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Last Updated: Friday, 15 April 2005, 16:39 GMT 17:39 UK
Prank fools US science conference
Screengrab of spam messages, BBC
The bogus paper uses random text
A collection of computer-generated gibberish in the form of an academic paper has been accepted at a scientific conference, to the delight of hoaxers.

Three US boffins built a programme designed to create research papers with random text, charts and diagrams.

Two bogus papers were submitted to a computing conference in Florida, and one of them was accepted.

One of the hoaxers said the fake paper was designed to expose the lack of standards at academic gatherings.

The paper has the nonsense headline "Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy".

It was accepted for the World Multiconference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (WMSCI), due to be held in the city of Orlando in July.

Donation request

Hoaxer Jeremy Stribling, a computer science graduate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said they had targeted WMSCI because it sent large amounts of spam emails soliciting admissions for the conference.

We implemented our scatter/ gather I/O server in Simula-67, augmented with opportunistically pipelined extensions
Bogus paper
Most computers will open PDF documents automatically, but you may need to download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

"We were tired of the spam," he told Reuters news agency.

The trio are planning to attend the conference and give a randomly generated talk, for which they are requesting donations on their website.

They have so far received more than $2,000.

Visitors to the site are also invited to generate their own academic gobbledegook.

But conference organisers poured cold water on the proposed presentation, saying bogus papers would not be included in the conference agenda.

Conference General Chair Nagib Callaos said the paper had been passed because reviewers had not given feedback on it by a set deadline.

"We thought that it might be unfair to refuse a paper that was not refused by any of its three selected reviewers," Mr Callaos told Reuters news agency.

He added that the conference was now reviewing its acceptance procedures.




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