Posts Tagged ‘Elsevier’

Maths paper “which makes no sense mathematically” first published and then retracted

December 6, 2012

Acharya Sennimalai Kalimuthu strikes again! And Elsevier as publishers do look like idiots.

Back in April I posted about a paper by Kalimuthu which was first published in Computers & Mathematics with Applications and then retracted because it “lacked scientific content”.

This time he managed to get a paper published in Applied Mathematics Letters

For the origin of new geometry, by S. Kalimuthu, 2/394, Kanjampatti P.O., Pollachi Via, Tamil Nadu 642003, India. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aml.2010.08.006,

 He has 12 references – all self-citations. The paper has now been retracted because it “makes no sense mathematically”. The title itself should have been a give-away but the paper was published in December 2010 and it has taken 2 years to be retracted.

This paper does not meet the minimum research and mathematical standards of Applied Mathematics Letters; for example, some of this paper’s constructions and arguments make no sense mathematically. Though handled by the previous editorial office, the available records lead us to believe its publication was the result of an administrative oversight and apologies are offered to readers of the journal that this was not detected earlier.

In both cases Elsevier was the unfortunate publisher. This does not say much for the “peer-review” process at Elsevier which allowed such rubbish to be published. First I wondered if Kalimuthu might be an unrecognised genius until I read his two papers. You do not need to be an advanced mathematician to appreciate the absurdities. His two papers are

Sivasubramanian and Kalimuthu

kalimuthu 2

After the 5th reading of his second paper I managed to figure out the central claim:

Our constructions and proofs are consistent. We have not introduced any new hypothesis in this work. . ….. But we have pointed out in the abstract that the fifth Euclidean postulate problem is one of the most famous mathematical impossibilities. So, although our finding is consistent, it poses a very serious question about the foundations of geometry.

… we have obtained a challenging result, namely the smaller side of triangle AHJ is equal to the larger side BC of triangle ABC. This is a problematic problem.

Further studies will certainly unlock this mathematical mystery.

No doubt the further studies will be first published and then retracted by Elsevier.

Retraction Watch covers the story and actually took the time to write to Kalimuthu for his comments on the retraction. His reply will surely go down as a classic:

“Please and please note that I do NOT agree with retraction of this relevant paper.Can you tell me WHAT IS THE FLAW? AND WHERE IS THE FLAW? A result is a result, A result is a result, A result is a result, and A result is a result,.Let us recall what Einstein told about simplicity: IF YOU CAN NOT PUT YOUR IDEA IN SIMPLE, IT SHOWS THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW THE SUBJECT. Who is expert? We are all so called experts. Only God is expert. I am going to re write this particular paper in 20 long pages and get published. Kindly note that papers rejected by referees and editors have won the NOBEL PRIZE.”

But what on earth was Elsevier playing at to publish such drivel.

Once was bad enough but twice???

Either Kalimuthu has some kind of genius in being able to get papers without scientific content and which make no mathematical sense published or the Elsevier peer-review process is a farce.

Science and advocacy do not mix (the “Greenpeace syndrome”?)

December 4, 2012

It is not the first time that “activists” have turned to dubious and manipulated science to further their cause. And it will not be the last. The peer-review process which is supposed to catch this kind of politically motivated pseudoscience is often not capable of doing so – and certainly not when the purported science is presented in a stage manged  PR exercise. Anything published by an advocacy group may – sometimes – contain some science but – and it should be axiomatic – no advocacy report is ever science.

In this case a “scientist” – Gilles-Eric Seralini – who is also a well-known activist campaigning against GM crops managed to get the reputed Elsevier Food and Chemical Toxicology journal to publish some highly dubious results that genetically modified corn caused tumors in rats. Seralini is also known for making up honors or paying for them to be awarded to himself! Perhaps this should be called the “Greenpeace syndrome”. Greenpeace is not averse either to making up science to further their political goals. (In fact Greenpeace just today published another apparently independent study in favour of wind power but which they had themselves commissioned!)

Reuters reports today that

(Reuters) – The publisher of a much-criticized study suggesting genetically modified corn caused tumors in rats has come under heavy pressure from scientists to retract the paper and explain why it was ever printed.

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Mathematics mayhem – paper proving the impossible to be possible retracted for lack of “scientific content”

April 17, 2012

This is hilarious but it does make the Dr.Mahalingam College of Engineering & Technology, Pollachi, Tamil Nadu look ridiculous.  This paper was accepted for publication by Elsevier and has now been retracted by the publishers for not containing any scientific content. It seems that the authors have applied a computer program to a “problematic problem” and have proved a 4 300 year old “impossible proposition to be possible” !

“Computer application in mathematics” [Comput. Math. Appl. 59 (1) (2009) 296–297], by M. Sivasubramanian and S. Kalimuthu, Department of Mathematics, Dr. Mahalingam College of Engineering and Technology, Pollachi, Tamilnadu-642003, India

The paper is here : Sivasubramanian and Kalimuthu

But while the paper itself is remarkably short and is just a nonsense paper, it does not say very much for Elsevier’s editorial acumen or for its peer-review process. Perhaps this journal should be retracted for lack of editorial content? Timothy Gowers will surely get more support for his Elsevier boycott in the UK.

Retraction Watch has the full story:

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