The Star Wars prequel films often receive a bad rap, as many people don’t think they live up to the quality of the original trilogy. But from some other viewers’ points of view, it is those people who don’t like the prequels who are wrong! Also, they don’t have the high ground!
But besides all of that, there is one very valid reason to keep allowing the Star Wars prequels to exist: They apparently are quite useful for baiting bogus scientific journals that’ll publish just about anything, including a fake paper based on midi-chlorians and Star Wars prequel memes, for their own monetary gain.
A Discover Magazine writer and neuroscientist who goes by the moniker Neuroskeptic created the study about midi-chlorians and their supposed effects on biology as an attempt at a sting operation targeting so-called “predatory” scientific journals. Such publishers sprung up amid the rise of open-access academic journals, which charge the authors of papers for revenue rather than the readership. While this model works fine for rigorous papers that want public accessibility, predatory journals disregard quality control and simply charge authors exorbitant fees to publish their work.
In this case, there wasn’t a shred of reasonable science behind the paper, and Neuroskeptic notes that it should have been “rejected within about 5 minutes – or 2 minutes if the reviewer was familiar with Star Wars.” The paper has an entire passage that’s simply an excerpt of Palpatine’s “Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise” speech, and Neoroskeptic even named the authors Dr Lucas McGeorge and Dr Annette Kin.
Despite the absurd amount of absurdities in the paper, it was still accepted by four journals, including The American Journal of Medical and Biological Research (SciEP), which wanted to charge $360 for publication, the International Journal of Molecular Biology: Open Access (MedCrave), The Austin Journal of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and The American Research Journal of Biosciences. Neuroskeptic notes that all of the journals wanted to charge a fee, but the brain with eyes did not submit payment.
It’s not all sand in the wrong places with this faux paper and these journals, however. Neuroskeptic says that there were plenty of journals that rejected the paper, and a few even sent back revisions, with new prequel meme suggestions and comments. Which is fine, but they were still…
What do you think about this prequel meme paper and these predatory scientific journals? Give us yousa ka-wayzee thoughts in the comments below!
Images: 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm
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