Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Besnard gets five replies from thirteen journals

This is a follow-up to Fabien Besnard on Ahmad Rami El-Nabulsi. That earlier post is rather involved, containing fifteen reader comments and three embedded documents, so you may want to go back and refresh your memory.


Besnard sent me the following email:




Hello Jason,

I promised to keep you informed about the "El Nabulsi affair".

I've sent a message (attached to this e-mail) about it to the following journals:

  • International Journal of Geometrical Methods in Modern Physics
  • Phys. Lett. B
  • Astrophysics and Space Science
  • General Relativity and Gravitation
  • Communication in Theoretical Physics
  • Int. J. Mod. Phys. B and D
  • Chinese Physics Letters
  • Modern Physics Letters A and B
  • Rom. J. Phys
  • Braz. J. Phys
  • Electr. J. in Theor. Phys


Among them, I got a reply acknowledging the reception of my e-mail and promising to make an enquiry from:

  • Phys. Lett. B
  • Int. J. Mod. Phys. D
  • IJGMP
  • Gen. Rel. Grav.
  • Electr. J. in Theor. Phys


IJGMP sent me a new paper submitted to them by El Nabulsi, and asked me for my opinion. I told them it was very weak but not downright ridiculous this time, and that it seemed original.

Electr. J. in Theor. Phys told me they had several problems with El Nabulsi and had decided not to accept any of his papers anymore.

Int. J. Mod. Phys. D replied that:

The author you refer to has submitted several papers to IJMPD. Some were rejected. Two were published. In both cases the papers do not appear to involve plagiarism and were looked at by reputable referees, who in both cases requested amendments before publication. The papers appear to be bona fide research efforts.


That's all for the moment. I checked some of the articles myself, but most fall outside of my realm of competence. However, I noticed that many of them involve a lot of copy & paste from other articles. Most of the time this is just a few sentences, and the authors are cited, so this is not plagiarism, though this has a very low scientific interest.

I'm eagerly waiting from the answer of Phys. Lett. B, since the article they published is pure nonsense.

Sincerly yours,

Fabien Besnard




This is the letter he sent:

Letter to the Editor

Good work, Fabien.

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8 comments:

  1. > Most of the time this is just a few sentences, and the authors are cited, so this is not plagiarism,

    Besnard is not correct. It is plagiarism to cut and paste, even if a "just a few sentences" and even if "authors are cited", unless the copied text is enclosed in quotation marks, making it a direct quote. El Nabulsi does not do that.

    Besnard also misses additional plagiarized text in all of El Nabulsi's publications, even the nonsense ones.

    For more formal guidelines, see, for example,
    http://prd.aps.org/info/polprocd.html :
    Nor may authors incorporate without attribution text from another work (by themselves or others), even when summarizing past results or background material. If a direct quotation is appropriate, the quotation should be clearly indicated as such and the original source should be properly cited. Papers that have been found to be in violation of this rule will be rejected. In such cases, resubmission of the manuscript, even with the plagiarized text removed, is not ordinarily allowed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for this interesting precision anonymous.

    I looked at a dozen of El Nabulsi papers, and most of them contained cut and paste from several articles. However, IJMPD told me that they checked the published paper with some anti-plagiarism software and found nothing. But you say "Besnard also misses additional plagiarized text in all of El Nabulsi's publications, even the nonsense ones". Can you quote the plagiarized passages in the IJMPD papers ?

    ReplyDelete
  3. > But you say "Besnard also misses additional plagiarized text...

    Had read the post too quickly, which says rather that IJMPD declared them clean based on some unspecified anti-plagiarism software. Presuming they even checked, these applications are always limited by the database they use, so permit editors to ignore problems they don't want to see. (And note that World Scientific does not appear to have an agreement with Google, so Nabusi's articles in its journals aren't being full-text indexed for the benefit of other journals. For example there's much duplication between his publications in World Scientific and his six publications in the Brazilian Journal of Physics, http://www.scielo.br/)

    > Can you quote the plagiarized passages in the IJMPD papers

    He has ten publications with world scientific journals: four in IJGMMP ('08-'10), one in IJMPB ('09), one in MPLA ('08), one in MPLB ('09), one in Fractals ('10), and two in IJMPD ('09, below). They're all problematic, but presuming you restrict to just IJMPD that would be these two:

    1. Maxwell Brane Cosmology with Higher-Order String Curvature Corrections, a Nonminimally Coupled Scalar Field, Dark Matter–Dark Energy Interaction and a Varying Speed of Light
    Volume: 18, Issue: 2(2009) pp. 289-318
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S0218271809014431

    2. Modified Braneworld Cosmologies in the Presence of Stringy Corrections Coupled to a Canonical Scalar Field
    Volume: 18, Issue: 5(2009) pp. 691-715
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S0218271809014716

    These are manifest nonsense articles (not clear how they could pass through any competent editorial or review process), so the exercise is almost pointless, but essentially any well-written sentence was cribbed from some other source. Here are just a very few representative snippets (fearing that the broken blog comment software here will delete this message anyway). From the first one,

    Nabulsi, "Maxwell ..." (2009), p.291:
    "Rather than constructing models on the basis of cosmologically interesting dynamical properties, we may take the complementary route of..."

    Sean Carroll (2001), arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0107571
    "Rather than constructing models on the basis of cosmologically interesting dynamical properties, we may take the complementary route of..."

    Nabulsi, "Maxwell ..." (2009), p.292:
    "Although higher derivative gravity corrections to the Einstein action are a generic feature of any lower energy limit of a unified theory..."

    Brandenburger and Magueijo (1999), arxiv.org/pdf/hep-ph/9912247:
    "Although higher derivative gravity corrections to the Einstein action are a generic feature of any lower energy limit of a unified theory..."

    and from the second one

    Nabulsi "Modified ...", p. 704:
    "To realize a braneworld in higher dimensions, it seems natural to consider a codimension 1 brane with internal dimensions that are compactified in a KK manner. Here, for simplicity, we consider six internal dimensions compactified on a torus. Thus, as we are interested in cosmological solutions ..."

    Kanno et al (2007), arxiv.org/pdf/0707.4510, p. 4:
    "To realize a braneworld in higher dimensions, it seems natural to consider a codimension one brane with internal dimensions that are compactified a la
    Kaluza-Klein, in short a Kaluza-Klein braneworld. Here, for simplicity, we consider n internal dimensions compactified on a torus. ... Since we wish to study the cosmology...

    Equations that follow, etc., are the same. It may not be plagiarism by yours or by IJMPD's definition, but it is unambiguously plagiarism by established convention.

    So they're all cut and paste from various sources, and the result is incoherent. And the journals should be embarrassed, independent of the plagiarism.

    ReplyDelete
  4. > But you say "Besnard also misses additional plagiarized text...

    Had read the post too quickly, which says rather that IJMPD declared them clean based on some unspecified anti-plagiarism software. Presuming they even checked, these applications are always limited by the database they use, so permit editors to ignore problems they don't want to see. (And note that World Scientific does not appear to have an agreement with Google, so Nabusi's articles in its journals aren't being full-text indexed for the benefit of other journals. For example there's much duplication between his publications in World Scientific and his six publications in the Brazilian Journal of Physics, http://www.scielo.br/)

    > Can you quote the plagiarized passages in the IJMPD papers

    He has ten publications with world scientific journals: four in IJGMMP ('08-'10), one in IJMPB ('09), one in MPLA ('08), one in MPLB ('09), one in Fractals ('10), and two in IJMPD ('09, below). They're all problematic, but presuming you restrict to just IJMPD that would be these two:

    1. Maxwell Brane Cosmology with Higher-Order String Curvature Corrections, a Nonminimally Coupled Scalar Field, Dark Matter–Dark Energy Interaction and a Varying Speed of Light
    Volume: 18, Issue: 2(2009) pp. 289-318
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S0218271809014431

    2. Modified Braneworld Cosmologies in the Presence of Stringy Corrections Coupled to a Canonical Scalar Field
    Volume: 18, Issue: 5(2009) pp. 691-715
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S0218271809014716

    These are manifest nonsense articles (not clear how they could pass through any competent editorial or review process), so the exercise is almost pointless, but essentially any well-written sentence was cribbed from some other source. Here are just a very few representative snippets (fearing that the broken blog comment software here will delete this message anyway). From the first one,

    Nabulsi, "Maxwell ..." (2009), p.291:
    "Rather than constructing models on the basis of cosmologically interesting dynamical properties, we may take the complementary route of..."

    Sean Carroll (2001), arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0107571
    "Rather than constructing models on the basis of cosmologically interesting dynamical properties, we may take the complementary route of..."

    Nabulsi, "Maxwell ..." (2009), p.292:
    "Although higher derivative gravity corrections to the Einstein action are a generic feature of any lower energy limit of a unified theory..."

    Brandenburger and Magueijo (1999), arxiv.org/pdf/hep-ph/9912247:
    "Although higher derivative gravity corrections to the Einstein action are a generic feature of any lower energy limit of a unified theory..."

    (continued in 2nd comment due to length)

    ReplyDelete
  5. > But you say "Besnard also misses additional plagiarized text...

    Had read the post too quickly, which says rather that IJMPD declared them clean based on some unspecified anti-plagiarism software. Presuming they even checked, these applications are always limited by the database they use, so permit editors to ignore problems they don't want to see. (And note that World Scientific does not appear to have an agreement with Google, so Nabusi's articles in its journals aren't being full-text indexed for the benefit of other journals. For example there's much duplication between his publications in World Scientific and his six publications in the Brazilian Journal of Physics, http://www.scielo.br/)

    > Can you quote the plagiarized passages in the IJMPD papers

    He has ten publications with world scientific journals: four in IJGMMP ('08-'10), one in IJMPB ('09), one in MPLA ('08), one in MPLB ('09), one in Fractals ('10), and two in IJMPD ('09, below). They're all problematic, but presuming you restrict to just IJMPD that would be these two:

    1. Maxwell Brane Cosmology with Higher-Order String Curvature Corrections, a Nonminimally Coupled Scalar Field, Dark Matter–Dark Energy Interaction and a Varying Speed of Light
    Volume: 18, Issue: 2(2009) pp. 289-318
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S0218271809014431

    2. Modified Braneworld Cosmologies in the Presence of Stringy Corrections Coupled to a Canonical Scalar Field
    Volume: 18, Issue: 5(2009) pp. 691-715
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/S0218271809014716

    [continued in next comment due to broken blog software]

    ReplyDelete
  6. These are manifest nonsense articles (not clear how they could pass through any competent editorial or review process), so the exercise is almost pointless, but essentially any well-written sentence was cribbed from some other source. Here are just a very few representative snippets (fearing that the broken blog comment software here will delete this message anyway). From the first one,

    Nabulsi, "Maxwell ..." (2009), p.291:
    "Rather than constructing models on the basis of cosmologically interesting dynamical properties, we may take the complementary route of..."

    Sean Carroll (2001), arxiv.org/pdf/astro-ph/0107571
    "Rather than constructing models on the basis of cosmologically interesting dynamical properties, we may take the complementary route of..."

    Nabulsi, "Maxwell ..." (2009), p.292:
    "Although higher derivative gravity corrections to the Einstein action are a generic feature of any lower energy limit of a unified theory..."

    Brandenburger and Magueijo (1999), arxiv.org/pdf/hep-ph/9912247:
    "Although higher derivative gravity corrections to the Einstein action are a generic feature of any lower energy limit of a unified theory..."

    and from the second one

    Nabulsi "Modified ...", p. 704:
    "To realize a braneworld in higher dimensions, it seems natural to consider a codimension 1 brane with internal dimensions that are compactified in a KK manner. Here, for simplicity, we consider six internal dimensions compactified on a torus. Thus, as we are interested in cosmological solutions ..."

    Kanno et al (2007), arxiv.org/pdf/0707.4510, p. 4:
    "To realize a braneworld in higher dimensions, it seems natural to consider a codimension one brane with internal dimensions that are compactified a la
    Kaluza-Klein, in short a Kaluza-Klein braneworld. Here, for simplicity, we consider n internal dimensions compactified on a torus. ... Since we wish to study the cosmology...

    Equations that follow, etc., are the same. It may not be plagiarism by yours or by IJMPD's definition, but it is unambiguously plagiarism by established convention.

    So they're all cut and paste from various sources, and the result is incoherent. And the journals should be embarrassed, independent of the plagiarism.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Those are egregious violations.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous: thank you. I'll ask them what they have to say about that.

    >so the exercise is almost pointless

    No it is not. As far as the scientific content is involved (presumed original), they can always say that I am no expert in the field (which is true) and that it passed peer-review, so everything is OK.

    ReplyDelete