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The Writing Style of Fraudulent Scientific Papers


Scientific fraud is a growing concern. Documented cases of fraud provide us with a unique opportunity to examine whether scientists write differently when reporting on fraudulent research.


To investigate this further, the researchers conducted a comprehensive analysis of a corpus of 253 unretracted publications and 62 publications retracted for reasons other than fraud (such as ethics violations).


Findings revealed that fraudulent papers were written with significantly higher levels of linguistic obfuscation, lower readability and higher rates of jargon than unretracted and nonfraudulent papers. They also observed a relationship between obfuscation and the number of references per paper, indicating that fraudulent authors use obfuscation to mask their deception by making their reports more challenging to analyze and evaluate.


This is the first large-scale analysis of fraudulent papers across authors and disciplines, revealing how changes in writing style are related to fraudulent data reporting.


Read the full research paper: Linguistic Obfuscation in Fraudulent Science


Looking to uncover deception? The markers of linguistic deception described in this paper are available in the Receptiviti API.



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