This Toulouse researcher is one of the 10 international scientific figures of the year

This Toulouse researcher is one of the 10 international scientific figures of the year

Guillaume Cabanac has just been named among the ten personalities of the year by the prestigious English review “Nature”. University of Toulouse III computer science researcher Paul Sabatier has designed software that tracks “pseudo” scientific articles. We met this “deception investigator”, the whistleblower of the scientific community.

Guillaume Cabanac has just been selected among Ten scientific figures in 2021, by the prestigious British scientific journal, temper nature.

Among other prominent researchers in the prestigious temper nature10′? The discoverer of the Omicron variant or the commander of the first Chinese mission to Mars.

This research professor in computer science from the University of Toulouse III was designed by Paul Sabatier Program capable of detecting plagiarism in scientific papers.

What was your reaction when you learned of this award?

It is a great honor to share with the entire community of researchers who are involved in the “decontamination” of scientific publications everywhere in the world. article temper nature She called me “The Deception Investigator”. this is what I do. The program I designed tirelessly searches the 6 million or so articles that appear in 40,000 scientific journals each year. From the most well-known to the least well-known Elsevier or Springer publication. Somewhat funny, I deprecated the errors in the articles published by the Springer/Nature group. and this is temper natureHowever, who chose me…

“The race to publish is sometimes more powerful (…) in China than elsewhere, is ‘publish or annihilate’.

This means thattemper nature Your work is considered significant, even if it also opposes his publications.

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Yes, that’s reassuring. This means that the scientific community cares about its foundations. One of its pillars is organized skepticism. In concrete terms, this means that any scientific study must be examined and validated by a body of experts, in order for it to be published. When a researcher in his field succeeds in advancing science, he must share his progress with the whole world: he must publish it. This is the role of scientific journals. A journal receives a request for publication from researchers, wherever they originate in the world, and blindly sends it to two or three specialists in the subject. These recognized experts, who can be anywhere in the world, formulate notes and questions for the authors, and do real investigative work to validate them.

Originally from Martres-Tolosane, trained in Toulouse

Guillaume Cabanac, 39, and three children, is from Martres-Tolosane in southern Haute-Garonne. He studied at IUT Computer Science at Paul-Sabatier University, in the building where he is now a research professor. Rare these days. I am an endangered species. I was born here, I studied here, I study here.” Which, according to Guillaume, should not be a hindrance. Recruits do not watch Often That places to study are built on reputation.” It will put its international excellence even more on the world map, the University of Toulouse III Paul Sabatier and the IUT.

Is this principle always respected?

This is what my work shows. Some “predatory” publishers do not hesitate to accuse authors of publishing bogus articles that steal legitimate publications. We know that the race to publish is sometimes the strongest. This is especially true of Indian and Chinese researchers. In China, more than anywhere else, it is “publish or die”. Scholars are forced to teach, research, find publication, and meet annual quotas. However, this is impossible. They all have neither the time nor the means.

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“Some researchers go to agencies that hire people who compile fake articles…”

Therefore, some go to agencies, which employ people trained in science and collect bogus articles, often in a hurry, affixing the name of the researcher-client. Fortunately, this is well below 1% of the world’s scientific publications. But this is still unacceptable. When it comes to medical publications addressing sensitive areas such as cancer, orphan diseases, or even Covid, this is completely unimaginable. Science is built on trust. We can’t let anything go. If there are 15,000 planes in the sky, and one crashes every day, we can’t say that’s acceptable. The same goes for scientific publications. Each leaflet is a brick that forms the wall of the flag. If the wall is built with rotten bricks, it will collapse. This can be very dangerous.

“Forgers steal clips from published articles”

How can you actually detect fraudulent articles?

The software that I developed performs a permanent check of all the scientific literature. He’s a detective who listens to his “informants,” the expressions of torture. These are the expressions impostors use to disguise themselves. For example, they write “breast cancer” for breast cancer. Counterfeiters steal passages from published articles, use software to change words into synonyms, and fit this paraphrased text. This is how thousands of fraudulent articles are published every year. And how we removed hundreds of them by their publishers in 2021.

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