Google Scholar is Filled with Junk Science

From Scholarly Open Access Blog


Preliminary findings include the following when examining the “scholarly literature” to be found in Google Scholar:

Junk Science

Predatory journals are also enabling the publication of much “activist science,” publishing articles that appear to be scientific but that could never pass peer review and be accepted and published in authentic journals. Activists publishing pseudo-scientific articles indexed in Google Scholar include:

  • Those promoting hypotheses that mainstream science has found to be false, such as claiming that vaccines are the etiology of autism, or claiming that nuclear power is more dangerous than has been shown to be true
  • Those denying hypotheses that mainstream science has found to be true, such as those denying that global warming is occurring

Additionally, people are using low quality scholarly journals to pursue personal theories or interests. These include:

  • Those claiming far-fetched cosmological discoveries or theories that are impossible to prove or disprove
  • Those publishing obvious pseudo-science, such as researchers documenting alien sightings
  • Those using predatory journals to support a business interest, such as those promoting a new, unapproved medicine
  • Those abusing the established taxonomy protocol to name species after themselves