Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chaos, Solitons & Fractals: Update

Those following events at the Elsevier journal Chaos, Solitons & Fractals (CS&F) will know that last November Elsevier announced that the founding editor-in-chief M. S. El Naschie was set to retire, and that this would be formally confirmed in the first issue of 2009. A note to that effect was subsequently also posted on the CS&F web site.

What Elsevier didn't say, however, was when the first issue of 2009 would appear. As January came and went, and then February arrived, there has been growing speculation over what might be happening behind the scenes.

But it appears that the journal may soon be back on track: Last Friday, Elsevier spokesperson Shira Tabachnikoff emailed me to say: "the journal manager for Chaos has just informed me that the first issue of 2009 is expected to be out electronically on February 20th and the paper version on March 10th."

Frustratingly, Tabachnikoff did not include the name of a new editor in her message, and I have yet to receive a reply to my email requesting more information.

With luck all will be revealed on Friday.


Further update (21st February 2009):

CS&F's first issue of 2009 did not appear yesterday as anticipated. At the end of the day I contacted Elsevier's Shira Tabachnikoff, who said that she would look into it and hope to update me on Monday.

Meanwhile, the journal's Articles in Press page indicates that there are now 949 papers waiting to be published. Clearly that is a substantial backlog.

And another update (November 17th) is available here.

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.


stefan said...

The January 15, 2009 issue of CS&F is out now at ScienceDirect. The whole content of the issue seems to be freely avaible at the moment. There is a brief "Publisher's Note" saying:

The Founding Editor for Chaos, Solitons and Fractals Dr El Naschie has retired as Editor-in-Chief. The publisher will work with the editorial board and other advisors to identify a new editor. This is likely to also lead to revision of the aims and scope of the journal, as well as the editorial policies and submission arrangements. Prospective authors can keep informed of the progress on this through the journal’s homepage.

Richard Poynder said...

Thanks for this update Stefan. See also my blog post of 27th February here.

It would appear that the debate is now moving on to the question of whether, and for how long, a peer-reviewed journal can operate without an editor-in-chief.