Three graduate student at MIT’s AI Lab wrote a clever program to submit a paper to a bogus conference. The program is called: SCIgen – An Automatic CS Paper Generator. SCIgen automatically writes computer science papers, complete with graphs, charts, and cliche phrases. They even automatically generate a fake list of references!
But although the papers seem real at first glance, you quickly realize that they’re complete gibberish. For instance, here’s the opening paragraph of Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy (PDF)
Many scholars would agree that, had it not been for active networks, the simulation of Lamport clocks might never have occurred. The notion that end-users synchronize with the investigation of Markov models is rarely out-dated. A theoretical grand challenge in theory is the important unification of virtual machines and real-time theory.
The students submitted two papers to the “World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics” (WMSCI). This is a conference that seems to only exist to pad writer’s resumes and the organizer’s wallet. It has an interesting business model, in which writers pay a conference fee for each of paper accepted, whether or not they actually attend the conference.
Amazingly, “Rooter” was accepted for WMSCI. Now I know that sometimes papers are not properly peer-reviewed for conferences. But clearly, nobody even read this paper. Unfortunately, after the authors bragged about their hack on the web, the conference organizer rejected the submission, and refunded their conference fee.