Peer-reviewed as “excellent”

This paper, containing nothing but these seven words (and the address of the main authors), was accepted for publishing by the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology. It was even peer-reviewed (by an anonymous reviewer, of course) as “excellent.”

Mailing list


It’s an example of a modern scourge of science: predatory journals that spam scientists with offers to publish their work for a fee. The above 10-page paper (which also contains a couple of pretty great illustrative figures and two whole references — you can get the PDF here) was actually created as a joke by the authors, who sent it in response to unwanted conference invitations. The PDF got around as these things do, and a computer scientist sent it to the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology in response to a spam email.

To his surprise, not only was he not taken off the mailing list, the journal accepted the paper and offered to publish it — for the low, low fee of $150. Clearly, no actual human even opened the file.

Here is the acceptance letter:

Acceptance letter


My only question is, what minor changes?

It’s funny, but not really, because this kind of crap is rampant, and scientists who are sweating under the “publish or perish” dictate may not realize (or in some instances care) that the journal they’re publishing in isn’t worth the toilet paper it’s printed on.


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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4 Responses to Peer-reviewed as “excellent”

  1. James Haney says:

    I wonder if Neil Degrass Tyson has to deal with that crap.

    • oregon expat says:

      They’d probably charge him $1,500 to publish. Since he’s famous and all.

    • JR says:

      Well, probably not, since he doesn’t do academic research anymore. He writes a lot as a public scientist/science educator, but I think his last academic (i.e., would count for tenure at a research institution) was in 2008. So he’s sending–or more likely, being invited to send–his writing to a different type of publication.

  2. Carys says:

    Just forwarded this to my supervisor. It’s genius.

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