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

Pattern Recognition in Physics-2

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.”

Pattern Recognition in Physics-3

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.

Pattern Recognition in Physics-4

Pattern Recognition in Physics-5

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.

The journal’s cover page.

34 Responses to Recognizing a Pattern of Problems in “Pattern Recognition in Physics”

  1. Philip Odfer says:

    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.

  2. Samir Hachani says:

    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:

      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.

  3. Andrea says:

    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!

  4. […] One more  pattern of problems with that journal, Prof. Beall. […]

  5. Genaro japos says:

    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.

  6. […] One more  pattern of problems with that journal, Prof. Beall. […]

  7. 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.

  8. A Scientists says:

    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 ……….

  9. Scientist says:

    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………..

  10. Scientist says:

    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:

      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 “

    • Rev. Spaminator says:

      Maybe he’s Ask Dr. Science. :)

  11. Pattern Recognition says:

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

  12. Ahmed says:

    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

  13. A.Philip says:

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

  14. Michael says:

    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.”

  15. Brian says:

    Big Professor Scafetta has replied to Benestad Mistake,
    I think that Benestad is wrong………….

  16. […] But scholarly librarian Jeffrey Beall noticed some…patterns in the journal back in September: […]

  17. GuidoT says:

    “…. the special issue editors ultimately submitted their conclusions in which they “doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project” (Pattern Recogn. Phys., 1, 205–206, 2013)”. So what’s wrong in this statement? Are we back in Galileo’s times when doing research in cosmogenesis was considered heretical? The IPCC in its dogged defense of AGW is very similar to Cardinal Bellarmino: refusing evidence and pursuing skepticals at any cost.

  18. Eli Rabett says:

    A bit of context, Copernicus terminated PRP with extreme prejudice on Jan 16 2014 which accounts for the bimodal dates in the comment thread. The unique style of some of the earlier and later comments hints at a flock of sock puppets, but what they heck.

  19. jsam says:

    It’s amazing how many here defend pal review by false sceptics. It’s simple. The GWPF is rich. The can open their own journal. False sceptics don’t then need a flag of convenience. They can proudly fly the Jolly Roger and publish papers by professional dowsers and relativity deniers – by cranks for cranks.

  20. […] editor Ouadfeul in the very first paper the journal published, an article he himself co-authored. Recognizing a Pattern of Problems in “Pattern Recognition in Physics” | Scholarly Open A… I think this ranks with the denier scandals of the Oregon Petition, Soon & Bailiunas, and de […]

  21. […] But scholarly librarian Jeffrey Beall noticed some…patterns in the journal back in September July: […]

  22. […] July 2013, Scholarly Open Access, a watchdog blog written by Jeffrey Beall, a Colorado librarian, warned that Ouadfeul had few […]

  23. Philipe says:

    Jeffery, I don’t understund how is bad this situation, the physics is now judged by a librarian.
    You have the right to publish a predatory list of journals.

  24. Philipe says:

    The new web site of the journal is :

  25. Andrea says:

    bravo to PRP editor Nils Morner, he has published an editorial talking about the reality about PRP closure and IPCC
    Bravo Ouadfeul and Morner

  26. […] è stata spazzata via da uragani di ilarità la rivista che ospitava, tra capolavori di Nicola Scafetta per esempio, quello di Guido Travaglini, […]

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