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Until recently, fake science factories have remained relatively under the radar, with few outside of academia aware of their presence; but the highly profitable industry has been growing significantly in the last five years and with it, so are the implications. To the public, fake science is often indistinguishable from legitimate science, which is facing similar accusations itself.
We expose the scale and value of two fake science operations: Well-known institutions and professors who abuse this route of publication for personal gain and the deadly consequences when the public believe in fake cures or weird discoveries that seem scientific at a very first glance. Beyond the pressure to publish, we find varying motivations from paid vacations and promotions to obtaining stipends and research grants.
Our findings highlight the prevalence of the pseudo-academic conferences, journals and publications and the damage they can and are doing to society.
For 35C3 we did some extra analytics and will publish new numbers, how pseudo-academic publishing has dropped since the story got out in several countries in July 2018.