Can’t Get Published? Do It Yourself!
According to a BBC article, Nature magazine is being sued by Dr. Mohamed El Naschie’s after they wrote that Dr. El Naschie’s “scientific journal” contains a disproportionate number of articles written by–Dr. El Naschie. In response to his legal actions, Nature Magazine stated that their claims were not, as the scientist claims, “despicable and defamatory,” but “true and in the public interest.” Apparently Dr. El Naschie has published 60 of his own papers in the last year, claiming that he discussed them with colleagues, but bypassed peer-review.
Professor Rössler, a friend of his, explained that Dr. El Naschie’s work is too complex and important for peer-review and that prohibiting him from publishing would be “dangerous” because “peer review delays progress in science.” Sounds like a good friend, but it does raise an interesting question. If these assertions are true (unlikely based on the fourth AITSE Bunk-Detecting Principle), what should Dr. El Naschie have done?
It is well known that the peer-review process is far from perfect. Sometimes papers that should be accepted are rejected because the ideas contained therein are new or threatening to the status quo. Sometimes papers that should be rejected are accepted because they have been submitted by a prestigious group or a friend of the editors. Much could be gained from raising the profile of the importance of integrity in science.