Dagnabbit, ‘When Pigs Fly’ is LITERALLY the joke here.

Via Fark Geek comes this tale from Postmedia of fake conferences accepting fake papers for real resume padding.  The gist is, there are companies that do conference mills: pay them enough money, and they will accept your academic paper and allow you to present it (more typically ‘present’ it). And anything can get published. For example:

Postmedia’s two papers accepted for the OMICS biosciences conference are:

“Evolution of flight characteristics in avian-porcine physiology” and “Strategies for remediation of benthic and pelagic species dependent on coral reefs: Cases of T. migratorius and G. californianus.” Porcine means related to pigs. Benthic and pelagic species live underwater. The Latin words are the scientific names of robins and roadrunners.

Both could get published for a grand (Canadian) apiece. …Look, I will conceal nothing from you: while I don’t find this admirable, neither do I find it all that surprising.  You expect people to publish publish publish to survive survive survive, some of them are going to cheat cheat cheat.  I’ll also point out, as gently as I can, that the same pressures that are causing academics to resort to obvious fakes like this are also almost certainly causing other academics to resort to slightly less obvious fakes.  This is not exactly a shining era of goodness when it comes to properly-done scientific research.

…Annnnnnnd we’ll end it there.


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