The Open Information Science Journal is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal published by Bentham and indexed in Open J-Gate and Genamics JournalSeek.
Phil Davis, a postdoc at Cornell, was interested to see how rigorous the review process at the journal was. So, he used software to generate a realistic-looking but gibberish article called “Deconstructing Access Points.”
As the figure on the right shows, the article looked scientific but in reality made no sense. Still, four months after submission, Dr. Davis received word from the editor that his article had passed peer review and was accepted for publication. All he had to do was send $800.
He declined to pay, but wrote about the experiment for a scholarly publishing blog. His trick recalls the Sokal hoax where a physicist submitted a nonsense paper to a humanities journal, got it published, and revealed it later. But where Sokal was poking fun at the meaninglessness of postmodernism, Davis is pointing to the lax regulation of open access journals.
Not all online journals are this craven, but it shows that peer review is no guarantee of quality.