Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Richard of Adelaide on El Naschie and CSF


This article by Marc Hendrickx is about peer review in climate science, a subject outside the scope of El Naschie Watch. However there is this reader comment:


Richard of Adelaide:
21 Sep 2011 2:15:41pm

There is an interesting case wrt the high end journal 'Chaos, Solitons and Fractals' (Elsevier Press). It was reported in Nature
(now the subject of a legal case in the UK; see most recent transcript at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2011/1468.html)
that the former editor of this journal published about 300 papers (of his own) without appropriate peer review.

A simple search will reveal about 400 citations to but one of these seemingly speculative articles

'El Naschie, M. (2004) A Review of E infinity theory and the mass spectrum of high energy particle physics. Chaos, Solitons and Fractals 19; 209-236'.

Interestingly the vast majority of citations are to be found in the journal (CS&F) of which he was editor at the time.

It is also interesting to note that despite the vast numbers of citations the article has received (in CS&F), and the apparently astonishing insights that the paper purports to reveal about the structure of the universe that the article has been virtually ignored in other publications. [This is amusing.]

Despite all of this, no mention appears to have been made in the journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals of the apparent scandal, simply a statement that he 'retired'. Universities continue to pay very large sums of money to subscribe to the journal (which by the way has many good articles in it); if failings of the editorial process in the past are not acknowledged and the offending papers are not withdrawn by the journal (have not been) then this should raise serious concerns about the ethics of some portions of the academic publishing industry and perhaps the need for Universities to cooperate in order to stop such practices in future (or to help reveal other examples of which a simple google search seems to indicate there are likely to be more but perhaps less spectacular examples).

Perhaps once this case plays out in the courts we shall see how the journal CS&F responds. My understanding is that a verdict is expected in October 2011. [Mid-November if there are no further delays.] I'm looking forward to reading it.

Richard

It's true there's a lot of discussion about CSF and how El Naschie ran it in Mr. Justice Eady's summary, but CSF is not a party to the Nature case and I don't expect the outcome to affect CSF's behavior or actions at all. CSF and its publisher Elsevier have already acted: They fired the entire editorial staff from El Naschie on down.


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