Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Professional & Technical Communication

Committee Chair

Pat Munday

First Advisor

Glen Southergill

Second Advisor

Dawn Atkinson

Third Advisor

Charie Faught


Computer generated papers (CGP) pose a serious problem to academic integrity and publishing. The problem began with SCIgen. Created in 2005 by MIT students, SCIgen is a software program that generates papers with simulated content. In 2014, we learned that more than 120 CGP passed through the peer review process, were published in well-known academic journals, and had to be retracted. I conducted research into the journal editing and peer review process to discover more about this problem and how it might be remedied. I conducted interviews with five journal editors from across the world, coded the information, and performed a thematic analysis. My thesis concludes with recommendations to control the CGP problem, including: increased awareness on the part of journal editors, CGP detection software, improving due diligence on the part of reviewers, and addressing the publish or perish paradigm that drives desperate faculty to compromise academic integrity by submitting CGP to journals.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Technical Communication

Included in

Communication Commons