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Published On: Tue, May 23rd, 2017

Fake ‘gender studies’ article published to out bogus peer review, actually outs the pay to publish scams in Science

Set after the style of Alan Sokal’s faux article in 1996, Peter Boghossian, a professor of philosophy at Portland State University, and James A. Lindsay, the author of four books, penned a paper is called “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct.” The paper argues that people should not view the penis as a body organ. “Anatomical penises may exist, but as pre-operative transgendered women also have anatomical penises, the penis vis-à-vis maleness is an incoherent construct.”

Every aspect was fabricated and manipulated to sound like a valid gender studies paper and test the peer review process.

“We argue that the conceptual penis is better understood not as an anatomical organ but as a social construct isomorphic to performative toxic masculinity.”

“Nowhere are the consequences of hypermasculine machismo braggadocio isomorphic identification with the conceptual penis more problematic than concerning the issue of climate change,” the paper says. “Climate change is driven by nothing more than it is by certain damaging themes in hypermasculinity that can be best understood via the dominant rapacious approach to climate ecology identifiable with the conceptual penis. Our planet is rapidly approaching the much-warned-about [2 degrees Celsius] climate change threshold, and due to patriarchal power dynamics that maintain present capitalist structures, especially with regard to the fossil fuel industry, the connection between hypermasculine dominance of scientific, political and economic discourses and the irreparable damage to our ecosystem is made clear.”

fake news

photo/ Gerd Altmann via pixabay

The authors noted: “We intended to test the hypothesis that flattery of the academic left’s moral architecture in general, and of the moral orthodoxy in gender studies in particular, is the overwhelming determiner of publication in an academic journal in the field. That is, we sought to demonstrate that a desire for a certain moral view of the world to be validated could overcome the critical assessment required for legitimate scholarship. Particularly, we suspected that gender studies is crippled academically by an overriding almost-religious belief that maleness is the root of all evil. On the evidence, our suspicion was justified.”

They were attacked by leftists, pointing out that the journal which published the article is a “pay to publish” outlet and NOT a valid scientific journal.

Salon writes: “This reveals just how problematic the pay-to-publish model can be, even tainting the peer-review process — which in the best of circumstances can be flawed. But the fact that Bohannon got the phony paper published is not an indictment of science itself. Why would it be? To show that the intellectual values of a field are fundamentally flawed, one would need to publish in the best journals of that field and trick genuine experts into believing the hoax is a non-hoax.”

Maybe on the surface, but the hoax paper was first submitted to NORMA: International Journal for Masculinity Studies, which is a scholarly journal published by the Nordic Association for Research on Men and Masculinities, and Taylor & Francis, an international academic publisher of many peer-reviewed journals, most of which are not open access.

NORMA rejected the piece, but when it did so it suggested Cogent Social Sciences might be a good fit. And NORMA’s editors noted the ease with which the submission could go to Cogent Social Sciences, which is also affiliated with Taylor & Francis.

The sociology blog Orgtheory.net wrote of the connections between Taylor & Francis, NORMA and Cogent Social Science. “So get this: If your article gets rejected from one of our regular journals, we’ll automatically forward it to one of our crappy interdisciplinary pay-to-play journals, where we’ll gladly take your (or your funder’s or institution’s) money to publish it after a cursory ‘peer review.’ That is a new one to me. There’s a hoax going on here, all right. But I don’t think it’s gender studies that’s being fooled.”

So, the peer review process is sketchy and money can get you published in a lesser respected journal. Sounds like fake news. Has the sketchy global warming research ever been evaluated for being in the “wrong kind” of journal or one of these “predatory” pay publishers? How many has a pro-abortion or gender identity study been rejected by a “valid” peer review outlet and sent to their “pay to publish” affiliate?

We may never know.

In conclusion, the hoax turned out the reveal a COMPLETELY different hoax than was intended, but the outcome was still very enlightening.

photo John Hain

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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