Science Journals Accept Troll Paper Using Star Wars References

Remember this the next time the media breathlessly reports on some study or paper published in a journal:

Inspired by previous publishing “stings”, I wanted to test whether ‘predatory‘ journals would publish an obviously absurd paper. So I created a spoof manuscript about “midi-chlorians” – the fictional entities which live inside cells and give Jedi their powers in Star Wars. I filled it with other references to the galaxy far, far away, and submitted it to nine journals under the names of Dr Lucas McGeorge and Dr Annette Kin.

Three of those journals accepted it! LMAO!

Bonus, he quotes the “tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise” in the paper and refers to the “Kyloren cycle” and “mtDNRey.” Read the rest of the hilarious story here.

H/T Naboo News and ladyjediscientist.

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5 Responses to “Science Journals Accept Troll Paper Using Star Wars References”

  1. ladylavinia1932 Says:

    This is so funny that I can’t believe it.

  2. Hunk a Junk Says:

    It’s a very funny sting, but it should be noted that these are not reputable journals. They’re “predatory journals” mostly out of Asia and India that sell publication for a fee. It’s shady, but it does point out the bigger problem, as LP says, that the media will occasionally rush a story into print based on stuff like this without doing its due diligence, which in turn opens the door to media critics (and opportunists) calling any news or science into question. That’s how — ugh — Flat Earthers are now a thing again. The good news is that when done right, science is correct whether you believe in it or not. Even nonsense like this would quickly be dismissed as garbage, even if it was somehow published somewhere reputable. I’d take science over the alternatives any day.

    • Keith Palmer Says:

      I’d picked up on that “predatory journals” angle myself. While I was trying to work out an adequate way to make that point, though, you articulated what seems to me a better statement than I could have managed.

    • Stefan Kraft Says:

      I no longer work in academia, but I still have my university e-mail account. I regularly receive “acdemic spam” with invitations to submit to a “predatory journal.”
      What surprises me is that these journals are indeed peer-reviewed. It should be noted that you normally do not get any money from conferences or journals if you review their papers: you review other papers so that your papers get reviewed, too. Hence, I don’t know why anyone would work for such journals (it’s a waste of your time). Maybe some reviewers are “young and naïve.”

      P.s.: I just wanted to present some background about paper reviews in academia. I do not think that this should turn into a discussion how “predatory journals” survive etc.

  3. Cryogenic Says:

    Shades of the Sokal affair:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair

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