Editor of scientific journal sues Nature

Scientific journal Nature is being sued for libel by the former editor of another science journal.

Professor Mohamed El Naschie is demanding damages from Nature and journalist Quirin Schiermeier over a story headed “Self-publishing editor set to retire”.

The story, which appeared in November 2008, was accompanied by a photo captioned “Apparent misuse of editorial privileges has sparked calls for a clearer peer-review process across journals.”

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El Naschie, who was editor-in-chief of the Elsevier-owned Chaos, Solitons and Fractals journal for seventeen years, claims the story was defamatory.

According to a writ filed with the High Court by legal firm Collyer Bristow, El Naschie claims the story alleges he used his editorial privilege to self-publish numerous papers he’d written, which would not have been published elsewhere as they were of poor quality and had received no peer review.

El Naschie claims his reputation has been seriously damaged and that he has suffered considerable hurt, distress and embarrassment as a result of the article.

He claims Nature Publishing Group and Schiermeier made no proper effort to contact him or to give him a chance to respond to the serious allegations and that as a direct result of the story his service contracts with the King Saud University of Saudi Arabia were frozen, and regular invitations to lecture in the Middle East dried up.

He is claiming aggravated damages as the story remained on Nature’s website until March. He is also seeking an injunction banning repetition of the allegations at the centre of his claim.

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