writing

Your next paper could be computer-generated

Martin Fenner
November 13, 2007 0 min read

Are you tired of writing a paper, based on real experiments? SciGen (https://web.archive.org/web/20120611103729/http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/?) could come to the rescue, at least if you do computer science research. SciGen is a program that creates random papers, complete with results, discussion, graphs and references. Some of these random papers have been accepted at conferences or even for publication (https://web.archive.org/web/20120611103729/http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/sharif_paper.pdf?).

SciGen is of course a hoax. There are other famous hoaxes in science, including the 1996 Alan Sokal (https://web.archive.org/web/20120611103729/http://www.physics.nyu.edu/faculty/sokal/index.html?) paper “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”.

What do these hoaxes have in common? They randomly generate pseudo-scientific language. Important ingredients are buzzword frequently used in the field and standard phrases. If we look carefully, we find examples of this random-talk in our own work as well.

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