Sunday, 22 January 2023

The "De Roucy" Hours?

In The Book of Hours of Louis De Roucy (RECEPTIO Academic Press, 2022), Prof. Rossi writes:

"What is noticeable in this manuscript, apart from the constant presence of owls in the borders, is the heraldic shield of its first owner. It appears with an unusual insistence, on average every ten pages, at least six times in the retrieved leaves, depicting a blue lion on a field of gold, Or a lion azure armed and langued gules (Fig. 8 et seq.)" (p. 22):

Figs. 8a-8f reproduce these six shields:

But in my blogpost here, I described the background as silver (argent) not gold (or), and note examples of French families that bore these arms:

I also provided a close-up detail of one example from the manuscript:

Saturday, 14 January 2023

The RECEPTIO-Rossi Affair, Part VIII: Independent Fact-Checkers

I am very aware that there are many people who are not on Twitter, and are therefore not up-to-date with the recent revelations in this ongoing saga. I have not posted anything new here since 29 December, partly because the minutiae may not interest most people, and partly because it would be too time-consuming to report everything that has happened. 

But it seems worth writing a new post now, because of an article published online yesterday by Peter Burger, of the Dutch fact-checking website 'News Checkers' , based at Leiden University ( It is in Dutch, but Google Translate and Deepl both do a very good job of translating it into English (and, I assume, other languages).

I recommend that you read the whole article, but the "headline" revelation is that a 40-page article about Michelangelo's poetry, published in 2017 by Rossi in an online Journal of which she was "Editor in Chief", and re-distributed by her as her own work on her university website, her page, and her Researchgate page, is very largely copied from an article published in 2004 by Matteo Residori, an Italian scholar writing in French, now of the Sorbonne Nouvelle University.

According to the Dutch analysis, 77% of Rossi's 2017 text came from Residori's 2004 publication, and another 6% from a French scholar's work, published in 2007.

In response to this revelation, Rossi published on her page an image, supposedly showing an earlier version of the Michelangelo article, in which due credit is given to Residori (in red) and her own name does not appear:

[Source (archived copy)]

Needless to say, she does not cite her source for this image. Even if it does come from an earlier version of her original online publication, this does not change the fact that Residori's work is not acknowledged in this way in any of the other archived versions of the online publication, which all look like this:


Residori's name also does not appear in the versions of the article uploaded by Rossi to her various personal and institutional websites:

Despite the concrete evidence that she has distributed this article on at least four different websites, without citing the original author in any of them, Rossi writes on her page:
"Qualques [sic] imbéciles, dans sa chasse aux sorcières lancée par Peter Kidd et poursuivie par des crétins sur Twitter, a cru trouver un plagiat dans cet article, auquel manque l'en-tête paru dans le magazine."
She may think that Twitter is populated only by "imbéciles" and "crétins", but it is worth emphasising that I had no part in the most recent revelations, which were entirely the result of investigations by an independent and highly-respected fact-checking organisation.

[EDIT 15 January 2023: Matteo Residori is Italian, not French as I had written in the original version of this blogpost; I have now corrected this]

Thursday, 5 January 2023

The RECEPTIO-Rossi Affair, Part I: The Staff [re-posting, with edits]

[6 Jan. 2023: Google deleted the previous version of this page, so I have removed the parts that were presumably the source of a complaint, and tried to tidy it up in other ways. The old version is archived online elsewhere]

lot happened yesterday [Christmas Day], mainly on Twitter, but also on Hacker News, on, and some in private emails (there are more revelations in store if I can get permission to share some private info!).

I know that there are many people who have good reasons not to be on Twitter, especially under its current (mis-)management, so this blog is an attempt to summarise recent revelations.

I am not a very sophisticated user of Twitter (I don't follow many people, and my feed is usually very low-volume), so it is very possible that I have failed to see some relevant tweets among the hundreds posted in the past 24 hours or so. Often several people made the same observations independently, and I am not sure who made them first. So: apologies in advance if I seem not to give your contribution the attention it deserves.

As mentioned above, there is a lot of material to cover, so I think I'll break it into several blogposts; this one covering the staff listed on the RECEPTIO website.

It was a private DM that really got the ball rolling for me. I was sent a private message to the effect that at least three of the supposed members of staff of RECEPTIO are represented by stock photos.

I had tried finding some of these staff members online (with very limited results, for reasons that later became apparent) but had not yet tried a reverse image search to find where their supposed portrait photos came from. 

The first to be revealed as a stock photo was "Noemi De Santis":
My favourite example is the Legal Advisor, attorney "Paolo Enrico Bernasconi":
His image can be found on a number of sites:
of which this is my favourite:
But it turns out that he can also help you out with your drug arrest if you are in Texas or New Mexico!:

The same situation applies to several more of RECEPTIO's supposed staff, including "Emma Fleury" and "Hannah Amì":

Within hours of these observations being made on Twitter, the images of these people started disappearing from the RECEPTIO website:

A comparison between two archived versions of the RECEPTIO website reveals *extensive* changes on the Operational Staff page this year: 11 people have been removed, and of those that remain several have had their names or titles changed! 

Of the people who [at the original time of writing] have not yet been removed from the website, three share a common surname, and Prof. Rossi uses the same surname in legal contexts, as shown by online records. Prof. Rossi's husband later sent me an email confirming that she is his wife, and the other two women whose names and pictures appeared on the RECEPTIO website are their daughters.

The website of the Swiss National Science Foundation lists Carla Rossi's grants, which total of 547,145 Swiss francs (not including any money she was paid for her part in a 3-year project that was granted another 653,176 Swiss francs).

She received a grant of 20,000 Swiss francs (about £18,000 or $21,000) for a one- month project to work on the reconstruction of the manuscript which was the subject of my blogpost:
I cannot comment on the quality of the other projects, but certainly this grant resulted in an extremely poor piece of very "deriviative" work.

Maybe I'll come back and add more to this post later. I want to end by emphasising that there are certainly some innocent people who have been persuaded to get involved with RECEPTIO, at least one of whom I know to be a genuine scholar, and who knew nothing of what is now being uncovered, so please do not assume that everyone involved with RECEPTIO has the same moral compass as its Director.