"8. Give lavish acknowledgments
I have always felt miffed after reading a paper in which I felt I was not being given proper credit, and it is safe to conjecture that the same happens to everyone else. One day, I tried an experiment. After writing a rather long paper, I began to draft a thorough bibliography. On the spur of the moment, I decided to cite a few papers which had nothing whatsoever to do with the content of my paper, to see what might happen.
Somewhat to my surprise, I received letters from two of the authors whose papers I believed were irrelevant to my article. Both letters were written in an emotionally charged tone. Each of the authors warmly congratulated me for being the first to acknowledge their contribution to the field."
I think that explains a lot. Some authors cut and paste the reference into their document to have an example, and then forget to remove it before they submit the paper. Then the reviewers don't notice or do not remark it in their review report, and it get published.
I did a very similar error myself when I was including the price of a book I cited as part of its title, and this passed through review without notice. This paper was part of my doctoral dissertation, and while none of the opponents made a remark, the institute leader that otherwise was in a completely different field and probably read only the citations did notice. During the "questions from the audience" session, he asked why I did that, which caused a bit of amusement.
I wonder how many of the papers actually cite the article? An article that is only referenced is pretty meaningless. Like a function that is implemented but never called. Or should be. Perhaps the problem is the way indexers assume references equal citations.
To continue yesterday's interesting discussion of Latex, references should not appear unless they are cited. I used to use a huge master bibliography for everything, and assumed that Bib/Latex would sort out the things I actually cited.
Now: _that's_ karma whoring ...
Edit: I just checked, and my nonexistant paper now has two citations, according to Google Scholar!
> “most citations to the phantom reference occurred in fairly low-quality conference papers,” and were written by authors with poor English.
Saw it with a story about a game Niantic Labs was supposedly working on, all based on a non existent IGN story that linked to an error page.
But it's depressing to see something like this happen with journals and what not. Would have thought these academics would be a bit better at checking their sources than this.
Edit: Wikipedia also calls it 'citogenesis':
Thus, it is unlikely to be due to predatory publishing.