Tuesday, February 05, 2008

WSEAS: A Greek Tragedy

This is a joint post by Lance AND Bill in response to this post on the Sfaka blog claiming "false and misleading information" on our blog (scroll down). We would like to set the record straight.

  1. On November 27 GASARCH made two posts about bogus conferences. In the post Bogus or Not–You Decide, an anonymous commentor asked about whether it would be a turn-off if a WSEAS paper was on the resume.
    Some folks I worked with in the past published some of our work as a conference paper in WSEAS proceedings with my name on it. (I think they might not have known about junk conferences.)
    In the post Theoretical and Mathematical Foundations of Bogosity, Bill said
    I looked on the web for more info on [TMFCS08] and could not find anything saying it was bogus (By contrast you can find stuff about WSEAS being bogus). Anyone have any more information?
  2. On Tuesday, January 15, Nikos Mastorakis, executive director of WSEAS, called Lance very angry about the November posts and comments. Mastorakis wanted us to remove the offending statements about WSEAS. We decided against this and sent him email offering him to do a Guest Post defending the conference. GASARCH and Lance also agreed that they would not make comments on his post, and would post it unedited. Mastorakis called Lance back the next day, still very angry and unhappy with our decision and threatened to complain to the "president of the United States". At which point Lance hung up on him.
  3. Mastorakis tried to call Lance many times over the next couple of days but Lance refused to answer. He also called GASARCH at home, but having heard about this from Lance, GASARCH hung up immediately. GASARCH emailed him that calling at home is unacceptable, but calling at the office is fine, and also gave his office phone number. He never called at the office.
  4. On Friday, Lance decided to answer the phone from Mastorakis. Mastorakis apologized, but still angry about the comments. He wanted to write the guest post but with the comments turned off. (That is, he could post defending the conference, but nobody could comment on it.) We refused and he said he would still send us a post. We haven't heard back from him since.
  5. On January 29, a comment appeared on the first post defending WSEAS from someone claiming to be Shuchen Li, though his web page looks Greek to us.
  6. Also on January 29, the SFAKA post appeared (without our knowledge) warning about false and misleading information and quoting the Bogus or Not post but with the following change: wherever the phrase `WSEAS' appeared it now says `GASARCH'. For example (compare with above)
    Some folks I worked with in the past published some of our work as a conference paper in GASARCH proceedings with my name on it. (I think they might not have known about junk conferences.)
Draw your own conclusions.

22 comments:

  1. I look forward to submitting my papers to GASARCH'08. Where is the Call for Papers?

    ReplyDelete
  2. What about a post on the latest Turing award ?
    It's at least as related to complexity theory as WSEAS, and one of the recipients has a greek-looking name.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It's coming, we just want to do it right.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If you click on the link to Prof. Mastorakis homepage, you can easily check that he is a very productive researcher:
    He has published "over 350 papers in international books, journals and conferences".

    I counted 21 WSEAS papers among the 24 "publications in international journals and books from 2002 up to now".

    ...and DBLP shows a total of 2 entries.

    ReplyDelete
  5. In the end, the person who really loses out is the tax-payer whose money is being spent to "work on" these papers, write them, pay conference fees, fly to these conferences and have conference lunches.

    It is tragic that people who really have the power to spend tax-payer's money, are unable to tell what is good research and what is not.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Are you sure any human is actually behind the blog post you link to? It seems like a bot randomly generated it. It makes no sense to me at all.

    ReplyDelete
  7. DEEP and SINCERE APOLOGIES for the MISTAKE

    FROM THE OWNERS OF THE BLOG:

    The Blog Sfaka was for communication of some students that participate not only in the Society that you reported, but also in several other scientific societies.

    We used to update the Blog by a computer program (not manually).

    We had to remove the name of the society replacing it with something else, and, the Daemon of electronic typography replaced him by the
    first word of the message.

    We did not have any INTENTION to offend you.

    We respect and honor Professor Gasarch and Professor Fortnow.

    Simply the replacement of the names
    was by accident (Cntrl + H).

    Now, the BLOG is Absolutely Closed and we ask sincere apologies from Professor Gasarch for this computer mistake.

    We did not have any reason to offend Professor Gasarch.

    On the other hand, we would like to emphasize that we know how difficult is to publish in the conferences of aforementioned society and what is the reviewer role and we fill a great ofence
    and indignation.

    We do not have to add anything else. We are proud and we will continue supporting the organization of the WSEA
    and sincere apologies for this,

    WE REPEAT, it was a computer mistake for which we ask you the sincere misunderstanding.

    About the comments of S.Li:

    We have worked several times in the secretariat of some conferences of the association and this statistics is real. You can also ask the Reviewers:
    http://www.worldses.org/review/june-july-august-2007.htm
    what is the rejection/acceptance rate.

    You can choose any random person of that list and you can ask him by email.

    It is so simple.

    From us, we are sending you our love and appreciation. The conferences are here: COME and SEE

    Happy new Year 2008


    Once more: We respect and honor Professor Gasarch and Professor Fortnow and sincere apologies for the mistake

    ReplyDelete
  8. DEEP and SINCERE APOLOGIES for the MISTAKE (correcting some grammatical errors)

    FROM THE OWNERS OF THE BLOG:

    The Blog Sfaka was for communication of some students that participate not only in the Society that you reported, but also in several other scientific societies.

    We used to update the Blog by a computer program (not manually).

    We had to remove the name of the society replacing it with something else, and, the Daemon of electronic typography replaced him by the
    first word of the message.

    We did not have any INTENTION to offend you.

    We respect and honor Professor Gasarch and Professor Fortnow.

    Simply the replacement of the names
    was by accident (Cntrl + H).

    Now, the BLOG is Absolutely Closed and we ask sincere apologies from Professor Gasarch for this computer mistake.

    We did not have any reason to offend Professor Gasarch.

    On the other hand, we would like to emphasize that we know how difficult is to publish in the conferences of aforementioned society and what is the reviewer role and we feel a great ofence
    and indignation.

    We do not have to add anything else. We are proud and we will continue supporting the organization of the WSEA
    and sincere apologies for this,

    WE REPEAT, it was a computer mistake for which we ask you the sincere UNDERTSANDING!

    About the comments of Shuchen Li:
    He is absolutely right:

    We have worked several times in the secretariat of some conferences of the association and this statistics is real. You can also ask the Reviewers:
    http://www.worldses.org/review/june-july-august-2007.htm
    what is the rejection/acceptance rate.

    You can choose any random person of that list and you can ask him by email.

    It is so simple.

    From us, we are sending you our love and appreciation. The conferences are here: COME and SEE

    With warm greetings

    ReplyDelete
  9. for the anonymous colleague:

    Prof.Matsorakis is well known researcher in Multidinensiona;l Systems (one of the most important in this field and he is still active)
    Simply, the DLBP does not index the I΅EEE Trans. on Circuits & Systms, the I΅EEE Trans.on Signal Processing, the
    I΅EEE Trans.on Electromagnetic Combatibility, the I΅EEE on Automatic΅ςControl, I΅EEE Trans on microwaves where he has published his important papers. I found that he has over than 25 papers in I΅EEE
    which is a really impressive record.

    Of course, now as direktor of the WSE΅AS he promotes the WSE΅AS journals and conferences and he is
    doing the real thing.
    He has also solved the problem of Multidinensiona;l factirization anmd recently he has published an impressive number of high quality papers in applied mathematics and mechanics comparing finite elements and CI. It is better to ask him

    Except his university which is military and for thsi reason very strict with the faculty staff, he was 3 times Visiting Professor in
    the University of UK and Bulgaria.
    As Editor in Journals and conferences , he is great, he works very hard, coordinates many scientific teams and nobody reported something bad or illegal regarding his conferences and journals.

    About his society, I found it excellent and if you see their site you can see several lists of reviewers. You can ask them as the students hint in their previous post.
    I think that I helped you.

    ReplyDelete
  10. nobody reported something bad or illegal regarding his conferences and journals

    Of course nobody has ever reported anything illegal, but the consensus among serious researchers seems to be that his conferences (if by that you mean WSEAS conferences) are total garbage. It's certainly not bad in the sense of illegal or immoral, but it's bad in the sense of worthless and disreputable.

    Regarding Matsorakis himself, I know nothing about his character or background, and the only thing I know about his reputation is that, as far as I know, nobody I've heard of has ever heard of him outside of the context of the bogosity of WSEAS. I'd be interested if I were proved wrong, but I suspect I'm right.

    As of 2003 (when his publication list was last updated), he seemed to be publishing primarily in WSEAS conferences and journals. That doesn't look good to me.

    ReplyDelete
  11. as far as I know, nobody I've heard of has ever heard of him outside of the context of the bogosity of WSEAS

    P.S. I found a technical counterexample: there's a letter from Lotfi Zadeh here. However, it is still in a WSEAS context; Zadeh just doesn't think one of their journals is bogus. Needless to say, I disagree.

    And, just to throw the fuzzy logic partisans into a tizzy, I maintain that in a ideal world, I wouldn't have heard of Lotfi Zadeh either. ;-P

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous,
    Why wouldn't you have heard of Zadeh in an ideal world?

    These people seem to be pro-scam artists.. The wseas site is blocked from wayback machine (hmm i wonder why?), also check out the "poll" on the journals page http://www.worldses.org/journals/index.html

    ReplyDelete
  13. Why wouldn't you have heard of Zadeh in an ideal world?

    OK, that was a little unfair. I might have heard of him anyway, just not for fuzzy logic. It's a pretty obvious idea popularized through straw man arguments. For example, the claim that lots of seemingly binary distinctions, such as tall vs. not tall, are misleading and should be fuzzified. Of course, this is true, but everybody already knew it before Zadeh. That's why your doctor records your height rather than simply checking a box next to "tall". We didn't need Zadeh to introduce the profound idea of measuring "how tall" someone is. (The "tall" example actually occurs in the introduction to Zadeh's original fuzzy sets paper, although he never mentions "height".)

    So my belief is that if fuzzy logic had never been announced to the world, we'd still solve problems the same way and just not have a special name for it. On the other hand, my Zojirushi rice maker wouldn't say "Neuro Fuzzy" on it. I actually bought it partly because I found the label entertaining, so I can confirm that Japanese companies have indeed derived some benefit from fuzzy logic.

    Zadeh is also a contender for the world championship in e-mail signature length in the tenured professor category (23 lines and counting), which is a pet peeve of mine, but I admit it's of no real importance.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Another toxic WSEAS blog post:
    http://e-wseas.livejournal.com/4819.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. I agree on this point
    WSEAS conf. are total garbage
    I sent the old version of a paper by mistake (with misspelling and even lacking words)
    Guess what? It was accepted two days after submission. Blazing fast committee huh?

    I canceled my participation after rethinking a bit but Mastorakis or whoever using emails like masto4389232@gmail.com told me OK too late, we own the copyright!

    And "published" my non-finished dirty paper. Of course I've never seen the proceedings anywhere.

    Now this garbage is indexed etc. I'm just asking myself how should I proceed...
    Bear the consequences or hide/deny having done it?

    What do you think

    ReplyDelete
  16. Advice to the last poster:

    1) You can put the paper on your resume under ``unrefereed conferences''

    2) If the good version of the paper is something you do want to be available then put the good version on your webpage where I assume you put all of your papers. That is where people will look for it anyway.
    Also you might want to post the good version on some of the usual
    archives.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I can't believe what I'm reading here "waste of taxpayers money" and so on. No, it's not, because THESE CONFERENCES DON'T EXIST.

    These people want your passport information and financial information. They are professional scammers.

    Jeez people, get a clue.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I realize this is an old post but it seems to be among the first Google results so I thought I'd share some of my experience.

    In short: I have worked in academia until about 8 months ago, eventually decided it simply wasn't for me and quit. I do not intend to pursue an academic career so I guess I can be fairly objective. I also don't have much experience in academia (it's only been about two years), so I might not be entirely spot on; I'll just try to describe what I've seen. If you folks need it, I can provide some verification data about the papers I've published so that you can ensure I'm not posting bogus stuff.

    In short:

    - One of the professors I worked with on a side-project had some papers published at WSEAS conferences. They actually take place -- as in people actually gather and hold their presentations.

    - The overall quality of the material is laughable at best. The paper we published included absolutely no experimental or simulation data; in short, there was no proof that our approach was valid. Given my position, I couldn't just tell my professor to take my name out of that crap -- all I could do was drop one of my names from it (my parents blessed me with two besides my family name) and list another e-mail address, so that it wouldn't get indexed as such.

    - There seems to be an entire network of research activity around WSEAS; and again, its quality is deplorable. Some of the people involved are actually of good quality and at least try to hold some decent standards. Most of them are simply incredibly incompetent and the money getting shoved into them is utterly wasted.

    - There is no reviewing process. Simple as that. The paper we submitted was full of editing and grammar mistakes because the two main contributors didn't speak English too well. It claimed things for which it offered no proof and basically brought nothing new. If I had reviewed it, I'd have rejected it without much consideration.

    - People also help each other; my professor actually told me that some of the people simply agree to publish each others' work in the conferences they chair in exchange for a place on the author list. This probably explains the incredible productivity of some of the people involved with WSEAS.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have published in WSEAS conferences 3 times and chaired a session once. The conferences I attended were good; some quality papers were there and some were interesting case studies. Papers were presented with fruitful discussions. The last one I went to in 2010 even refused to give me a registration receipt before my presentation. They wanted to make sure that authors present and not just submit, publish and enjoy sightseeing.

    Before submitting any of my papers to conferences or journals, I referee the work myself since my name is there. I think most people just do the same. These WSEAS conferences I attended did referee my work but the reports were sent to me only after registration and payment.

    I believe that some not so good papers written by students but with the professor names included may get published in conferences. However, one should not refer to the conferences as bogus simply because of this. This is unfair to many other people who worked hard and published quality work in the same conferences.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The last comment speaks for itself. Sounds like a "D"-level conference simulacrum attended/chaired/organized by "C-"-level researchers.

    Zadeh, Bertsekas, and few other senior scientists who attended as plenary speakers should be ashamed of lending their name to support the credibility of WSEAS enterprises.

    Note also that they engage in "googlewashing". Try googling "wseas bogus conferences" to see for yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  21. You forgot to mention SCOPUS and ACM Digital Library. Should they also be ashamed? WSEAS conference papers are indexed there. Don't be so ignorance.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I submitted 3 papers to WSEAS journal but only one is accepted for publication after major revision.

    ReplyDelete