Today, STM Solutions, the operational arm of STM, announced the release of the MVP (minimal viable product) of a paper mill detection tool as part of the STM Integrity Hub. It is a stand-alone web application where submitted journal manuscripts can be uploaded and checked for a variety of signals indicative of paper mills.
At a high level, this is how the tool works: a publisher uploads a manuscript to the tool, which then scans it for pre-identified indications of potential fraud. If any potential issues with the paper are noted, the system generates a message alerting the research integrity managers and editors, allowing them to investigate and take action if needed.
“The mission of the STM Integrity Hub is to offer a holistic approach to detect manuscripts that offend research integrity through a combination of shared data and experiences, and by harnessing technological innovation,” said STM CEO Caroline Sutton.
“Through shared intelligence and data, collaboration with third parties and a robust platform, we have made an important step with this MVP toward effectively and efficiently responding to the increasing and alarming volume of materials entering scholarly communications that violate accepted research integrity. We look forward to increasing and improving the signals that are used in the paper mill detection tool.”
The tool is fully consistent with applicable laws and industry best practices, and it fully respects the laws and ethics of submission and data privacy. In its current form, the paper mill detection tool contains internally developed tools as well as external tools and databases.
Safeguarding research integrity can only be done through collaboration with all stakeholders in the scholarly ecosystem. STM Solutions worked with several research integrity specialists and organizations for this release, including PubPeer, Clear Skies, Elisabeth Bik and Guillaume Cabanac (pro bono). The STM Integrity Hub hopes to deepen and extend its collaboration with research integrity specialists and organizations going forward.
The MVP is currently available to participating publishers in the STM Integrity Hub. In the future, the tool will be offered to a wider range of publishers and integrated with submissions systems and other workflow systems.