Here’s the story of a professor at Michigan Technological University who appears to be very active on Wikipedia. He apparently tried to get the article about me deleted, and there is some evidence that he (or somebody) uses Wikipedia to promote his published articles. He is the subject of a Wikipedia investigation.
This busy guy is Joshua Pearce, an associate professor of Materials Science and Engineering and of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He appears to be another open-access / open-source zealot and apparently knows how to use Wikipedia to his advantage.
So, someone — apparently him — nominated the article about me for deletion. Nothing wrong with that — anyone in the world can make such a nomination, and Wikipedia has an open process for dealing with such nominations. In this case, the nomination was dealt with quickly — in a matter of hours in fact — with the encyclopedia concluding: “The result was speedy keep. No argument presented for deletion.”
The nomination was started by a guy using the handle “Gihiw” on Wikipedia. On the nomination page, there is a statement about this Wikipedia editor. It says:
This account has now been blocked by Wikipedia. Now there’s another page on Wikipedia called “Wikipedia:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard.” On that page, there is a section about Joshua Pearce. It says:
J. M. Pearce 
While cleaning up citations to predatory journals I found a number of citations to Joshua Pearce (Pearce, JM). Other references in the same articles were also tot he same author, in different journals. I went through some histories and found that in each case the reference was added by a single-purpose account. I suspect there are a lot of them, here’s a brief sample:
- Pearce, J.M.
I understand that Pearce is an authority, but this is stretching credulity: every single article I find with citations to his work, the citations were added by accounts that appear only to edit articles where he is cited, and which usually add those citations themselves.
Note that one of the Wikipedia editor names attributed here to Pearce is Gihiw, the account that nominated my article for deletion. So, is Dr. Pearce the person who nominated my article for deletion?
There is another page on Wikipedia with a section on “Citation spamming” that mentions Pearce. It says, ” Multiple additions of citations to the same author from predatory and other journals, by multiple editors with no history other than adding that material (i.e. probable citation spamming)”
Here we see that someone on Wikipedia suspects that a single Wikipedia editor is using seven accounts to add citations to Pearce’s published work. Is it Pearce himself?
Also, why would Pearce want to nominate my article for deletion? Perhaps his motivation lies in the fact that he has published in journals I have listed as predatory — here’s an example:
Pearce has published in the journal Modern Economy, from the China-based publisher Scientific Research Publishing (SCIRP). This publisher is on my list, and I’ve blogged about the pseudo-science it has proudly published, without retraction, including an article that describes sentient civilizations living on the planet Mars.
This publisher is perfect for Pearce, and SCIRP published his sole-authored article (written under his real name) “Quantifying the Value of Open Source Hard-ware [sic] Development” last year. Note that SCIRP’s copyediting is so poor that they use an obsolete spelling of the word hardware.
So, the evidence points to the conclusion that a professor at Michigan Tech who, seemingly unhappy with my listing as predatory the bogus publisher he uses to publish his articles in, nominates the Wikipedia article about me for deletion.
At least one person on Wikipedia is investigating several apparent sock puppet accounts that engage in “citation spamming” to the benefit of Pearce, adding citations to his work (from both legitimate and predatory journals) to Wikipedia articles.