Oh dear!

This one is the opposite of a gem. Three scientists have published an article which cites parody site The Onion as a source – for the existence of a children’s menu on the back of the U.S. Constitution (shades of National Treasure!). The journal in question has an impact factor of 4.5, but apparently has some gaps in peer review (thanks to 0xDE for bringing this to my attention).

The alleged menu on the back of the U.S. Constitution, from The Onion

Of course, this is still not as funny as the Sokal affair, or the multiple repeated cases where conferences or journals have accepted randomly generated papers.

Winston Churchill once stated that “it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Peer review is, I guess, much the same.