Thursday, June 16, 2011

El Naschie vs Nature: Paragraphs 4 and 5

In El Naschie vs. Nature BOMBSHELL! we saw that El Naschie's case against Nature isn't going well for him. Mr. Justice Eady isn't going to let El Naschie ramble on about his conspiracy theories or whine about El Naschie Watch. Instead the court will focus exclusively on Paragraph 4, which summarizes El Naschie's case, and Paragraph 5, which is Nature's "defense of justification" for having published Quirin Schiermeier's article Self-publishing editor set to retire. Here we comment on each claim and counterclaim.


Paragraph four -- El Naschie's case

It is the Claimant's case that the offending article bore the following natural and ordinary meanings:

i) The Claimant has improperly misused his editorial privileges as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, in order to self-publish numerous papers he had written, which would not have been published elsewhere as they were of poor quality and had received no, or very poor, peer-review, thereby creating a falsely high rate of citation for his own work and a falsely high impact factor for the journal which he edited; and/or

El Naschie is correct that the article has that meaning.

ii) The Claimant has lied on his website about his academic and professional affiliations, in particular his false claim to be a Distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Physics at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, as well as his false, or probably false, claims to be an adviser to the Egyptian Ministry for Science and Technology and a principal adviser to the Ministry of Science and Technology of Saudi Arabia; and/or

The article says "But he is not, as he claims on his website, a distinguished fellow of the Institute of Physics at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, says Walter Greiner, a former director of the institute." So El Naschie is correct that the article has that meaning.

And the article says "By his own account, which could not be confirmed by Nature despite a number of attempts, he is an adviser to the Egyptian Ministry for Science and Technology and a principal adviser to the Ministry of Science and Technology of Saudi Arabia." This is not quite the same as saying the claims are false. El Naschie is exaggerating.

iii) The Claimant's lie about his affiliation to the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany was so bad that Walter Greiner, a former director of the Institute of Physics at the Goethe University, had asked for his name to be removed from the Honorary Editorial Board of the journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, a request which the Claimant has deliberately ignored; and/or

El Naschie is correct that the article has that meaning, more or less. What Schiermeier says is "Greiner also says El Naschie has ignored his requests to remove his name from the list of members of the journal’s honorary editorial board. Through Cooper, El Naschie says that it would not be “appropriate” to address these concerns." The article doesn't quite say that Greiner asked to be removed because of the false affiliation claim.

iv) In the premises, the Claimant was unfit to act as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals and has been forced to retire.

These are the sections of the article relevant to iv) :

Self-publishing editor set to retire

The editor of a theoretical-physics journal, who was facing growing criticism that he used its pages to publish numerous papers written by himself, is set to retire early next year...

On 25 November, Elsevier’s director of corporate relations, Shira Tabachnikoff, wrote an e-mail to Nature saying: “Dr El Naschie’s retirement as Editor-in-Chief of Chaos, Solitons and Fractals will be announced to readers in the first issue of 2009. Elsevier and Dr El Naschie have been in discussion for quite some time about the details of his retirement and the transitional arrangement for papers under review.”

El Naschie characterizes the gist correctly.


Paragraph five -- Nature's defense

For the purposes of the current applications what is primarily in play is the defence of justification. There are other defences pleaded, but they do not loom large for present purposes. Accordingly, it is necessary to focus upon the pleaded Lucas-Box meanings raised on behalf of the Defendants:

a) The Claimant abused his position as Editor-in-Chief by publishing in Chaos, Solitons and Fractals ("CSF") an excessive number of articles written by himself.

Nature is correct. It's obvious just by looking at the numbers. Editors do publish in their own jourals, but El Naschie's self-publication rate was unprecedented.

b) The Claimant's articles tended to be of poor quality.

ROTFLMAO. I can't wait for Nature's expert witnesses to weigh in. El Naschie's papers are numerology and nonsense from beginning to end.

c) Whilst CSF was under the Claimant's editorial control his articles had been subject to (at best) very poor peer-review before publication in CSF.

That's true, but it's not strong enough. Many of his papers don't even seem to have been proofread:



d) CSF's Impact Factor may have been inflated by an excessive rate of citation of the Claimant's articles in CSF during his editorship.

That's certainly true. See SIAM president attacks El Naschie and Ji-Huan He! and Final version of the Arnold and Fowler article for quantitative analysis of the El Naschie - He citation scam.

e) There were reasonable grounds to suspect that the Claimant's imminent retirement as Editor-in-Chief was connected to these aforesaid faults as Editor-in-Chief. Alternatively, if the article meant and was understood to mean that the Claimant was dismissed or forced to retire because of his faults as Editor-in-Chief, then it is true in that meaning also.

Yes. It's hard to imagine El Naschie convincing the court that he was a fine Editor-in-Chief and shouldn't have been dismissed.

f) The Claimant was cavalier about his academic and professional affiliations, having falsely claimed to be a distinguished fellow of the Institute of Physics at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, and having made other suspect claims to impressive academic affiliations. If, which is denied, the article meant that the Claimant had claimed affiliations to which he knew he was not entitled, the Defendants will contend that the article was also true in that meaning.

To be clear, "Institute of Physics" in this context refers to Institut für Theoretische Physik and not to IoP in England.

El Naschie's website says if you read it carefully that he was made a distinguished fellow at rather than of the Institute of Physics; and that the organization of which he was made a distinguished fellow was the Association for the Advancement of Fundamental Scientific Research. That is merely a club for financial contributors. It is not part of the Institut für Theoretische Physik or Johann Wolfgang Goethe University. This is explained in detail in Fortasse pecunia olet interdum.

So, as far as the claim on his website is concerned, El Naschie was careful to get it right. It is possible, in fact likely, that El Naschie "falsely claimed to be a distinguished fellow of the Institute of Physics at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University" as Nature puts it, but the false claim is not the one on the front page of his website. Nature will have to clarify what they're talking about.

Still, El Naschie makes false claims of affiliation all the time. For example claiming, on his papers, to be from Cambridge DAMTP which he did for years, and which got him in trouble. As recently as 22 May 2011, El Naschie claimed to be a professor at Frankfurt University. In the Elbeet Beetak interview, El Naschie claimed to deserve the Nobel Prize several times over. The ludicrous claim that he was nominated for it, and that the real winners think El Naschie deserves it more than they do, are standard disinformation that he promotes through his incessant attention whoring in the Egyptian media.

The defense will be remiss if it fails to point out that El Naschie photoshopped an intimate scene of himself with three Nobel laureates and that the depiction remains on the front page of his website to this day. That's the sort of man they're dealing with.

g) There were reasonable and serious grounds for suspecting that the Claimant used, or caused others to use, fictitious names in order to respond to enquiries about his editorial practices.

ROTFLMAO again. Nature could be referring here to C. Cole, P. Stanton, P. Green and P. Cooper. Perhaps Quirin Schiermeier, or Zoran Škoda, or TaylorWessing's own investigators made enquiries and got responses they believed to be from sock puppets. We'll find out exactly what they're talking about when the case goes to trial on 31 October.

El Naschie's sockpuppet army has long been a source of amusement to El Naschie watchers. See You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes..., or any of the numerous examples.


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4 comments:

  1. Does anyone know... will the proceedings that begin October 31 be open to the public?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Jason,
    It might be useful if you give a look at this link
    http://lexisweb.co.uk/cases/2011/June/El-Naschie-v-Macmillan-Publishers-Ltd-and-another

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Zahy. Link enabled: http://lexisweb.co.uk/cases/2011/June/El-Naschie-v-Macmillan-Publishers-Ltd-and-another Here's that summary.

    Source: All England Reporter
    Neutral Citation: [2011] EWHC 1468 (QB)
    Publisher Citation: [2011] All ER (D) 52 (Jun)
    Court: Queen's Bench Division
    Panel: Eady J
    Judgement Dates: 10 June 2011

    Catchwords
    Pleading – Striking out – Application – Amended reply – Claimant issuing libel proceedings against defendant in relation to article published by defendants – Defendants applying to strike out part of claimant's prosposed re-amendments to amended reply – Defendants applying for summary judgment on claim for special damages – Whether proposed re-amendments ought to be struck out – Whether summary judgment should be entered.

    Representation
    The claimant appeared in person. Aidan Eardley (instructed by Taylor Wessing) for the defendants.

    The Case
    Pleading – Striking out. The Queen's Bench Division ruled on a number of applications by the defendants in the claimant's libel action, made with a view to bringing some discipline and control to the litigation.

    There are links to more information, but behind a pay wall unfortunately.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It's the same judgment to which we have full access:

    Neutral Citation Number: [2011] EWHC 1468 (QB)

    ReplyDelete