Authors, Controversial Topics, Peer Review, Social Role

Chaos Journal Preparing to Close Shop?

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It appears that the embattled journal, Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, is closing shop.

While the publisher claims that it is still seeking a new editor-in-chief, it has reestablished a submission stop and encourages authors to seek another Elsevier journal for their submissions:

Currently we have many accepted Chaos, Solitons and Fractals papers waiting to be published. We feel it is inappropriate to keep scientists waiting too long before their research paper is published and therefore, for the moment, we are not accepting any new submissions to the journal Chaos, Solitons and Fractals.

We trust you understand our decision and we hope you will find another suitable journal for publication of your research paper (please have a look at: http://www.elsevier.com). We apologise for any inconvenience and please do consider us again for your next upcoming research paper.

Since resuming publication earlier this year, the publisher has been playing catch-up with nearly 1,000 articles in press.  Once lagging behind in publication by several months, they are now ahead of schedule by nearly two months, publishing the July 30th issue just this week.  The size of each issue has expanded from approximately 300 pages to over 500 pages.  The backlog of articles in press now stands at 564.  At this rate of publishing, the backlog should take about 10 issues or a few remaining months to complete.

A controversy in the mathematical physics community erupted late last year over the practice of the controversial editor-in-chief, Mohamed El Naschie’s practice of publishing his own articles.  While this practice was not new, it came to a head last December, with 5 of his papers appearing in the same issue. El Naschie is the founding editor of Chaos, Solitons and Fractals, which began publishing in 1991.  His practice of self-publishing began in 1998.

Since the self-publishing scandal broke in December 2008, no further articles by El Naschie have been published in Chaos, Solitons and Fractals.  In addition, his articles are absent from the journal’s backlog of articles in print.  A search in MathSciNet and the Web of Science reveals no publications since his retirement.

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About Phil Davis

I am an independent researcher and publishing consultant specializing in the statistical analysis of readership and citation data. I am a former postdoctoral researcher in science communication and former science librarian. http://phil-davis.org/

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