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'Hey, Mom, wanna peer-review my research paper?'
'Hey, Mom, wanna peer-review my research paper?'

One of the supposed strengths of academic publishing is its reliance on a peer-review process. Someone writes a paper or collates research and others in the field assess the work for validity, accuracy and intellectual rigor before a journal publishes it. In theory, it’s a good way to weed out below-grade work or fraud. Unless, of course, the peer reviews themselves are fraudulent. Earlier this year a scandal surfaced when the relatively obscure Journal of Vibration and Control announced it would retract 60 articles because, rather than being reviewed by peers, they were vetted by friends and, in at least one case, by the person who wrote the article in the first place. As my...

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