Update 5 on El Naschie vs Nature
The BBC has another piece on the Nature case by Pallab Ghosh. It seems that El Naschie is now admitting that his papers were not peer reviewed but argues that this was because he had no peers who could review them:
He said that he would discuss his papers with fellow scientists, and only when he thought that they were of a sufficiently high standard would he publish them. "I am too arrogant and have too much self-respect to allow a bad paper to pass through," he said.
Prof El Naschie called one witness, Prof Otto Rossler - an honorary editor of Chaos, Solitons and Fractals.
He told the court that there was no-one who could peer review him, referring to Prof El Naschie, because "if you have something new to offer, peer review is dangerous", adding that in such cases "peer review delays progress in science".
Prof El-Naschie asked his witness whether he thought that his (Prof El Naschie) papers were of "poor quality".
Prof Rossler replied: "On the contrary, they were very important and will become more important in the future."
And he added: "You are the most hard-working and diligent scientists I have ever met."
It is a useful to compare Rossler with Neil Turok, Nature's expert witness. Rossler is best known lately for warning that the Large Hadron Collider risked creating black holes that would destroy the world. See El Naschie Watch for this and other information. He is also a self-proclaimed simultaneous submitter, something that for journal editors is almost as bad as plagiarism. A comment on Rossler's claims concludes "To conclude: this text would not pass the referee process in a serious journal".
It seems that it is increasingly difficult to argue that Alexandria University's remarkable scores for research impact in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings were the result of outstanding, excellent or even controversial research.
I am not sure what an honorary editor is but at the moment Rossler is not listed as any sort of editor at the official Chaos Solitons and Fractals home page.
Incidentally, since the trial will presumably turn to the question of El Naschie's affiliations at some point, this page lists him as Founding Editor but does not give any affiliation.