Nature’s 10 : Guillaume Cabanac helped shape science in 2021

On 15 December, the renowned scientific journal Nature published an article honouring 10 scientists who have contributed to shape science in 2021. Among these 10 personalities is Guillaume Cabanac, associate professor in computer science at the University of Toulouse  and team member of NanoBubbles.

Guillaume Cabanac, professor and researcher at IRIT on the Paul Sabatier University Campus. The Toulouse Computer Science Research Institute is one of the largest Joint Research Unit (UMR) at the national level. November 24, 2021, Toulouse, France.                                                                                                                                                              Credit: Frédéric Scheiber 

On 15 December, the renowned scientific journal Nature published an article honouring 10 scientists who have contributed to shape science in 2021. Among these 10 personalities is Guillaume Cabanac, associate professor in computer science at the University of Toulouse and team member of NanoBubbles.

In 2021, Guillaume along with NanoBubbles principal investigator Cyril Labbé and Russian researcher Alexander Magazinov, found these ‘tortured phrases’, as they call them, in thousands of papers published and often sold by leading academic publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, IEEE, and Institute of Physics. A handful have been retracted; publishers are investigating many more. They have built a website named Problematic Problem Screener to keep track of the “mushrooming problem” and to detect problematic publications.

This phenomenon is so important because it is part of a global context. Guillaume explains that “there are more and more publications and in some countries, such as China and India, the authorities are putting pressure on scientists, especially hospital practitioners, to publish the results of their research. But these people who work hard in laboratories or hospitals don’t always have time for that. So, in order to meet the set quotas, a few resort to fraudulent means to ‘produce’ which involve buying pseudo-papers prepared by ‘paper mills’.”.

It is in this respect that the prestigious journal Nature selected Guillaume and nicknamed him ‘Deception sleuth’ in its listicle of the ‘ten people who helped shape science in 2021’.

If you want to know more on this topic, and follow Guillaume, Cyril, and Alexander’s work, make sure to follow Guillaume and NanoBubbles on Twitter.


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