is writing scientific papers from the grave. Sort of.
In truth, the person behind the paper called "Fuzzy, Homogeneous Configurations" is not Bart Simpson's fourth-grade teacher but Alex Smolyanitsky, an engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Smolyanitsky compiled nonsense scientific studies and listed co-authors including Krabappel, Maggie Simpson, or the totally rockin' dictator Kim Jong Fun.
Smolyanitsky's prank wasn't just a joke. He submitted the Simpsons-penned papers to expose two journals, the Journal of Computational Intelligence and Electronic Systems and the Aperito Journal of NanoScience Technology. According to Smolyanitsky, the two are among many unscrupulous publications in the publish-or-perish world of science that ask researchers to pay a fee to be "considered" for the journals.
The journals are not actually peer-reviewed, he says, as evidenced by the fact that they accepted papers full of meaningless gobbledy-gook purportedly written by animated characters. Aperito at least waited one month before publishing, giving enough space to feign a peer review before invoicing for $459.
The fake journals use a structure similar to legitimate publications like PLoS ONE by purporting to be open access journals in which the researchers pay a fee for consideration. Smolyanitsky is just the latest in a long line of journal debunkers— lists many more.