Teacher Beware: M-Journal Makes Wikipedia Articles Look Like “Real” Academic Articles

So if you see a cite to a source called M-Journal, you might want to take a closer look.  M-Journal, from a group called MSCHF Internet Studios, is a site designed to fool instructors into believing that cited sources are more scholarly than they are.  It advertises: “Turn any Wikipedia page into an extremely citable academic paper – Without your teachers being any the wiser.”


From BuzzFeed:

What MSCHF did was republish the entirety of Wikipedia under its own academic journal. If you go over to the site, you can search any Wikipedia article or paste in a link, and it’ll generate a citation that refers to MSCHF’s M-Journal, not Wikipedia.

Gabe Whaley, the founder of MSCHF, said the project is a commentary on what he sees as the repetitive and nonessential hoops the academic system makes students jump through.

“For all intents and purposes, most papers should be able to refer to Wikipedia,” Whaley told BuzzFeed News. “Wikipedia is a pretty good source.”

M-Journal will even generate a citation in MLA, APA or Chicago format.  So what happens if an instructor tries to view the article?  “The site will generate a fairly convincing-looking link. But it has a fake paywall, so you can’t see the whole thing. And we all know that no one ever goes past the paywalls on academic journals.”

Hat tip to BeSpacific