Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thanks but...(2)

Another for the annals of useless invitations. It is not rare to receive publishing mill spam - usually from Hindawi, inviting me to publish my esteemed research in one of their obscure and unread journals - on payment of a publication fee, of course. I don't usually take too long pondering their generous offers, to put it politely.

Recently, I got one for a new journal "Natural Science" published by SCIRP, which I had not heard of. Helpfully, their email included a list of current contents. One article in particular caught my attention: On the recovery from the Little Ice Age, by Akasofu.

I think that tells me everything I need to know about their standards of peer review... (more digging uncovers that in fact the organisation seems to have form).


Marco said...

The same organisation (different journal, though) also has published articles by Douglass et al and Soares et al.
(first two articles).

J Bowers said...

Scientific Research Publishing is being discussed at JREF. Who is Wang Hui?

James Annan said...

Thanks for those refs - the second is particularly interesting...

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
skanky said...

You've probably seen this, but just in case:

John L said...

As a non-scientist, those arguments like "it is just a recovery from the little ice age" have always puzzled me.

You measure an increased temperature during a period and then explain it by that the temperature is increasing from a lower level.

Well, isn't that cheating? I thought you had to sum up a couple of independently proven factors to qualify as an "explanation".

But what does little me know, Akasofu is a professor.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hank Roberts said...


"Strange academic journals: Scam?

We have discovered what may be the world’s strangest collection of academic journals. Published by a shadowy entity, it suggests — at first glance, anyway — some kind of scam. But is there a scam, or not? If there is, what’s the point of it? If there’s not, same question. Maybe you can help us find the answers.

One journal is named Psychology. All its articles have been previously published elsewhere, some almost a decade ago — but nowhere is that mentioned...."

Hat tip to John Mashey:

Unknown said...

When I posted long comments (concatenations of 2 or 3 comments which eventually appeared by my retries), the Blogger software said that it accepted them, but apprarently it discarded them after that. I empirically learned how long an acceptable comment can be.

James Annan said...


Thanks for the comments. Actually it was blogger's stupid spam filter. When it flags a comment as spam, it still emails it to me as if it has been published normally. So I saw your comment first time, and had no idea I had to check the spam trap.

I can't even turn off the spam trap...

Unknown said...

Akasofu was a geophysicist though not a climate scientist. He was a successful director of the International Arctic Research Center so the Center put his name to its building after his retirement.

He said that Alaska has warmed, but he was skeptic about the cause. According to my senior colleagues, it was likely to be tactic to get funding to IARC. His AGW-skepticism then was at a level tolerable by AGW researchers.

Then he was so immersed to discourses of politicians and lobbyists of Washington DC to become a denier of AGW and even a voluntary propagandist to Japanese politicians. (This part is just my guess.)

Unknown said...

Sorry for unfortunte removals both by the blog administrator and the author resulted in noting remaining.

This is the "final" version of my previous comment(s).

SCIRP (Scientific Research Publishing) shows, in its "About Us" page, a P.O. Box in Irvine, California, USA as its address. I vaguely remember that I saw its street address somewhere, but I cannot locate it again. If my memory is correct, they have at least an office in the USA. But "whois" search of "" shows that their web site is registered in 2008 by a person "Wang hui" affiliated with "Wuhan da xue gao ke ji yan jiu yu fa zhan", which is probably "Wuhan University High Technology Research and Development".

SCIRP's web page of the International Journal of Geosciences says that its Editor in Chief is "Prof. Shuanggen Jin, University of Texas, USA". I cannot find this name at the web site of the Univ. of Texas. IJG's web site has some more information about Jin which suggests that he is an expert of GPS.

SCIRP has another journal "Positioning" ( ). The page of its editorial board shows Jin as one of the members (not chief), and his affiliation as "Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, CAS, China". The web site of Shanghai Observatory (which belongs to Chinese Academy of Sciences) does list Jin as one of its staff scientists ( ). Also links to the web site of Jin's research group. (Jin's C.V. shows that he took B.Sc. at Wuhan University. So I guess that he has some personal acquaintance with the person who organized SCIRP.)

So it appears that the editor-in-chief of IJG is a real scientist. But SCIRP is slow in updating web site with information they already have. I think the slowness a grave problem since SCIRP does not show the personal name of the representative of the publisher so that the credibility crucially depends on the editors.

I have not yet examined "Natural Science" except Akasofu's paper. There is no person I know of in the list of the Editorial Board.

The logic of Akasofu's paper is the same as what he has written in Japanese books. It is based on a simple impression that the trend of temperature seems to be a linear increase since about 1800. He thinks that there must be a single cause to this seemingly a single
phenomenon, and that it must not be enhanced CO2 greenhouse effect since it was negligible in early 19th Century. He suggests that the cause is likely to be solar, but he does not specify mechanisms.

James Annan said...

Sorry for unfortunte removals both by the blog administrator and the author resulted in noting remaining.


And your full version went back in the spam trap again, but this time I thought to check and have rescued it!

Unknown said...

My long comment included a URL of SCIRP. It is reasonable for a spam detector to take it likely to be a spam source. (Either because of spam-like messages from SCIRP itself, or because of AGW-denial echo chambers propagating links to papers of Akasofu, Soares and Douglass...)

John Mashey said...

A few years ago, I'd written a detailed critique of one of Akasofu's climate papers (not published, just his website, very poor).

Sadly, it was among the posts at Open Mind that disappeared later.
the comments at RC still hold, I think:

"ALWAYS be very careful when a well-published (100s of articles in this case) scientist:

a) Retires, then
b) Starts opining strongly about a different topic,
c) Directly contradicting a large body of established science
d) Making simple mistakes
e) And does it in OpEds, newspaper interviews, web pages, but NOT in peer-reviewed literature, even though they know the ropes well there."

Actually, I think Akasofu is a sad case, in that he seems to have done good work on auroras over many decades.

EliRabett said...

Yes, Eli had a go round with the Blogger Spam trap. It appears to be trainable tho, so after a few go rounds not much gets caught.

FWIW, Gerhard Kramm is the son of Akasofu with a vanity Wiki page If that guy has one, Ethon wants back in

Anonymous said...

Concerning the cold in your house, Japanese like to be close to nature.

They also like to keep their tea water constantly warm in an electric thermos (with timer).