The digital product agency MSCHF released a site called M-Journal on Tuesday that will turn any Wikipedia article into a "real" academic article. You can screenshot it, you can cite it — and you can send a link to your teacher.
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."
Whaley said he does know of one college student who has used M-Journal in a paper already and said the professor didn't catch it.
M-Journal also generates citations — for MLA, APA, and Chicago styles.
One of the funnier parts of the M-Journal is that if your teacher does ask for a link to the academic paper, 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.
"I can wax poetic all day long, but it's just funny," Whaley said. "It's one of those things that we created a product that tells a story and some commentary on how people live."
This isn't the first tool MSCHF has made to "help" the students of America. Last September, it released "Times Newer Roman," which is a font that makes Times New Roman just a bit bigger to make your papers bigger.
Whaley said MSCHF usually releases a new project every second and fourth Tuesday of the month. He wouldn't say what the next one is except that it involves shoes.
[Editor's note: You probably shouldn't trick your professors with M-Journal, but if you do, maybe make sure the Wikipedia article you're using hasn't had any sketchy edits made to it recently.]