Hoax papers expose academic corruption

Three American academics have exposed the intellectual corruption prevalent among their colleagues, in what Niall Ferguson (writing in today’s Sunday Times) describes as “one of the greatest hoaxes in the history of academia”.

As Dr Ferguson reveals: “In the space of ten months they dashed off twenty spoof articles and submitted them to established journals in the fields of cultural studies, identity studies and critical theory.”

All of these fake papers were “outlandish or intentionally broken in significant ways”, including “some little bit of lunacy or depravity”.

Nevertheless numerous papers were accepted for publication by officially recognised academic journals. For example, an article titled ‘Human reactions to rape culture and queer performativity at urban dog parks in Portland, Oregon’ written in the name of a fake author called ‘Helen Wilson’ was accepted and published in February this year by Gender, Place & Culture, which describes itself as “a journal of feminist geography”.

Two of this journal’s editors – Katherine Brickell of Royal Holloway, University of London, and Kanchana Ruwanpura of the University of Edinburgh – have research positions at UK universities, state-funded via the Economic and Social Research Council. The editorial board of Gender, Place & Culture includes Professor Patricia Daley, who is ‘Professor of the Human Geography of Africa’ at Oxford and a Fellow of Jesus College, Oxford.

‘Gender. Place & Culture’ has now retracted a hoax article, but these and other politically correct journals now have a serious credibility problem.

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