Saturday, February 20, 2010

The fate of Chaos, Solitons and Fractals

(UPDATE: Chaos, Solitons & Fractals lives again)
Never to return? Just the latest gossip from sockpuppet Ed Nash, so who knows whether it's really true.


It could be true. They have missed publication of four consecutive issues.



It's surely easier to shut down the journal than repair it.

Will Elsevier give refunds to subscribers? Perhaps they could substitute a different journal. Any journal would be an improvement. If it were The Journal of Irreproducible Results or The Journal of Improbable Research, readers might not even notice the change.

Ed Nash says
The order to shut down the journal came from you know who.

Who is he talking about? Renate Loll? Ahmed Zewail? Zionists? Your guess is as good as mine.

UPDATE: Here inline is the prescient historical comment to which a reader provides a link:

> If Elsevier thinks El Naschie's departure as editor-in-chief is the end of the story, they're wrong. [quoting me]

As previously mentioned, there is a slight mystery that the page
http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaleditorialboard.cws_home/967/editorialboard
still lists El Naschie as ed-in-chief [no longer], as though Elsevier has no control over this page (despite the "retirement" announcement).
Others on the editorial board include the almost equally notorious J.-H. He.

It is not clear why Skoda thinks that 900+ papers will suddenly come bubbling out. [I didn't count the articles, but Elsevier did clear the pipeline. This is said with the advantage of hindsight.] Even with no insider info from Elsevier, it's easy to see why CSF has no future. Elsevier's business model does not usually involve initiating new journals -- it is hard to develop a brandname, recognition, and following. Historically they have purchased journals from elsewhere and then run them in a way to maximize profits, an easier model to maintain. (This is meant neither negatively or positively, only as a statement of their obligation to shareholders.)

But rehabilitating a disastrously failed journal, and *re*establishing credibility, is even more difficult than starting a journal from scratch.
From a pure business standpoint, Elsevier would no doubt prefer to wash its hands of the whole sordid mess.

But on the downside of acquiring journals in big groups comes inheriting contracts with editors. CSF came to Elsevier via its acquisition of Pergamon Press, and MSElN's contract appears to date back to its days of ownership by the corrupt Robert Maxwell. One has to guess from Elsevier's seeming paralysis that their actions are constrained either by some contractual obligation of some threat of litigation by MSElN complicating their business in the UK.

Elsevier must nonetheless at some point make a show of doing some perfunctory cleanup as a public relations gesture to the academic community, disavowing some significant fraction of CSF past publications as not conforming to its usual editorial standards.
Then it can claim that it has taken action and enforced its standards, and all is well with the rest of its journals. But then the only sensible business decision is to offload the journal at no cost to whoever will take it, and that's where MSElN returns officially to the helm as ed-in-chief.

Blogs like this one make it less likely he will find a publisher this time around, and will have to use his own money to become his own publisher of a vanity press with no library subscriptions.


Credit where credit is due.


Other posts about Chaos, Solitons and Fractals:


Translate English to Arabic


محمد النشائى El Naschie Watch محمد النشائي El Naschie News محمد النشائى
محمد النشائي All El Naschie All The Time محمد النشائى

StumbleUpon.com

2 comments:

  1. from http://elnaschiewatch.blogspot.com/2009/03/elseviers-plan.html:

    "But rehabilitating a disastrously failed journal, and *re*establishing credibility, is even more difficult than starting a journal from scratch.
    From a pure business standpoint, Elsevier would no doubt prefer to wash its hands of the whole sordid mess."

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's a good comment you pointed to, and not just the part you quoted.

    Now that El Naschie has been removed as Editor-in-Chief, perhaps Elsevier are no longer constrained by inherited contractual obligations to the Great Man from shutting the journal down.

    ReplyDelete