Speed Reads


What's the deal with birds? This magnificent scientific paper examines.

Birds are weird. Everyone knows it, but no one has investigated it. Until now.

On Tuesday, Dan Baldassarre, an assistant professor at the State University of New York at Oswego, announced that his research paper answering "What's the Deal with Birds?" had been published in the Scientific Journal of Research & Reviews. It breaks down three different types of birds by their weirdness, though its actual purpose isn't really about birds at all.

Right off the bat, Baldassarre's article is a gem. "Birds are very strange," it declares, but "the relative weirdness of birds as opposed to other animals is yet untested." "I looked at three different birds: a woodpecker, a parrot, and a penguin," which were "animals that I knew for sure were birds, and no other things like bugs and bats," Baldassarre explains. The article continues in a similar vein, complete with a weirdness matrix diagram.

While Baldassarre's study remains inconclusive on exactly what's up with birds, it does seem to prove his point: That the Scientific Journal of Research & Reviews is among dozens of "predatory journals" that publish low-quality or unreviewed papers, often for an exorbitant fee. Exposing these journals is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as unreplicated and misleading studies have even informed government advice on fighting the disease.

Of course, the existence of this article is clearly a joke in itself. Everyone knows birds don't exist.