They'll let anything through peer review these days

… where “they” are the hordes of bogus pay-to-publish journals that seem to be spamming every .edu email address (especially those connected to corresponding authors in real journals) with invitations to submit. Submission spam from the International Journal of Advanced Computer Technology apparently pushed computer scientists David Mazières and Eddie Kohler to the breaking point, because they submitted a “manuscript” with text, title, abstract, section headers, and two figures consisting entirely of the words “Get me off your fucking mailing list.”

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Mazières and Kohler (in press), Figure 1.

And the journal accepted the manuscript.
Mazières and Kohler received a typeset copy of their submission, with a an alleged peer reviewer’s report [PDF] rating it “Accepted.” (The form includes a “Strongly Accepted” option, so you know this wasn’t a complete cakewalk.) All the coauthors had to do for publication to proceed was to wire in payment for the publication charges.
Scholarly Open Access has the full story, including links to the typeset manuscript and acceptance message. This is far from the first time someone has shamed a pay-to-publish journal or conference by submitting a nonsensical paper, but it’s got to be the most ridiculous example of the genre.

About Jeremy Yoder

Jeremy B. Yoder is an Associate Professor of Biology at California State University Northridge, studying the evolution and coevolution of interacting species, especially mutualists. He is a collaborator with the Joshua Tree Genome Project and the Queer in STEM study of LGBTQ experiences in scientific careers. He has written for the website of Scientific American, the LA Review of Books, the Chronicle of Higher Education, The Awl, and Slate.
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