I have written a short paper (six pages) in which I empirically analyse publicly available data. Both the data and my analysis are genuine and without (intentional) errors. Still, by using statistical and argumentative tricks, the paper somewhat convincingly arrives at a conclusion that is obvious nonsense.
My goal is to demonstrate by vivid example how easily this can happen (intentionally or unintentionally) even when obeying the typical scientific procedure and rigor. That message is directed rather at the "interested public" than at the most academic readers. It is not a goal to fool anyone (so it's not a hoax paper), and I have included a "preface" that clearly states the circumstances.
Now my question is: Where should/can I publish such a paper? I thought about a parody journal like the Journal of Irreproducible Results at first, but it does not seem to exist anymore and also its scope was not 100% fitting. Should I try a "real" journal instead and hope for the editor's humor? Or should I just upload the paper to ResearchGate? My "criteria" are:
- It would like it to be published in such a way that I can tell everyone it was accepted by "prestigious and well-known journal XY" (regardless of whether the journal is really prestigious), rather than just "a website".
- The journal should be open-access or similar so that everyone can read the paper.
- It should not be a predatory journal, because I do not want to harm my real academic reputation.
- I do not want to pay publication fees, at least not high fees.
- It should not take a year or so until the paper is published.
Thematically, the paper addresses a question that could be called a politics issue, so it might fit in a corresponding journal. I also thought about journals that deal with good/bad scientific practice in general.
Background: In the recent months to years, I had to read a lot of pseudo papers (mere PDF files I mean that luckily have not been published) about, well, what I and many other people would call conspiracy theories. The main content of such a paper usually was an empirical analysis that resulted in completely absurd conclusions.
My job was to find errors in these analyses and to refute them, but, as always, this proved to be very difficult. However, this is something that people outside academia often do not (or do not want to) understand... So I decided to turn the tables and write an even more obvious junk paper that nevertheless no one will be able to refute.
As clarification, I'm rather asking in which "category" to publish such papers in general, not concrete journals (except journals like Improbable.com, which however form a category on their own).
Some have expressed concerns that the paper despite all measures will be taken seriously by some groups. I can understand this very well, but my paper is actually about a theory that itself has been made up exactly for the purpose of demonstrating how easy it is to generate believable junk science.
Update 1: My paper has been accepted! In the end, I chose to submit it to a respected statistics journal that had 1) a relationship to the topic of my paper and 2) an "under debate" section. This prooved to be a good idea it seems. I will link the publication here as soon as the paper is online.
Update 2: The paper has now been published. Since I was asked not to link it here, I linked it in my profile instead.