In response to my open letter to Elsevier, on 11 August 2015, a representative of the publisher sent me an email in which she said:
“Dear Ms. Dragomir,
As the Publisher responsible for the Economics and Finance (Procedia) portfolio at Elsevier, your email below was forwarded to me.
Thank you firstly for taking the time and effort to share your concerns with us. We highly appreciate any feedback we receive in relation to our products and services.
Since receiving your email, we have been in contact with the Organisers of ESPERA 2014 and have raised the concern about reviewing quality and integrity. In relation to this concern, we have received the reviewer report for„Sustainability of social enterprises: A discourse analysis” (Adriana Neguţ).
As we are not satisfied with the reviewer report content and the answer from the Organisers, we have since asked them for further comment, specifically addressing the points you raised.
If the Organisers are not forthcoming with a satisfactory response within a reasonable time limit, we will inform the author and will likely take steps to retract the paper.
The retraction of papers is a serious matter and not done without conducting the necessary due diligence. I trust that you understand the possible professional implications for the author and the Organising Committee of ESPERA if we follow this course of action. Your further discretion on this matter whilst we complete the investigation is therefore respectfully requested.
Donna de Weerd-Wilson
Executive Publisher, Economics
1043 NX Amsterdam
I had decided to show “discretion” and to wait for the decision of the publisher, but today I have received from the organizers a threatening email, saying that they will sue me if I do not delete all my posts on the matter. This is the organizers’ email, in Romanian and English, as received:
Stimata Doamna Elena Dragomir,
Ca urmare a postarilor dumneavoastra in mediul virtual si a mesajului transmis Elsevier Procedia Economics and Finance in legatura cu conferinta stiintifica internationala ESPERA 2014, pe parcursul ultimei luni intreaga procedura de evaluare a lucrarilor conferintei a fost supusa unui proces
de reverificare nationala si internationala.
Concluzia finala ne permite sa afirmam ca au fost respectate toate regulile de etica, acuratete si rigoare stiintifica specifice unei conferinte de inalta tinuta academica.
Inca de la infiintarea sa, Institutul National de Cercetari Economice s-a afirmat ca un promotor si sustinator al dezbaterilor stiintifice si al libertatii de exprimare. In aceste conditii, institutul nu poate tolera acuzatiile denigratoare la adresa sa, a cercetatorilor si a institutiilor partenere, mai ales cand acestea nu au un suport stiintific.
De aceea, in cazul in care nu va veti retrage postarile care aduc
importante prejudicii de imagine institutiilor organizatoare ale
conferintei ESPERA 2014, membrilor Consiliului Stiintific al conferintei si recenzorilor (personalitati marcante din mediul academic din tara si strainatate), Elsevier – Procedia Economics and Finance si companiilor care au sponsorizat organizarea evenimentului, ne rezervam dreptul de a va
actiona solidar in instanta.
Comitetul Stiintific ESPERA 2014
Dear Mrs. Elena Dragomir,
Following your Internet post and the message sent to Elsevier – Procedia Economics and Finance regarding the ESPERA 2014 International Conference, the entire procedure of assessment of the Conference papers has undergone national and international rechecking in the last month. The final conclusion allows us to affirm that all rules concerning the ethics, accuracy and scientific rigour of a highly academic conference were observed.
Since its establishment, the National Institute for Economic Research was a promotor and supporter of scientific debate and freedom of speech.
Considering the above-mentioned, our Institute firmly rejects any unjust accusation brought against the Institute itself, our researchers and partners, especially when it has no scientific support.
Therefore, if you do not remove the Internet posts that affect the image of the organizers of the ESPERA 2014 Conference, of the members of the Scientific Council of the Conference and of the reviewers (foreign and Romanian academic personalities), of Elsevier – Procedia Economics and Finance and of the sponsors of the event, we consider we are in our rights to sue you jointly.
The ESPERA 2014 Scientific Committee