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Retraction Watch

Tracking retractions as a window into the scientific process

Linguistics retraction fails to speak clearly

with 9 comments

ccse logoThe Canadian Center of Science and Education has put out a truly useless retraction for a paper published in June 2010 in their journal English Language Teaching.

Here’s the notice for “A Solution to Plato’s Problem: Faculty of Language as A Complex Non-Linear System”:

The editorial board announced this article has been retracted on August 18, 2010.

If you have any further question, please contact us at: elt@ccsenet.org

So we tried that email. We had a very odd back and forth with editorial assistant Gavin Yu, who responded to a request for more details with the following:

The author has retracted the article in 2010, I am sorry that there is a mistake in the announcement, the date should be August 18, 2010.

We’ve pointed out that there was no mistake, since he was just confirming what the notice said, and asked for details that would bring the journal into line with the retraction guidelines published by the Committee for Publication Ethics. We also reached out to the author, and will report back if we find out more.

In the meantime, we’re hanging tight in Plato’s Cave.

Hat tip: Rolf Degen.

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Written by Cat Ferguson

August 19, 2014 at 12:12 pm

9 Responses

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  1. This publisher (along with its three other imprints, RedFame Publishing, Sciedu Press and Macrothink Institute) have been on my list for a long time. It is basically a one-man operation, and I strongly recommend that scholars not submit papers to its many journals. The poor communication experience and the lack of adherence to established scholarly publishing standards are merely the tip of the iceberg in terms of this publisher’s many significantweaknesses.

    Jeffrey Beall

    August 19, 2014 at 12:20 pm

  2. In my study of linguistics and philosophy, one word seems to cover much scholarly publishing
    and other “high level” activity:


    Ed Goodwin

    August 19, 2014 at 1:41 pm

  3. Essentially, “This paper has been retracted because reasons.”


    August 19, 2014 at 4:28 pm

  4. But was it really in 2010 (then why showing here only now) or was it in practice retracted just yesterday, which would make more temporal sense?


    August 19, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    • The PDF file with the retraction notice is dated August 9, 2014. I’m sure they meant to say “this article will have been retracted on August 18, 2010″.

      Dan Riley

      August 20, 2014 at 10:14 am

  5. When I complained to the editor that two papers, published in a CCSE journal, did not have novel content, the editor disclaimed all knowledge of the reviewing procedure. The CCSE person (in Canada, but operating on Chinese time) I contacted asked me to send a Letter to the Editor for publication, but refused to tell me the name of the Associate Editor who supposedly shepherded the review processes.


    August 19, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    • Could you please indicate clearly the two problematic papers and why you believe the content is not novel. Please provide the web-links. By publically listing such problematic papers, a public record will remain and may, one day, be explored by other critics in order to correct the literature.


      August 20, 2014 at 1:51 pm

  6. I agree with Jeffrey Beall here. In 2012, serious criticisms of the operation of one of CSSE’s journals JPS (http://ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/jps/) saw the replacement, renewal or substitution of about 80% of the editor board (based on my assessment between the June and August editor board lists posted on that web-page). This indicates that in theory, the pool of scientists is large enough to be replaced and to sustain the practices of this, and other, publishers. One can thus effectively state that scientists are in part to blame for the existence of such publishers, since they sustain them with papers and support them with editorial positions and OA fees. This problem is not restricted to CSSE, of course.


    August 21, 2014 at 4:46 pm

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