Journal article Open Access

Cyllage City COVID-19 Outbreak Linked to Zubat Consumption

Elm, Utsugi; Joy, Nasu; House, Gregory; Schlomi, Mattan

Misinformation, conspiracy theory, and 'fake news' pose serious threats to the pubic health. Predatory scientific journals, which will publish anything without any semblance of peer review, are a potential venue for medical misinformation. Most people cannot differentiate a predatory journal from a legitimate one, so these fraudulent publications can thus provide a veneer of acceptability to poor quality research, deliberate misconduct, lies, and even utter gobbledygook.

Case in point: the predatory "American Journal of Biomedical Science & Research" has recently published a paper associating an outbreak of COVID-19 in a fictional city caused by the consumption of a Pokémon, a fictional creature. The paper is written by fictional characters like Nurse Joy (Pokémon) and Dr. Gregory House (House MD) with fictional affiliations. The paper goes out of its way to assert its own fictional nature, claiming even that "a journal publishing this paper does not practice peer review and must therefore be predatory." Yet it was published online [https://biomedgrid.com/pdf/AJBSR.MS.ID.001256.pdf] a mere four days after submission. Here are uploaded the paper and the emails associated with its publication (which was done even though the author never paid the journal any money).

While this paper may be mostly harmless, it is completely possible for someone to write and swiftly publish a paper falsely claiming, say, that COVID-19 is caused by 5G cell phones or can be cured by essential oils or is caused by watching 'Tiger King.' Predatory journals remove all barriers to the publication of bullshit in the scientific record, and the world needs to take far stronger action against these criminal organizations.

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