[IRTalk] "Fake Science" Has Arrived

Ina Smith Ina at assaf.org.za
Sun May 28 12:20:25 SAST 2017

This is so unfortunate. But so much more reason for high quality research to be open, transparent, well documented. It is impossible to keep an updated "list" of questionable databases, publishers, journal titles, etc. See article by Cameron Neylon: Blacklists are technically infeasible, practically unreliable, and unethical. Period. https://cameronneylon.net/blog/blacklists-are-technically-infeasible-practically-unreliable-and-unethical-period/ The DOAJ<http://doaj.org/> is doing great work in terms of promoting high quality Open Access journals.

Researchers need to learn how to distinguish between fake and real research themselves, and the underlying data should be openly accessible to be verified.


Society is now experiencing a "storm of distrust" that is "powerful and unpredictable", with growing resistance to established institutions, if we are to believe the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer<http://www.edelman.com/trust2017/>, published in January. This distrust also affects research.

Climate researchers have long encountered distrust, but researchers in other fields - particularly fields relating to immigration and health - are also encountering growing scepticism. Their research is often criticized on ideological or political grounds.

Fake science is an expression of this growing distrust of research. Fake science is alternative research that has not been subjected to a professional peer-review process. Such "research" is published in an alternative undergrowth of fake research journals that oppose the established research community on ideological grounds.

Ina Smith
Project Manager: African Open Science Platform<http://africanopenscience.org.za/>
Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf)
DOAJ Ambassador, Southern Africa Region
LIASA Librarian of the Year 2016

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