Science publishers withdraw over 120 gibberish AI-generated papers

Occurred: 2008-2013

Over 120 papers were withdrawn by top scientific publishers after they were discovered to have been automatically composed. 

Publishers Springer and IEEE withdrew more than 120 papers from their subscription services after French researcher Cyril Labbé discovered they had been generated by a piece of AI-powered software called SCIgen, which randomly combines strings of words to produce fake computer science papers. 

SCIgen was created in 2005 by graduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to demonstrate that conferences would accept meaningless papers.

The incident raised concerns about the nature of the approval processes at the IEEE and Springer and the scientific publishing industry as a whole, and raised questions about the values of the scientific sector in general. The papers had made their way into more than 30 published conference proceedings between 2008 and 2013.

System 🤖

Operator: IEEE; Springer
Country: Global
Sector: Research/academia
Purpose: Create scientific papers
Technology: Machine learning
Issue: Mis/disinformation
Transparency: Governance; Marketing