's career, because I suspect it's easier for a well-known person like Sokal to continue professional scientific endeavors after such a stunt than it might be for somebody who is trying to establish him/herself.

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