A while back an anonymous commenter gave Zoran Škoda well-deserved credit for bringing attention to the bad situation with El Naschie and Elsevier. Zoran was at it long before this blog existed. He's still at it.
Here's a quoted post of his, with minor typographical corrections, from Scholarly Kitchen:
Elsevier has made the worst possible decision by starting to publishing the backlog of papers which were accepted during the provable badly (or not at all) peer reviewed age of El Naschie and the rest of complying board. Before Elsevier could claim, well this is the editor’s responsibility, we BELIEVED that the peer reviewing practicies were maintained at hi level. Now they DO know of the problem, and they issued the January 15, 2009 issue of chaossf with papers accepted by El Naschie’s board, without reexamining them for quality. This is MANIFEST ACCEPTANCE by Elsevier of LOW QUALITY STANDARDS. You know that the papers were accepted in a process doubted by majority of public scientific community, you are reviewing the future of the process but you are happy with taking over 900 papers from that old pool to print! It is unbelievable a major company, not to say world-class SCIENTIFIC publisher would ever dare to be so irresponsible!
Moreover, the number of papers accepted by around New Year was about 900, it has grown since by at least around 40 new articles. That means that the old board is still acting and that Elsevier is backing it. Instead Elsevier bans new submissions in what is an unheard-of practice for a journal in official existence
and with prepaid subscriptions!
One should either cancel the journal or do a Hercules job of make it a quality journal. Though I do not believe doing the latter were easy. The rest of the board was compliant to bad peer reviewing practices. Some of the members of the board confirmed in letters to me that their names were there without their prior consent. Most of others did not respond to my emails if they agreed or not with the current editorial practices as of June 2008. Now who would like to take a role of an editor in the board with such a history. The whole board needs to be replaced at minimum. But I think the chances to regain the value after being so reluctant and defending the indefensible, and prolonging the agony by publishing the badly reviewed papers, is close to zero. I received letters from many members of the scientific community and the opinion in general is that chaossf has practically no chance to survive, all the damage the bad past and current practices of the board and reluctance of Elsevier to act have done.
He also says:
I should also note that if Elsevier really wanted to put chaossf on the right track, then they would be happy to contact the critics of the previous state and ask them for opinion and for data which we collected. I have not been contacted by Elsevier, nor any of other researchers of the problem whom I know so far. Elsevier spokesperson talks to journalists, with phrases on “commitment to high standards and peer reviewing practices” without true action. I have lots of data on the issue which I never released, I thought the hints are enough for a major publisher to act and to dismiss the bad journal or at least its board and past decisions which are not yet reinforced. However, Elsevier is not doing this, that means I will have to release more data. The standard of peer review is the standard made by scientific community. We are not paid for it, hence we consider that standard our responsibility and pride. Elsevier can not simply deny it by publishing the 900 papers accepted by El Naschie after knowing the problem.
If they do not act, we true scientists have no choice but to act again with more detail, more public voice, more networking and more determination to get trash out of the way, and leave only the good peer reviewed science with respect and interest.
If Elsevier thinks El Naschie's departure as editor-in-chief is the end of the story, they're wrong.
محمد النشائي All El Naschie All The Time محمد النشائي