More Junk Science Proudly Published by Chinese Publisher SCIRP

More junk science from SCIRP, Scientific Research Publishing.

More junk science from SCIRP, Scientific Research Publishing.

I recently learned of another junk-science article published by China-based Scientific Research Publishing (SCIRP). The article, “Three Principles of Akkie Management,” was published in SCIRP’s American Journal of Industrial and Business Management in 2013. The article makes outlandish statements such as “The human population lived in MARS planet in prehistoric time shall be called as SUPER MANAGERS with super wisdom” (p. 453).

“Akkie” refers to the civilization that supposedly inhabited Mars. This is not the first time I have learned of junk science articles published in SCIRP journals. Its journal editors and editorial board members in most cases have no role in running the firm’s journals and play only an honorary role. Like many open-access publishers, SCIRP wants to accept and publish as many papers as possible so it can earn money from the author fees.

That the crazy article has been published and openly available for two years with little or no notice speaks to the low impact of SCIRP as a publisher. Anyone who pays to publish in SCIRP journals with the goal of communicating research findings is wasting his or her money.

The pseudo-science article is indexed in DOAJ, the Directory of Open Access Journals, and Google Scholar, of course, the world’s largest index of junk science.

DOAJ

Evidence the Directory of Open Access Journals indexes junk science.

I found one later article that cites the Akkie article: “Universe is Like Space Ship” [sic], published in volume 2, issue 10 (2013) of the American Journal of Engineering Research, a journal included on my list. This later article has the same two authors as the earlier one, so it’s a self-citation.

The American Journal of Engineering Research purports to be published in the American state of Connecticut, but I think this is a lie, and the journal is probably really based in India.

The Authors

The authors are Manuel Arulmani and Victor Ranjitham Hema Latha, and Victor appears to be female. They claim to work for the BSNL, a government-owned telephone company in India.

nuts

Just arrived … from Mars.

They apparently have a lot of free time in their jobs, time they use to write fantasy fiction they then arrange to be published as scholarly articles.

One of the functions of peer review is to ensure demarcation, or the identification of junk science, and to ensure fringe science does not become a part of the scholarly record. SCIRP is failing in this crucial task and is betraying scientists and science itself.

Notes:

1. A PDF of the SCIRP article is here.

2. A PDF of the American Journal of Engineering Research article is here.

3. The photo of the authors is from here.

34 Responses to More Junk Science Proudly Published by Chinese Publisher SCIRP

  1. Ryan Reardon says:

    Can you please clarify your position on Google Scholar, above you describe it as the, “world’s largest index of junk science.” I teach in an International Baccalaureate school, and we often encourage students to start research and gather ideas for articles by using Google Scholar. Are you suggesting that all/most content listed on Google Scholar is junk, or do you caution researchers/teachers/students to be critical of articles they read? Thanks advance for you’re reply.

    • I am not saying that everything in Google Scholar is junk. I am saying that no database indexes more junk science than Google Scholar. This is because it aims to be comprehensive and does not screen for quality. It indexes the content of many or most predatory publishers, and many of these publishers do little or no peer review, so there’s a lot of low-quality and bogus science included in Google Scholar. Proceed with caution.

      • Dave Bremer says:

        I do find it interesting, and slightly hypocritical, that you list Google Scholar on your “research page” – as the first entry. http://people.auraria.edu/Jeffrey_Beall/Research

        Perhaps I wouldn’t be amused if you acknowledged that it is a very useful tool indexing good articles in addition to containing a lot of junk.

        It’s always good to proceed with caution, regardless of the source. Students need to be taught to be critical – more so now than ever before.

        I’d prefer referring students to Google Scholar over Wikipedia Which although very reliable IS an encyclopaedia, not generally the first place to look for research.

      • Okay, fair comment, and I take your point.
        I’ve had that link up on my profile page for several years. I began to criticize Google Scholar last fall. Perhaps I should edit the profile page.
        I wonder what the source of the angry tone in hour comment is.

      • Ryan Reardon says:

        thanks so much for your clarification; and, thanks for your blog. Much appreciated. Regards, Ryan.

    • tekija says:

      The reference list of the two PDFs show that these two authors are widely published together for many years already. The topics revolve around ancient space civilizations and include real “gems” like Egyptian pyramids being antennae to control other planets.

      http://www.sciencepub.net/academia/aa0510/011_20716aa0510_69_70.pdf

      Their portfolio is not even junk science, it is science fiction presented in the format of a scientific report.

      Nevertheless, all their work is indexed by Google Scholar which indeed makes no distinction between science and science fiction.

      http://scholar.google.fi/scholar?hl=fi&q=pyramids+prehistoric+antenna&btnG=

      it is very important to make his clear to students everywhere.

  2. Pratap says:

    I read the article.It is marvel of human ingenuity. The line ” ancient continent of lemuria ” will make other publishers jealous of pathbreaking research being reported in it

  3. Marco says:

    You can add many prior articles of the same authors with the same gibberish. Just for fun:

    http://www.ijser.org/researchpaper%5CAKKIE-MARS-CODE-Prehistoric-Scientific-Language-in-Code-Form.pdf

    If you want to have a laugh, this is a good one to read.

    Poor “Darwin Sir”, but good news for “global population”, apparently…

  4. tekija says:

    Interestingly the paper was not accepted dirctly but after revision.

    • wkdawson says:

      It wasn’t quite fictional enough the first time?

      I finally understand. SCIRP publishes creative writing. Everything I have been alerted to in scrip has been way out there. The titles seemed somewhat remotely plausible, but when I’d start to read, it would get stranger the further I read on. There wasn’t much point in going to the effort to critique them, they were not in my field and it would cost far too much time to pick them apart line by line, paragraph by paragraph, section by section. However, as “creative writing”, it all makes sense now.

  5. Apart from just plain junk science, they got junk references too. FacePalm Article !!!

  6. baphilinia says:

    I had a good laugh reading the section ‘Special Thanks’ who considers Google search as ‘God or Super Nature’.

    • Keith Fraser says:

      See also “Intensive Internet “e-Book” Study through Google Search and Wikipedia,” 2013 in the references. I like how “e-Book” is in quote marks, as if by “e-Book” they actually mean “crank papers on Vixra” or something.

  7. Xiao-Kan Guo says:

    There is another hilarious paper published by Scirp:
    http://www.scirp.org/Journal/PaperInformation.aspx?PaperID=52772
    where the Fermilab…is in China…

    • Keith Fraser says:

      Sounds like a recurring character on British-Asian sketch show Goodness Gracious Me, who insisted nearly everything in the world came from India (e.g. Jesus was Indian as he worked for his father, and managed to feed 5,000 people with very small amounts of food).

  8. Alex SL says:

    and Google Scholar, of course, the world’s largest index of junk science

    “Proceed with caution” is fair enough, but sorry, your constant mischaracterisation of GS as an indexing site is just bizarre. It is a search engine. It serves a legitimate purpose. Do they anywhere claim to have quality control or to be an indexing service?

    You could just as well criticise Facebook for containing the profiles of ignorant people, or any search engine for leading to the sites of conspiracy theorists. Being able to find everybody and everything is a feature, not a bug.

    • I feel your anger and completely disagree. The Facebook analogy falls flat.

    • Keith Fraser says:

      Google Scholar’s “About” page says “Google Scholar aims to rank documents the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each document, where it was published, who it was written by, as well as how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature.” While it doesn’t mention peer review, this suggests that it has some level of quality control like Web of Science and similar sites; its use of “scholar(ly)” in its name and description also suggest that it only searches for genuine academic publications. If it returns results featuring junk, propaganda and pseudoscience that can’t pass peer review from vanity presses and predatory journals, then arguably it’s going against the spirit if not the letter of its description.

      Why have a separate Google search engine for “scholarly” material at all if they don’t have some level of quality control? After all, crank material can easily be found via regular Google, as can legitimate research (when looking for a paper by name, I usually just stick it in the normal Google search box). I can understand them not wanting to get into arguments over what’s “real” research and what isn’t, but if they want Google Scholar to be taken seriously, they should really at least cut out the junk at the bottom of the heap.

      • Alex SL says:

        Keith Fraser,

        As I read it, it suggests that the publications will be sorted after those criteria in the search results, not that the supposedly poor papers won’t be shown at all.

        Why have such a search engine when there is normal Google? Well, because normal Google will list 99% non-papers if you enter the same key word, and of course they take up the 20,000 highest ranking hits because they have many more visitors than specialist journal websites.

        Again, GS serves a useful purpose. If I use Web of Science for example I only get the publications that have enough articles per year to be eligible and happen to already have been included. Taxonomic monograph series don’t qualify, so an entire class of publications in my area is missing from that database. Similar problems for many other indexing services.

        An important point to keep in mind is that I am a qualified career scientist, so I can take GS search results and judge for myself whether a publication makes sense. (Interestingly this blog is generally written under the assumption that readers of scientific papers do not have such an ability, and, even more puzzlingly, that professional scientists do not have any ability whatsoever to distinguish between serious and predatory journals.) And of course I have to make the same judgement call with PNAS or Systematic Biology, because even if they won’t publish anything about a Martian civilisation flawed papers still slip through peer review from time to time.

        Jeffrey Beall,

        Anger and exasperation are different emotions.

        I am totally with you on the problematic incentive structure of open access publishing and the tediousness of science spam. One may wonder, however, if you are helping your case by strongly implying that in a perfect world a search engine for papers would not be allowed to exist at all.

        There is an obvious trade-off between getting all the good stuff and a lot of nonsense on the one side (GS) and getting less nonsense but also missing out on a lot of the good stuff on the other (indexing services). Sometimes you need the first, sometimes you want the latter.

        Do you really prefer a situation in which people have no realistic chance of finding a monograph from the Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden series or a paper in the Western Australian State Herbarium’s peer-reviewed taxonomy journal Nuytsia unless they know of their existence in advance and browse every such journal homepage individually? Should “A new species of Angianthus from the south-west of Western Australia” be actively hidden from somebody searching for papers on Angianthus because Nuytsia isn’t in the JCR? That would seem less than ideal to me.

      • Keith Fraser says:

        Alex – you make good points about keyword searches and things which don’t show up on Web of Science. However, I still think they shouldn’t include content from obvious crank/predatory publications. As you point out, qualified scientists can usually spot bad papers and journals, but not everyone who uses Google Scholar is a scientist. Among other things, people may use it quickly to verify citations and references.

    • GDWilliams says:

      No. That would simply be “Google” – the generalized search-engine we all know and love. Google Scholar otoh clearly attempts to differentiate itself from the aforementioned specifically on the basis of the amount of scholarship that goes into the articles it links to. Otherwise it would be a pointless exercise, right?

  9. Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen says:

    And more: “Egyptian great Pyramids were
    constructed for communication purpose and
    served as RF Antennas for remote controlling of
    SUN, EARTH, MOON from MARS.” That’s at http://www.sciencepub.net/academia/aa0510/011_20716aa0510_69_70.pdf

  10. Bobo says:

    This Akkie paper reminds me a lot of http://www.timecube.com

  11. […] Jeffrey Beall fa scoperte esilaranti. L'acchiappa-polli cinese SCIRP è nella sua lista da tempo, questa volta: […]

  12. herr doktor bimler says:

    References such as “Tamil the Law of Universe” and “First Music and First Music Alphabet” locate the two authors’ oeuvre firmly within the literature of Dravidian / Tamil racial supremacy. There is quite a lot of it out there, identifying the Harappan / Indus Valley Culture as Proto-Dravidian and crediting it as the source of all civilisation everywhere in the world.

    Usually the lost continent of Lemuria / Mu comes into the theories to explain why Dravidians are not in fact in charge of the world despite their superiority (although “Barack Obama is Tamil Based Indian“). These two authors go somewhat further by identifying Mars as the lost continent. Mars being off in space now — rather than still part of Earth’s crust — because of the expanding universe and the Red Shift. So it is perfectly appropriate that some of their work (e.g. the Great Pyramids = Antennae theory) should be published in “Academia Arena” from Marsland Press.

    See “Kumari Kandam” for further information. There seems to be a fair bit of money sloshing around from state budgets (Tamil-centrism was official state doctrine for a while) and from private supremacists to fund racial-superiority publications, all providing the predatory publishers with a reliable income stream. It was my good fortune to encounter another pair of similarly-themed and vanity-published ‘scientists’, Ravikumar Kurup A. and Parameswara Achutha Kurup:

    http://eusa-riddled.blogspot.co.nz/2014/06/competition-heats-up-for-ignobel-prize.html

  13. John Mashey says:

    Among the many bizarre findings here, this is one of may favorites!

    GS: weirdly, I sometimes find it useful for analyuzing dubious papers that sneak through into legitimate journals, and then seeing of citations show up in non-indexed places more than in indexed ones, a tipoff.

  14. Bernard J. says:

    It’s a long shot but I’m wondering if perhaps SCIRP has been pwned.

    “Ack” is the monosyllabic utterance of the Martians in the marvellous documentary (cough) ‘Mars Attacks’, and it seems somewhat coincidental that these apparently important management principles bear an onomatopœic resemblance to the language in the movie.

    Of course, the authors may actually be on to something profound!

  15. […] giorni fa, Jeffrey Beall segnalava “Three Principles of Akkie Management”, uscito nel 2013 sull’American […]

  16. herr doktor bimler says:

    It’s not easy to work out how many publications there are in the Arulmani-Hema Latha oeuvre. Sylvie Coyaud found Arulmani’s website where he lists 74 ‘papers’
    http://prehistoricmarscode.blogspot.com/
    — but he omits all the duplicate publications of which they are fond. ‘THE UNIVERSAL LAMP?… (A New theory on “ e-Fuel”)’, for instance, appears in International Journal of Advancements in Research & Technology and Academia Arena. ‘PYRAMIDS ARE PREHISTORIC RF ANTENNA?!’ appears in International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research and in Academia Arena again.

    Despite the lack of effort they put into their project, I suspect they are well-remunerated for the output.

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