Thursday, February 27, 2014

Gobbledegook Scholarship

The law review process is a bit -- how to say this politely -- unorthodox.  Students with no expertise in the issues at hand make editorial decisions on articles that they may not even understand.  Defending this process is not easy.  It is an accident of history and not much more. 

The question is whether the alternative is any better.  Here's an example: three MIT graduate students created a computer program to write gobbledegook and pass it as scholarship.  Academic conferences proceeded to accept the papers.  And academic presses in fact published them.

I'll be sure to show this piece to my smug friends on the other side of campus.  I might even direct them to the software itself, which available for free online.

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