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Former Harvard professor bombards Chinese scholars: academic "touch porcelain"! Response: the person concerned has been dismissed

via:博客园     time:2021/2/20 17:31:58     readed:376


Jin Lei Yu Yang

Source: qubit (ID: qbitai)

The contributors are Chinese scholars, but most importantly, he doesn't know them at all.


At the beginning, he was confused and thought that he was a scholar with the same name as himself. After all, there are so many researchers in the AI circle, and his name is fairly common.

But after a careful investigation, he got angry! Frankly

The whole thing is disgusting!


What's going on?

Become the author of a paper for no reason

David Cox, the victim of the incident, has a long history.

He is the director of mit-ibm Watson AI laboratory and previously served as an associate professor in the Department of natural sciences, engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University.

On twitter, Google AI leader Jeff Dean, Gan's father Ian Goodfellow and others followed his account.


Cox has a habit of regularly checking his articles listed on websites like DBLP to ensure their accuracy. Such websites are often used to track published papers by researchers.

In a search on December 10, 2020, he noticed two papers that were not right.



Springer nature's Cluster Computing magazine published two papers with his signature. The problem is that not only does the research content of the papers have nothing to do with him, but also he does not know the other Chinese authors.


In this regard, he felt a strong discomfort and immediately wrote to Springer nature, asking for the withdrawal of the paper.

On December 29, spring nature began its investigation.

But to Cox's anger and disappointment, at first, the academic publisher didn't want to withdraw the manuscript, but just wanted to publish errata.

It was not until he threatened legal action that the company removed his name from the article and issued a withdrawal statement.


Before that, D. Li, the corresponding author of the paper, had admitted their mistake to retraction watch and explained that:

Because of this, X. Yao has been expelled from his university and Research Institute.

D. Li added in another email:

Yao has been punished. No one will cooperate with him again, and he will not participate in publishing any academic papers.

In fact, only two articles he participated in included Cox's name.

Cox does not agree with this

Although I have a lot of good ideas, as far as I know, I have never talked publicly about anything related to the content of these papers.

He also said on his twitter that the two papers were so bad that they should not be published.


However, before publishing the paper, did spring nature not confirm with Cox himself?

In response, academic publishers told Cox that they had received an email confirming the identity of Cox's author, not from his official email, but via hotmail.

Cox worried about such a thing, so he went on to pick up the other articles of the author.

I don't know. I'm scared.

In an article published in an IEEE Journal, there is a nonexistent author Bill Franks!



At present, this paper has been withdrawn by IEEE.

Whose fault?

In retrospect, the whole thing is a bit absurd.

First of all, from the perspective of these two Chinese scholars, what are their motives for doing so?


According to wired, a professor at the University of California San Diego said:

The author may want to forge some international collaborators, which is often encouraged by universities.

In this regard, qubit also consulted academics:

If there are well-known scholars in the author, it will be helpful for the collection of non blind review articles.

Secondly, academic publishers.

Suzanne Farley, director of Springer nature research integrity, who was involved in the incident, said:

For decades, publishers have operated on trust.

Unfortunately, some individuals and groups try to cheat and abuse this trust. Of course, in some cases, there are some unintentional mistakes or misunderstandings.

From this incident, we can see how bad the quality of some published academic research is.

More broadly, not just academic publishers, but platforms like arXiv have also been the subject of discussion.

Because many papers will be submitted to arXiv before formal publication, and at this stage, there is no peer review mechanism.

Brent Hecht of Microsoft and Northwest University Research Institute said:

In the absence of peer review, the affiliation between the authors can be regarded as a representative of the quality of the paper.

The work and system operation related to science and research should be carried out on the basis of trust.

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