[OSGeo-Discuss] Open request for updates on SDG book

Suchith Anand Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk
Sat Jul 14 07:13:00 PDT 2018

Dear Menno-Jan,

It is now over one year and I have not heard any updates on the SDG book [1] .  As far as I am aware, there was no emails received  in the GeoforAll lists on this till now. Please correct me if I am wrong.

As you are aware, I have personally requested colleagues  in the open source Geo community to support the ICA SDG book initiative and they have contributed to this book project in good faith, so I request you to kindly keep them informed. I thank you for your kind understanding.

We are now seeing a very disturbing trend with  some vendors even starting to trademark “ science” for marketing/sales of their  products and   “science” is being misused for vendor marketing/sales! . I have raised this issue through an open letter [2] . The good news  is that now everyone knows it is just marketing/sales gimmicks of vendor . Science is not owned by any vendors.

But two weeks back, I received a email query from a respectable and senior ICA  colleague that made me very concerned. He is one of the editors of a GIS journal . They are receiving  lot of submissions  from a country  that are very similar  -“ poorly written, poor map design – to the point that they seem written in a factory” .  They were all using one proprietary GIS  software and deal with some aspect of physical geography. He asked for my advice.

I thanked him for sharing this  information and though I do not know the background or details of the papers or authors, I am also very concerned  to hear about this . It is really sad to see the state of affairs in GIS . I requested  him to take strong action against any “factory produced” science and reject them.  I am concerned in the rapid increase in  “Fake Science” . I  requested him to inform this to the wider community through an open letter .

But this is not the solution as if one journal rejects these “factory produced  science”, then these kind of   papers will  be submitted to other journals. I won’t be surprised if in future some vendors even start their own journals with their own editorial boards !  What will then happen  to the credibility of peer review and scientific quality.

I think  it is important that editors of all GIS journals and leadership of all GIS Professional bodies like ICA  declare any conflict of interest with any vendors (funding/sponsorship/gifts  received from any software vendors currently or in the past) to ensure transparency and good practices.

I am just a  ICA volunteer . I am hoping that you will take principled  leadership and action against  “Fake Science” , “Factory produced  science” and any unethical practices in GIS that is affecting Science and Education from any vendors (open or proprietary) .

I thank you for  the work on SDG book and looking forward to hear updates.

Best wishes,


[1] https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/geoforall/2017-June/003790.html

[2] https://www.rd-alliance.org/group/geospatial-ig/post/open-letter-importance-scientific-freedom-and-public-good

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