Maths Journal Approves Paper Filled With Computer-Generated Gibberish

It turns out that not every single paper submitted to scientific journals gets thoroughly proofed before it's approved for publication. Shocking, right? The creators of an online tool called Mathgen that automatically generates research papers full of mathematical nonsense wanted to test just how believable the random creations were.

So they submitted a paper entitled "Independent, Negative, Canonically Turing Arrows of Equations and Problems in Applied Formal PDE" written by the non-existant Professor Marcie Rathke of the non-existant University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople to the Advances in Pure Mathematics journal. And surprisingly, a mere 10 days later, they got the following response approving the work, but requesting a few small clarifications:

Dear Author,

Thank you for your contribution to the Advances in Pure Mathematics (APM). We are pleased to inform you that your manuscript:

ID : 5300285

TITLE : Independent, negative, canonically Turing arrows of equations and problems in applied formal PDE

AUTHORS: Marcie Rathke

has been accepted. Congratulations!

Anyway, the manuscript has some flaws are required to be revised :

(1) For the abstract, I consider that the author can't introduce the main idea and work of this topic specifically. We can't catch the main thought from this abstract. So I suggest that the author can reorganize the descriptions and give the keywords of this paper.

(2) In this paper, we may find that there are so many mathematical expressions and notations. But the author doesn't give any introduction for them. I consider that for these new expressions and notations, the author can indicate the factual meanings of them.

(3) In part 2, the author gives the main results. On theorem 2.4, I consider that the author should give the corresponding proof.

(4) Also, for proposition 3.3 and 3.4, the author has better to show the specific proving processes.

(5) The format of this paper is not very standard. Please follow the format requirements of this journal strictly.

Please revised your paper and send it to us as soon as possible.

It's odd that "Marcie's" real-life mathematical peers didn't realise her work was randomly generated tomfoolery. You have to wonder if the $US500 "processing charge" required for publication has anything to do with their eagerness to publish her work. [That's Mathematics! via Marginal Revolution]


    Seriously? I think the reply states fairly categorically that it won't be posted unless the issues mentioned are fixed. The randomly generated math, probably has some coherent properties too. The author of this article is a twit..!

    Last edited 20/10/12 9:46 am

      I agree, someone paid 500 dollars to submit it, they shouldn't dismiss it out of hand.

    Ha ha, bazinga! The reply from the journal looks suspiciously like it has been written by an algorithm too. Grammar and tense are all over the place with sentences that just go nowhere. Or I guess it could have been written by a non-native speaker. I guess even academic journals need to offshore their work now.

      Some of the best mathematicians in the world are based in non-english speaking countries. The idiocy of your statement about 'off-shoring' is unbelievable.

    Agree. Article says it wasn't thoroughly proofed, but in the email response they point out several problems, so clearly, it was.

    Perhaps the mathematical formulae weren't checked, but why waste the time when there were already basic formatting problems with the rest of it? Once they were fixed I'm guessing they would have looked into it more closely. Pointless article.

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