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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.”

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.

(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.

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