18.695 more on possibly dubious conferences

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2005 10:56:40 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 695.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Sat, 09 Apr 2005 10:42:47 +0100
         From: Matthew Zimmerman <mz34_at_nyu.edu>
         Subject: Question regarding your conference?

>From: Nagib Callaos <ncallaos_at_att.net>
>Date: April 5, 2005 11:31:43 PM EDT
>To: Jamie Puryear <jpuryear_at_mail.utexas.edu>
>Cc: mz34_at_nyu.edu, marty_at_FSU.EDU, blesso_at_mail.utexas.edu
>>Reply-To: Nagib Callaos <ncallaos_at_att.net>
>Dear Mr. Jamie Puryear
>Following a suggestion and an advice given by Professor Lesso, I am making=
>forward of the e-mail I sent him with regards to the enquiry that has been
>done with regards to the conferences we have been organizing.
>Professor Nagib Callaos
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Nagib Callaos" <ncallaos_at_att.net>
>To: <blesso_at_mail.utexas.edu>; "Catherine Polito" <cpolito_at_mail.utexas.edu>
>Sent: Tuesday, April 05, 2005 12:59 AM
>Subject: Fw: FW: Question regarding your conference?
>Dear Prof. Lesso,
>I learned about this e-mail few days ago. Since then I was thinking if I
>should answer this kind of e-mails. Last time we had this kind of attack=
>about 6-7 years ago from a university professor in Chile, and some of his
>colleagues in Australia. Since then I knew we had adversaries that may
>became "enemies" in some moment, and this is why I mentioned this
>possibility to Cath in one of our meetings before signing the agreement for
>CCCT 2004. This does not mean that the person who originated the first of
>the e-mails chain you sent me is one of them. I actually think he is acting
>with good intentions, but he did not give me the opportunity to give him an
>explanation before publishing his e-mail. I just would have hoped he would
>have contacted me, so he could have had more information before generating=
>judgment. But, it is Ok, because I know we are in a very legitimate track.
>The professor from the Australian university did not ask me, either, for=
>kind of explanation before going on his web page. I knew about his page for
>about 2 years, and since then I supported stoically the pain of no question
>being done to me, and finding no way that any scholar can have information
>from both perspectives as it is supposed to be, even in journalism, let
>alone in the academic domain.
>Let me see if I can answer the questions being raised or suggested by the
>e-mail, starting with the easiest ones:
>1. We do charge for extra-pages beyond the limit of six pages. This is
>the usual thing in most conferences, and we are making it explicit from the
>beginning in our web sites and call for papers.
>2. IIIS has existed as a non-profit organization based in Venezuela
>since the beginning of ISAS and WMSCI conferences. This because the
>conferences originated in Venezuela and because it was the way we achieved
>the objective of self-financed conferences after several years of losses
>(some of them were huge losses). Venezuelan salaries are what making the
>conference organization financially feasible.
>3. They doubt the very existence of our conferences, but they are real
>as anyone who went to the conferences would know. The number of published
>papers in the proceedings is a real one and all of them were sent, in the
>last 5 years, to The Institute of Scientific Information: ISI (for their
>inclusion in the respective databases). Few days ago I received a letter
>from Thomson Scientific informing us that all 18 volumes of SCI 2004 were
>included in three of their product: 1) Index to Scientific & Technical
>Proceedings=AE (ISTP=AE/ISI Proceedings); 2) Index to Scientific &=
>Proceedings=AE (ISTP=AE CDROM/ISI Proceedings); and 3) Current content
>Proceedings - Engineering & Physical Sciences. They have been including in
>their databases products the proceedings of all our conferences, but those
>related to the Ibero-American ones, because they are in Spanish and
>Portuguese, and they include just proceedings in the English language. I
>can send the approximately 40 volumes (about 450 each, in average) of the
>2004 conferences to any place any one want me to do it.
>4. Regarding accepting some bogus papers, this might have happened,
>a. We are being supported by reviewers all around the world, but we
>have no means, up to the present, of evaluating these reviewers.
>b. Last year we had (I kept a copy of them in my personal file) about
>10,000 reviews, so it is possible that three of them may have gone=
>by the reviewers. These three papers represent about 0.03%.
>c. In the Call for Papers of our conferences, included in the
>respective Web Sites, we have been stating that:
>"Submitted papers will be sent to reviewers. The best 10% of the papers,
>according to the reviewers, will be published in JSCI Journal. Invited,
>non-peer reviewed papers, might also be accepted considering the CV of the
>author(s). Some of these invited papers, if chosen by the session chair as
>the best paper of the session, might also be published by JSCI Journal,
>because the 30% of sessions best papers will also be published in the
>journal. All accepted papers, which should not exceed six single-spaced
>typed pages, will be published by means of paper and electronic
>So, we are making the commitment to send submitted papers to reviewers, but
>we cannot assure that the reviewers will make their reviews on time,=
>this is not in our hands. We did say that the best 10% will go to the
>Journal (JSCI) publication, and we are fulfilling this commitment. As you
>most scholars know, and as it has been repetitively written in specialized
>books and articles on the subject, the reviewing process is formal for
>journal but non-formal, or informal for conference proceedings, because the
>timeliness of the proceedings publications and because they represent a
>place to publish before sending a paper to a Journal. This why a variety of
>this informality is found in conferences: from the acceptations based just
>on very short abstract (50 words,) to acceptations based on 100-words
>abstracts, to extended abstract, to a mixture of abstract, extended=
>and full papers draft, as it is the case of our conferences. And we have
>been saying so, explicitly and clearly, in our conferences' call for papers
>and web sites. We never said that all our papers acceptance are based on
>100% formal reviewing, although we send the submitted papers to at least 3
>reviewers. I can prove that. But, when the reviewers of a paper don't make
>the review on time, before the acceptance deadline, and we have to make a
>decision about accepting or refusing the paper, we may accept it, but we
>never say that it was accepted and our acceptance was based on the papers
>review. Now, we are making it explicit for the non-reviewed acceptances,
>that they are been done on a non-reviewing base, so the entire
>responsibility of the paper's content belong to the author(s) of the
>non-reviewed. If you check the web you find many conferences accepting
>reviewed and non-reviewed papers. The percentage of the non-reviewed papers
>in our conferences has been lately about 10%-15%. Various reasoning can be
>found in the specialized literature on the subject, explaining why
>non-reviewed papers might, and even should, accepted. Robin and Burke=
>Peer review in medical journals. 91(2), 252-255), for example, affirm with
>regards to journal, that "Editors should reserve space for articles.that
>receive poor review.they should publish unreviewed material..." (In A. C.
>Weller, 2001, Editorial Peer Review, Its Strength and weaknesses, p.317).
>It was established for the Database PubMed Central (following suggestion
>made by Harold Varmus, then Director of the National Institute of Health:
>NIH) that "the non-peer-reviewed reports will also enter PubMed
>Central.reports may never be submitted to a Journal for a traditional peer
>review, yet will be deposited in PubMed Central." (Weller, 2001, Editorial
>Peer Review, Its Strength and weaknesses, p.320). Gordon (1978, Optional
>published refereeing. Physics Today, 31(10), 81) championed the idea of
>adopting an optional published refereeing where "the publication of almost
>everything with be guaranteed with the requirement that referees' comments
>be published along with the articles." (Weller, 2001, Editorial Peer=
>Its Strength and weaknesses, p.317). These are few examples with regards to
>what it is supposed to be the most formal reviewing, which is the journals'
>one. Being almost unanimously accepted that conferences reviewing are
>informal or non-formal because the inherent time restrictions and the
>timeliness objective of these kinds of publications, then it is a=
>and academically respectful the way we are conducting our reviewing=
>I am willing to work this with more details and supported with more
>references, if it is necessary.
>This does not mean that we will not keep trying for a constant and
>continuous improvement as we have been doing since 1981. As you remember,=
>the UNESCO's sponsored World Conference on Systems, we accepted papers=
>only on very short abstracts (i.e. no full paper reviewing at all) and
>UNESCO, and United Nations' World Federation of Engineering Organizations
>(WFEO), and even IEEE, consider it a legitimate way of conference
>organization. As you can also remember we won the sponsorship of the WFEO=
>a voting process of their general Annual Meeting, where representatives of
>all United Nations' countries were present. Since then we have been
>intensifying continuously the reviewing process. Last year we had more than
>10,000 reviews done.
>In the specific and the special case of CCCT 2004 we did not accept any
>paper that did not have at least one review accepting it for its
>presentation. The same thing we are doing for CCCT 2005. But, in WMSCI we
>accepted a decreasing percentage of non-reviewed papers. I estimate that
>this percentage was about 10%-15% last year, most of which were related to
>invited papers, position papers, case studies, etc. All these papers (other
>than research papers) have being been announced in all our call for papers
>and all our conferences web sites. By definition an invited paper or an
>invited talk is a non-reviewed one. Likewise with position papers, case
>studies, reports etc., all of which have been always announced explicitly=
>us. Some scholars, probably with good intentions, are judging us according
>parameters that belong to the kind of papers that are on part of our
>conferences, and to the kind of formal reviewing that characterize=
>which is not the case of conference proceedings.
>Best Regard,
>Nagib Callaos
Received on Sat Apr 09 2005 - 06:06:20 EDT

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