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Thirsty in Seattle’s Beer Hall of Fame

Welcome to Thirsty in Seattle’s Beer Hall of Fame! This is a continually-updated list of what I think are top examples of various styles at this moment in time. It’s based on my palate and experiences; you may not agree with all the selections. However, I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the beers below.

As always, your feedback is welcome. Do you have any favorites that are missing and belong in the Hall of Fame?

English and American Styles

*American Amber / Red Ale
Hopworks Urban Brewery Abominable Winter Ale
Maritime Pacific Red Ale
Oskar Blues G’Knight

*American Barley Wine
Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws
Firestone Abacus 2011
Anderson Valley Horn of the Beer 2009
Avery Samael’s 2008
HUB Noggin Floggin 2010
Deschutes Mirror Mirror 08
Hair of the Dog Fred

*American Brown Ale
Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale
Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar
Brau Brothers The Ringneck Brown Ale

*American IPA
Pelican India Pelican Ale
New Belgium Ranger IPA
Bell’s Two Hearted Ale
Black Raven Trickster
Minneapolis Town Hall Masala Mama
Surly Furious
Stone Ruination IPA
Georgetown Lucille IPA
Laurelwood Workhorse IPA
Snoqualmie Falls Plant 1 Powerhouse IPA

*American Porter
Deschutes Black Butte Porter
Anchor Porter

*American Stout
Deschutes Obsidian Stout
Elliott Bay Organic Alder Smoked Coffee Stout
Rogue Chocolate Stout

*American Strong Ale
Stone Double Bastard Ale
Firestone Walker 13th Anniversary Ale
Firestone Walker 14th Anniversary Ale
Black Raven Splinters
Lagunitas Fusion4
Fremont Kentucky Dark Star Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Oatmeal Stout (cask)
Fremont Totonac Bbomb Bourbon Barrel-Aged Dark Ale (cask

*Baltic Porter
Alaskan Baltic Porter
Cascadian Dark Ale
Hopworks Secession Cascadian Dark Ale
Big Al Hop Villain Black IPA (cask)

*Cream Stout
Hale’s Cream Stout

*English Porter
Samuel Smith Taddy Porter

*Fruit Beer
Samuel Smith Strawberry Ale

*Herbed / Spiced Beer
Midnight Sun Treat

*Imperial IPA
Hair of the Dog Blue Dot
Russian River Pliny the Elder
Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA
Weyerbacher Double Simcoe IPA
Black Raven Wisdom Seeker
Avery Maharaja
Odell Myrcenary Double IPA (cask)
Deschutes Hop Henge Experimental IPA
HUB Ace of Spades
Firestone Walker Double Jack
Diamond Knot Industrial IPA

*Imperial Stout
Founders Breakfast Stout
Deschutes The Abyss
Iron Horse Quilter’s Irish Death
Oskar Blues Ten Fidy
Midnight Sun Berserker
Great Divide Bourbon Barrel-Aged Yeti
Great Divide Espresso Oak Aged Yeti

*Oatmeal Stout
Snoqualmie Black Frog Nitro

*Pale Ale
21st Amendment Bitter American
Caldera Pale Ale
Mt. Hood Cascadian Pale Ale
Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale
Deschutes Red Chair NWPA
Georgetown Manny’s Pale Ale
Sweetwater 420

*Strong Scotch Ale
Oskar Blues Old Chub
Silver City Fat Woody Bourbon Oak Aged Scotch Ale (cask)
Black Raven Second Sight Strong Scotch Ale
Boundary Bay Scotch Ale

Belgian Styles

*Belgian Dubbel
Sierra Nevada Ovila Dubbel
St. Bernardus Prior 8
St. Bernardus Pater 6
Goose Island Pere Jacques
Pike Tandem

*Belgian Quadruple
St. Bernardus Abt 12
Westvleteren 12
Boulevard The Sixth Glass

*Belgian Saison
Brasserie Dupont Saison Dupont
Pelican Saison Du Pelican
Black Raven Saison (cask)
Lift Bridge Farm Girl Saison

*Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Chimay Grande Reserve
Russian River Salvation
Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw
Trappistes Rochefort 6
Pelican Grand Cru De Pelican
Unibroue Terrible
Unibroue Trois Pistoles
Birra Tenute Collesi Imper Ale Rossa
Scuttlebutt Belgian Winter Ale-Belgian Strong Ale (cask)

*Belgian Strong Golden Ale
Duvel
Scaldis Bush Ambree
La Chouffe
Delirium Tremens
Goose Island Matilda
Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Wild

*Belgian Tripel
Tripel Karmeliet
Unibroue La Fin du Monde
De Garre Tripel

*Val-Dieu Tripel
Issaquah Brewhouse Menage A Frog

*Belgian Witbier
St. Bernardus Witbier
The Bruery Bottleworks XII
Issaquah Brewhouse White Frog Ale
Allagash White

*Flanders Oud Bruin
Petrus Aged Ale

*Flanders Red Ale
Duchesse de Bourgogne
Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale

*Fruit Lambic
Lindemans Framboise

German Styles

*Doppelbock
Ayinger Celebrator
Samuel Adams Double Bock
Spaten Optimator
Weihenstephaner Korbinian

*Dunkelweizen
Ayinger Ur-Weiss
Northern Lights Chocolate Dunkel

*Eisbock
Kulmbacher Eisbock

*German Pilsener
Victory Prima Pils

*Hefeweizen
Schneider Hopfen Weiss
Schneider Weiss
Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier
Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefeweizen

*Munich Dunkel Lager
Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel

*Weizenbock
Schneider Aventinus
Ayinger Weizen-Bock
Weihenstephaner Vitus

About Dan:
I love beer.  Seriously.  There is no better beverage on the planet (although coffee is a close second).  I order beer anywhere I go – even in wine bars, martini bars, 5-star restaurants – you name it.

I began drinking beer in high school (quick learner) and continued that trend throughout college, drinking as much Busch Light as possible for $3 until the keg fried.  I then graduated and moved on up to Newcastle (hey, I was pulling in 30K).  There was a brief cider period in there somewhere, but let’s not talk about that.

Probably the biggest influence on my love of beer was studying-abroad and taking several trips to Europe, including the world-class beer countries of Belgium, Germany, England, Ireland and the Czech Republic.

While I still drink a ton of European classics, what is most exciting to me now is the growing number of stellar craft breweries throughout the U.S.  I’ve gotten even more into the craft beer scene living the last 5 years in Seattle, with frequent trips to nearby Portland (aka Beervana).

I created this beer section to justify the ever-increasing amount of money that I spend on great beer (over 700 beers in the last 2 years).  And that is where you, dear reader, come in.  I hope I can provide you with some valuable beer insights, and I hope you do the same through your comments.

So crack open a beer (don’t forget the proper glassware) and enjoy the Beer!
Cheers!
Dan S.

My Beer FAQ’s
I’ve never actually received a question.  But in the event some guy has a question, and then a bunch of other people simultaneously have more questions, I thought I should be prepared for this onslaught of inquiries.

Where’s the best place to go for a beer in Seattle?
I haven’t been to every place in town, so this list is incomplete, but you can’t go wrong with any of these highly-regarded establishments:

Brouwer’s Café – Out of towners: Get thyself to Brouwer’s
Beveridge Place Pub – 25 taps, sports, game room, no table service, dog-friendly
The Pine Box – Tap list will impress beer geeks, conveniently located at base of Capitol Hill
Uber Tavern – Tiny tavern with an incredible tap and bottle list
Stumbling Monk – Unpretentious hole in the wall, amazingly cheap prices
Noble Fir – New beer mecca in Ballard, Diverse rotating tap list
Brave Horse Tavern – Enjoy 20 oz. beers and hot pretzels at Tom Douglas spot in South Lake Union
Collins Pub – Amazing beer, great Hawks/Sounders/Mariners pre/post-game spot
Naked City Brewery & Taphouse – 24 incredible taps from all over including Naked City beers
Quinn’s – Gastropub with ridiculous food, La Trappe ales and others on tap

What’s the best Seattle area brewery?
See my Seattle Brewery Guide

Are you qualified to write a beer blog?
Not really.

Does the World need yet another beer article?
No, but thanks for asking you unappreciative bastard.

Do you have the latest beer news?
No, I leave that to the professionals such as Kendall at the Washington Beer Blog and Geoff over at Seattle Beer News.  I have a job and 2 kids, and am already pushing my luck with the Mrs. with this beer blog thing.

What’s your favorite beer style?
It varies with the changing seasons, but here are some of my favorites:

  • Belgian Quadruple
  • Belgian Strong Dark Ale
  • Belgian Tripel
  • Doppelbock
  • Weizenbock
  • American Strong Ale
  • Imperial IPA
  • IPA
  • American Pale Ale
  • Russian Imperial Stout
  • Barley Wine
  • Belgian Strong Golden Ale
  • Belgian Saison
  • Cascadian Dark Ale
  • Hefeweizen
  • Brown Ale

Ok, I pretty much love all beer and have a lot of favorites.

What is a beer douche?
The beer douche, while possessing similar knowledge as the beer geek, is elitist and believes he has a superior palate.  The beer douche has tasted the best and rarest beers in the world and, if you disagree, you are clearly wrong and shall be ridiculed.  The beer douche scares off craft beer newcomers, rather than welcoming them.  Please, don’t be a douche.

Why are your beer reviews short?
Because I am unable to taste 45 flavors in a single beer and describe them using whimsical poetry, but apparently some people can.  See beer douche.

New Open-Access Publisher: Stringer Open

Designed to fool.

We recently learned about a new scholarly open-access publisher whose name sounds very much like that of an established scholarly publisher.

It is Stringer Open, and of course it sounds like Springer Open.

The victim.

Stringer Open has just launched with ten journals, some with ungrammatical titles, and some with titles that make little sense, such as the International Journal of Addiction Science and Anesthesiology.

The publisher’s ‘contact us’ page does not state any location, but the domain name registration leads to an apartment complex in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. There are many predatory publishers from Andhra Pradesh, and it seems everyone there wants to be a scholarly publisher.

Stringer Open is currently spamming for editorial board members, and I wonder how many will be tricked by the similar name. The boards now contain a few members each. The same person, Carol Calini, is on the editorial boards of three of the ten Stringer Open journals. I contacted her, and she told me she’s a researcher’s secretary and had not heard of this publisher before.

This publisher is an affront to scholarly publishing and to open-access. I strongly recommend against submitting papers to any of its journals and against accepting an invitation to serve on an editorial board.

Hat tip: Tero Kivelä

Appendix: List of Stringer Open journals as of November 23, 2013:
1.International Journal of Addiction Science and Anesthesiology
2.International Journal of Cancer Therapy & Stem Cell Biology
3.International Journal of Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
4.International Journal of Clinical and Medical Case Reports
5.International Journal of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome
6.International Journal of HIV for Clinical and Scientific Research
7.International Journal of Novel Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation
8.International Journal of Ophthalmology and Clinical Research
9.International Journal of Vaccines and Immunology
10.Journal of Genetics and Gene Therapy

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

Comments:

Jeffrey Beall says:

November 26, 2013 at 9:43 AM

There’s no scoring system. As you can see, the criteria are subjective. In most cases, the evaluation is very easy because the publishers engage in salient deception and lack of transparency. My intent is to only include the worst of the worst on the lists. I refrain from adding borderline publishers/journals to the lists.

Maureen O’Malley says:

November 29, 2013 at 6:18 PM

I wouldn’t say this is a ‘subjective’ classification. I think you mean these are qualitative categories to which journals are matched on the basis of available evidence. Too many matches and the journal gets a ‘predatory’ classification. Because anyone in the community can use these qualitative categories for evaluation purposes, they can’t be ‘subjective’ in the sense of only one person being able to justify the ranking. I have read many evaluations, seen how many of the journals fall into various of these categories, and agree wholeheartedly with the classification. Using ‘subjective’ makes it seem like mere impressionistic opinion, which the classification system is not. And in case anyone worries about not enough evidence being used, the appeal process can provide more/different evidence, and the classification potentially adjusted.

Jeffrey Beall says:

November 29, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Thank you!

Samir Hachani says:

November 26, 2013 at 9:49 AM

It is science with a string !!!!!

David Ryan says:

November 26, 2013 at 10:05 AM

This is just what you do, defending well-stablished journals… I guess they pay you well…

Samir Hachani says:

November 26, 2013 at 12:07 PM

@David Ryan ?????????

Divya Nimesh says:

December 7, 2013 at 12:42 PM

air ..also give the information about well established and authenticated journals and open access academic publishing websites regarding law or legal publishing (with free open access publishing)…..hope u ll give that..

Kovo Godfrey says:

December 22, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Please can u send the full list of journals to be avoided to my mail. Also i want to find out if the pacific journal of science and technology is in ur list. Thank you

Jeffrey Beall says:

December 22, 2013 at 9:20 AM

The lists are freely available online. I haven’t heard of the PJST before but will have a look at it.

Conference attendee to OMICS: I want out

Today’s post consists of two emails. One is from OMICS Publishing Group to a scientist who attended an OMICS conference, and the second is the scientist’s reply to OMICS.

Email from OMICS Publishing Group

Dear Dr. Jim,

Greetings for the day!! We are really thankful to you for your consistent support towards the conference Genetic Engineering 2013 and for efficiently managing the conference.

We would like to know your experience during the conference days. Also I would like to have your feedback for Genetic Engineering 2013 and Suggestions for the upcoming Genetic Engineering 2014.

Your Suggestion and feedback value a lot for us for further proceedings. Thank for your cooperation. Awaiting for your early response

Regards

Lincy Mathew
Genetic Engineering 2013

Email to OMICS Publishing Group

Hello! I am happy to provide you my honest feedback about Genetic Engineering 2013. I hope you take my comments/suggestions to heart. If not, I will certainly never attend another OMICS meeting. Frankly, it was by far the worst, most unorganized meeting I have ever attended in my nearly 30 years as a scientist. It was a total sham of a meeting. In no particular order, here are my complaints:

1) The meeting was shortened to 2 days from 3 with no notice. We were not notified of this change in any way other than when the final program was available online, it covered only 2 days instead of 3. People came from all over the world for this meeting. They need time to make flight changes etc. Personally I drove so it wasn’t a problem, however, I did end up paying for an extra night for a room that I did not need. In these tight budget times, as a Government scientist we can only attend at most one meeting per year. To waste money on a room we did not need is inexcusable. We should be all notified in advance before the length of a meeting is changed.

2) I was asked to be on the “Organizing Committee” and was never asked my opinion on anything. The meeting was “organized” without any input from any organizing member, at least anyone that I talked to. Only 2 out of 19 listed organizing members were actually at the meeting. I even emailed one member that was not at the meeting and she told me that she never had any input on the meeting either. Why have an organizing committee if they cannot do anything? It appears you wanted us on a “committee” to look good, to make the meeting look legit.

3) The meeting is billed as a major event but it is far from it. At the “height” of the meeting, 19 people were in the room. By the second day, there were perhaps half as many. If all the supposed organizing committee members were present, we would have had twice as many attendees!

4) On the first day we had 13 scheduled talks. Of these, we ended up having only 8. The other speakers never arrived. Having nearly 40% of the speakers never arrive indicates a HUGE organizational problem. Do attendees think this is the fault of the organizing committee that never had a say in these maters? Is that why there is an organizing committee, to take the blame? I certainly fielded plenty of complaints while at the meeting. I finally found myself saying, I am not associated with OMICS. I have never seen a meeting where more than a few percent of the scheduled talks were missing. The other keynote speaker and I each gave 2 talks, so between us we gave a full 50% of the talks on the first day!

The second day was worse. Of the 10 scheduled talks, only 3 were given. A whopping 70% of no shows! Thus, the meeting actually ended at lunchtime on the second day. So a meeting that was supposed to run 3 days, was actually at most 1.5 days and that is being generous. Did we get 50% of our registration fee back? In a word, no.

5) There was no acknowledgement/apology from the OMICS organization about the poor turnout for the meeting even though the founder was there.

6) There was no real guidance from the OMICS organizers on how to run the meeting. I was tapped to moderate the meeting, which I did. However, that quickly turned into running it from start to finish with no guidance. It was only after many emails and in person questions that I figured out what was wanted. How the actual meeting proceeded seemed to be of little importance to OMICS. I feel very used.

7) What seemed more important to OMICS was presenting awards. When I arrived I had to sign a huge stack of awards. Anything from being a chairperson, to presenting a talk, to attending the meeting was grounds for an award. This seems very much like being in elementary school. A large amount of time was taken up on the first day by handing each other awards and having our pictures taken doing so. Why? I strongly suspect these photos will be used for promotion of further OMICS meetings. See all the smiling scientists! I did not attend this meeting to promote OMICS, but I strongly suspect that is what I will be doing. Why else have me sign these “awards”? OMICS wanted to have my name and affiliation associated with everything that happened at the meeting.

8) OMICS is not fully honest. Not only was this meeting much smaller than billed, shortened without notice etc, it is being advertised as a bigger success than it was. There is a report page that can be found here: http://www.omicsgroup.com/conferences/past-conference-reports/genetic-engineering-2013-past/

On this page, it shows twelve different scientists that gave “expert presentations” at “Genetic Engineering 2013”. The problem is, 3 of those scientists were not even there! This will be discussed further below but I request my picture and name be removed from that page. I do not endorse Genetic Engineering 2014 in any way. I do not want people to think that I do.

9) As one of my duties, I was asked to judge the poster presentations which I was happy to do. Near the end of lunch on the second day, Dr. Oshimura, the chair for the day stood up and announced that he had just been told that the rest of the meeting had been cancelled. Everyone still in attendance was shocked. This cancellation was because none of the afternoon speakers were present. Furthermore, he announced that the poster presentation would start immediately. There were a couple problems with this, neither of which were his fault. I know of at least two attendees that had already left the lunch room and thus did not get his announcement. They came back at the assigned poster time, 4:10, to put up their posters and found out then that the meeting was over. Thus, their posters were never judged through no fault of their own. They came all the way from Mexico to present their posters which were never viewed by anyone but a few of us that felt badly for them. When the announcement was made at lunch, I went and asked the OMICS representative, Monalisa, what I needed to do as far as judging the posters; did she have a form for it or what the procedure was. She informed me that Dr. Srinubabu Gedela already judged them! I don’t know when this happened (must have happened before lunch as we and they were in the same room and I didn’t see him.) but he 1) for certain did not see all of the posters as at least two were not up yet and 2) likely is not qualified to judge posters on genetic engineering. Again, science comes second in these “meetings”. The attendees that traveled great distances at significant cost deserve better.

I could go on and on but this is probably more time than I should waste on this already. In summary, this meeting was far too expensive for far too little meeting. It was “organized” (and I use that term loosely) with no help by an organizing committee, yet we take the blame. Many appearances are made to make it look like a fantastic meeting, but it is not. I do not wish to be a part of this meeting in the foreseeable future. Thus, please remove my picture(s) and name from this website: http://www.omicsgroup.com/conferences/past-conference-reports/genetic-engineering-2013-past/ I do not want anyone to be confused into thinking that I endorse your product. I also do not want my name and/or picture to appear on any other promotional material for any upcoming OMICS meeting. I respectfully ask that you follow my wishes. I wish to cut all ties with OMICS group.

Also, I am currently writing my resignation letter to resign from the editorial board of OMICS’ Advancements in Genetic Engineering for all of these and other reasons.

Sincerely,

James Sawitzke Ph.D.
Center for Cancer Research
National Cancer Institute
Frederick, MD 21702

Note: Dr. Sawitzke has sent several additional emails to OMICS repeating his requests but they have not responded, and his requested action has not been taken.

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

Jim Sawitzke says:

September 12, 2013 at 10:59 AM

I have now successfully removed myself from the editorial board via a phone call, emails were ignored. I have been unsuccessful reaching anyone on the phone about the Genetic Engineering meeting.

Sept. 12, 2013

Jim Sawitzke Ph.D.

Solomon Steiner says:

November 26, 2015 at 9:52 PM

Just for everyone’s info – this massive company is run out of India, they will address you with fake names like “rebecca parker” but do not be fooled.

Scott C says:

April 11, 2016 at 7:38 AM

Indeed, I’ve had emails from Derrick Matthews, when the quality and structure of the English clearly indicates something is awry. Emails from OMICS have been added to my junk mail filter.

David Gurarie says:

September 12, 2013 at 11:04 AM

What a sham!
Lately, I send all such solicitations to spam w/o opening.

Bruce W says:

September 12, 2013 at 11:54 AM

This Omics Publishing Group recently sent an e-mail to a the lady, who is mentioned on our website as our department’s secretary, asking her to be part of the Organizing Committee for the 2014 Neurology Meeting. The exact wording:

“Basing on your expertise we would like to honor you by giving the position as an Organizing Committee Member for Neuro -2014. Also we would like to give you an opportunity of plenary speaker at this conference. As an Organizing Committee Member the privileges would include an honorable position as the chair/co-chair for the session of your interest. ”

Already a long time ago we renamed them as the Comics Publishing Group.

m3gan0 says:

September 19, 2013 at 8:33 AM

that dishonors the honorable comics publishing industry.

Nils says:

September 12, 2013 at 11:55 AM

I really don’t see the need for all these new conference-organizing services. Small conferences (up to 100 attendees, say) are best organized at your own university/research institution, or at a venue in your geographical area. Then there are plenty of well-established conference centers, e.g. Banff. And finally there are the big recurrent meetings organized by scientific societies.

I believe all other organisations are just after your grant money.

Hope Leman (@hleman) says:

September 12, 2013 at 1:49 PM

We all owe a great deal to Jeffrey Beall and Dr. Sawitzke for this expose. It was fascinating reading–and very shocking to see scientists being treated so shabbily. Thank you both for such a detailed, absorbing, damning report.

Ron Davis says:

September 13, 2013 at 4:52 AM

Mr. Beall, I am happy to see a new watchdog like, Thomson Reuters, Scopus’s SCImago, during my online search for reliable sources. I am happy that this market is growing. They are offering SNIP indicator. Please visit http://www.journalindicators.com/

Farid says:

September 13, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Ron

Scopus’s SCImago is far better than Thomson Reuters since it is available for all users to verify the quality of a journal. These days, many Predatory journals establish a link with ISI and claim they are ISI index and many authors may accept their claims. Scopus’s SCImago cannot be manupulated and it is better than ISI.

Sylvain Bernès says:

September 13, 2013 at 8:30 AM

OMICs did a single mistake: to ask to Dr Sawitzke for feedback about the meeting.

R3sanon says:

September 17, 2013 at 11:08 AM

TL/DR – Gullible career lab tech’ in protected government job is angry because he got taken for the fool he probably is.

What the hell is an NCI scientist doing, wasting their only meeting per year on what is widely known to be a scam? Was this guy living under a rock? Did he not do any homework about this organization? For most scientists out in the “real world”, we go to meetings run by established societies in our area of expertise. Those, and a couple of other well known conference organizing bodies (Gordon, Keystone).

This type of negative publicity is useful, to highlight these shady business practices to the <1% of academia that isn't aware of them already. But C'mon! In my opinion he got exactly what he deserved for being so gosh-darned gullible in the first place. He got his ego massaged by the invitation, and thought "this looks sweet". It's like that time the Department Chair got a computer virus, or gave the Dept. bank account details to a guy from Nigeria who seemed legit. Maybe that's why this guy is a "senior research associate" and has a grand total of 20 publications after 30 years in the biz. He'll probably also find there's all sorts of small print in the attendance contract, in which attendees agree to have their name and likeness associated with the meeting, so he's up the creek without a paddle on that front too. Wonder if this guy has an AOL email account too? Mike says: September 18, 2013 at 6:34 AM Oh mighty R3sanon, with the >20 publications (greater than Dr. Sawitzke, for sure!), we should all bow down to your dizzying intellect and sharp detection of fraud from ANY corner of the globe. Please bestow upon us more words of wisdom from your tower on high so that we “protected” minions at the NIH can learn from your astounding (probably NIH granted) research insights! LOL

Diana says:

October 18, 2013 at 1:27 PM

And despite Mr. Sawitzke’s request his name is mentioned several times here still: “Special heartiest thanks to the moderator of Genetic Engineering 2013, Dr. Jim Sawitzke, NIH, USA for his contribution and consistent support for making this conference a success”.

Entertaining side note I have seen at least one listed publisher link to your site as a place they are indexed. Now that is funny.

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

Comments:

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 http://www.natural-hazards-and-earth-system-sciences.net/submission/service_charges.html) 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
Regards
Scientist

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
http://www.intechopen.com/about-open-access.html

A.Philip says:

July 21, 2013 at 8:29 AM

Colleagues
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.”

New OA Publisher with a Strange Name: iProbe

iProbe
iProbe

What an odd name for a scholarly publisher: iProbe. It sounds like the name of an Apple app for endoscopic surgeons. Here is my probe of iProbe.

The name is not the only strange thing about this new publisher. Most of its website appears to have been translated into English using Google Translate. Much of it makes no sense and is extremely smarmy. Take this text from one of its calls for papers, for example:

Please respond to this mail as soon as possible if you are paying attention. We would look forward for your valuable reply. It is always a great pleasure & treasure to hear back from you doctor! For promoting the scientific community, it’s really very interesting to work with you I must say. If you contributed for this journal would be treasured.

With warm regards,
Editorial Office
Open Access Journals
iProbe Group

The publisher has 48 brand-new journals in its portfolio. Most are medical science journals, but there is also a math journal, an engineering journal, and one zoology journal. None has any content yet, and the editorial boards are currently being formed and the journals are all open for submission. The article processing charge for a research article is $799.

The site lists this address:

14175 Sullyfield Circle
Suite # 402, Chantilly
VA 20151, USA

A Google search of that address brings up a company called USM Business Systems, which has a branch office in Hyderabad, India. Is this publisher really an Indian operation?

Have these companies even heard of iProbe?

Each individual journal links to the page above. The page makes no sense to me. It says, “Partially published articles will be deposited in PubMed” Huh? Why not publish the entire article?

It also says all articles will be deposited in — among other services — Google Scholar. How do you deposit an article in Google Scholar?

I think the publisher’s use of the logos here is unwarranted and an attempt to make itself look legitimate. I am increasingly seeing new fleet startups like this one. Does the world really need these 48 new open-access journals?

Hat tip: Dr. Thomas Long

Appendix: List of iProbe journals as of June 10, 2013:
o Addiction Therapy & Clinical Research
o AIDS & Clinical Research Journal
o Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology Journal
o Ecology & Ecotoxicology
o Emergency Medicine & Health Education
o Engineering Journal: Aeronautical & Aerospace
o Inorganic Chemistry Journal
o International Journal of Biomedical Engineering
o International Journal of Clinical Anesthesia
o iProbe: Clinical Case Reports
o iProbe: Journal of Biotechnology
o iProbe: Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering
o iProbe: Journal of Computer Science & Engineering
o iProbe: Journal of Computing Programs & Systems
o iProbe: Journal of Mathematical Analysis & Applications
o iProbe: Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
o iProbe: Journal of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
o iProbe: Physical Chemistry Journal
o Journal of Biological Informatics & Biodiversity
o Journal of Biological Research & Development
o Journal of Cancer Therapy & Research
o Journal of Cardiology Research & Therapy
o Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Biochemical Technology
o Journal of Clinical Pharmacology & Clinical Pharmacokinetics
o Journal of Clinical Pharmacy
o Journal of Computer Software & Hardware
o Journal of Dental Research & Therapeutic Science
o Journal of Dermatological Science & Therapy
o Journal of Environmental Sciences & Research
o Journal of Forensic Science & Technology
o Journal of Gynecological Research & Therapy
o Journal of Health Community
o Journal of Life & Agriculture Sciences
o Journal of Mechanical & Biomechanical Engineering
o Journal of Nanotechnology & Nanomedicine
o Journal of Neurology & Neurological Sciences
o Journal of Nutritional Science & Therapy
o Journal of Palynology & Phycology
o Journal of Pharmaceutical Science & Development
o Journal of Primary Care & Family Medicine
o Journal of Surgical Research & Technology
o Journal of Traditional Medicine
o Journal of Vaccination & Vaccines
o Journal of Zoological Research & Development
o Macromolecular Science: Research Reports
o Natural & Synthetical Products in Organic Chemistry
o Otolaryngology Clinical Research
o Social Sciences: Current Research

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

Comments:

Genaro japos says:

June 13, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Is there a way interpol can apprehend predatory publishers? How can such acts constitute international crimes against science and humanity? Can we make a position paper to unesco and compel members of united nations to be signatories?

Jeffrey Beall says:

June 13, 2013 at 5:06 PM

Most of them are not doing anything illegal. They all enjoy freedom of the press. I don’t consider them illegal, just unethical.

adakole abu says:

June 13, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Please I would be pleased to have your comments on journals such as: Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances, African Journal of Biotechnology, Journal of Medicinal Plants Research, Asian Pacific Journal of Reproduction, Livestock Research for Rural Development, International Journal of Poultry Science, Macedonia Journal of Medical Sciences, Iranian Journal of Reproductive Medicine. Kind regards,

Adakole Abu

Mike Asimos Favorite Seattle Hiking Spots

Having travelled all over the country and having experienced many of the hiking spots in Seattle, we asked Mike Asimos what his favorites are. If you don’t know Mike Asimos, he is a collector, hiker, and outdoorsman. He runs his own personal blog which goes into great detail about his adventures and the products he was used (good or bad). We recently did an interview with him about his large Grateful Dead collection as well here. It’s a great read so be sure to check it out for more background information.

After doing our interview with Mike Asimos, continued to discuss his hiking adventures. He obviously is a person who is passionate about whatever he is doing. He is very detailed and knows what he is talking about. I wish we could post some of the places he was visited… they are AMAZING. I recommended that he should try photography actually. Mike mentioned he hasn’t been to Seattle in sometime, however, he does remember all the good hiking spots around here. “There are so many… ones which nobody even talks about”, he explained.

Here is the short list Mike Asimos (who also goes by Michael Asimos on his blog) recommends if you’re a local Seattle resident. Washington State is one of his favorites due to all the forest trails and national parks.

1) Rattle Snake Mountain: It’s a good starter hike if you’re just getting started. Its elevation is a little over 1,000. It has some amazing views of the Mountains (Cascades & Mount Si). It can get pretty busy so go early if you’re going to go.

2) Annette Lake: Mike Asimos says this is one of his favorites because when you actually reach the top – there is a lake at the top! The trail is covered by trees but there is a clear enough path to make it there. It also has some great views as you hike up.

3) Little Si Hike: Lastly, Mike recommends a more rocky trail but again it features some great views similar to Rattlesnake (above).

There you have it readers. The top hiking spots by Mike Asimos himself. As the weather continues to improve here in Seattle be sure to visit them and enjoy the scenery. You can read more about Michael Asimos by using our search feature on the Emerald City Journal homepage.

Visit to Soweto – Vilakazi, Wandies, Hector Peterson Memorial and More

The word on the street is that Johannesburg, South Africa is a place of villains and cruelty. I had heard multiple warnings that you would be car-jacked in Johannesburg if you were foolish enough to stop your car at a red light. “Johannesburg has a higher crime rate than Iraq,” one Australian friend of mine warned me. My reading pointed me in another direction.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, “A Long Walk to Freedom” affected me deeply. He spent much of his life in Johannesburg as a lawyer arguing anti-Apartheid cases. He painted a lovely picture of South Africa as a “Rainbow Nation” where forgiveness dominated over the violent history. Mandela gave me the impression that South Africa is synonymous with triumph over adversity. I’d have to see for myself.

All reading aside, I had an understandable level of trepidation as I packed for a day trip into Soweto. Soweto (or the South Western Township) is a vast neighborhood of people, many of whom live at a level of poverty I have never experienced or can really understand. This area was the epicenter of the anti-apartheid rebellion which swept across South Africa in the late 1970?s. AIDS mortality rates are the highest in the world in South Africa. The movie about segregated aliens called Sector 9, was filmed here and inspired by the social architecture of Soweto during Apartheid.

On the way from our rich, predominately white neighborhood, we made a detour to see the Soccer City Stadium. This mammoth building can manage 90,000 and was built exclusively for the FIFA World Cup. It is massive and mesmerizing. A swath of rich African sunset colors have been painted on the enormous panels that wrap around the building. The panels are like tiny pixels in an enormous digital collage which makes up the exterior of Soccer City. The building’s form is inspired by the African Calabash which is a natural gourd that is used to share food and the African fermented milk booze. Over the next 6 weeks this triumphant building will be the site of the most important sport competition in the world.

South Africa was under the gaze of the world. “Will they be ready?” was the common question. This was to be the first FIFA World Cup to be held on the continent of Africa. Will Africa be able to pull this immense undertaking off? One could entertain doubts while standing in front of Soccer City two weeks before the games begin and construction isn’t finished. Hundreds of workers were milling around the structure like ants. Those working the landscaping and side walks near the front smiled and worked calmly while those far off on the building were so minuscule in comparison to their structure that one couldn’t tell if they were working or chilling.

In South Africa there are neighborhoods called townships. Townships are predominately black neighborhoods that were either historically where the blacks chose to live, or were drawn up in the early 20th century by the Apartheid Regime. Drawn up like: “the blacks over there, the coloreds over there and us whites here.” Apartheid is an Afrikaans word meaning separate and apartheid wanted a separate society. Much like “separate but equal,” which we had in the USA-South, but Apartheid was even less focused on equality.

There are many parallels to the civil rights movement of the United States and that of Africa. In both the whites tried to choke economic growth and social development from the blacks. In both instances the whites would implement demeaning policies aimed at suppressing the self confidence in the black population. In my opinion, the large difference between ZA and USA is that in the USA the whites are the majority. In South Africa the whites are the minority. The potential for power struggle created an understandable level of fear in the dominate white group. Besides, in South Africa the whites aren’t even a unified group.

Afrikaans is a Dutch based language that has developed it’s own style and soul that is truly African. Afrikaans people are white, but they are entirely African. They have their own history and allegiances to Boer farming roots and Paul Kruger. The whites that have more British influence hold allegiances to the Queen and Cecil Rhodes. As a rule, they don’t speak Afrikaans and they have a more British view of human rights. Unification of the Cape of Good Hope, the Orange Free State (Boer), the Natal and the Transvaal was a dream of Rhodes.  Rhodes dreamed of seeing a unified country and this idea led to violent times.  None-the-less, South Africa was unified through the South Africa Act of 1909.  (there was a very long coming and complex agreement that was reached here.  Books can we written about the complexities of this act.)  40 years later, Apartheid governance took over.

The Apartheid governance developed a complex and perplexing system of laws to separate the different races based on color. There was no separation of races based on ethnic understanding. The Zulu and the Xhosa are both blacks but they are far from homogenous. Afrikaans and old British white folks have their own feelings of distrust towards each other. The coloreds (Indian, Malay, black and white mix) are also a interesting mix of people. None-the-less, Apartheid Government says: “blacks over here, whites here and coloreds here” and that’s how it went. Now, more than 100 years later we are touring around to see how it all has played out.

We left Soccer City for Soweto driving fast in our big white VW van.
Johannesburg has a highway system as imposing as that of Los Angeles, California. A significant difference in South Africa; the lines for traffic are more ideas than rules. When traffic gets bad the 4×4 trucks go off the road and up on the mud dividers to get ahead of the rest. Anywhere where your wheels can carry you is fair game on the South African roads. People swerve inside the orange construction cones to get ahead of those foolish enough to line up. The construction for the World Cup was causing bizarre traffic jams.

This was the sort of traffic jam where, in California one keeps their window up and their head down. As I sat in the back of the car, I couldn’t help but feel that these cars full of Africans were all smiling and giving us thumbs up. Most seemed positive about the traffic and happy to just be moving. Sure, we were stuck but I got more thumbs up in that gnarly traffic jam than I do in a year of California driving.

We came up over some hill top and we were informed that this expansive swath of dwellings was Soweto. Soweto sprawls out as far as the eye can see. Over the far hills you see hills of Soweto in the distance. It’s a strange blend of government brick buildings and shanty towns constructed of tin roof material and whatever else could be produced.

Though many of the homes look as if they are built by an assembly line, many of the dull old run down government buildings have been remodeled into beautiful homes. They have gardens, fancy gates and car ports. Outside on the street people sell food under the cover of a tarp supported by a few poles for shade. Open air barbers cut peoples men and women’s hair down to the super popular buzz cut. “Surgery” was offered on signs all around, but we learned that these were simply pharmacies, not places to have surgery performed. The government buildings that have been converted into drinking establishments are called “shebeens.”

Down towards what feels like the center of Soweto, there are two huge power plant towers (like the nuclear power plant where Homer Simpson works). These massive structures have been all painted up triumphantly with a beautiful African mural. This old power plant is now a tourist attraction boasting the worlds 2nd highest bungee jump. It’s a stunning sight. The structure itself is and example of triumph over adversity. The power-plants used to spit out toxins in the middle of Soweto to produce power for the white folks living outside of Soweto.

As we drove through the center of the township I couldn’t help but notice all the smiles. Earlier that morning I expected to have an abrasive day of avoiding gangsters and panhandlers deep in the slums of aggressive Africa, but all I saw around me were smiles and people giving me the “thumbs up.”

Our first stop was at the Roman Catholic Church which was a center for solidarity against apartheid. The church does not match the vastness of the neighborhood to which it serves. It is a humble building, yet its history is remarkable.

Our guide showed us the bullet holes in the ceiling from when the security forces raided the church in response to the uprisings in the 1970?s. A broken marble mantle on the pulpit is left broken from the butt of a security force officer’s gun. The bullet holes and broken pieces of the church are left to remind the people of those violent times.

It was an amazing struggle. A black man during Apartheid had no basic human rights. Every Black was required to carry a book describing his work, his family and his travel permission. At any time and without due process, a police officer could demand to see a mans paperwork and move him or her along. The blacks weren’t allowed to own their houses or visit white areas without permission. The whites used the blacks as servants but never wanted them around afterwards.

Above the church was an exhibit of photos by Jurgen Schadeberg. Schadeberg documented Soweto during the youth uprisings. His black and white images of comfortable rich white folks juxtaposed with images of poverty stricken hungry black folks leave a lasting impression. He has images of dangerous looking Apartheid anti riot tanks, security forces beating protesters, protesters hiding from police and families crying.


Photo of Apartheid Poverty

We left the church. Despite all the friendly smiles, I must admit that I was nervous about being in the poorest place in one of the most dangerous countries in Africa. I’m about as white as Goldilocks. All of these images were of white people beating, enslaving and scaring the black people. Someone must hold a grudge? It was lunch time so our guide took us to a place down the road called Wandie’s for a traditional African meal. It was here that all my fear went away and I fell in love with Africa.

A pair of musicians surprised our group with finger snapping and singing as we walked through the door. One played guitar while the other drummed on whatever was near him all the while singing beautifully. The atmosphere was incredibly welcoming and warm. The food was rich, flavorful and exotic (though I’m no an of the tripe).

The musicians sang, played and spoke throughout our entire meal. They played the Lion King Song, Bob Marley Songs, and a host of African songs. We sang along, some danced and everyone was caught up in the comfort of the atmosphere. The musicians would speak briefly between songs about their culture. They described the South Africa that I read about in Mandela’s writing; a “Rainbow Nation” where everyone respects each others differences. Everything about lunch screamed rainbow nation, this was one of the greatest lunches of my life.

Our guide’s friend, Botha, a beautiful young Zulu girl danced along with the musicians and kept us entertained with her sassy humor. I asked her if she had to speak to Xhosa people in English due to the language barrier. She seemed surprised with my question and explained that she could speak all the languages of all the different tribes. “We grow up immersed in it,” she explained.

After lunch we drove to Nelson Mandela’s old home. As we drove down this street we learned that this was the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize winners had both lived. Vilakazi Street. We passed Desmond Tutu’s house on the way to Mandela’s; both Nobel Peace Prize winners.

Nelson Mandela spoke fondly of his home at 8115 Vilakazi St, Orlando West Soweto. “It was the opposite of grand, but it was my firs true home of my own and I was mightily proud. A man is not a man until he has a house of his own.”

The history of the house is provided in the flyer. I’ve included the main history page of the flyer:

“The Mandela House at 8115 Orlando West, on the corner of Vilakazi and Ngakane Streets, Soweto, was built in 1945, as part of a Johannesburg City tender for new houses in Orlando. Nelson Mandela moved here in 1946 with his first wife, Evelyn Ntoko Mase and his first son. They divorced in 1957, and from 1958 he was joined in the house by his second wife, Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela (Winnie).

Nelson Mandela was to spend little time here in the ensuing years, as his role in struggle activities became all-consuming and he was forced underground (1961), living a life on the run until his arrest and imprisonment in 1962, and sentence to life imprisonment in 1964.


Outside the home of Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela returned to 8115 for a brief 11 days after his release from Robben Island in 1990, before finally moving to his present home in Houghton. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, herself harassed by the security forces and imprisoned numerous times, lived in the house with her daughters until her own exile to Brandfort in 1977, where she remained under house arrest until 1986. The family continued to occupy the house until after Mandela was released from prison. The house was subsequently turned into a museum, with Nelson Mandela as a Founder Trustee of the controlling body, the Soweto Heritage Trust.”

This is the literature the pamphlet provides the visitor when entering the museum. Our guide informed us of a few details left out of the pamphlet: Nelson Mandela gave his home up to the Soweto Heritage Fund despite the fact that it cut his ex-wife’s source of income. His ex-wife, Winnie Mandela, had been using their old house as a shebeen. This upset Mandela because alcohol had played an important role in keeping the blacks under control during Apartheid. It took the power of a team of lawyers to have the house returned to Mandela. Mandela then gave the house to the Heritage Trust.

His home is just another old house built by the Apartheid government but this one is surrounded with modern walls to give it a modern museum feel. The exterior bricks are charred from firebombings while Winnie lived there. The interior of the building is packed full with fantastic trophies and letters of support from people and countries around the world. The house in very small and you can see it all in about 2 minutes, if you rush. If you take your time you could spend hours examining all the interesting gifts and print given to Mandela. I left with a profound sense of admiration.

Just down the road, we got to speak with the project manager for the Hector Peterson Museum. We learned that the place was built under contract for 40 million Rand. For 6 months management organized the Vilakazi area communities into rotating labor force that could build the museum. The production spent this time because they wanted to weave community involvement and the museum.

Hector Peterson was murdered at the age of 13 for rioting against Apartheid government in the youth revolutions of the late 1970?s. Peterson was unarmed and killed by fully armed and armored security forces under Apartheid directions to suppress black “upiddyness.”

The project manager was working to build this museum to recognize the sacrifice of the young man. He decided to award the building contact to a white building contractor. He told us the story of awarding the contract and it went something like this (I paraphrase):

“I sat the contractor down in my office and told him I chose his bid from all the others. I told him “I choose you” and the contractor remained silent for a moment, the he stood up and walked out the door. Two days later he called me for a meeting. He walked into my office, sat down and cried openly. The contractor explained that he had been a member of the Apartheid led security forces which were in Soweto on the day of Hector’s murder.”

This is stunning. One of the important officers in the Apartheid security force was used by the people of Soweto, as an integral tool in building the museum to honor a fallen revolutionary. It’s difficult to imagine a more triumphant perseverance of the South African people.

Hector Peterson Memorial Plaque

The project manager reported that the white contractor and the black community worked together smoothly throughout the whole building process. The project found a successful finish. He explained that the contractor was on side 7 days a week from beginning to end of the day. “His professionalism and dedication was moving,” he told us.

“No building tools or materials were lost to thieves throughout the whole process” he explained. The community had guarded the construction site without the need to hire a security company or erect a physical barrier around the site. This museum is a remarkable testament to the feeling of reconciliation that makes South Africa such a rich place to be.

Behind the museum is a memorial square dedicated to the youth sacrifice in Soweto and the youth league of the African National Congress (ANC). This square looks down a long street lined with trees, each tree planted by a different world leader or celebrity. The trees planted by memorable names such as Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Alicia Keys, Don Hahn (producer of the Lion King), Desmond Tutu and a host of others.

The project manager wants this whole area to be developed into a big triangle “long walk to freedom.” One day a guest could walk all around the area to get a feel of the land and the people that make up the remarkable Soweto area.

Night had fallen by the time we left the Hector Peterson memorial. We got stuck in traffic for hours before we finally got back to our place. I sat up for hours despite the exhaustion from a long un-expected day. I couldn’t stop thinking of how foolishly afraid I was at the beginning of the day. Most of all, I was deeply inspired by the people of South Africa.

AYOBA!

Should Journalists Cite Material from Predatory Journals?

Worthy of citation?

by Robert Calin-Jageman and Jeffrey Beall

Society benefits from the results of scientific research in many ways. Scholarly research supports expert testimony in courts of law, medical research is translated into improvements in clinical care, and the media report on new and interesting research and how it may impact our lives.

So, what’s at stake when a media outlet cites information from a journal published by a predatory publisher?

This was the case recently when the Chronicle of Higher Education wrote a glowing summary of a research paper published in Psychology Research, a scholarly journal published by the questionable publisher David Publishing.

David Publishing is a Chinese outfit that purports to operate out of Southern California. Its poorly-run website is extremely slow and difficult to navigate. Also, its journals lack credible editorial boards and publish articles of dubious quality — it’s a vanity press. As of this writing, there is no editorial board listed for the journal.

One of the ironies of predatory journals is that they sometimes contain articles that seem sound. This occurs because some serious researchers are fooled into thinking the publisher is a high-quality one, or they don’t evaluate its quality sufficiently.

So, should journalists cite material from predatory journals? Should they pick out the potentially good from a sea of obvious bad? Or should journalists refrain entirely from reporting on research from predatory journals?

Complete embargo seems to be a wise choice for several reasons. First, it doesn’t seem that predatory journals conduct meaningful peer review for any of their articles. Thus, all their articles could include errors of analysis or interpretation that would have been corrected by expert reviewers. Is that really such a big deal? Probably. After all, even high quality open-access journals like PLos ONE reject about 30% of submissions. For the 70% that make it through it’s usually with substantial improvement through feedback and revision. Thus, even though some articles in a predatory journal can seem sound, it is probably best to consider their real quality an unknown. Given this, journalists would probably be better off avoiding predatory journals in favor of the abundance of true peer-reviewed research reported each week.

Another reason for the popular press to completely avoid predatory journals is to keep from adding fuel to the fire.

Secondary coverage can only add to the veneer of credibility that predatory journals seek to manufacture, enabling them to dupe even more hapless victims.

It’s surprising to see a respected source like the Chronicle being sloppy enough with sourcing to report on an article from a predatory journal. It’s a stroke of good luck for the journal, but their gain may be the Chronicle’s loss.

There is also the increasing problem of articles in high-quality journals citing research published in predatory journals, and we hope to study this more in the coming year.

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

Comments:

Shawn says:

January 8, 2013 at 1:04 PM

Any type of embargo is not practical. First, there is no standard that you can enact to determine which publication is vanity press. You can define vanity press as “Pay to publish,” but it is very difficult to prove the lack of peer review and/or editorial boards. Second, while there are clear cut examples, the trend is definitely heading toward heavily disguised operations. Even seasoned serials professionals have a hard time figuring these publishers/publications out sometimes. Finally, a real journalist that did his/her homework would have also cited the fact that the publisher is based in China and have been labelled as a vanity press.

I think that’s the proper way to handle these types of situation.

Bob Calin-Jageman says:

January 22, 2013 at 9:02 AM

You guys are giving journalists way too much credit. It’s not that they are being fooled by predatory publishers. It’s that they don’t care if the sources is disreputable.

When I contacted the journalist who wrote up the CHE story, he was fully aware the source was predatory. But, he replied, in this case the primary authors had told him there was peer review, so he felt it was fine.

I contacted one of the senior editors at CHE to ask about this. He concurred. He felt that the poor quality of the journal doesn’t reflect on the specific article at all, that this would be spreading guilt by association. He argued that there policy is simply to quote and cite the sources, which they had did in this case. The fact that the journal had no editorial board to conduct the claimed peer review did not impress him. The fact that the authors of the primary paper would no longer respond to emails about it didn’t worry him.

So – journalists aren’t getting tripped up. They just simply don’t have a stake in this fight–a source is a source is a source for them. I think that’s what should change–fooled is fine, but they really shouldn’t knowingly use a predatory journal article as a source.

Bob Calin-Jageman says:

January 22, 2013 at 9:05 AM

p.s. here is a bit of my correspondence with CHE:

I asked them:
Does the CHE article meet your standards for journalism? Does it violate principles of journalistic norms, such as “don’t cite dubious sources” or “check your sources”? It is *this* issue which I believe deserves comment and response.

I would argue, as I did in the letter, that a journal with no academic process transmits its dubious status to all its articles. Therefore, it is not good journalistic practice to rely on articles from such sources. If CHE agrees, I would urge you to flag, amend, or retract the article for falling below CHE’s standards for quality. If CHE disagrees, I’d like to know why (e.g. perhaps CHE journalists are sufficiently astute to judge the scientific quality of an article regardless of its context).

And CHE editor Lawrence Biemiller replied:

I’m not the final arbiter of our journalistic standards, but my gut feeling—as a 32-year employee of the paper—is that yes, this article meets our standards. It reports accurately on credible research of interest to our readers. The fact that this research was published in a journal of questionable integrity may mean it’s time for a follow-up article on predatory journals, but I don’t myself accept your blanket guilt-by-assocation approach. As our earlier article on such journals noted, legitimate, well-intentioned scholars are being taken in by these journals, but I don’t think that means we have to ignore all their research. I know Dan and his editor, Sara Hebel, have talked over your points and don’t see that this article requires the retraction you sought.

As for not quoting dubious sources, any journalist tries to do that, but it’s a slippery slope. I myself have been having trouble believing anything that has come out of the mouth of the Speaker of the House of Representatives about the fiscal cliff, but I have a number of friends who are equally suspicious—far more suspicious, actually—of anything they believe the president has said about guns. So where does that leave us?

—Lawrence Biemiller

Ogwo says:

January 9, 2013 at 2:25 PM

I agree entirely with Shawn.

Robin Hood says:

January 12, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Exactly Shawn. That is why the scientific community is now in serious trouble, I believe. Journalism and scientific journalism is, in my opinion, already so biased and opinionated, that it actually doesn’t matter to the academic community. If we look at main-stream US “journalism”, it is evident that each one is pushing for a socio-political agenda. So, scientists should always be suspicious of journalism overall, because most journalists are not scientists and thus have no understanding, in fact, of how it works. The underlying risks that Jeff is referring to are, however, more important for scientists. And allow me to explain using an example. Imagine a scientist does a search on Google or Yahoo for a toic, e.g. salmon eggs. Maybe some OA PDFs appear in the first 2-3 pages of Yahoo or Google, and, because the scientist is too lazy, or too irresponsible to conduct a thorough search on “respected” data-bases, or maybe because the scientist is unaware of the predatory nature of many OA operations, that predatory paper on salmon eggs slips into the reference list of a paper that might be eventually published by a non-predatory publisher. Suddenly, you have a situation where valid publishers, at least those that abide by fairly well established industry codes, are actually supporting predatory OA publishers by “validating” them in reference lists. Thisis the immediate imapct. The mid-term impact which is now becoming evident over 2006-2013, is that papers from predatory publishers can, in the case of one publisher, now start to account for as much as 15% of all references in reference lists (suing Jeff’s lists as the industry standard). Most of these predators have a long-term vision, and if you and others haven’t figured this out yet, then you will never figure it out. Predators are seeking, as a long-term goal, to be massively referenced in as many journals as possible. Then, along comes Thomson Reuters’ spiders and automatic bots, which are simply robots that scour the internet and data-bases in search of key-words, and develop an Impact Factor based on number of times a journal is referenced. Before you know it, clearly predatory publishers, with unqualified editor boards, fraudulent actions, rubbish and non-sensical papers and no scientific quality, quality control or transparency, suddenly appear with an Impact Factor. This is, in the fraudster’s eyes, the ultimate validation. And we, the scientific community, give it to them on a platter. Thus, the first thing that needs to take place is EXACTLY an embargo on clear predators, and their papers should be BANNED from being included in reference lists of valid journals. Of course, many “valid” publishers and journals are themselves predators, in different ways, so soon it will be difficult to differentiate valid from invalid predators, and OA from print predators. Science is in crisis, no doubt. But radical measures like banning and embargos might be the only way to force the hands of fraudsters who only have one objective in mind: profit (by hook or by crook).

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