With so many investigators vying to have their papers appear in the scientific community's most prestigious journals, it's no wonder some scientists in pursuit of publication confuse cutting-edge research with work that simply cuts loose.

According to Nature associate editor David Lindley, some recently submitted articles that have not graced his journal's pages border on the ridiculous. "There's a lot of perpetual motion machines, refutations of Einstein," he says. "And I've had people write me recently saying you could solve the greenhouse effect--by moving the earth farther away from the sun." He pauses, laughing. "And I thought, `Well, yes, but there seems to be a step missing.'"

That paper wasn't the only one submitted to Nature that took the offbeat approach to the greenhouse effect. Another manuscript made the same claim about moving the earth to solve the problem, and went on to suggest a method for accomplishing the task--exploding...

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