[Coral-List] Publishing a rebuttal hits a snag

tomascik at novuscom.net tomascik at novuscom.net
Thu Mar 3 20:54:10 UTC 2022

Hi everyone,

I have come across another paper (Ara et al. 2021) published in the 
Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing (JISRS) on the 
non-existent coral reefs of St. Martin’s Island, Bangladesh (Impact of 
Tourism on LULC and LST in a Coastal Island of Bangladesh: A Geospatial 
Approach on St. Martin’s Island of Bay of Bengal | SpringerLink). The 
paper published in the JISRS has a number of serious errors that should 
have been flagged during the JISRS’s review process, yet somehow they 
managed to slip by. I submitted to the Editor-in-Chief of JISRS a 
request to publish a rebuttal comment on the paper, but I was informed 
by the JISRS Editorial Board that because of their contract with 
‘Springer Nature’ the Journal (i.e. JISRS) does not have the space 
available for a “Comment” type article that in other journals is a 
common venue to publish rebuttals to papers with errors. The comment 
that I submitted to JISRS was peer-reviewed by my colleagues before I 
made the submission, but JISRS rejected the submission on a 
‘technicality’ and not through their peer-review process. Some of you 
may be aware that we have published a comment on another paper (i.e., 
Gazi et al., 2020) that made very similar errors, and that comment was 
published (Comment on Gazi et al. (2020): Detecting Coral Reef 
Degradation on St. Martin’s Island, Bangladesh? | SpringerLink). I would 
like to take this opportunity to thank the Editorial Board of the ‘Ocean 
Science Journal’ who were very helpful in ensuring that our comment on 
Gazi et al. (2020) was published.

The errors in Ara et al. (2021) need to be flagged and brought to the 
attention to the coral reef research community, because the 
misinformation published in their paper can have a very serious impact 
on future management strategies to protect the fragile coral assemblages 
on St. Martin’s Island. Since the Editorial Board of the Journal of the 
Indian Society of Remote Sensing is not willing to consider publishing a 
rebuttal to a paper published in their journal through existing “article 
types” such as “Opinion” or “Editorial” I uploaded my comment on 
ResearchGate, and anyone who is interested to learn about the true 
nature of the coral assemblages of St. Martin’s Island can download the 
comment at:



(PDF) Sedimentary rocky reefs on St. Martin’s Island, Bangladesh, are 
not coral reefs: A review of Ara et al. (2021) (researchgate.net)

Earlier I also uploaded a comment on a conference presentation on this 
subject that includes many pictures that show the nature of the rocky 
reef that surrounds St. Martin’s Island. Anyone interested seeing the 
rocky reefs please visit:


If anyone is still interested in our Gazi et al. (2020) comment please 


I would like to again reiterate that currently there is zero evidence 
that St. Martin’s Island is a coral island or that it is surrounded by 
coral reefs, and I hope that the above papers will not be cited to 
spread that misinformation any further. I still hope that the Editorial 
Board (Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing | Editors 
(springer.com) of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing will reconsider 
their ‘technical’ decision and will create a new article type where this 
type of comments can be considered for peer-review and published. 
Perhaps e-mails to the JISRS Editorial Board from the coral reef 
research community requesting that they address misinformation about 
coral reefs in their publications may ensure that this will happen.


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