All too often, I come upon a scientific paper written so obtusely that it seems perfectly reasonable that there is, in fact, no discovery being detailed, but simply a string of unrelated academic buzzwords being strung together in what appear to be meaningful sentences and paragraphs. Sometimes all you need to get a paper published is to slap a few words together, cite some hilarious names and fake journals, and hit submit, as three Serbian academics found out when they sent an article called “Evaluation of transformative hermeneutic heuristics for processing random data” to the Romanian journal Metalurgia International.
Here’s a sample of the paper’s extraordinary prose:
Better still are the citations. Oh, the citations. This bold new scientific journey cites solid academic work from the likes of a certain M. Jackson, B. Sagdiyev (otherwise known as Borat), and noted scholar A.S. Hole, plus recently published papers from real, but very dead scientists like Bernoulli and Laplace. According to the paper’s rich treasure trove of references, porn star Ron Jeremy has been moonlighting as an author in the journal Transactions of the Chinese Mathematical Society, (a journal that, according to a cursory Google search, doesn’t exist) with a 1992 publication called “On completeness methods in transductive system theory.” In what should have been a huge tip off, they even cite Alan Sokal’s infamous hoax paper published by the journal Social Text, which caused quite the hullabaloo in 1996.
A joke this detailed deserves to be perused in full, and can be found here.
According to the news site In Serbia, the journal published the article without a single correction. Rigorous scientific inquiry right there.