Those crazy academics
April 11, 2005 4:10 PM   Subscribe

The World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics sends email so aggresively to academics in computer science that they are thought of as no better than spammers. It doesn't appear you can make them stop sending you email. Worse, it's clear they are a place for "dead wood" faculty who just need a paper count for their yearly reviews. So, recently, the academics have been taking things into their own hands by generating bogus submissions. Some with a sophisticated fake paper generator and others with more direct statements.
posted by about_time (19 comments total)
Their mission statement:

Through WMSCI conferences, we are trying to relate the analytic thinking required in focused conference sessions, to the synthetic thinking, required for analogies generation, which calls for multi-focus domain and divergent thinking. We are trying to promote a synergic relation between analytically and synthetically oriented minds, as it is found between left and right brain hemispheres, by means of the corpus callosum. Then, WMSCI 2005 might be perceived as a research corpus callosum, trying to bridge analytically with synthetically oriented efforts, convergent with divergent thinkers and focused specialists with non-focused or multi-focused generalists

Of course! If only I had thought to synergize the divergence of my corpus callosum before I analyzed my analogy.
posted by gagglezoomer at 4:27 PM on April 11, 2005

Funny stuff. I also at least 5-10 of those emails each year. They do call me Dr., although I'm still (for a couple of weeks at least) a grad student, which was kind of flattering the first time, until you ask someone older about it. After a couple of years it gets kind of old... There are some other dubious conferences out there, but this one is the most obvious.
posted by rpn at 4:36 PM on April 11, 2005

I've always wished my papers could be this coherent. Now they can! Thank you SCIgen!

All of this makes me question the (f)utility of going to grad school for my Ph.D. Mostly I wonder if I'm not a WMSCI-grade faker myself.
posted by Mercaptan at 4:40 PM on April 11, 2005

You know, I kept getting lost between the "Get me" and the "your f@cking mailing list," and I came really close to sending them a mailing list. Good thing they provided a state-machine model.
posted by afroblanca at 4:42 PM on April 11, 2005

The "direct statement" paper is brilliant.
posted by painquale at 5:00 PM on April 11, 2005

I love the diagram.
posted by Thoth at 5:08 PM on April 11, 2005

Somebody send this link to Laura K Pahl.
posted by fire&wings at 5:14 PM on April 11, 2005

brilliant! I am going to start submitting an auto-generated paper too. DoS the scammers.
posted by allan at 5:31 PM on April 11, 2005

Schaudenfreude/embarassement: looking to see how many people list the World MultiConference on their CV's.

I wonder if it's worse for your career to be caught stealing manure.
posted by allan at 6:12 PM on April 11, 2005

The output of the paper generator sounds perilously similar to a paper I've spent the last 3 years of my life working on and am about to submit. Right down to the figures too.

posted by euphorb at 6:20 PM on April 11, 2005

These people have annoyed the fuck out of me for several years now. (And I'm in math, not even in computer science! Argh!!!!!) What's not mentioned in the FPP, and seems to have escaped the otherwise swell guys in the "fake paper generator" link, is that like most other spam this is a money-generating scheme. No, I don't want to be your content provider, helping you persuade my colleagues to pay you a conference fee, fuck you very much!
posted by Aknaton at 6:57 PM on April 11, 2005

No they comment that the purpose of the generator "is to auto-generate submissions to fake conferences...which exist only to make money."
posted by about_time at 7:11 PM on April 11, 2005

Be sure to read this letter (google cached), linked from the generator site. That person submitted a paper that contained (among other gems) the lines:
"The final fifty [rules] were culled from a much larger number originally proposed, when in the light of day we discovered that many of the suggestions were due to inebriation. An important discovery we made at this stage is that clear thinking is necessary in this research. Intoxication sustained over a long period would have ended the work prematurely."
posted by about_time at 7:19 PM on April 11, 2005

I think everybody in the field knows (and hates) the name Nagib Callaos. He's listed here as the General Chair, and the spam these people send out is always signed by Prof. Nagib Callaos. Where does he teach and what is he a professor of?

At one time, it appears he was associated with the Universidad Simon Bolivar in Venezuela
(see the signature on this email, and this PDF, the latter link a published paper whose quality I am not qualified to judge since I couldn't make it through the abstract), but he doesn't seem to be there any more. For example, he does not appear on the faculty list of what I would assume is their CS department.

In the acceptance letter sent to the MIT guys, he lists an address in Orlando, FL, so maybe he has moved to the US. Or maybe not. Google says that it's an empty lot.
posted by event at 7:48 PM on April 11, 2005

One MIT paper was accepted, and one was rejected. At last conclusive proof that having a colon in the title really makes all the difference!
posted by tss at 9:02 PM on April 11, 2005

tss, that's why my next paper is going to be called:
"Having a colon in the title: Does it make a difference?"

Self-reference is fun!
posted by spazzm at 1:09 AM on April 12, 2005 [1 favorite]

Interesting and funny, especially SCIgen!
posted by carter at 6:48 AM on April 12, 2005

I can't stop laughing at this other "fantastic" submission (.pdf) .
posted by jasper411 at 10:14 AM on April 12, 2005 [1 favorite]

These people have annoyed the fuck out of me for several years now. (And I'm in math, not even in computer science! Argh!!!!!)

They've been mailing me, seemingly out of the blue. The only possible reason I can think of is that they got my email address off my blog, which is pretty much unrelated to comp sci - it's a library blog).

Stupidly, I replied and asked them to stop mailing me. Didn't do me any good.
posted by Infinite Jest at 5:44 PM on April 13, 2005

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