Saturday, July 29, 2017

Unfortunately, the galaxy where this occurred is not far away

Thanks to Sandy Jacoby for spotting this item:

Predatory Journals Hit By ‘Star Wars’ Sting

By Neuroskeptic | July 22, 2017

A number of so-called scientific journals have accepted a Star Wars-themed spoof paper. The manuscript is an absurd mess of factual errors, plagiarism and movie quotes. I know because I wrote it.

Inspired by previous publishing “stings”, I wanted to test whether ‘predatory‘ journals would publish an obviously absurd paper. So I created a spoof manuscript about “midi-chlorians” – the fictional entities which live inside cells and give Jedi their powers in Star Wars. I filled it with other references to the galaxy far, far away, and submitted it to nine journals under the names of Dr Lucas McGeorge and Dr Annette Kin.

Four journals fell for the sting. The American Journal of Medical and Biological Research (SciEP) accepted the paper, but asked for a $360 fee, which I didn’t pay. Amazingly, three other journals not only accepted but actually published the spoof. Here’s the paper from the International Journal of Molecular Biology: Open Access (MedCrave), Austin Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics (Austin) and American Research Journal of Biosciences (ARJ) I hadn’t expected this, as all those journals charge publication fees, but I never paid them a penny.

Edit 28th July: All of the above journals have now deleted the paper, so I’ve made it available on Scribd...

Full story at

The Scribd article is at:

Here, after an appropriate introduction is an excerpt from the paper:

...As more fatty acids are delivered to the heart, and into cardiomyocytes, the oxidation of atty acids in these cells increases. Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? I thought not. It is not a story the Jedi would tell you. It was a Sith legend. Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians [17] to create life. Tis process increases the number of reducing equivalents available to the midichlorial electron transport chains, and thus generates Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) [14,15]...

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