Faking it until you make it may be a common practice in some careers. But it’s clearly unethical for scientists and medical researchers.

All the same thousands of fake papers are churned out by so-called paper mills and published every year, many of them in peer-reviewed journals.

The issue made headlines recently when Wiley, a respected publishing house, announced it would be dropping 19 of its journals associated with a publisher they had acquired, called Hindawi, in part because they were infested with fake papers. But the problem was known before: The fraud sleuthing blog For Better Science called attention to the "fraud-positive” attitude at Wiley back in 2022. (And I covered the problem of fake research on my Follow the Science podcast back in 2021.)