Those who take an interest in the world of scholarly communication may be aware of the controversy that has been swirling around the Elsevier journal Chaos, Solitons & Fractals (CS&F), and its Editor-in-Chief M. S. El Naschie.
An Elsevier spokesperson informed me today that El Naschie plans to step down as Editor-in-Chief, and his retirement will be announced in the first issue of CS&F in 2009. "[A]s a former editor El Naschie will no longer be involved in editorial decision making for the journal," the Elsevier spokesperson commented.
I hope to speak in more depth to someone at Elsevier in the near future.
Update on Thursday 27th: Yesterday I sent a list of questions to the CS&F email address asking M.S. El Naschie to comment. I received a reply signed by someone called C. Cole saying that the questions were extremely easy to answer, but that they would be sent to the editorial board.
When Elsevier subsequently informed me that M. S. El Naschie would be retiring in the New Year I emailed the CS&F account again. C. Cole replied: "Elsevier is a large organization. Are you sure of this information or is it hearsay or rumour you have just picked up from somewhere as many other rumours which some have been intentionally spreading?"
I replied today that I had received the information in writing [email] from Elsevier, and requested C. Cole if he could ask M. S. El Naschie to confirm that he will be retiring. I also asked if he could answer the questions I sent yesterday, and whether it would be possible to speak to M. S. El Naschie by telephone. I have yet to receive a reply.
Nature has published an article about M. S. El Naschie.
Update 16th March 2010: CS&F has been relaunched with two new co-editors-in-chief, a new editorial board and refined aims and scope.