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    • CommentRowNumber1.
    • CommentAuthorMike Usher
    • CommentTimeJul 8th 2012
    • (edited Jul 8th 2012)

    As reported here, the judgment in the libel claim of Mohamed el Naschie (the notorious Chaos Solitons & Fractals editor) against Nature Publishing Group has come down, in favor of Nature.

    The 91 page judgment makes for some interesting reading. One surprising-to-me fact which emerged from the discovery process (see the text starting on p. 46) is that Elsevier began to have serious concerns about el Naschie in 2006 and served him notice of termination in June 2007 (effective 12 months later due to contract constraints). If I’m not mistaken, the (now-deleted) blog post by John Baez that made el Naschie internet-famous wasn’t until November 2008. I can’t tell from the judgment exactly how el Naschie remained on the masthead between June and November of 2008, though he appears to have made frequent entreaties for more time and/or threats of lawsuits against Elsevier.

    EDIT: Actually, on rereading I see that Paragraph 236 of the judgment clarifies this last point:

    Elsevier through Mr Tanke agreed [sic] a series of short extensions in order to try and agree the terms for handover of the journal with the Claimant, in the face of threats from the Claimant that he would resort to litigation.

    • CommentRowNumber2.
    • CommentAuthorRodMcGuire
    • CommentTimeJul 8th 2012

    The n-Café discussions that were pulled after el Naschie started issuing legal threats to American universities can be found archived at el Naschie Watch - your one stop source for everything el Naschie.

    El Naschie himself has issued threats to el Naschie Watch but because of (I believe) their location and lack of affiliation they have been unfazed by them

    • CommentRowNumber3.
    • CommentAuthorMark C. Wilson
    • CommentTimeJul 8th 2012

    It is interesting that a large corporation like Elsevier, which presumably has access to considerably more legal resources than the plaintiff, did not just terminate his contract summarily and welcome the publicity when he sued them for wrongful dismissal. Is it the case that contracts with editors and job specifications are so vague that this couldn’t be done? Or is it that Elsevier didn’t really care about science and the entire ethical basis of the profession in which they have decided to play a part? Just think of the goodwill they would have obtained from the research community.

    • CommentRowNumber4.
    • CommentAuthorBruce Bartlett
    • CommentTimeJul 11th 2012
    This is a watershed day.