Is STOTEN & ATM ENV Editorial Review Scientifically Compromised or Editors are Negotiated?

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Dr. Ramya Sunder Raman, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal has published recently on 2012 aerosol of Bhopal There are end number of frivolous data and objectionable interpretation which are neither supported by own data nor by literature. This paper presents lots of numbers with no scientific implications.

1. Correlation among parameters were established, but data gaps ~32; 172 vs. 140.

2. σ ∝ 1/PM2.5 reported, while no such correlation exists

3. α ∝ SSA during June-July  reported, while these are error bars of SSA. Almost equal amplitude SSA peaks during January-March and September-October showing no correlation with α are concluded as exceptions/artifacts

4. SSA ∝ 1/HI is reported, while positive correlation throughout the year except one peak in June-July

5. November-December aerosols are combustion-rich from Indo-Gangetic plain, while wind direction was ~180° (south)

6. April aerosols are dust from Thar Desert in Rajasthan, while wind direction was ~270 (west)

7. Smooth day time optical properties variations compared to night time reported, while there exists no such differences!!!

8. All optical parameters well correlation with each other is proposed, while there exists no correlation!!!

There are numerous such fraudulent arbitrary conclusions in the text which are not supported by research data, like absorbing aerosols from wind direction, temperature etc. with no literature support, correlation between humidity & PM2.5, correlation of PM2.5 with seasonal variations of βSCAT and βABS at 550 nm etc. The comments were submitted for a discussion. Two reviewers submitted there review (one being the author itself).

Reviewer 1- The language in this correspondence is largely unintelligible … lack of understanding of atmospheric science

Reviewer 2- admitted that some of the points highlighted by Paikaray are valid, give the impression of some personal conflict, rather than a scientific debate on some scientific issue of interest.

MOST IMPORTANTLY both the reviewers could not respond on the comments. Unfortunately editor found the reviewers did not find the comments are scientific.

An appeal was made to the editor for an unbiased review by professionals as both the reviewers could not respond scientifically and none of the comments were addressed by both. Editor remained silent forever without any response; too embarrassing to notice so from a Elsevier editor. A new modified submission was made after incorporating reviewer and editor comments. The same was undergone for review most likely to the same set of reviewers. This time also no response on the actual content of the comments scientifically, rather the reviewers even abused harshly for the comments.

Reviewer 1 - Although the language of the paper has improved significantly, the issues raised about spatial scaling of winds etc still apply.

Reviewer 2 - The comments do not add to the body of scientific knowledge… The author of these comments is wasting the time of the Editor and reviewers


The authors published same research data of 2012 again in Atmospheric Environment ... This submission was so smartly handled that the review completed in three weeks, new conclusions appeared from the same data for the same study area and 2012 data were merged with 2013 so that it won’t be detected by plagiarism crosscheck.

1. SD > Mean for PM2.5 mass concentrations (day time PM2.5 = 46±47 µgm-3 and 2013 PM2.5 = 48±50 µgm-3), being mass –ve weight is questionable.

2. Fig. 3 for 2012 is copied from Fig. 3 of STOTEN

3. Fig. 4, Fig. S3 and Fig. S4 for year 2012 is copied from Fig 5 of STOTEN.

4. Fig. S5 is copied from Fig. S2 - Fig S6 of STOTEN

5. Rajasthan and Utter Pradesh (NNW and North) thermal power plants are proposed for source of aerosols, while wind direction confined within ~80 ° and ~290 °

6. Sea salt was proposed for K+, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+ and Cl-. But no sea was present around Rajasthan-Madhya Pradesh border and Utter Pradesh during 2012-2013

7. SO42- and NO3- transport from thermal power plant, while K+, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+ and Cl- from sea salt source was proposed for the same aerosol of the same study area for same period

8. Dust dominated aerosol from Thar Desert, Rajasthan was proposed previously, while combustion type from thermal power plants was concluded here for the same study area and exactly the same study period from the same data sets.

A discussion was requested on above conflicts and possible violation of copy right ethics was brought to the notice of the editor. This was reviewed only by the author itself which is disguising to note that author could not respond to any comments (). Unfortunately editor decided not to entertain this discussion because I lack expertise and/or familiarity with fundamentals of meteorology and my inability to distinguish between mesoscale and synoptic wind patterns and I fail to recognize that aerosol mass distribution is skewed and/or lognormal/Weibull/or Gamma!!!.

An appeal was made requesting for an unbiased review by professionals because the reviewer itself is the author of this fraud publication who could not even respond a single comment in a scientific way(). So strange to read the response of the editor "you have personal acrimony with the author, so we won’t reconsider your discussion’ Like science is a joke the way the editor made his decision (). It was noticed that the editor himself is an Indian by origin, H.B. Singh, opening an option is the editor known to author beforehand???

Important questions arise upon screening the review are-

· Is commenting on frivolous papers are offense of researchers?

·  Is Science of The Total Environment and Atmospheric Environment are good journals for publishing nonscientific data?

·  Are comments of any scientific publication wastage of editor’s time?

·  Does Atmospheric Environment support duplicate data publication?

·  Publication of same data in multiple journals are not violation of copy right?

· Are scientific publications in Science of The Total Environment and Atmospheric Environment are biased for individuals?

·  Does Science of The Total Environment and Atmospheric Environment distribute science message in wrong ways?

. Research publications are monopoly of editors ?

· Copy of already published data and publish again as  a new manuscript without referring the earlier publication is not a copy right violation?

· These type erroneous publications are contribution to science by researchers or abuse of science?

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