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What Nonsense

Nonsensical computer-generated papers are still making their way into the scientific literature, Nature News reports.

In a new study appearing in the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, the University of Toulouse's Guillaume Cabanac and the University Grenoble Alpes' Cyril Labbé developed and applied a tool aimed at uncovering papers generated using SCIgen, a MIT-designed software tool that strings together meaningless jargon. In 2014, Labbé, then at the Joseph Fourier University, uncovered more than 120 papers published by Springer and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers that had been cobbled together using SCIgen by analyzing certain words SCIgen uses.

He and Cabanac have now developed a new tool based on grammatical phrases to tease out SCIgen-generated papers. With it, they have uncovered 243 suspect papers within the Dimensions database, 46 of which had been retracted or removed.

Labbé tells Nature News that he suspects most of these papers were created to bulk up researchers' CVs and adds that it is a symptom of the "publish or perish" ways of academic life. "You shouldn't find these things in the literature," he tells it.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.