Recognizing a Pattern of Problems in “Pattern Recognition in Physics”

Getting sloppy?

Copernicus Publications is an open-access publisher based in Göttingen, Germany. It is not on my list of predatory publishers. However, I do have some serious concerns with Copernicus Publications.

Specifically, there are some problems with Copernicus Publications’ journal Pattern Recognition in Physics. The problems are these:

The journal’s editor-in-chief, Sid-Ali Ouadfeul, who works for the Algerian Petroleum Institute, started publishing his research in journal articles around 2010, but he’s only been cited a couple times, not counting his many self-citations.

Co-editor-in-chief Nils-Axel Morner is a noted climate “skeptic” who believes in dowsing (water divining) and believes he has found the “Hong Kong of the [ancient] Greeks” in Sweden, among other things. These beliefs are documented in Wikipedia and The Guardian. Morner has over 125 publications, but pattern recognition does not appear to be among his specialties.

Moreover, speaking of “pattern recognition,” my analysis revealed some self-plagiarism by editor Ouadfeul in the very first paper the journal published, an article he himself co-authored.

The following passage appears on page 6 of S.-A. Ouadfeul and L. Aliouane’s 2013 article, “Pattern recognition of structural boundaries from aeromagnetic data using the 2-D continuous wavelet transform and the 3-D analytic signal.”

This was published second, in 2013, in Pattern Recognition in Physics.

The highlighted text first appeared in the following chapter of an online book entitled Wavelet Transforms and Their Recent Applications in Biology and Geoscience, edited by Dumitru Baleanu, ISBN 978-953-51-0212-0, and published on March 2, 2012.

This was published first, in 2012.

(from p. 259). The authors of the 2013 piece do not attribute the verbatim passage to the authors of the 2012 work, nor do they even cite the pirated text in their bibliography. Also, the article contains additional instances of self-plagiarism. Is this the kind of “pattern recognition” the journal is talking about?

In summary, the journal so far contains only five articles: two articles by a co-editor (Ouadfeul), two by climate skeptics whose views align with the other editor (Monrer), and one article bearing a significant amount of self-plagiarism. This is not a good start for a journal, and the publisher ought to be concerned and take action.

The journal’s cover page.

By: Jeffrey Beall
Follow on Twitter
Source: Scholarly Open Access


Philip Odfer says:

July 16, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Its not good bad from the publisher. But it is also a reality that first few issues of almost every publisher are not good. That’s why ISI, Scopus and PubMed always ignore 2 or 3 issues and index afterward issues, as initially, its difficult for publisher to shepherd good articles. I could not consider it a very bad thing its human.

Samir Hachani says:

July 16, 2013 at 11:16 AM

I think that Ouadfel is surfing on the Copernicus name .Copernicus is the Publisher of the highly respected Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions (ACPD) on behalf of the European Geosciences Union. I do know something about the site I have done part of my thsesis on the open peer review Ulrich Poeschl has pionneered. Ouadfel you ain’t no Poeschl !!!!!( though I’m Algerian too but knowledge does not a accept this kind of shenanigans

dikstr says:

January 17, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Copernicus’ action is a sad commentary on the lengths to which so-called scientific media will go to shield the deeply flawed CAGW hypotheses of the IPCC from reality and reason.

Mal Adapted says:

January 18, 2014 at 4:23 PM

You’re apparently under the misapprehension that hypotheses of CAGW originate with the IPCC. I think you’ll find…

Andrea says:

July 16, 2013 at 2:08 PM

What is interesting to me is why you do not include this one in your list. Have you made any changes in your policy? You used to be much harder on OA startups!

Genaro japos says:

July 16, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Thank you dr beall for the pattern recognition writeup that tracked a plagiarized part of an earlier published manuscript. Your advocacy
Has helped the far reaches of the planet, such as the philippines in particular. We are enlisting the help of turnitin, ithenticate and grammarly for this purpose. We are moving towards academic integrity as a proactive means to combat plagiarism. We are mobilizing our members to get membership in the international center for academic integrity in clemson university. In the darkness, we are seeing more candles being lighted from the single candle you started.

Claudia Holland says:

July 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM

My concern about Copernicus has to do with when an APC payment is due for one of their journals. The Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS) journal requires payment of an APC for an author’s paper to be posted for discussion in NHESSD (from $15.75 to as much as $51.00/page). This payment is due upon acceptance of the article for posting in NHESSD.

Using the journal’s example (see a “typical” article would result in an APC of approximately $519.00. But this statement, “The discussion paper style leads to three times more pages than the classic manuscript style,” suggests the fee will be higher than that of a paper submitted for traditional peer review.

The tasks underwritten by the APC are clearly described on the journal’s website. Most of these tasks are not associated with publication of a peer-reviewed article; it is actually a fee charged for posting a working paper that may not be published in a formal publication.

Consequently, whether the Exec Editors intend this or not, the timing of payment intimates that Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS) is a vanity publication because the fee is due BEFORE the paper is actually published. The “acceptance” letter an author receives is only for the initial vetting process by the editor and the availability of the paper for discussion.

I am not criticizing the review process for this journal, but I am highly skeptical of the reasons for charging the fee before a paper has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. As a manager of an open access publishing fund at my institution, I cannot currently recommend payment of this journal’s APC.

A Scientists says:

July 20, 2013 at 2:06 PM

I think Ouadfeul and Morner are big personlaities and they don’t merit what you have written. You are very hard and I think that you have some problems with these big personalities. Do you call this passage a plagiarism !!!
I have read all the five papers of PRP and authors are big scientists ! and you ……….

Scientist says:

July 20, 2013 at 5:25 PM

I’m not agree with you man! this is the geological setting of the area established by geologists in both of papers the source is cited.
Please try to be intelligent before write some thing about other scientific personalities. The paper is co-authored by two editors and handled by Dr Morner (reputable scientific personality).
I think that your objective is not clear………..

Scientist says:

July 20, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Samir Hachani
I think you should be a publisher of at the least one paper before talking about scientists like that!
Please try to spend your time preparing your Phd rather than talking about personalities that have spent their time working hardly to serve science with 00.00 euro

Samir Hachani says:

July 21, 2013 at 2:27 PM

I , Samir Hachani , sign with my real name. Mister ” scientist ” who are you ? wouldn’t you be either a person who’s acquainted with the “personnalities” or the personnalities themselves !!!!! I’m not trying to start a polemic but reacting to what Dr. Beall has noticed. If the “personnalities could prove they have been wronged , they can sue !!!! As far as I know, they are silent ” and ” silence implies consent “.Saha Ftourek “scientist “

Pattern Recognition says:

July 21, 2013 at 6:15 AM

I have read carefully the paper, I think this not a plagiarism, this the geological setting of the area.
The reference (Dejami, 2009)is cited in both papers

Ahmed says:

July 21, 2013 at 7:47 AM

this your opinion, you are not a god and a big scientists to juge journals and personalities. Please accept my apologies but………
Copernicus is a big publisher and work with big personalities
Open Access is a new publication procedure; please see

A.Philip says:

July 21, 2013 at 8:29 AM

It is not good from educated people to say harsh words about big scientists Like Morner and Ouadfeul

Michael says:

August 4, 2013 at 5:24 AM

Benestad has written a comment (in PRP) on the earlier Scafetta PRP article (S13). Benestad is scathing of S13 and some quotes are:

“This conclusion is in error because it is based on a misrepresentation of the previous work.”

“S13 further made reference to “outdated hockey-stick paleoclimatic temperature graphs” with no factual support”.

“S13 misrepresented BS09 by giving the impression that a multiple regression with 10 covariates was used to estimate the solar contribution to the recent warming.”

The Emerald City Journal was create by the people for the people to express their views and voices. It's a Seattle newspaper that gives everyone a voice whether you agree with their view or not. The Emerald City Journal is an opinion newspaper for everyone wanting to share their voice with the World.

Leave a Reply