He was struck by the screening of some 5,000 papers by Bernhard Sabel, editor-in-chief of the nervous psychology, the restoration of nervous pathology and neurosciences, and by the screening of some 5,000 papers by a suspicious paper tester developed by him. About 34 per cent of the neuroscience papers published in 2020 were produced or raided, while 24 per cent of medical papers were produced. In recent days, he and his colleagues have issued relevant reports on the paper-prepared version platform, med Rxiv. These figures are much higher than a baseline of 2 per cent estimated by the Institute of Paper Factory in 2022.
This finding proves that journals are denouncing an increasing number of articles from the paper factory. On 2 May, the publisher, Hindawi, closed four journals of the paper factory articles “serious harm”.
Sabel’s paper detectors are not perfect solutions because of the high “preferential rate”.
However, the detectors have brought hope to overcome the paper factory. The paper factory contains a large number of falsified papers, which are fine-tuned by “paper gunmen”, which contain some or all stolen, fabricated texts, data and images. Recent manual intelligent tools (e.g., ChatGPT, etc.) increase the likelihood of this.
The International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers (STM), representing 120 publishers, introduced a service called “Centre for Goodwill”. Twenty publishers, including Ericsson, Schiplingg Nature and Willy, are helping to develop the “good faith centre” tool.
Joris van Rossum, Director-General of the Goodwill Centre product, stressed that the drafters still need to apply these tools on a regular basis in order to check whether they are wrongly marked. Of the sample tests, Sabel’s tools correctly mark nearly 90 per cent of forged or withdrawn papers, but it also erroneously mark 44 per cent of “true” papers.
In addition, the review of suspicious papers is time-consuming. Dr. Christ Graf, Officer-in-Charge of the Study on Goodwill, Schiplingg Nature, revealed that in 2021, a post-published review of approximately 3,000 papers suspected of originating from the paper factory was conducted, which resulted in 10 staff members.
However, some outsiders had doubts as to whether journals would fulfil their commitment to combat false papers. Since publishers are using open-access models, i.e. fees charged to authors, the papers are published free of charge to all, under which publishers have economic incentives to publish more, not less, papers.
The pressure exerted by scientific institutions on scientists to issue papers is also a major obstacle. Sabel said that such pressure could force clinical doctors without research experience to turn to the paper factory.
Other observers were concerned that the papers produced by the paper factory would be transferred to less influential journals, which had less resources for testing. However, in many journals, the viability of the entire paper-based industry could be significantly reduced. (Ox)