Earlier this year venerable academic publishers Springer and IEEE were impelled to remove more than 120 physics papers from their published proceedings because the papers were computer-generated nonsense. The SCIgen program (and its math-oriented fork) is available for the non-discriminating would-be author to generate such word salad. It's previously been used to perform hoaxes (previously, previouslier) of the kind that Alan Sokal wrought on a post-modern journal. (After the papers are published, the hoaxers claim incompetence by editors.) But in this case the papers don't appear to be hoaxes -- they're instead perhaps generated to pad academic CVs, with the publishers all too willing to take the publication fees. [more inside]
Academic publisher Elsevier backs down. Reed Elsevier withdraws its support for the controversial Research Works Act. Not without some whining, of course. Reps. Issa and Maloney have apparently said they won't be moving the bill forward.