Getting GRLed

Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. recently submitted this paper to Geophysical Research Letters (GRL):

A homogeneous database of global landfalling tropical cyclones

Jessica Weinkle* and Roger Pielke, Jr.
Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado, 1333 Grandview Ave, Campus Box 488, Boulder, Colorado 80309

Abstract
In recent decades, economic damage from tropical cyclones (TCs) around the world has increased dramatically. Scientific literature published to date is strongly suggestive that the increase in losses can be explained entirely by increasing wealth in locations prone to tropical cyclone landfalls. However, no homogenized dataset of tropical cyclone landfalls has been created. We have constructed such a homogenized global landfall TC database. We find no long-term global trends in the frequency or intensity of landfalling TCs for the period with reliable data, providing very strong support for the conclusion that increasing damage around the world over the period(s) of record can be explained entirely by increasing wealth in locations prone to TC landfalls, and adding confidence in the fidelity of economic normalization analyses.

Seems straightforward enough. It came back with two reviews, both with some corrections, one reviewer suggesting publication without major caveats, the other grudgingly suggesting publication to the editor, Noah Diffenbaugh, and asking for revisions. So far so good (you’d think). But it starts getting weird from here. Pielke Jr. asks this set of questions:

As the editor what would you do?

A) Provisionally accept the paper pending a revision that meets the editor’s judgment of responsiveness
B) Provisionally accept the paper pending re-review by the two reviewers
C) Reject the paper
D) Reject the paper and tell the authors that any reconsideration of the paper would have to be accompanied by a detailed response to the two reviewers followed by selection of new reviewers and a restart of the review process

If you picked (D) then you too can be an editor at GRL.

Read the whole bizarre peer review story here.

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260 thoughts on “Getting GRLed

  1. Dr Pielke jr said

    “In recent decades, economic damage from tropical cyclones (TCs) around the world has increased dramatically. Scientific literature published to date is strongly suggestive that the increase in losses can be explained entirely by increasing wealth in locations prone to tropical cyclone landfalls.”.

    There are close comparisons in other industries that back up this statement. For instance, in the UK, flood damage and claims can be traced to a number of factors other than the severity of the flood incident.;

    1 More people live in the areas prone to flooding because they tend to be desirable riverside/sea side locatioons.
    2 People are generally less tolerant of flooding and want certain protection by means of a physical wall rather than mitigate the effects by say placing their electrical outlets above flood levels.

    3 Claims are generally higher because of increased wealth which reflects itself in the cost of repairing homes and replacing goods.
    tonyb

  2. Might I enquire who was/is the GRL editor for the recent Dessler response awaiting galley proof revision major rewrite?

    Pending a response, would it be appropriate to suggest that Diffenbaugh would appear to have more justification for professional Seppuku than Wagner

  3. Richard Tol
    Can’t see your comments on Roger Pielke’s blog unless you were reviewer 2. I was hoping to read his response.

  4. Richard Tol,

    I went to Pielke’s blog (Jr not Sr) and could not find any comments under your handle (unless you used a different one). At no point did Pielke Jr “pick a fight” as you put it. He wanted clarification and got prompt but puzzling responses.

  5. Re: Richard Tol
    There are 20 comments on Dr. Roger Pielke Jr blog entry. None of then are authored by anybody called “Richard”, “Rich”, “Dick”, “Dickie”, “Dicky”, “RT”, “R.T”, “RTol”, “Tol” or any other possible combination of your name I can think of.

    There is only one comment that seems to imply a major revision was called for and that was by someone calling themselves “Jacob B”. Is that you?

    The decision for major revision was justified as the original paper oversold its results.

    Could you please point out which reviewer makes this claim and cite the part of the review that claims this. Alternatively, could you cite where in the email exchanges it claims the paper oversold its results.
    None of the reviewers call for any changes in the results of the paper which implies they did not have a problem with the results.

  6. @ Richard Tol
    I went straight to the Pielke site to read your comments (and Pielke’s eventual replies), but could find no trace of either.

  7. The process of peer review has completely lost its function.

    Peer review today, is a flawed process, and regretfully, intellectual giants are too often audited, scrutinised and controlled by intellectual pygmees, who are refusing everything that they don’t understand or what is deemed politically incorrect.

    The increasing centralisation of scientific research has allowed powerful, but mediocre scientists, to supress any idea that would undermine their own prestige, since any new theory by definition, is lowering the prestige of the already “established” scientists.

  8. Different reviewers required? Do the first pair share some “notions” with Dr. Pielke?

    Considering that this is “the greatest threat facing mankind”, seems strange that this work hasn’t already been done, no?

  9. I’m not in the academic publish or perish world (specifically avoided it, actually) – but I can tell you without doubt that in a highly technical field, corporate setting, for someone to send back a piece of work saying revisions are needed, but I’m not gonna tell you what they are, you have to GUESS – very clearly means that you are dealing with a p*ss poor manager/reviewer who may never be satisfied or who has a hidden agenda.

    As to Richard Tol’s comment that a ‘major revision’ designation was warranted because the work was ‘oversold’ and a single word addition to the title is needed to tone it down… I’m sorry, but a single word addition for a title change – which is acceptable to the authors – can hardly be called a ‘major revision’ in much of anyone’s book. When all comments, none of which significantly alter the meaning or impact of the work, can be addressed in a matter of a few hours – a day – on a substantial piece of work, well, that’s hardly ‘major.’ All of this is virtually by definition ‘minor.’

    It still rolls back around to the editor returning it with a few minor easily addressed comments providing well specified requirements, along with a whopping big utterly unspecified ‘major revision’ requirement, which, in order to meet, the author must try to read the editors mind or randomly guess at what might meet the ambiguous requirement. It’s just silly, and that’s putting it nicely (silly, of course, is not quite the impact or reputation a supposedly solid science journal wants).

  10. Richard Tol, GRL claim this paper need ‘major revisions’ but simply cannot explain what they are beyond a word change , which is hardly ‘major’ in anyone’s language . If there major in nature why are they so hard to describe in practice? And that is not the reviewers opinions but the editors who has refused to give feedback , instead his boss as made this claim.

    So the paper is blocked on grounds that are unclear, by a person that refuses to say why, buts its not based the reviewers . You can see why people amuse there has been been some ‘Team’ work at play given the lack of clarity especial after the nonsensical resigning of Wagner .

  11. These findings cannot be emphasized enough – the economic damage is PRECISELY due to the ‘increased wealth’ of the victims – NOT, as gets bandied about by the ‘warmists’, due to an increase in the number or severity of Cylones etc.

  12. “There are close comparisons in other industries that back up this statement. For instance, in the UK, flood damage and claims can be traced to a number of factors other than the severity of the flood incident.;

    1 More people live in the areas prone to flooding because they tend to be desirable riverside/sea side locatioons.
    2 People are generally less tolerant of flooding and want certain protection by means of a physical wall rather than mitigate the effects by say placing their electrical outlets above flood levels.

    3 Claims are generally higher because of increased wealth which reflects itself in the cost of repairing homes and replacing goods.
    tonyb”

    Additionally, the flood defences which have been erected in many areas which block or prevent minor floods which relieve normal flooding pressure, but which also ensure that larger floods spread further and are far worse than would otherwise be the case. Additionally flood ditches which farmers do not maintain on their land, which have caused some recent floods to be worse than would otherwise be the case.

    As for this article, it is more evidence of the perversion of peer-review in climate research. The likelihood of publication is less dependent on the solidity of the scientific research, rather than the political leaning of the conclusion as to whether it supports the ‘agenda’ or not.

  13. Richard Tol (@RichardTol) says:
    September 27, 2011 at 12:24 am
    See my comments on Pielke’s blog.
    The decision for major revision was justified as the original paper oversold its results.

    Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. recently submitted this paper to Geophysical Research Letters (GRL):
    A homogeneous database of global landfalling tropical cyclones

    The only suggestion the editor could make as a “major revision” was adding the word “toward” to the title. You directly state that the original paper oversold it’s results. Just what word in the title oversells the submitted paper results?

    Adding the word “toward” into the title does not change the title itself other than to imply a diminutive. A very curious suggestion by anyone as it means they acknowledge the validity of the original title, but they desire to set an undefined tropical cyclone database standard that somewhere sometime somebody else might achieve.

    The least a professional (editor, reviewer, whatever) should have done is explained their peculiar notions of database standards and just why the word “toward” improves this particular paper so that it not only merits, (as the reviewers stated) but is allowed publication.

    Basically Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.’s paper was rejected because of an undefined mysterious standard that the editors will not divulge. A truly bizarre approach for editors, unless the editors in question just want to prevent publication, just because; so there (imagined with their tongues outand “the team’s” official lollipops in hand, of course)… Sillier and sillier are the machinations used to obfuscate the real science.

  14. “After consulting again with my editor for Climate,…”

    No one need look any further than this comment from Calais. In 8 simple words he managed to destroy the credibility of a journal.and its peer review process.

  15. The damning detail isn’t that they rejected the paper, but their inability to explain why (and Diffenbaugh’s refusal to answer emails subsequently) .

    That’s what breaks the trust. Therefore discussions about the merits of the paper or Pielke Jr’s reactions are besides the point.

  16. Re: Richard Tol

    My comments on Pielke’s site await approval. It’s early still in Colorado.

    Then you should have either waited for them to appear on Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.’s site or posted them here.

  17. The whole business of poor, politically motivated peer review in the climate change area, is becoming incredibly dangerous. It is so worrying that policy makers are deliberately starved of any scientific findings that fail to toe the established warmists line. As a retired experimental physicist I despair at the miserably low level of behaviour of editors of learned journals. If papers such as the one in question are suppressed, then Gore will be free to continue spouting his personally profitable, pseudo scientific claptrap.

  18. KnR says:

    Richard Tol, GRL claim this paper need ‘major revisions’ but simply cannot explain what they are beyond a word change , which is hardly ‘major’ in anyone’s language . If there major in nature why are they so hard to describe in practice? And that is not the reviewers opinions but the editors who has refused to give feedback , instead his boss as made this claim.

    So the paper is blocked on grounds that are unclear, by a person that refuses to say why, buts its not based the reviewers . You can see why people amuse there has been been some ‘Team’ work at play given the lack of clarity especial after the nonsensical resigning of Wagner .

    They explain it here: ” claims of a new homogeneous database (based on JTWC outside of the US) are grossly over-stated as there is much work needed before that can be genuinely claimed. This is especially so in regard to intensity, which the authors treat fairly simplistically in any case. ”

    They suggest that “I would like to see that aspect down-played and perhaps the title adjusted to read “Towards a homogeneous database …” or some such.” you’ll notice the use of the word and which doesn’t normally mean changing the title is the only requirement to down-play the over-stated claim. Roger Pielke, either needed to write back to justify how this paper did indeed support the claim of a “new homogeneous database” or change the paper to make it clearer it was a piece of work towards a homogeneous database. Given the reviews the 2nd option looks like it would have then been accepted, why he chose not to do that and instead that the action he has is of rather more interesting than the review process seen here.

  19. Im sorry but it is clear to me that, while the wording of the comments relating to the ‘rejection’ of this article are bizarre, Roger here has seen a conspiracy when there was none. I understand the frustration and even the mindset when trust has been so fundamentally undermined across the peer review process, but people should be wary not to start throwing toys from prams at various journals when they ask for revisions to be made. The paper should have been resubmitted – if continual problems occurred down the line Roger may have more grounds to complain. As it stands,all this means is that another journals editorial team now who thinks a little less of the behaviours of skeptical sceintists and sees us all as conspipracy kooks. People on this side of the argument have calm rationality on our side, it is our main weapon and this type of behaviour undermines this premise. In my view, unhelpful to the cause.

  20. In my view it looks like somebody at GRL made a poor decision, and then Roger backed them into a corner… in response they decided to get a bit snotty. I would have just made ‘some’ of the changes suggested by the 2nd reviewer and resubmitted to GRL to ‘play the game’. Roger seems to have chosen an alternative resolution and gone elsewhere… Neither Roger or GRL seem willing to climb down from their positions…

  21. If you submit a paper, say, “Crop production trends” to the “US agriculture journal”, but one reviewer points out, while the paper is otherwise sound, a more precise title could be “Crop production trends in southwest Madagascar”, and the editor might judge that this isn’t something for his journal after all, even though the reviewer thinks it’s quite publishable with this minor change in its title.

    My point is that I suspect that the paper was rejected not because it was anything very wrong in it per se, but because its contents weren’t exactly as originally advertised (according to one reviewer). I’m not saying that the reviewer is absolutely right. I’m just trying to find a plausible explanation which doesn’t involve conspiracy theories.

  22. @Richard Tol, If you think that a paper that needs ‘Major Revision’ ie a one word title change should be rejected, what is your opinion on the hockey stick shaped temp. record? Just wondering on your standards towards pro and con CAGW papers?

    I assume that you agree with the suppression shown towards papers that do not agree with the IPCC?

  23. A simple search shows two papers on climate economics by a Richard S J Tol:
    Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change. Part 1: Benchmark Estimates

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/maxtvyqm2yr5yax0/

    The marginal damage costs of carbon dioxide emissions: an assessment of the uncertainties

    http://puc.sd.gov/commission/dockets/civil/2006/civ06-399/7930-7940.pdf

    He appears to be the same Richard Tol who last year (with Roger Pielke and Hans von Storch) called for IPCC reform and for Pachauri to resign…

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,673944,00.html

    … and (with Bjorn Lomborg) has been attacked by desmogblog …

    http://www.desmogblog.com/directory/vocabulary/660

    … and Deltoid

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/01/tolgate.php

  24. Richard Tol’s comments are puzzling at best. He has not seen our paper, nor does he know anything about tropical cyclone data. Further, he apparently is unaware that GRL defines “major revisions” in terms of the time needed to do them, rather than the definition that he invented:

    “[M]anuscripts are routinely declined if the reviews point to a need for additional analyses, simulations, or other significant changes to support purported high-impact results or implications. However, for those submissions that show promise of reaching GRL’s criteria, authors are encouraged to resubmit following necessary revisions. While “resetting the clock” on manuscripts that require major revisions reduces the time-to-publication dates, the policy is motivated not by a desire to make the GRL editorial process appear as rapid as possible but rather by a desire to
    make the process be as rapid as possible.”

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/Editorial_GRL.pdf

    I also find his comments curious about picking a fight, as anyone can see from my exchange with GRL, it was professional at all times. I simply lost trust in a process in which our editor refused to reply to very simply questions of clarification and the chief editor was unable or unwilling to point our what “major revisions” were needed. Thus, I’ll take my business elsewhere.

    One might think that as an economist, Tol would perfectly well understand such a response.

  25. I still don’t understand why the scientific process became so corrupted in so many areas outside of Climatism and related faiths. What’s in it for the GRL editor? Money? A job? How is it that Climatists have gained so much power in the formerly-scientific community? However their success has occurred, I can only hope Creationists don’t figure out how to do it.

  26. Ken Hall

    You are quite right to add those additional flooding elements to my original post. They are the end result of deliberate policy-in the case of farmers ditches we had a vogue of discouraging silt extraction in order to encourage wildlife.

    The end result is that costs rise due to our actions or inactions and no amount of flood defence work can get away from the basic causes-more people living in areas often unsuited to human habotation but exprecting increased protection.

    The net effect is that claims will escalate irrespective of whether ‘climate change’ is a cause. I’m not sure that warrants a paper, let alone it being rejected-the truth should be self eviident.

    tonyb

  27. Richard Tol (@RichardTol) says:
    September 27, 2011 at 12:24 am

    > See my comments on Pielke’s blog.

    For those disappointed by their unavailability, they are now available. It appears the moderation team at WUWT is more responsive than Roger (but we could infer that given it was 0121 in Colorado):

    Richard Tol said… 22

    @Roger
    The verdict by Referee 2 is clearly negative: You oversell.

    Overselling may be countered in less than an hour by changing a sentence here and there. However, the definition of “major revision” is in the substance of the revision, rather than in the effort made.

    The editor’s decision “revise-and-resubmit” is thus appropriate. As GRL does not do that, “reject-but-resubmit” follows.

    Instead of rejoicing, you decided to pick a fight. The decision thus became “reject-and-never-come-back”.
    Tue Sep 27, 01:21:00 AM MDT

    Note that Roger found “major revisions” means:

    The EOS editorial that you point to explains a major revision as “if the reviews point to a need for additional analyses, simulations, or other significant changes to support purported high-impact results or implications.” No such requests were made of our paper by the reviewers.

  28. The revision needed is pretty clear to me.. Add “As the world continues to warm due to increasing CO2 levels..”. It will fly through resubmittal!

  29. One way of dealing with such a situation is to request another referee. I recently published a paper in GRL where the reviews were diverging. The decision letter read:
    “Thank you for submitting the manuscript “Geomagnetic Semiannual Variation Is Not Overestimated and Is Not an Artifact of Systematic Solar Hemispheric Asymmetry” (2011GL048161) to Geophysical Research Letters. Based on the reviews, I believe that your article requires a major revision, and therefore I cannot accept this version of your manuscript for publication (please see Editorial Policies for major revisions at http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/Editorial_GRL.pdf).
    You will see that reviewer #2 (reviews enclosed below) found promise in your study…”

    Compare that with the letter to Pielke:
    “Thank you for submitting the manuscript “A homogeneous database of global landfalling tropical cyclones” (2011GL049419) to Geophysical Research Letters. Based on the review, I believe that the article requires a major revision, and therefore I cannot accept this version of the manuscript for publication (please see Editorial Policies for major revisions at http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/Editorial_GRL.pdf).
    You will see that the review (comments enclosed below) found promise in the manuscript…

    It is clear that the decision letter was just boilerplate.

    Here is how I dealt with it:
    “Letter to Editor: 22 June, 2011
    Dear Editor,
    With a spread in evaluation from 1A to 4C it is clear that the review process has failed. Either reviewer #2 [1A] displays gross error in judgment or reviewer #1 [4C] has not understood (or is biased) the paper in spite of the A rating from #2. As reviewer #2 has presented a thoughtful and useful review, I respond in specific details to reviewer #2.
    Reviewer #1 has given the paper a 4C rating, where the C means that “The manuscript cannot readily be revised into Category A”. I therefore confine myself to general remarks [as the review is not specific at all], and in keeping with the C-rating shall not attempt [unjustified] major revision.
    I therefore request a third referee for arbitration, unless Reviewer #1 could provide a meaningful and specific review.”

    The response on the 2nd round was
    “My recommendation is for the author to make minor changes and for the editor to disregard the comments of the first referee.”

    And the paper was duly published. So it sometimes does help to complain.

  30. @ Richard Tol,
    “MAJOR REVISION”……..add the word “toward” into the title (as per the reviewer).
    No wonder you climate guys need so much money, every time you wanna add a word you have to get approval from major Revision, whereas us lesser mortals can suffice with letting corporal Revision know…

  31. Re-Consider the publication – “Geophysical Research Letters”.

    Re-Consider the Editor’s Memo – “Paper Rejected! Any reconsideration of the paper would have to be accompanied by a detailed response to the two reviewers followed by selection of new reviewers and a restart of the review process.”

    Ready?

    Publish the paper on-line at your own website and any others willing to take it without editing. Work with other scientists facing similar editing of their papers. Start your own collective website for publication of such papers.

    Result?

    You’re published and such narrow “periodicals” perish.
    Say “Good Bye ‘Geophysical Research Letters’.” (et al)

  32. In my post at Pielke, Jr’s blog (about #32 – it is still in moderation), I link the rejecting editor, Noah Diffenbaugh, to last month’s Stephen H. Schneider Symposium at NCAR down the road from CU-Boulder where Roger is posted.

    Although the participant list is now forbidden, (SEE https://woods.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/wp/), is was not only a couple weeks ago. I believe Kevin Trenberth was among them. As for Diffenbaugh, I don’t recall and cannot check.

    But one of the two primary aims of the symposium were announced as, “To identify key challenges for the future – in climate science, climate science and policy, and climate science communication – and possible ways to address these challenges.” And in this, Diffenbaugh iw indeed a leading “gatekeeper.”

    We read on the home page of the Woods Institute for The Environment at Stanford, where Schneider was based, this: “Center Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh appeared on The [Al Gore led] Climate Reality Project on September 14, where he discussed his climate modelling research. (Noah Appears at 42-min mark).” https://woods.stanford.edu/

    I think a close surmise is that Diffenbaugh is allied with the CAGW-alarmist – if late – Professor Schneider, and both with Kevin Trenberth. But I would like to see Diffenbaugh’s attendence at the Symposium confirmed, or else another colleague of his.

    Science IS being sacrificed to Pagan Political Gods.

  33. Not surprisingly, Roger Pielke, Jr appears to be much quicker at approving comments now that it’s daytime in Colorado.

    Per precedent, “See my comments on Pielke’s blog.”

  34. Oh. And Trenberth is, of course, at NCAR, where the Symposium was held. This is the same Trenberth implicated in the climategate emails for rallying the CAGW wagons.

  35. Wil Sappenfield says: @ September 27, 2011 at 5:45 am

    “The revision needed is pretty clear to me.. Add “As the world continues to warm due to increasing CO2 levels..”. It will fly through resubmittal!”

    AH yes the “Get out of Jail Free Card” for peer-reviewed Journals.

    It is amazing how often that or a similar phrase is tacked on to otherwise good science and often on papers that have little or nothing to do with CO2 or climate.

  36. Leif (September 27, 2011 at 5:51 am), The process that you describe is much easier to engage in when your editor actually responds to your emails ;-) Note that in our boilerplate letter the editor refers to a single review when in fact we had two, sloppy at best.

  37. At what point in history was GRL run by a group of virgins dedicated to the advancement of science? And can someone point me in the direction of a journal that does not have it’s own internal mandate?

  38. I think the findings are interesting but not iron clad.

    Indur Goklany recently had an article here that claimed that mortality rates from natural disasters had gone down on a global scale. Which maybe can be interpreted as better coping mechanisms due to more wealth or better government policy. I would be surprised if this does not also affect economic damage in a similar way. For example better quality buildings that are more resistant to tropical storm damage. Better flood control systems that reduce the effect on agriculture also come to mind.

    Quantifying the contribution of each effect looks impossible to me.

    I am not even sure monetary measures of impacts make sense on a world wide basis given the disparities in economies. For example a flood in one area might have little effect measured in dollars but it has a big effect since if leads to starvation.

    So an objective measure of global cyclone impact looks like something worth having. However Tamino has just plotted the FEMA statistics and they show an upward trend for disasters in the USA. So it looks like there is some ways to go to resolve the contradictions.

  39. TedK says:
    September 27, 2011 at 3:12 am

    Well said. Reviewers are helpful, serious people. They do not reject a paper without explaining what in the paper requires major revision. Editors are reviewers too and are always polite to their reviewers and authors. The treatment that Pielke received can only be called “high handed.”

  40. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 27, 2011 at 5:51 am

    Leif’s post is very helpful. Journals run this way. However, Pielke’s circumstances are not identical to Leif’s.

  41. This is a little frustrating to me. I understand GRL used to have meaning and carried weight. It doesn’t any longer.

    @ Dr. Roger Pielke Jr……… please stop submitting to journals that publish political advocacy. It only feeds their inflated image of themselves and convinces them they have legitimacy. They do not, and any paper published in the journal must be viewed in such a light as to discern the taint of GRL’s biases.

    In this particular instance, if you feel it necessary to establish common knowledge in a journal of some sorts, submit it to a economic journal, where I think it would belong to begin with.

    Kindest regards and my best advice for those seeking to enhance man’s knowledge.

    James Sexton

  42. Roger Pielke Jr. says:
    September 27, 2011 at 6:18 am
    Leif (September 27, 2011 at 5:51 am), The process that you describe is much easier to engage in when your editor actually responds to your emails
    He actually didn’t. I just resubmitted the same day and it went through the 2nd review with no further ado.

  43. I am not sure why Roger Jr. can’t see what “major” revision is necessary. It’s quite simple. Run the data through an “adjustment” algorythm to show there is an exponential increase in frequency and intensity at the end of the 20th century (hockey stick) and Voila! Publication guaranteed and full protection from ever having to show your work.

  44. Steve from rockwood says:
    September 27, 2011 at 6:22 am

    At what point in history was GRL run by a group of virgins dedicated to the advancement of science? And can someone point me in the direction of a journal that does not have it’s own internal mandate?
    =========================================================

    Then, don’t you think our scientists, and editors and reviewers (allegedly some the world’s greatest minds) would have the intellectual honesty to state as such? This has gotten to point of lunacy. Publish or perish? But forced to publish in some misanthropic journal or another? What ever…… we need to quit lending these organizations credence.

  45. Richard Tol comments at Pielke’s blog:

    “There are all sorts of reasons why the editor did not reply. For all we know, he may on a field trip in hospital, or working on a proposal.”

    Nope, sorry, this does not wash. You do not offer an excuse for the editor but suggest that the editor is above excuses, that the editor has no duties in this matter, and is something like a god whose whims must be accepted. Surely, I do not have to explain that such a position is utter nonsense.

  46. Most editors of high quality journals would have rejected a paper with such reviews. You can only accept so many papers and when many others have two clearly positive reviews you aren’t going to accept one with such tepid reviews.

  47. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 27, 2011 at 6:41 am

    Leif, it looks to me that reviewer #2 went to bat for your paper, something that is not uncommon. Let’s not attribute to the GRL process the particular accidents that you encountered while navigating that process.

  48. Theo Goodwin says:
    September 27, 2011 at 6:30 am
    Reviewers are helpful, serious people.
    I’m a reviewer too [as are all of my colleagues]. Our work is done without compensation and often without credit. Authors often take a well-written review as a personal insult [Einstein once did]. Of course, the process is not perfect, but like Democracy the best we have got. It could be improved by publishing the reviews as well. For rejected papers, the authors can put them on their personal websites [which most have by now] together with the rejection letter and reviews. This works reasonably well and will tend to keep everybody honest. Half of my papers are rejected and the rest are always improved by going through the review process.

  49. Ken Hall says:
    September 27, 2011 at 2:35 am
    1 More people live in the areas prone to flooding because they tend to be desirable riverside/sea side locatioons.

    At one time farmers built their houses on the hillside and farmed the river bottom. The logic in this was self evident. Then over time as cities expanded this farmland was sold for housing and it became “fashionable” to have waterfront.

    200 years ago people had the common sense to understand that waterfront property is at best “temporary” land. They would have told you in plain language it was a mistake to build there because of the risk of flooding. Now we actually have folks suggesting we de-industrialize the economy to try and protect stupid decisions to build in flood prone areas.

    I have no problem with people building in flood plains, so long as we are not asked to help pay for their foolishness. However, when the floods come, as they will, the damage is somehow “man made” because we drive cars and we are all expected to pay. Well it is man made for sure, but it has nothing to do with CO2 and driving cars. The damage results from a decision to build in areas prone to flooding, rather than on the hillside above the flood line.

  50. Leif Svaalgard (September 27, 2011 at 6:41 am) … thanks for that, we actually needed to hear back from the editor because he cited a need for major revisions but gave us no clue as to what they were (the reviewer ranks also suggests no need for major revisions — 1B and 3A). So we asked … and you see the rest of the story.

  51. bwanajohn says:
    September 27, 2011 at 6:42 am
    I am not sure why Roger Jr. can’t see what “major” revision is necessary. It’s quite simple. Run the data through an “adjustment” algorythm to show there is an exponential increase in frequency and intensity at the end of the 20th century (hockey stick) and Voila! Publication guaranteed and full protection from ever having to show your work.
    ================
    This formula has been shown to be 80% effective in getting published, while trying to publish articles contrary to the consensus is only 20% effective. The reason is simple, there is a risk in publishing something outside of mainstream beliefs, which the publishers don’t want to take.

  52. Could anyone advise me. I’m thinking of submitting a paper to GRL, which do you think is more appropriate:

    A homogeneous database of corruption in the publication of global warming papers.
    or
    Towards a homogeneous database of corruption in the publication of global warming papers.“?

  53. Richard Tol said… 22

    @Roger
    The verdict by Referee 2 is clearly negative: You oversell.

    Overselling may be countered in less than an hour by changing a sentence here and there. However, the definition of “major revision” is in the substance of the revision, rather than in the effort made.

    The editor’s decision “revise-and-resubmit” is thus appropriate. As GRL does not do that, “reject-but-resubmit” follows.

    Instead of rejoicing, you decided to pick a fight. The decision thus became “reject-and-never-come-back”.
    Tue Sep 27, 01:21:00 AM MDT

    Review 2 is not negative, he recommended publication. He had serious about overstatements, but recommended publication. That is positive. You are wrong to suggest otherwise.

    Overselling a paper or a claim is a common enough problem that it gets caught, corrected, and resubmitted without rejection. Rejection is (generally) an axe reserved for incomplete or improper analysis. In fact, when peer-review worked well, its best function was to catch the overselling of a result. Your issue here completely side-steps the problem where the both editors failed to address the simple question of, “What major revisions should i make to re-submit?” The behavior of both editors is quite bizarre in context with your implication that GRL was asking for Pielke to re-submit when there was no clarification given as to what major revisions were required for re-submittal. Their responses were cryptic and not helpful, yet you suggest that if Pielke had just made (as yet unknown) major changes and re-submitted all would be well. What confidence would you ever have that your next paper would be treated fairly when the editors responses are so useless for such an endeavor?

    Also, if that exchange between Pielke and the editors is what qualifies as “picking a fight”, then I would imagine a tank battles use spring-loaded nerf weapons.

  54. Fred Berple

    I wish I could have a pound for every person who has expressed amazement at being flooded despite living in such locations as ‘flood lane’ and ‘tides reach’ :)

    I don’t think people are as aware of their natural emvironment as they once were and expect that ‘they’ will sort things out if things go wrong. Which is not to say that I dont have every sympathy for people that have been flooded, just that we are increasingly putting ourselves into vulnerable situations..
    tonyb

  55. This situation reminds me very much of an experience I had several years ago trying to get a custom home design approved by an architectural review board in Reno. After submitting the first time the review came back a month later “unapproved”. No reason why and no hint at what I needed to do to get the plans approved. Was it a shutter location or two or did they want a single story home instead of a 2 story. No idea… and they weren’t responding to my letters or phone calls.

    I re-submitted a couple times after that but to no avail and still with no feedback. After consulting with an architect familiar with that review board I learned that the problem was probably not my design but that I hadn’t used the architect who was buddies with the members of the board. I subsequently sold the lot rather than play that game. I commend Dr. Pielke for going to another journal rather than put up with their non-responsiveness.

    The good news is that sometimes things work out for the best. The market subsequently crashed and I’d have lost hundreds of thousands had the review board worked with me. Life works in mysterious ways…

  56. I currently have a courtesy subscription to Nature Climate Change. Every single article I have read contains a gross overselling of confidence in the results presented. Hansen’s writings provide the canonical examples of overselling a claim.

    I propose a new definition for the following word-

    hyperclimatism- overselling, overhyping or exaggerating the impact of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on weather extremes and climate.

  57. Wasn’t Jones refering to GLR when he said:

    “Kevin (Trenberth) and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is ” ?

  58. LazyTeenager says:

    “Indur Goklany recently had an article here that claimed that mortality rates from natural disasters had gone down on a global scale. Which maybe can be interpreted as better coping mechanisms due to more wealth or better government policy. I would be surprised if this does not also affect economic damage in a similar way. For example better quality buildings that are more resistant to tropical storm damage. Better flood control systems that reduce the effect on agriculture also come to mind.”

    More than offsetting those factors is the fact that the quantifying of global casualties missed a large portion of the world’s affected population in the past. As Lazy says: “Quantifying the contribution of each effect looks impossible to me.” So it’s at least a wash. Lazy continues:

    “…a flood in one area might have little effect measured in dollars but it has a big effect since if leads to starvation.” Obviously, economics isn’t Lazy’s strong point. Finally, Lazy opines:

    “…Tamino has just plotted the FEMA statistics and they show an upward trend for disasters in the USA. So it looks like there is some ways to go to resolve the contradictions.” The only contradiction is between FEMA’s self-serving bogus statistics and the real world in which, as Dr Goklany says, mortality rates are declining. It’s only the reporting of natural disasters that has gotten more accurate.

    As for the ignorant Tamino… Pf-f-f-ft.

  59. LazyTeenager says:
    September 27, 2011 at 6:27 am

    “I think the findings are interesting but not iron clad…….

    Tamino has just plotted the FEMA statistics and they show an upward trend for disasters in the USA. So it looks like there is some ways to go to resolve the contradictions.”

    Take FEMA results with a very large grain of salt since there is money and bureaucracy involved.

    We had a small tornado go through town. Before FEMA it would have perhaps made the local news and be shrugged off, this year FEMA was in town literally BEGGING people to take money…..

  60. The problem is not the paper. It’s the author. He is persona non grata. For asking inconvenient questions too loudly and publicly.

    Try using a helpful, young researcher on the next paper. Identifying yourself after publication.

  61. IMO, we’re starting to see some “cracks” in the peer-reviewed process.

    Some editors are expecting the reviewers to find enough faults with a paper to prevent publication. Then, the editor doesn’t have to make a call.

    If the reviewers cannot find anything TECHNICALLY wrong, they have no choice but to recommend publication. Now the editor has to step in. And it’s appearing that no editor wants to be on the recieving end of the critiques by allowing a paper the “consensus” disagrees with.

    So they either publish and quit, or not publish be seen as a tool of the consensus.

    It appears that some editors are also falling into the “publish or perish” line.

    But with them, it’s turning into “publish AND perish”…

  62. climatereason says: @ September 27, 2011 at 7:38 am

    “…I don’t think people are as aware of their natural emvironment as they once were and expect that ‘they’ will sort things out if things go wrong. Which is not to say that I don’t have every sympathy for people that have been flooded, just that we are increasingly putting ourselves into vulnerable situations..”

    A lot of it has to do with graft and bribes to the planning boards. I had to jump through hoops including getting a stamped geological survey map to get permission to build 100ft above the flood plan of a major river. A Good Ole’ Boy bought thousands of acres next to me and now there are a lot of houses built 100ft below me, directly on the flood plain where I saw three feet of standing water during Hurricane Fran

    As my Geology Prof said “If you build in a river you get what you deserve and the 100 year flood plain IS part of the river….”

  63. Slight addition to the options:

    As the editor what would you do?

    A) Provisionally accept the paper pending a revision that meets the editor’s judgment of responsiveness
    B) Provisionally accept the paper pending re-review by the two reviewers
    C) Reject the paper
    D) Reject the paper and tell the authors that any reconsideration of the paper would have to be accompanied by a detailed response to the two reviewers followed by selection of new reviewers and a restart of the review process so I don’t have to resign my position then have to write a letter apologizing to Keven Trenberth.

    If you picked (D) then you too can be an editor at GRL.

  64. Leif’s idea that peer review as it is is the best thing we’ve got like Liberal Democracy, is incorrect.

    The Editors in fact more often than not have absolute powers of life and death on papers, like Tyrants of old.

    Remove the Editors (without usjng the guillotine, mind you) and peer-review will function again. After all Editors made sense when publication space was at premium and on the Internet the concept is almost meaningless.

  65. How does ‘Construction and examination of a homogeneous database of global landfalling tropical cyclones’ grab these pedants?

  66. Roger,I’m an old guy and I would have simply made a few changes that dealt with the reviewers comments and re-submitted to see what happened.

    Years ago, I submitted a masters thesis in geology (metamorphic petrology) for about the fourth or fifth time. I had had to do a number of new sub-studies to add to my work to satisfy an outside thesis advisor who subscribed to a completely different theory on the subject at hand than I or my thesis supervisor. My supervisor then passed my thesis on to a new post doc gentlemen who specialized in my area. He red-marked up my appendices! I was a day or two from going to a new job and, over a beer, a friend advised me to simply remove the appendix. I did this and to my surprise, the operation was a success! (I tried to submit this on Roger’s blog but didn’t understand the little box on comment “profile”)

  67. omnologos says: @ September 27, 2011 at 8:58 am
    “….Remove the Editors (without usjng the guillotine, mind you) and peer-review will function again. After all Editors made sense when publication space was at premium and on the Internet the concept is almost meaningless.”

    You are completely forgetting the real reason for “Learned Journals” It is the method used by Colleges and Universities to judge their professors and the way potential students decide what school to go to.

    Publish or Perish

  68. D. Robinson says:
    September 27, 2011 at 8:38 am
    Leif, by chance can you share the ratings from your paper?

    Science and Presentation Categories

    GRL uses science and presentation categories to evaluate manuscripts. Please read the following criteria to help you decide which science and presentation categories most accurately describe the manuscript you’re reviewing:

    Science Category 1. The manuscript meets one or more of the following criteria. If the manuscript falls in Category 1, please give sufficient detail as to which of the below points are applicable and why:
    * Important new science at the forefront of an AGU discipline
    * Innovative research with interdisciplinary/broad geophysical application
    * Instrument or methods manuscript that introduces new techniques with important geophysical applications

    Science Category 2. The manuscript is potentially Category 1 but significant clarification/revision is needed. If possible, please specify the significant revisions that might allow this manuscript to meet Category 1 criteria. For example, the manuscript presents:
    * Some unclear or incomplete scientific reasoning
    * Inadequate presentation of data
    * An instrument/method where the geophysical application is not obvious

    Science Category 3. The paper is publishable in the refereed literature but is unlikely to become a Category 1 paper:
    * A scientifically correct paper but not obviously a significant advance in a geophysical field
    * A solid paper with little immediate impact on the research of others: e.g., a routine application of a standard research technique or a new measurement or laboratory method with limited geophysical application
    * A good, clear, but basically incremental improvement to existing data sets, models, or instruments

    Science Category 4. This paper is basically not publishable in an AGU journal:
    * There are major scientific errors in the manuscript
    * Essentially the same material has been published or is being considered for publication elsewhere
    * The technique is not useful
    * The research area is not representative of an AGU discipline

    Presentation Categories
    Presentation Category A. Category A manuscripts should meet ALL of the following:

    * Abstract is succinct (<150 words), accurate, and comprehensible to a nonspecialist
    * Manuscript is generally well-written, logically organized, and adequately illustrated
    * Figures and tables are understandable and readable (when sized for GRL)
    * English usage and grammar is adequate, with few spelling/typographical errors (please specify any minor fixes)

    Presentation Category B. Potentially a Category A manuscript with revision. If you select Category B, you should give explicit direction as to which sections/features need revision, and extension or reduction, for example:
    * Abstract needs to be rewritten/shortened
    * Manuscript is not well written, is not logically organized, is inadequately illustrated
    * Manuscript needs to be (and can be) shortened
    * English usage, grammar, or spelling errors detract from the paper

    Presentation Category C. The manuscript cannot readily be revised by the authors into Category A:
    * Specific ideas cannot be adequately presented within the 4-page GRL limit
    * Organization and illustration of the manuscript make it too difficult to review fairly
    * English usage, grammar, and/or spelling errors are endemic and require substantial copyediting before this manuscript can be published (or even reviewed adequately)

  69. Fred H. Haynie says:
    “Why not submit it to a journal that deals with economics? They are the people that need the data.”

    I agree. As an actuary it strikes me that a leading property and casualty insurance journal should be only too anxious to publish the paper.

    “However, no homogenized dataset of tropical cyclone landfalls has been created. We have constructed such a homogenized global landfall TC database.”

    Alternatively, why not forget that you are scientists and try to exploit the commercial value of your database?

  70. Dr Pielke cudda saved some time by submitting this to me.

    I would have rejected it much quicker.

    The paper did not blame anything on CO2, nor did it suggest that he needed further funding to further the research on why CO2 was the cause.

    You could submit a paper on why cucumbers have ugly bumps if you blame it on CO2 and request addtional funding from the gubbermint.

  71. The editor wrote:
    “Thank you for submitting the manuscript “A homogeneous database of global landfalling tropical cyclones” (2011GL049419) to Geophysical Research Letters. Based on the review, I believe that the article requires a major revision, and therefore I cannot accept this version of the manuscript for publication (please see Editorial Policies for major revisions at http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/Editorial_GRL.pdf).

    You will see that the review (comments enclosed below) found promise in the manuscript, and indicates that a revised manuscript might indeed meet GRL criteria. ”

    Both reviewers recommended changes. Dr. Calais explained that the editor’s language is standard.

    Nobody likes to be told to revise and resubmit, but the solution is to revise and resubmit. You never know for sure in advance whether the revisions will be found acceptable, you just have to do your best. Quarreling with the editor, no matter how justified (and it doesn’t seem justified to me after reading Pielke’s blog), is almost never successful. In the best of circumstances, it takes less time to revise and resubmit than it does to win an argument with the editor — in the best of circumstances, the editor puts your correspondence at the bottom of the in box.

    Pielke had a temper tantrum. That’s all. I recognize it because I have had similar tantrums, for which I have been rebuked by my more reasonable co-authors. After revising, you add a note thanking the editors for their thoughtful comments that improved the manuscript.

  72. In his comments on his post, Roger says that the 2nd reviewer gave it a Science Category 3.

    As someone who has reviewed several GRL submissions, I have always taken the Science Categories as a ranked order, i.e., “1″ is most publishable, “4″ is least publishable. When I give a manuscript a “3″ science category, I would expect major revisions. Essentially, GRL will only publish papers that can be Category 1 after revision. Category 3 states that it is publishable in some journals, but is not likely to become a Category 1 for GRL.

    I agree that the reviewers comments are a bit muddled – pointing out many major issues, but then seeming to suggest that a change of title might address it. However, I can see where the editor would interpret those comments in a negative light, feel that a title change would not be sufficient, and suggest a “major revision” with a resubmission, particularly in light of the reviewer’s “3″ rating. Basically, as a reviewer if I give a paper a 3, I’m essentially saying “I think this this paper should probably be rejected, but if other reviewers and the editor disagrees, I’ll accept that my view is in a minority.” Category 4 is either very harsh – basically, “this paper is rubbish” – or it is not an appropriate topic for the journal.

    I do agree that the editor should be responsive to Roger’s questions and provide useful feedback. Below is the full description of the Science Category 2 and Category 3.

    Walt Meier

    Science Category 2. The manuscript is potentially Category 1 but clarification that can be achieved within the GRL space constraints is needed. For example:

    The manuscript presents some unclear or incomplete scientific reasoning.
    The manuscript presents some inadequate description of data, model, or interpretation (missing tables, figures incomplete, supplementary material incomplete, etc.).
    Broad geophysical implications requires more emphasis (e.g. in the introduction, discussion, and/or conclusion).

    Science Category 3. Science is sound and paper is publishable in the refereed literature but is unlikely to become a Category 1 paper for GRL. Possible reasons are:

    A scientifically correct paper but not obviously a significant advance in a geophysical field
    Paper is too regional or too technical in scope.
    Paper does not present a significant enough advance in geophysics.
    Paper does not present sufficient innovation.
    Paper has little immediate impact on the research of others.
    Paper is a routine application of a standard research technique or a new measurement or laboratory method.
    Paper offers incremental improvement to existing data sets, models, or instruments.
    Paper presents an instrument/method where the geophysical application is not obvious.
    Significant data analysis or modeling is required to substantiate the conclusions.
    Paper is of interest to a too narrow readership.
    Paper requires clarification beyond the space constraints of a GRL manuscript.

    Walt Meier

  73. Mike says:
    September 27, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 27, 2011 at 7:17 am

    !

    Many people have worked to improve the peer-review/publication process over the last 40 years (that’s as long as I have been reading and writing in professional journals), and it is as it is because so much work is involved and it is in fact extremely hard to improve. With the internet as it is everybody can put the original paper and reviews up for everyone to read, as Pielke did in this case. But if you want to publish in the archival journal, be cited, be included in reviews, count your article toward tenure, and have your work read by graduate students, then you have to respond to the reviews and resubmit.

    Now that Pielke has advertised the fact that a reviewer found 13 explicit problems, every other reviewer who sees the paper will aim for at least 14. You don’t want to admit that you are a second-rate reviewer for a journal with low standards.

  74. waltmeier says:
    September 27, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Dr. Meier,

    Thank you for the information and very objective analysis of the situation. I learned some info (hadn’t every submitted to the journal in question) and enjoyed the refreshing bias-free discussion of the topic.

    -Scott

  75. @James Sexton

    That point is surely going to be reached. When really good sicence is read, appreciated and cited more than bunk and fluff, journals that a re balance will quickly be chosen as publishing points.

    To bet on the position that the process of keeping out all research that does not support CO2-induced CAGW is to lose in the long run. It is not a sustainable position – gate-keeping against common sense. Those who are last to give up the nonsense will go down in history as main villians. Look at how carefully and quickly Monbiot jumped from a being leading catastrophist to ‘quasi-balanced’ as soon as the Climategate emails were released. Smart move. He is smart enough to know when the death-knell has sounded. People quickly forgot the outrageous videos he made about the disappearing Himilayan glaciers portending massive droughts in the Mekong Delta. That was just part of keeping the BBC ‘on message’.

    The science is in but the message is not out. The Journal editorships are the last outpost. Once they fall to rational wo/men the catastrophists will have to move on to, perhaps, the next ice age or something. Maybe ‘peak energy’.

  76. I once wrote a technical paper (on the subject of Photometry (for EE consumption re LEDs)). It was an invited paper at the request of the journal editor, in response to an already published application note.

    The Journal Editor then reduced my paper to absolute total garbage; by substituting colloquial synonyms for highly technical terms with very specific scientific meaning. I guess he thought that “effort” was just as good as “energy” (E). Since such scientific terms tend to be repeated often in a scientific paper; he thought it a little boring for the reader so he selected from his list of a dozen or so colloquial synonyms; one of which was a specific scientific term.

    So after he had worked his wonders on my carefully worded manuscript; he sent it back to me and thoughtfully requested that I check it for “scientific accuracy”, and then send it back for publication.

    I returned his piece of prize literature to him untouched; with a post it note, that simply said :

    “The paper was scienticially accurate when I originally submitted it to you at your invitation.”

    They published my paper verbatim; never changed a word or punctuation.

    I don’t see what “Peer Review” has to do with “editing”. Let the reviewers write their own papers for publication, if they don’t like what is in a submitted paper.

  77. Hello Orson Olson and “Watts Up with That” readers:

    Apologies that the following webpage address is not currently working: http://woods.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/index.php. We launched a redesigned website on Friday and are having unanticipated technical issues with the redirect from this address to: http://woods.stanford.edu.

    I believe the program participant list you are looking for is publicly available here: http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Symposium/SHS_symposium_program.html.

    Thank you, Michael Murphy
    Woods Institute Communications Director

  78. Why bother submitting to some of these journals? They’ll simply waste your time while covertly emailing copies to their brethren at “Realclimate” so they can release a nonsensical hit job on it the day after it is published elsewhere.

    Haven’t we learned anything from Climategate?

  79. I fail to see the issue, the revisions required are in reviewer 2′s comments: “claims of a new homogeneous database (based on JTWC outside of the US) are grossly over-stated as there is much work needed before that can be genuinely claimed. This is especially so in regard to intensity, which the authors treat fairly simplistically in any case. I would like to see that aspect down-played

    It is not simply a case of altering the title, they are also asking that the content be modified to reflect the new title.

  80. “”””” Fred berple says:

    September 27, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Ken Hall says:
    September 27, 2011 at 2:35 am
    1 More people live in the areas prone to flooding because they tend to be desirable riverside/sea side locatioons. “””””

    Well therein lies the problem; they actually are very UN-desirable locations to live/build on.

    Now I have the opposite problem, I am FORCED by my mortgage lender to buy flood insurance for my house. My insurance company no longer sells flood insurance; it is far too risky for them. Hooray for them; but it means I now get my flood insurance from the only place you can now buy flood insurance; some fly by night outfit by the name of FEMA. They sell flood insurance to anybody; because FEMA is terminally stupid.

    So I need “flood insurance” because my house is about a mile from the perimeter of the larges lake west of the Mississippi River; Tulare Lake, in California’s Central Valley. Okay so you’ve never heard of Tulare Lake; largest west of ole Miss. Well you see they drained Tulare Lake over 100 years ago, and flushed all that waste fresh water down the San Joachin River into SF Bay, and out into the Pacific Ocean. They wanted the land at the bottom of Tulare Lake to grow crops; which they now do; valuable stuff like cotton.

    For an encorps, they laser levelled the entirety of the California Central valley, so you can flood the whole thing with one inch of water; but that is still one hell of a lot of water, since the Cal CV is a whacking great place.
    So when my house was built back in the Plasticine age, they put the house four feet off the ground on a rock wall solid foundation. There isn’t enough fresh water in the entire United States to flood the Cal CV four feet deep; well OK maybe excepting the great lakes; which aren’t going to cross the Rockies any time soon. So ok there’s not enough west of the Rockies.

    Then I have a water district irrigation canal running across my property so they have an easement on my land. I don’t get any water out of that canal, though I pay for the privilege of having them use my land; but their canal does drain even the rain off my land, so you’d have one hell of a job getting four inches of water onto my land, let alone four feet.

    So don’t worry taxpayers; FEMA has more chance of getting hit by an asteroid, than by a flood insurance claim on my house.

    As for New Orleans; who but the French would build a city below sea level, and then add a huge lake on the side opposite the sea so a storm could fill it up quickly.

  81. Do not forget people this is the same journal that not only accepted the Dessler rebuttal paper to Spencer and Braswell 2011, but rushed the paper through “peer” review and published it online. The Dessler paper after they published it online was found to contain major errors and not just in his characterization on Dr. Spencers position (which he is changing the galley proofs of) but an error in his data that he is also revising. So now compare and contrast how GRL rushed through a paper with incorrect results due to using bad data and then published it online, to how they state the Pielke paper is refused by the editor because it needs a “major” revision of one word to the title.

  82. James Sexton says:
    September 27, 2011 at 6:45 am
    Steve from rockwood says:
    September 27, 2011 at 6:22 am

    At what point in history was GRL run by a group of virgins dedicated to the advancement of science? And can someone point me in the direction of a journal that does not have it’s own internal mandate?
    =========================================================

    Then, don’t you think our scientists, and editors and reviewers (allegedly some the world’s greatest minds) would have the intellectual honesty to state as such? This has gotten to point of lunacy. Publish or perish? But forced to publish in some misanthropic journal or another? What ever…… we need to quit lending these organizations credence.
    =========================================================
    For many years now I have approached most of the scientific journals as an industry onto themselves. Yes there are some important papers by credible scientists doing original and ground-breaking work. The other 99% of the papers are by plodders adding to their CVs. To ask for intellectual honesty given the position that publishing scientists now find themselves (publish or perish) is not easily possible.

    Another problem I have seen in a few journals (Geophysics being the one I am most familiar with) is the tendency to go off on tangents and over-represent a specific area of the discipline, for example three dimensional inversion (of magnetics, gravity and more recently electromagnetics). At first blush there are genuine ground-breaking advances (much it was the advent of high speed computing). But as the years roll by more and more of these papers (mostly of marginal value) to get published by the same group of authors, one or more often appearing on the editorial board of the journal. These later papers form the great bulk of the total publications and rarely offer anything new.

    Tenure and grants are closely linked to the number of publications rather than quality which is not easily measured.

    I’ve drifted back to text books, a handful of “ground-breaking” papers (many from the 1960s and 1970s) and the Internet. The only subscription I have these days is to a vintage car magazine and I am grateful that these people publish out of a love for their craft and a genuine belief they are helping others to learn.

  83. Stunts like this just serve to make me more untrustworthy of climate science. I’m sure I’m not alone in this…

  84. Steve from Rockwood

    I know exactly where you are coming frombwith this comment – it is a simple fact of Academic existence today that you must get a lot of work published (because papers make for more research money and a better reputation for the department). What is the best way of getting lots of publications? Certainly isn’t to undertake speculative and potentially ground-breaking research (which could make you a big reputation, but where the chances of anything publishable are very small given the amount of time required for the research). Much more efficient to simply tinker at the edges of an established field.

    One of my Masters professors had the simple method of using a pro forma as the basis for the majority of his papers that he could simply slot in newly obtained (geochemical) data from different sites or different phases of his fieldwork. OK, so it got some data into the public domain, but did it really advance the understanding of the science?

  85. George E. Smith says (September 27, 2011 at 12:09 pm): “As for New Orleans; who but the French would build a city below sea level…”

    The Dutch? :-)

  86. I’m a bit off topic with this post but with regard to:

    Steve from Rockwood says: September 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    …Yes there are some important papers by credible scientists doing original and ground-breaking work. The other 99% of the papers are by plodders adding to their CVs. To ask for intellectual honesty given the position that publishing scientists now find themselves (publish or perish) is not easily possible.

    Another problem I have seen in a few journals (Geophysics being the one I am most familiar with) is the tendency to go off on tangents and over-represent a specific area of the discipline, for example three dimensional inversion (of magnetics, gravity and more recently electromagnetics)….Tenure and grants are closely linked to the number of publications rather than quality which is not easily measured.

    and: Ian B says: September 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    …it is a simple fact of Academic existence today that you must get a lot of work published (because papers make for more research money and a better reputation for the department). What is the best way of getting lots of publications? Certainly isn’t to undertake speculative and potentially ground-breaking research (which could make you a big reputation, but where the chances of anything publishable are very small given the amount of time required for the research). Much more efficient to simply tinker at the edges of an established field.

    And there in a nutshell; “publish or perish” along with how little value teaching is accorded, is why I decided to stay out of academia even tho I loved the academic world, research, and teaching. I’m dating myself, but in grad school in the mid 80′s at a major/top university, I was in the professors’ office areas enough to hear about and see the frequent grief one particular professor was subjected to because he wasn’t bringing in ‘enough’ grant money. The man published a few excellent solid papers each year, but because his area of interest wasn’t ‘hot’ at the time, it was far more difficult for him to publish, there was far less grant money available and what was available, was far more difficult to get. Everyone (e.g., Dean, peers, students) liked him, and his research was generally thought to be very high quality as were his papers. But that wasn’t enough and he was always on the verge of being let go.

    So even with multiple requests from my Dean to stay on for a PhD, I opted to stop with an M.S. an enter my field as a highly qualified individual (in my discipline, at the time, a PhD made you “too qualified” for positions anywhere but academia or National Labs).

    Teaching, research, putting research together for presentation to peers & working the scientific method? AWESOME Chasing grants, dealing with highly biased publication issues, and huge problems if your area doesn’t happen to currently be ‘hot’ or your findings run counter to the current paradigm? BLECH

  87. re post by: Leif Svalgaard says: September 27, 2011 at 5:51 am

    One way of dealing with such a situation is to request another referee. I recently published a paper in GRL where the reviews were diverging….It is clear that the decision letter was just boilerplate.

    Leif, did both of your reviewers recommend publication? From your description, it sounds like one did and one didn’t – if so, I would think that’s a different animal than Peilke’s, where both reviewer’s recommended publication.

  88. There is a discrepancy in definitions of Category 3:

    Roger quotes:
    “Science Category 3: The paper is publishable in the refereed literature but is unlikely to become a Category 1 paper. For example:…”

    I just went to the GRL site, and copied their definition of Category 3:
    “Science Category 3. Science is sound and paper is publishable in the refereed literature but is unlikely to become a Category 1 paper for GRL. Possible reasons are:”

    Perhaps the version Roger quotes is the ‘shorthand’ version sent in replies?

    In any case, the version off the web site, IMO, makes it clear that Category 3 is publishable, somewhere – but probably not in GRL. That’s pretty much what the reviewer said, too ‘perhaps just publishable, but only because of the useful new content on adjusting loss data,’ and there are other major issues that he does’t like and that need to be dealt with.

    And his category 3 ranking means “I don’t think a revised paper will become GRL category 1, but perhaps.”

    BTW, I once had a paper rejected from J. Neuroscience, despite lukewarm ‘accept with minor revisions’ responses from 3 reviewers. Basically the editor thought the work sounded potentially new and interesting, but enough outside his field he was not able to judge the potential impact. The reviewers said the paper was sound, the work of high enough quality to be accept in J Neuro., of sufficient general interest, just barely – they made it clear this was a good paper but probably not at the impact level the journal wanted. We were then rejected by the editor, who wanted higher impact papers.

    He was right. We published elsewhere, the paper has been cited a dozen times, exclusively for the data in it, and then dropped out of view.

  89. re post by: Steinar Midtskogen says: September 27, 2011 at 5:03 am

    If you submit a paper, say, “Crop production trends” …but one reviewer points out, while the paper is otherwise sound, a more precise title could be “Crop production trends in southwest Madagascar”, and the editor might judge that this isn’t something for his journal after all, even though the reviewer thinks it’s quite publishable with this minor change in its title.

    My point is that I suspect that the paper was rejected not because it was anything very wrong in it per se, but because its contents weren’t exactly as originally advertised….I’m just trying to find a plausible explanation which doesn’t involve conspiracy theories.

    I would think this probably happens often. If it were the case with Peilke’s submission, however, it seems to me that the rejection would state that problem, and that they’re not currently interested in publishing a paper with that particular content. Instead, they said it was promising and just needed some specified minor revision’s according to the reviewers, and unspecified major revision according to the editor – but then it would be of interest. So I don’t think the reasoning you’re mentioning fits this situation. Unless, of course, GRL just likes to lead researchers on and waste their time – which I seriously doubt.

  90. re post by: Pascvaks says: September 27, 2011 at 6:05 am

    Except for your suggestion to actually work, one would also have to know how and manage to set up a peer review system, then have the time to actually manage the process including the actual website itself. I don’t believe the process is nearly as simple as you suggest, not once practical considerations are taken into account. I wish it were tho!

  91. From climatereason on September 27, 2011 at 12:22 am:

    (…) For instance, in the UK, flood damage and claims can be traced to a number of factors other than the severity of the flood incident.;

    1 More people live in the areas prone to flooding because they tend to be desirable riverside/sea side locatioons.
    2 People are generally less tolerant of flooding and want certain protection by means of a physical wall rather than mitigate the effects by say placing their electrical outlets above flood levels.

    3 Claims are generally higher because of increased wealth which reflects itself in the cost of repairing homes and replacing goods.

    If only it would be that simple. I’m speaking from still-flood-ravaged Central Pennsylvania, which is set to get some more flooding right now with an inch or so of rain today on top of the soaked ground, although nothing like the “Great Flood of 2011″ three weeks ago that arguably surpassed our previous benchmark, Hurricane Agnes in 1972. Personally I’m on a hilltop, the flood wall for the “small town city” below along the Susquehanna River held, but it looked dicey for awhile and between the bridge and road closings we were nearly cut off. I know people who had flooding issues, some nearby roads are still closed.

    1. Many people live where flooding is possible (if not flood-prone) because it is cheap. A common example around here is streams and creeks that “rarely” overflow their banks. We’ve seen a lot of that lately, and it’s a mess when they do. Nearby between Northumberland and Sunbury, which are on opposite banks of the Susquehanna (Norry being where the two main branches join on two sides of it, Sunbury *just* being past the intersection), there’s a strip of land called Packers (or Packer) Island. In 1972 you could only tell it was there because you could see the bridges going to where it should be. Down river, next to Selinsgrove, is the Isle of Que. Local joke, TV says it has flooding, when don’t they have flooding?

    Also nearby Bloomsburg, home of Bloomsburg University but mainly the world-renowned annual Bloomsburg Fair held on the last week of September, got hit hard. Seasonal flooding of the Fairgrounds is almost normal, in Spring. They were hammered, first time in 157 years they canceled the Fair. And as I heard from someone who knows the area and the people, there’s wondering as to why they built low-income housing in one of the worst areas.

    Common denominator: cheaper land, cheaper housing. Sure, there are those who’ll have their multi-million dollar beachfront homes, their trendy riverside vacation properties. But by and large, there’s just many people living where they can afford to live. And as populations have gone up over the decades, that means more people where flooding can *sometimes* be a problem. Sure, it doesn’t seem to make much sense, quite possibly cost them more in the long run. But when living paycheck to paycheck, the monthly costs alone define what is affordable and possible.

    2&3. These go together. Standards have changed over the decades. It’s nowhere near as simple as mounting outlets higher. Homes are built tighter, with plasterboard, and many closed-off spaces which could have water-absorbing insulation (outside wall). Where our ancestors would’ve just cleaned off the plank walls and floors and waited for them to dry, now the walls are stripped down to the studs and exterior sheathing over fear of toxic mold, with much spraying of chlorine bleach. Plus the ripping out of the installed wall-to-wall carpet and padding. All that drives up the restoration costs considerably.

    Then there are things that make less sense to me. In the many pictures I’ve seen of former home contents piled outside waiting for disposal, there’s a lot of wood furniture. Modern cheap particleboard and plywood construction aside, my grandparents would’ve just cleaned off those solid wood pieces and kept using them. There was also a lot of plastic and metal housewares that just needed cleaning. Etc.

    The “professional restoration” people likewise said interesting things. Air ducts need replacing. If furnaces were in water, it’s no longer acceptable to just clean them up, Code (code office, building codes) says all the electrical parts need replaced. Likely the furnace will just be replaced. (Guess it’s a given that electrical panels, some wiring, maybe even the meter base will need replaced.) As something that makes even less sense to me, if that “toxic river water” even touches the base of a water heater then it must be replaced, as the potable water inside could get contaminated. Excuse me, but the only water-related thing on the bottom is the drain valve, which is by default closed thus can be cleaned without contamination, the water lines are fed in from the top. By their reasoning, if that “toxic river water” touched a clothes washer hookup, or a sink faucet, you’d have to re-plumb the entire house.

    The increasing costs are a sign of increasing wealth, but not necessarily in a good way. People now have more costlier stuff to lose, like modern appliances and electronics. We have housing that costs more, but the standards for restoration have grown adding additional costs. And, we also have insurance, leading to items being replaced that could have been salvaged, perhaps easily saved, and also to having things that would have been considered too dear to own if the would-be owner knew they’d have to shoulder 100% of the replacement costs when inevitably replaced.

    It’s not that simple at all.

  92. This is a typical GRL reply when one of the reviews is negative or even indifferent. It’s no big deal. Just do the work and resubmit.

    The “situation” is largely the result (judging by his publication list) of the author’s unfamiliarity with how GRL works.

  93. re post by: Richard Tol (@RichardTol) says: September 27, 2011 at 6:22 am

    I think that all papers should be treated equally, regardless of their political implications. I edit Energy Economics. You’re welcome to check the journal for political bias…

    I think most would agree that all papers should be treated equally. The simple fact is that they’re not, because we are human. Try reading some of Ioannidis’s published research on these issues, they are a real eye opener.

    Your suggestion that we can check your journal for bias, however, is ludicrous almost to the point of being insulting. Obviously the only way we could really check for bias is if we were able to have ready access to full papers – of ALL the papers that were submitted – both those published, and those rejected, along with all of the associated peer review comments and reasons for rejections. Short of that, I suppose if a run thru published papers showed that many contradictory papers were published, it would give a small positive indication in your favor, but that’d be about the extent of it, and it certainly wouldn’t begin to show that the journal doesn’t have publication bias involved in it’s selection process.

  94. re post by: Septic Matthew says: September 27, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Pielke had a temper tantrum. That’s all.

    When did reasonably politely asking for clarification of requirements, especially when contradictory statements were used, become a temper tantrum? Or as I believed someone else catagorized it, ‘picking a fight?’ Particularly when the contradictory terms are so according to the published definitions of the organization involved?

    If the issue was a simple one of miscommunication because of the stock letter terms, all the journal would have need to do was reply along the lines of ‘just make the changes requested by the reviewers and resubmit, that’s all we’re referring to.’ Presto, problem solved. Instead, they refused to explain what they acutally meant and what they actually required.

  95. Rational Debate says:
    September 27, 2011 at 5:50 pm
    Leif, did both of your reviewers recommend publication? From your description, it sounds like one did and one didn’t – if so, I would think that’s a different animal than Peilke’s, where both reviewer’s recommended publication.

    One reviewer gave a rating of 1A [the very best], and the other of 4C [the worst - meaning unpublishable in any form]. GRL does not use the category ‘major revision’ anymore, So if one reviewer asks for ‘major revision’, GRL will reject the paper, but encourage you to rework it and submit it as a new paper. I concur with other posters that have commented that Pielke, Jr, simply did not know how GRL works. He should have bit the bullet, reworked the paper a bit, and tried again. Whining to the editor will not help.

  96. When I wrote my first research based thesis, from beginning to end, my prof did not tell me how to write it. Not the proposal and not the final article. I must have submitted 30 versions to him. He kept telling me to read other research articles that had been published and to completely rework mine to conform to the standard, without telling me how. It was infuriating. I called him every name in the book and wanted to chop up the tree I killed submitting the paper to him and make him eat it. In the end, it was the best possible thing he could have done for me. A major researcher read my final thesis and described it as a “gold mine”. I credit that damned professor for that result.

  97. Rational Debate: When did reasonably politely asking for clarification of requirements, especially when contradictory statements were used, become a temper tantrum?

    When Pielke Jr. whined about it on his blog.

  98. Rational Debate: Instead, they refused to explain what they acutally meant and what they actually required.

    Reviewers, working without pay, provided an itemized list of defects requiring corrections, as they have have (collectively, not just these 2) for thousands of papers. Then they went on to review the next papers on their worklist. The standard response, of which Pielke Jr. was reminded, is to revise, resubmit, and include a detailed list of the original objections and how they have been fixed. They couldn’t rewrite the paper for him.

  99. Sorry, Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 27, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Perhaps that is a rational choice in a normal world. That is not the case today, editors are all too frequently throwing up roadblocks where none appear warranted. In this case, both reviewers said publish. It was the individual editor, perhaps not wanting to be forced to resign, that pulled the black ace that said go somewhere else, don’t poop on my porch.

    You can rationalize it, but the bottom line is that GRL did not want the product and any publicity it might generate. To me, its a degeneration of the Science that you live bye.

    Defend it, but it’s rapidly going bad in front of our eyes. And your accommodations assist in that end result. Your attitude and apparent role is something called an enabler, in other halls of science.

  100. I have to agree with Richard Tol’s analysis, “The verdict by Referee 2 is clearly negative: You oversell.” as the second review was clearly negative as the following wording was used,

    “For that reason it is perhaps (just) publishable”

    “claims of a new homogeneous database (based on JTWC outside of the US) are grossly over-stated

    “This is especially so in regard to intensity, which the authors treat fairly simplistically in any case”

    Seriously, how can you not read those comments as negative? [I am not arguing whether these comments accurately reflect the contents of the paper]

    The editor took these criticism upon himself to make a decision to ask for a “major revision”. The editor pointed to a definition that used the phrase “or other significant changes”. This phrase is subjective and thus it allows the editor to make a judgement call as to whether he felt the second reviewers comments met this criteria for a “major revision”. He felt it did. I don’t see anything outrageous here. Either resubmit (too late for that) or go to another journal.

    I could not find anything published by Roger in GRL before but saw his dad has published multiple times there.

  101. waltmeier says:
    September 27, 2011 at 10:29 am

    In his comments on his post, Roger says that the 2nd reviewer gave it a Science Category 3.

    As someone who has reviewed several GRL submissions, I have always taken the Science Categories as a ranked order, i.e., “1″ is most publishable, “4″ is least publishable. When I give a manuscript a “3″ science category, I would expect major revisions. Essentially, GRL will only publish papers that can be Category 1 after revision. Category 3 states that it is publishable in some journals, but is not likely to become a Category 1 for GRL.

    I agree that the reviewers comments are a bit muddled – pointing out many major issues, but then seeming to suggest that a change of title might address it. However, I can see where the editor would interpret those comments in a negative light, feel that a title change would not be sufficient, and suggest a “major revision” with a resubmission, particularly in light of the reviewer’s “3″ rating. Basically, as a reviewer if I give a paper a 3, I’m essentially saying “I think this this paper should probably be rejected, but if other reviewers and the editor disagrees, I’ll accept that my view is in a minority.” Category 4 is either very harsh – basically, “this paper is rubbish” – or it is not an appropriate topic for the journal.

    I do agree that the editor should be responsive to Roger’s questions and provide useful feedback. Below is the full description of the Science Category 2 and Category 3….

    Walt Meier

    Professor Meier, I think you are missing the point Roger Pielke, Jr. is trying to make. He never said that the paper did not need revision, or even that he was unwilling to make revisions. He wrote to the editors to specifically find out what revisions he needed to make in order for the paper to be published, and the editors were unable to answer that question. He was willing to make all the revisions the reviewers suggested, and was willing to make more, if the editors would be specific about the revisions they wanted. The editors were unable to tell him what it would take to make his paper publishable in their forum.

    Surely, they must have had some specific reason or aspect of the paper that they thought was what made it unpublishable. But they were not able to name it. That is more damning to their cause then just rejecting the paper. By just saying, “we reject your paper,” without giving cause, nothing could be conjectured about the reason. But by saying they would be willing to accept the paper if changes were made, then not being able to articulate those desired changes, they made themselves and their journal look foolish.

  102. Leif Svalgaard says:
    September 27, 2011 at 7:17 am
    Of course, the process is not perfect, but like Democracy the best we have got.

    Is it, or is this just what the research community believes?

    I think it should become more acceptable to publish papers on the web (I don’t necessarily mean on personal blogs or the like, but usually through one’s organisation, research faculty, etc). Academic libraries could store copies and print as needed, while journals could be excellent places to announce and discuss new papers (and if they don’t, the paper is still out there). There are many practical reasons. This doesn’t stop anyone from going through a proper review process, though it’s less enforced. Researchers will still be interested to ensure the best quality of their papers, and to address possible criticism or problems. The community should also think less of getting published as a mark of quality. Too much prestige is involved. As you say, peer review isn’t perfect, and it can hardly be the task of the reviewer to replicate and verify the results, anyway. Good papers will be recognised (eventually). This could also reduce the need for adding “honorary authors” to a paper. I believe many “authors” in papers at best belong to an acknowledgement section instead.

  103. Keith W. says:
    September 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm
    He wrote to the editors to specifically find out what revisions he needed to make in order for the paper to be published, and the editors were unable to answer that question.
    It is usually not the editor’s task to suggest what improvements the author needs to make. That is for the reviewer. The editor relies on reviewers for this and it is irrelevant what the editor is able or unable to do. The Chief Editor responded: “After consulting again with my editor for Climate, I believe that the additional work needed to address the reviewer’s comments are beyond minor revisions. Given the significant changes expected, a revised version of your paper would need to be reviewed again. Hence the decision to reject and encourage resubmission. Again, this is a fairly common procedure at GRL.” It is GRL’s policy [now] to reject a paper that requires changes beyond ‘minor revision’, and to suggest resubmission if the paper ‘has promise’. The proper thing to do for an author in such a case is to work in whatever changes he thinks will mollify the reviewer. The author cannot expect that the editor will tell him how to rewrite the paper. In extreme cases, the author can always ask for another reviewer [as in my case]. All this is standard practice under which everybody must labor.

  104. Leif Svalgaard sorry how can they make changes if if will not or cannot tell them what changes need to be made ? Surely if the issues was ‘major’ they logic would suggest it should be easy to outline. And it was not the reviewer that turned it do for publication, they actual recommended, by the editor who refuses to say why.

  105. @”Rational debate”, TedK, John + others

    “I’m sorry, but a single word addition for a title change – which is acceptable to the authors – can hardly be called a ‘major revision’ in much of anyone’s book”.

    “Richard Tol, GRL claim this paper need ‘major revisions’ but simply cannot explain what they are beyond a word change , which is hardly ‘major’ in anyone’s language”

    As far as I know, most journals do indeed consider a suggested change in the title of any manuscript (that goes beyond simple typos or such) a “major revision”. I recently had an exactly similar review from the journal “Mycological progress” – fine and straightforward reviews, both agreed that our paper was publishable but one reviewer suggested changing the title as he thought it was not clear which group of organisms we drew our conclusions about. The final verdict from the editor was “Major revisions needed”.

    And adding “towards” certainly is quite an important change – do you have a homogenous database on tropical cyclones showing a clear trend (or a lack thereof), or are you merely trying to move towards this desirable goal and presenting some preliminary results? I am having trouble understanding how any honest reading of this could lead to different conclusions.

    GRL´s policy in such cases is clearly stated previously in the link supplied by Diffenbaugh “( Editorial Policies for major revisions at http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/Editorial_GRL.pdf)”:

    “……manuscripts are routinely declined if the reviews point to a need for additional analyses, simulations, or other significant changes to support purported high-impact results or implications. However, for those submissions that show promise of reaching GRL’s criteria, authors are
    encouraged to resubmit following necessary revisions. While “resetting the clock” on manuscripts that require major revisions reduces the time-to-publication dates, the policy is motivated not by a desire to make the GRL editorial process appear as rapid as possible but rather by a desire to
    make the process be as rapid as possible”.

    One may agree or disagree with this way of treating manuscripts, but Pielke´s paper was undeniably treated completely along the rules of GRL. And with respect to the gatekeeping, I see absolutely no point whatsoever – after all, if the reviewers or the editor had some kind of hidden agenda, they could easily have chosen to simply rejected the manuscript outright. They did not. And I honestly doubt that Dr. Pielke will have an easier time getting it into a better journal than GRL, and nor is the turnaround time likely to be any faster.

    So to sum up: Is there a single valid, reasonable or even understandable point in Pielke´s dissatisfaction or his actions? I certainly fail to see it.

  106. KnR says:
    September 28, 2011 at 1:24 am
    the editor who refuses to say why.
    The editor is not the expert, the reviewer is. The reviewer recommended major revision. The standard policy of GRL is to reject papers that require major revision and to suggest resubmission. This is the way it is and the authors will have to accept that. The editor does not ‘refuse’ to say something.

  107. @RationalDebate
    Sorry. No insult intended.
    A scan of the papers published in Energy Economics (here: http://ideas.repec.org/s/eee/eneeco.html) would show that we publish regardless of political colour.
    We are discussing the release of data on rejected papers with a scientometric research outfit. There are patterns in rejection (e.g., French authors have unusually high rejection rates) but I am confident there is no politics involved. And yes, that would a resigning matter.

  108. Are GRL following the same policies uniformly for all? In such a case, with Dessler having made significant errors and having accepted that to Dr.Spencer saying he’ll amend, will they ask him to re-submit the paper with major revisions to a new set of reviewers? Don’t hold you breath on this.

  109. What should happen when two reviewers differ on the publication value of a paper is that the paper should be submitted to a third reviewer. Problem avoided.

  110. Venter the nature of Dessler comment meet it did not require reviewers, if that is fair or not is another question . But as a comment does not need to be reviewed , but its also judge as to quality knowing its not been reviewed. Nevertheless the undue haste to get Dessler’s work out is of concern and indeed its come back to hurt him as Spencer as been seen to correct the work of the person that claimed he was wrong . No matter how you cut that its devalues Dessler’s work considerable . The ‘Team’s hope that is would kill Spencer work is completely gone now and its actual just resulted in making Wagner’s claimed reason for resigning make even less sense than it did . Which is not something the Team would welcome.

  111. Leif Svalgaard what was the major revision needed , the reviewers do not mention it , the editor claims there is one but can’t say what it is . All that Pielke ask for is that he is told the nature of what this mystery ‘major revision ‘ work he needs to do is. I take you can accept the logic that its not possible to make changes to gain acceptably if they will not tell him what changes need to be done and that if its a ‘major revision’ it must be easy enough to outline it.

    In the end the may actual be a real issues which Pielke can benefit from working on , but GRL’s editors approach has been rubbish calling for a ‘major revision’ when the reviewers did not and then simply being unable or unwilling to say what it is makes no sense at all.

    Its wrong becasue I say so , but don’t ask why, has no scientific value .

  112. KnR says:
    September 28, 2011 at 6:53 am
    but GRL’s editors approach has been rubbish calling for a ‘major revision’ when the reviewers did not and then simply being unable or unwilling to say what it is makes no sense at all.
    As one reviewer called for changes that went beyond ‘minor revision’, the paper should [and was] automatically be rejected as per the policy of GRL. If one does not like that policy, don’t submit to GRL.

  113. Hi KNR

    Dessler 2011 to my knowledge was a peer-reviewed paper, but I could be wrong. When it was published, Texas A&M gave a press release stating that

    ” Andrew Dessler, a Texas A&M atmospheric sciences professor considered one of the nation’s experts on climate variations, says decades of data support the mainstream and long-held view that clouds are primarily acting as a so-called “feedback” that amplifies warming from human activity. His work is published today in the American Geophysical Union’s peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters.”

    I read about it at WUWT as per the below link

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/06/hot-off-the-press-desslers-record-turnaround-time-grl-rebuttal-paper-to-spencer-and-braswell/

  114. Steve from Rockwood says:
    September 28, 2011 at 6:06 am

    A third review is often solicited. GRL just doesn’t usually do that the first time around. The editors just send it back. Their model puts the onus on the authors to do deal with whatever issues as they arise. What makes this work is the fast turnaround times.

  115. Ted says:
    September 28, 2011 at 8:48 am
    Steve from Rockwood says:
    September 28, 2011 at 6:06 am

    A third review is often solicited. GRL just doesn’t usually do that the first time around. The editors just send it back. Their model puts the onus on the authors to do deal with whatever issues as they arise. What makes this work is the fast turnaround times.

    ===============================================
    Ted, that works well when there are problems with the paper.
    It does not work well when there is a problem with one reviewer.
    GRL must assume the reviewers are always correct – even when they offer opposing views on the value of the paper.
    To modify my earlier comment that a third reviewer should be sought, a third reviewer would help in the event the first two reviewers have offered the opposite advice (say accept with minor revisions versus reject) and this would improve turnaround times when reviewer comments differ greatly.

  116. KnR says: All that Pielke ask for is that he is told the nature of what this mystery ‘major revision ‘ work he needs to do is. I take you can accept the logic that its not possible to make changes to gain acceptably if they will not tell him what changes need to be done and that if its a ‘major revision’ it must be easy enough to outline it.

    The reviewers itemized their objections in their reviews. Exactly how Pielke Jr and co-author address the problems is up to them, as is the usual case when revisions are required. Whether the revisions pass muster depends on the detailed letter supplied by Pielke Jr and co-author, and on whether they actually answer the objections. The reviewers never detail in advance exactly what revisions will guarantee acceptance.

  117. Maurizio Morabito says:
    September 28, 2011 at 11:47 am
    Leif appears to have fathomed what the fabled major revisions asked to Pielke Jr be. I for one would like to see them listed! Thank you Leif in anticipation!
    Spare us your ill-founded sarcasm. Sufficed it to say that it is up to the authors to satisfy the reviewers the best they can [and they know well where to problems are - or should be able to rebut the reviewers - or ask for a 3rd one] and simply to submit [as the rest of us do] a revised version and hope for the best.

  118. Septic Matthew Pielke asked repeatedly what the ‘major revision ‘ that needed to be done was, the editor that made this claim, it was NOT the reviewers who made this claim they recommended for publishing ,but could not or would not tell him what is was.
    Clearly if its ‘major’ in nature it must be easy to outline but the only thing outlined was by no means major in nature . So back to the beginning ,what is the ‘major revision’ that needs to be done ?

    From a scientific point of view just saying its wrong but not why is meaningless , his a journal editor not 3 year old refusing to share their toys and just screaming no I won’t

  119. Venter has far as I understand it , Dessler work did not need peer review becasue it was not a ‘paper’ but a comment , the fact that something is in a peer reviewed journal does not mean it has be peer reviewed it depends on what its nature is.

    Actual this route was probable used to give a fast turn around and becasue the ‘Team’ could ensure there was no way peer review would get in their way, in practice their not that powerful in peer review that they could ensure 100% the result they needed . The irony is that approach as blow up in their face , Spencer has been seen as needed to in come in to help Dessler with his work, so any idea that Dessler is a serious challenge to Spencer is gone , while Wagner’s reason makes even less sense given he was using Dessler work in-part to justify it .

    For the Team , Dessler my turn out to be a bit of a home goal .

  120. Faults:
    1. Lacks in-depth analysis
    2. Claims (of homogeneous database) grossly overstated.
    3. Storm intensity is handled simplistically

    Requested revision to address above faults:
    A. At a minimum down-play claims in 2 above and change title.

    Note that reviewer 2 appears to support Pielke claims that observed increases in storm damage appear to be misrepresentations, so saying that he was blocking it for “political” reasons or “gatekeeping” because it is “not IPCC” seem disingenuous at best, he downrated it because the analysis did not support the claims. Perhaps this can’t be done in the four page limitation of GRL and it would be better to publish in a journal with less restrictive page limits.

    Pretty simple and you don’t have to invoke a worldwide conspiracy as some commenters here seem wont to do.

    Personally, I tend to agree (on no evidence whatsoever) with the misrepresentation angle, I think that Roger is correct on this.

  121. Steve, the third reviewer would work in both cases (if I understand you correctly). GRL just has a different approach: if in doubt, reject, and possibly encourage a resubmission. In thus case, the doubt was created by the second reviewer’s very tepid response.

    Is this approach better? Who knows. But it’s common knowledge that this how GRL operates.

    I once went through three reject/resubmits on a GRL paper, where I would describe the reviews as about as critical as in this case. I know my situation wasn’t unique. Generally, the reaction is to 1) grumble for a day 2) do the work. Roger Pielke Jr. has taken a different approach.

  122. KnR says:
    September 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm
    Pielke asked repeatedly what the ‘major revision ‘ that needed to be done was, the editor that made this claim, it was NOT the reviewers who made this claim they recommended for publishing ,but could not or would not tell him what is was.
    You do not seem to get the situation. It is not up to the editor to show the author how to rewrite his paper. The 2nd reviewer said “For that reason it is perhaps (just) publishable but claims of a new homogeneous database (based on JTWC outside of the US) are grossly over-stated as there is much work needed before that can be genuinely claimed.” This alone disqualifies the paper according to GRL’s policy. The 2nd reviewer did NOT recommend publication, but said that with much more work [=major revision] the paper was PERHAPS [JUST] publishable. This is NOT a recommendation. It would help if you would acknowledge that you understand the difference.

  123. See, Pielke Jr didn’t use the magic words: “Gozer the Gozerian… good evening. As a duly designated representative of the City, County and State of New York, I order you to cease any and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension. “

  124. Ted:

    Reviewer #1 said “publication is recommended for this paper after consideration of some relatively minor issues”.
    Reviewer #2 said “The work seems essentially sound and useful to the community” and then added some caveats ending with “I would like to see that aspect down-played and perhaps the title adjusted to read “Towards a homogeneous database …” or some such.” The last sentence sounds as though reviewer #2 favors publication following (what seem to me to be) minor revisions.

    The GRL response doesn’t really help the author much as it doesn’t seem to reflect the tone of the two reviewers (#1 “publication is recommended”, #2 “work seems essentially sound”, GRL “any reconsideration of the paper would have to be accompanied by a detailed response to the two reviewers followed by selection of new reviewers and a restart of the review process”).

    So if I were Pielke I would be confused with the GRL response after seeing the reviewers comments. Add to that the issue of “perception” of revision of the peer review process in climate science and I would also be suspicious that the GRL editors were drop-kicking my paper because its contents were not consistent with the prevailing wisdom.

    It is not up to the editor to instruct the author on how to rewrite his/her paper as Leif asserts above. However, editor’s responses should be consistent with reviewers comments and if reviewers comments are inconsistent it is the role of the editor to seek consistency – either by asking a third reviewer to comment (going for 2 out of 3) or by providing specific information on why the paper is being rejected so that the author has a path to move forward (assuming he/she wants to proceed with publishing in that journal).

  125. Leif Svalgaard you just like the editor simply can not state what this major revision is , you got an excuse they have not . Back to the beginning what is the nature of the major revision THE EDITOR claimed existed that is all Pielke asked for,
    Once again the reviewers did not make this claim, THE EDITOR did and they took their ball home and refused to play like a child. It would help if you could admit to who made this claim and the fact they simply cannot or will not support it .

  126. KnR: From a scientific point of view just saying its wrong but not why is meaningless , his a journal editor not 3 year old refusing to share their toys and just screaming no I won’t

    You do not seem to get the situation, as Leif Svalgaard noted above.

  127. KnR says:
    September 28, 2011 at 2:40 pm
    you just like the editor simply can not state what this major revision is , you got an excuse they have not .
    You are still not getting it. The proper action for the authors would have been to rewrite such as to meet the objections of the referee. If those objections are week, the rewrite is easy. Then simply resubmit. This is the way it works and we all must conform to that [if we want to publish in GRL].

  128. Steve, none of what you say is wrong…GRL just operates differently. The ‘some caveats’ included what many perceive as, at minimum, indifference (“just publishable”)… To which the editor’s reply us basically: “ok, c’mon, give us more…how badly do you want it”. But with every opportunity to resubmit. They’re always looking for a reason to initially bounce a paper. It’s a broad filtering mechanism, different from the other AGU journals.

    What’s different is Pielke’s response, presumably the result of inexperience. Or rather, what would normally occur as grumbling over beers, he’s chosen to escalate up to Calais and then publish on his blog. Different times, I guess.

  129. It seems to me for the reviews that there are two ways to address the reviewers (mainly #2).
    1. Justify the reviewers definition of “homogenous database” which would require a significant rework with significant new content — i.e. not a revision major or otherwise.

    2. Dial back claims of “homogeneous database” and change title to reflect this. — It seems to me that this doesn’t fall under the GRL definition of major revision.

    I’m not sure Pielke’s reaction was reasonable either. Pick #2, resubmit and see what happens. I’m also guessing that there was a little “even if we have to change what peer review means” going on here based on the editor’s seeming desire to ignore the reviewers recommendations. I’ll comment here that although review #2′s comments were less than glowing he gave it a 3A rating and the other review gave it a 1B.

  130. DRE, A means it met the format requirements. 3 means the content needs (major) work;. See Walt Meiers post above. Others, who have reviewed for GRL, have confirmed his understanding. A 3 for science ain’t so hot.

  131. re post by: Leif Svalgaard says: September 27, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Thanks for the reply Leif. I hadn’t see the rating category descriptions when I first posted to you (thanks to those who posted those). Even so, my understanding was that Peilke had no problem with the reviewer comments – he was thrown by the form letter stating “major revision” with no explanation of what aspect of the paper was being referred to, as the reviewer comments were minor in nature. It seems to me that the editor, on being queried, ought to have simply replied that it’s a form letter with outdated wording, and the only revision being required were as noted by the reviewers. If they had, I suspect Peilke would have just made the revisions and resubmitted.

    So, why the stonewalling and ambiguous responses by GRL, rather than a simple explanation to an honest query from someone trying to meet their requirements?

  132. re post by: Pamela Gray says: September 27, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    I’m glad you can take such a positive view on such treatment – I doubt I’d be so charitable. Most people (including yourself I’d bet) at the point of working on a thesis are perfectly able to learn from general guidance and corrections – gross trial and error isn’t necessary. Most I suspect have already read large numbers of published papers, and would be perfectly willing to read another set while contemplating form and standards, and learn from that also – without having to go thru trees and time doing it incorrectly over and over. Frankly, by the time I started on my thesis, I’d already been taught reams about what was acceptable, what wasn’t, basic standards and form, etc. I’m rather surprised that you got to that point without having already had much of that pounded into you.

  133. For everyone still complaining about this answer this question,

    Is the phrase “Major Revision” subjective?

    Pielke and everyone else complaining is hung up on a phrase that anyone can interpret however they feel like – including the editor.

  134. re post by: Septic Matthew says: September 27, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    Rational Debate: When did reasonably politely asking for clarification of requirements, especially when contradictory statements were used, become a temper tantrum?

    When Pielke Jr. whined about it on his blog.

    Oh, I see. So by definition, all whistleblowers or anyone factually reporting how an agency, company, journal, government, policeman etc., treats them, are to be despised as whiners throwing temper tantrums. Interesting world you live in.

  135. re post by: Septic Matthew says: September 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    …They couldn’t rewrite the paper for him.

    Your entire reply was a nice strawman that has nothing to do with the issue. Peilke stated explicitly that he had no problems making all of the corrections the reviewers specified. He asked for clarification of the editor’s comment which was contradictory to the reviewers.

  136. He asked for clarification of the editor’s comment which was contradictory to the reviewers.

    No it was NOT! The second reviewers comments can be interpreted as requiring a “major revision”.

  137. re post by: Richard Tol (@RichardTol) says: September 28, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Thank you for the reply Richard. There really is no way to tell if there is publication bias simply by scanning published titles, or even reading a number of the published papers. One probably could pick out a problem that way if the journal covered a very limited scope, and there were some major well known controversy and one side was obviously excluded. But you know as well as I do that often it’s impossible to tell from paper titles just what ‘side’ the research may come down on – and the more diverse the scope (which your journal certainly appears to be), the more impossible it becomes, especially if that journal is covering areas that don’t happen to be your own speciality.

    Even if it IS your speciality – it would still be almost impossible to pick out publication bias without knowing what papers are being rejected, and if there are any patterns over time to those rejections. Although I grant you that over time folks in a particular industry or academic field often pick up on this sort of thing and it becomes “known” around the coffee pot.

    You mention no political bias in your journal… but of course the political spectrum isn’t the only area that can be involved in publication bias – leanings one way or the other with regard to competing scientific hypothesis about particular subjects can obviously be another, or a preference for articles about certain subjects vs. others, and so on can all be forms of publication bias. It is also entirely possible for well meaning people who believe they are not expressing any bias to actually be quite biased without realizing it.

    Point is, that to really be able to tell if a journal has publication bias issues, one would have to put in a good bit of work researching it, AND have access to details about what gets rejected and why.

    I’m curious if you’ve read any of Ioannidis’s work on these issues? Obviously he’s evaluating the medical research field primarily, but his work is applicable to all research and associated publication issues – it’s human nature issues that he’s really covering. Particularly since you are a journal editor, I would very highly recommend that you take a look at his work if you haven’t already. I think you will find much of it quite interesting.

  138. Rational Debate says:
    September 28, 2011 at 8:45 pm
    It seems to me that the editor, on being queried, ought to have simply replied that it’s a form letter with outdated wording
    This is not ‘outdated’ wording, but the newest policy of GRL. Anything more than ‘minor revision’ is automatically rejected [and possibly invited to submit]. This is standard procedure and is clearly explained in the link provided by the editor: http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/Editorial_GRL.pdf

  139. re post by: populartechnology says: September 28, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    And therein lies the problem – far too much in this issue is/was subjective, vague, or very ambiguous. The reviewer’s comments, the editor’s replies, the standards, etc., can all be interpreted quite differently when read by otherwise intelligent and reasonable individuals.

    and @Poptech says: September 28, 2011 at 9:22 pm — there’s that darned “3″ in the rating that caught me again I guess. So with that included, I would agree it could be said that reviewer 2 suggested a major revision – but even that is ambiguous, because his comments imply that simply downplaying the degree of homogeneity, and adding toward to the title would be sufficient. Things which, as Peilke said, could be done in a day’s turn around time which wouldn’t have slowed GRL’s “fast turn around” process at all.

    Assuming, as Christoffer Bugge Harder says: September 28, 2011 at 2:32 am, that it is considered a major revision to make a simple word change in the title that doesn’t significantly change the content or import of the paper, as compared to a change that radically alters things or that requires significantly more work/research… then the whole thing is even more ambiguous.

    Then, as others have already mentioned, there is the bugagoo of how Dressler’s paper/comment was treated in comparison. A comment which would have been more properly submitted to RS to begin with.

  140. re post by: Leif Svalgaard says: September 28, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    This is not ‘outdated’ wording, but the newest policy of GRL. Anything more than ‘minor revision’ is automatically rejected [and possibly invited to submit].

    I stand corrected Leif. When I read the editor’s reply to Peilke, which stated “GRL has not been using “major revisions” for several years now…” I mistakenly took it to mean they no longer use the term – and, my bad, I didn’t go read the link to the actual policy.

    From the beginning I’ve thought that were I in Peilke’s shoe’s, I’d’ve probably gone ahead with the easy changes and resubmitted (playing the devil’s advocate taking issue with flaws doesn’t negate that)… That said, I still feel that it would have been far more reasonable and productive – for everyone involved – if the editors had simply tried to provide a little more clarity once asked.

  141. @Leif Svalgaard says: September 28, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    p.s., Thanks also for supplying the GRL link in your reply!

  142. Rational Debate says:
    September 28, 2011 at 10:23 pm
    if the editors had simply tried to provide a little more clarity once asked.
    To my mind, the editor was crystal clear and provided a supporting link. But, then again, I don’t feel threatened by conspiracy thinking. Nor, am I a whiner.

  143. Rational Debate says:

    And therein lies the problem – far too much in this issue is/was subjective, vague, or very ambiguous. The reviewer’s comments, the editor’s replies, the standards, etc., can all be interpreted quite differently when read by otherwise intelligent and reasonable individuals.

    Agreed, the problem here is everyone is reading this review in the same light as Spencer and Braswell. I don’t feel the review is being handled remotely like the treatment they received as the editor did not reject it but asked for a revision and a re-submission. Remember Pielke Jr. is NOT an “AGW skeptic”. Half the people jumping into this probably do not know this.

    So with that included, I would agree it could be said that reviewer 2 suggested a major revision – but even that is ambiguous, because his comments imply that simply downplaying the degree of homogeneity, and adding toward to the title would be sufficient. Things which, as Peilke said, could be done in a day’s turn around time which wouldn’t have slowed GRL’s “fast turn around” process at all.

    Assuming, as Christoffer Bugge Harder says: September 28, 2011 at 2:32 am, that it is considered a major revision to make a simple word change in the title that doesn’t significantly change the content or import of the paper, as compared to a change that radically alters things or that requires significantly more work/research… then the whole thing is even more ambiguous.

    If you read the review carefully you can see the language that someone can interpret to mean more than simply changing the title,

    Reviewer 2: The work seems essentially sound and useful to the community but lacks in-depth analysis and illustration. It does confront the issue of continued misrepresentation by some of the impact of “climate change” on presently experienced insurance and other losses from tropical cyclones. For that reason it is perhaps (just) publishable but claims of a new homogeneous database (based on JTWC outside of the US) are grossly over-stated as there is much work needed before that can be genuinely claimed. This is especially so in regard to intensity, which the authors treat fairly simplistically in any case. I would like to see that aspect down-played and perhaps the title adjusted to read “Towards a homogeneous database …” or some such.

    What happened here is the editor read these as requiring a “major revision” or just quickly used the phrase not knowing Pielke would take such offense to the word “major”. Pielke took offense [he will argue this] as he felt that simply changing the title or such would resolve all these issues and did not feel it was “major” or whatever but this is irrelevant as he is essentially trying to tell someone else that they cannot subjectively view something the way they do – this is pointless.

    Then, as others have already mentioned, there is the bugagoo of how Dressler’s paper/comment was treated in comparison. A comment which would have been more properly submitted to RS to begin with.

    These are two very different issues as this review should be judged independent of Dressler’s since Pielke had nothing to do with the other. Spencer should submit his comment to Dressler in RS, LOL. He probably has a better chance of getting it published.

  144. Rational debate, DRE, KnR + others

    “2. Dial back claims of “homogeneous database” and change title to reflect this. — It seems to me that this doesn’t fall under the GRL definition of major revision”.

    Could any of you who insists that the objections from reviewer #2 do not constitute a “Major revision” please answer this question: Is there no major difference between

    A. launching a new, truly homogenous database on tropical cyclones and presenting groundbreaking new results showing a clear trend (or a lack thereof), or

    B. merely trying to move TOWARDS this desirable goal and presenting some preliminary results?

    Again, to my mind this is not a difficult decision at all, and nor do I see how the verdict from the editor is in the slightest way subjective or unclear: Change the title and the manuscript so it reflects the fact that you are just taking a step on the way (rather than having reached the goalline) – then it is perhaps (just) publishable. Then resubmit following the universal instructions here (http://www.agu.org/pubs/pdf/Editorial_GRL.pdf).

    I honestly do not see the problem, and seeing any kind of evidence of unfair and evil peer-review gatekeeping in this would certainly require conspiratorial thinking to a point which should embarass Alex Jones………..

  145. @RationalDebate
    I’m aware of that literature, even made a small contribution to it (Tol, 2009, JASIST).

    Abstracts are in the public domain. If you read the abstracts of the six most recent papers on the EU ETS in Energy Economics, you will find a diversity of opinion that is in sharp contrast to the consensus among the political elite.

    As I said, I am prepared to open the journal’s archives to scientometrists. (Not to all and sundry because there is a lot of confidential material, including accusations of plagiarism.)

  146. Leif – your misreading of the words as there is much work needed betrays your bias and unreasonableness.

    Of course reviewer 2, having just recommended “perhaps publication”, meant to say that Pielke Jr’s work was a step towards building the “homogeneous dataset” (and not that the authors were supposed to do all the “much work” by themselves). After all, if much work is needed it would make no sense to prevent publication to papers going in that direction: otherwise, there will never be anything approaching a “homogeneous dataset”.

    Anyway, your refusal to list the major revisions needed is enough. Thank you.

    Poptech – your claims would make sense had the editor used them to reply to Pielke Jr. For mysterious reasons, he did not. Since both reviewers implied publication and the editors refused it, it’s up to the editor to detail why. If there is language that someone can interpret to mean more than simply changing the title then that someone should explain their interpretation.

  147. I can relate to what Pamela Gray said, except that my experiences were at work, not so much in college (except for my wonderful English composition professor from my freshman year).

    I don’t know enough about how scientific journals work to comment directly one way or another on this situation, but my own experience with the fussiest bosses (who constantly drove me crazy) when it came to writing legal opinions, research papers, and the like, convinced me that it improved my writing to simply revise and resubmit, just as Leif Svaalgard said in his posts, and suffer through the process as best as one could.

  148. Christoffer Bugge Harder : Change the title and the manuscript so it reflects the fact that you are just taking a step on the way

    My last peer-reviewed paper is dated 2005 (no worries, nothing about climate) but I can’t recall having to go through any hit-and-miss guesswork with the reviewers and the editors. They told me what they wanted to see changed, and I changed it accordingly.

    Vague pronouncements followed by an editorial refusal followed by the same editor failing to communicate the changes needed, well, that all sounds distinctly unprofessional.

    That said, when I have sent a climate-related commentary to Nature a couple of years ago, and the reviewers agreed it was worth publishing, the editors stepped in and binned the paper claiming it was not interesting enough (against the explicit judgement of one of the reviewers). So I am not surprised if lack of editorial professionalism is widespread in climate science.

  149. Maurizio Morabito (omnologos) says:
    September 29, 2011 at 1:38 am
    If there is language that someone can interpret to mean more than simply changing the title then that someone should explain their interpretation.

    Reviewer #2 is very clear:
    The work seems essentially sound and useful to the community but lacks in-depth analysis and illustration.
    So ‘in-depth analysis and illustration’ is lacking. Adding that is part of the revision called for. GRL’s procedure states “manuscripts are routinely declined if the reviews point to a need for additional analyses…”.

    I would like to see that aspect down-played and perhaps the title adjusted to read “Towards a homogeneous database …”
    Here the reviewer calls for additional text to ‘down-play’ the finding, in addition to changing the title. This is the second place where revision is needed. The notion that ONLY changing the title would be enough is thus false, and GRL in following their standard procedure should [and did] reject with the option of resubmission.

    So, in short: GRL is dealing fairly with the paper, applying the same rules to it as to all other papers. My latest GRL paper got the same treatment. The proper reaction is to revise and to resubmit. Not to whine about unfairness.

    Your other comments on bias, unreasonableness, refusal, etc should be beneath serious discourse, but, then, I realize that some people have lower standards than I.

  150. @Ted. I see your point Ted and wonder if publications like GRL take the blogosphere into account (perhaps leaning away from submitters who are active bloggers)?
    A different world for sure today and one where real contributions probably can’t stay hidden for long.

  151. I have published papers in my field which is healthcare. As late as last week, I received a comment from the editor of a good journal in this field about one of my papers, saying that this could not be published, stating what were the changes expected and stating that the paper would be publishable if the specific changes were met. It was as simple as that, professional, clear, courteous and stating what was needed to be done so that science could be advanced.

    Obviously, Climate Science seems to follow a different set of rules, devoid of any fairness, logic, scientific method or due process.

  152. Leif – September 29, 2011 at 4:15 am – whatever lies beneath you, the extremely weak point of mentioning the words as there is much work needed has now disappeared from your reasoning. Good to know.

    Still no word from anybody why would an editor not reply to a rejected author’s request of clarification.

  153. Poptech says:
    September 28, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    “No it was NOT! The second reviewers comments can be interpreted as requiring a ‘major revision’.”

    I would go further and say they couldn’t be interpreted any other way, the following; “claims of a new homogeneous database (based on JTWC outside of the US) are grossly over-stated as there is much work needed before that can be genuinely claimed. This is especially so in regard to intensity, which the authors treat fairly simplistically in any case. I would like to see that aspect down-played”, is clearly asking for changes to be made to the content and conclusions of the paper.

  154. Maurizio Morabito (omnologos) says:
    September 29, 2011 at 7:24 am
    has now disappeared from your reasoning. Good to know.
    Having said that repeatedly, there was no need to keep harping on the same. Good to know that you have partly heeded the further explanation of the facts, although your attitude is still not up to par. But, I guess, somebody will have to occupy the lower rungs of the scale.

    Still no word from anybody why would an editor not reply to a rejected author’s request of clarification.
    Because [for the gazillionth time] it is not the editor’s job. The referee reports are what the authors should respond to. And the editor did reply with an explanation of GRL’s policy. Everything is what it should be.

  155. Venter says:
    September 29, 2011 at 7:10 am
    Climate Science seems to follow a different set of rules, devoid of any fairness, logic, scientific method or due process.
    If you care to look, referee #2 did explicitly point to three areas where changes were needed. What seems to be different is the extreme sensitivity and paranoia displayed by the authors.

  156. No Leif, what IS different is that non-climate editors appear to be able to behave professionally, exchange emails with authors, explain their position even with as little as a “Read reviewer #2′s comments”.

    Climate editors instead can always do a wagner, or get somebody like you to defend the indefensibile “because it’s not their job”. What isn’t their job? To explain the unfathomable ways of their reasoning?

  157. Maurizio Morabito (omnologos) says:
    September 29, 2011 at 7:58 am
    Climate editors instead can always do a wagner, or get somebody like you to defend the indefensible
    The treatment the climate editor gave Pielke is no different from the treatment I and many of my colleagues have gotten from non-climate editors. It is standard procedure and editors [of any stripe] never clarify or expand on the reviewers. What is different is who was at the receiving end.

  158. “Still no word from anybody why would an editor not reply to a rejected author’s request of clarification.”
    There are many authors per editor. Editors simply do not have the time to answer every question. In this case, the question was too silly to warrant an answer. The comments were clear. The author wanted to be lead by the hand, but that’s not the editor’s job. A journal like GRL is not short of papers, so authors that are not self-starters should try their luck elsewhere.

  159. Thank you Richard for reminding me of that Blues Brothers scene with John Belushi and Princess Leyla. Yes, there’s almost no limit to what we can rationalize post-facto.

    I guess it must’ve been my charms that made me always interact with professional editors, outside of climate science. Lucky me!

  160. Rational Debate wrote: So by definition, all whistleblowers or anyone factually reporting how an agency, company, journal, government, policeman etc., treats them, are to be despised as whiners throwing temper tantrums.

    No, not all. Only the whiners.

  161. re post by: Leif Svalgaard says: September 28, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    To my mind, the editor was crystal clear and provided a supporting link. But, then again, I don’t feel threatened by conspiracy thinking. Nor, am I a whiner.

    Yes, you’ve made it perfectly clearly that you agree with the editor. In the past, I’ve been heavily involved in developing highly technical complicated verbatim compliance procedures, and the one thing you very quickly learn is that different people can very easily come away with very different understanding of identical wording. The only way to minimize that is with very careful literal wording.

    So you say: “the editor was crystal clear and provided a supporting link” and if you are so utterly certain, then you tell me; In order to meet the requirements of both editor and reviewer #2 such that the submission would be moved out of category #3 and be fully publishable by GRL, would it have been sufficient to change the title to “towards…” and likewise do the easy and quick revision throughout the document to downplay the idea that this was a fully homogeneous database? Or would it have been necessary to actually re-present only after significant additional work and development of a ‘less simplistic’ (whatever that means) treatment, such that no one could possibly gainsay that a fully homogeneous database was being presented?

    A literal reading of reviewer #2′s comments leaves open either option (or any degree in between). Either the answer that only a fully homogeneous database etc. would be sufficient, or that the work was important enough that a paper “toward a homogeneous database” would be sufficient.

    It’s easy to be biased towards whatever your first impression and opinion was on reading about this, but not so easy to admit that otherwise fully reasonable people could read the exact same thing and come away with a very different understanding than you did.

    Now, I can’t speak one way or the other about whether Peilke is a serial whiner threatened by conspiracy theories or not – I have no idea. I can easily that that plenty of people who fit neither of those labels would want a bit of simple clarification regarding what was being requested given the way reviewer #2 worded things, and the editor replied. It also would have taken the editors no more time to provide that simple clarification than it did for them to reply as they did, even if it meant a quick call to reviewer #2 to find out. Whichever revision they required, the result, according to both editor and reviewer, would have been of interest to GRL – so a simple clarification by the editor stood to gain them a paper they’d want. Rude or cursory or ambiguous treatment, label it what you will, lost them the paper which doesn’t benefit the journal in any way.

  162. Rational Debate says:
    September 29, 2011 at 12:44 pm
    Whichever revision they required, the result, according to both editor and reviewer, would have been of interest to GRL – so a simple clarification by the editor stood to gain them a paper they’d want. Rude or cursory or ambiguous treatment, label it what you will, lost them the paper which doesn’t benefit the journal in any way.

    The standard policy is not to scrutinize the wording and try to parse every possible interpretation. If more than just minor changes are required [and I have shown that at least two non-trivial changes were requested] the paper is always summarily rejected with the possibility of resubmission if the paper ‘has promise’. The editor never [in my experience] tries to clarify what the reviewers mean, and should not [as he usually is not an expert on the subject]. I’ll label the treatment as fair, standard, and polite.
    Here is what GRL says about the policy:
    “For example, manuscripts are routinely declined if the reviews point to a need for
    additional analyses, simulations, or other significant changes to support purported
    high-impact results or implications. However, for those submissions that show promise of reaching GRL’s criteria, authors are encouraged to resubmit following necessary revisions.”
    This is crystal clear and not rude, cursory, or ambiguous.

    My reaction was not based on first impression, but with my experience with the process having a paper of my own rejected in just this way a few months back. I did the proper thing: revised the paper and resubmitted.

  163. Richard – I was hoping we were long past the “my (publication list) is bigger than yours” stage. Congratulations for keeping up with the teenager in you!

    Secondly the sparseness of my scientific publishing career makes the quality of my editors even more startling.

    Finally I know how several editors behave as I’m acquainted with the long and prolific publishing of a senior scientist, a person I have known very well for two decades.

  164. reply to: Septic Matthew says: September 29, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Rational Debate wrote: So by definition, all whistleblowers or anyone factually reporting how an agency, company, journal, government, policeman etc., treats them, are to be despised as whiners throwing temper tantrums.

    No, not all. Only the whiners.

    Nice meaningful clarification there /sarc

  165. Well, a quick search shows up a couple of published papers (and lots of presentation papers) by a Maurizio Morabito, just like it showed up a couple of papers for Richard Tol a while ago …..

    Carlo Ciulla, Tsunehiro Takeda, Maurizio Morabito, Hiroshi Endo, Toru Kumagai, and Ruiting Xiao, “MEG characteristics of spontaneous alpha rhythm in the human brain,” Brain Topography, vol. 11, pp. 211-222, 1999.
    Hiroshi Endo, Tomohiro Kizuka, Tadashi Masuda, Tsunehiro Takeda, Toru Kumagai, Tatsu Kobayakawa, and Maurizio Morabito, “Simultaneous estimation of motor and sensory activities during a finger movement,” Peter Peregrinus for Int. Fed. Med. & Biol. Eng. Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, vol. 34, pp. 201-2, 1996.

    ….. but why am I doing this? Is WUWT now at the level of counting papers to see whose arguments are best?

    Some respectable arguments appear to have been put forward by both sides in this debate, but in my perhaps over-simple way of looking at things I am struck by the attention given to the idea that the word “Toward” should be added to the title. This is how I see it:- The title was “A homogeneous database of global landfalling tropical cyclones” and the paper presented exactly that. The database may not have included every single tropical cyclone, and it might not have had every possible piece of intensity data, but as far as I can tell it really was what it said it was.

    The objections to the paper may have been based on the statement that they found no long-term global trends in the frequency or intensity of landfalling TCs, but the obvious way to rebut this is to find some.

  166. Mike Jonas,

    Did you read the comments by reviewer #2? He did not object to the content of the paper (in fact agreed with it) but felt that the case was not made (thus the request for more analysis or to tone down the claims w/a change to the title).

    And has been pointed out numerous times by people who have published in GRL, any need to change the content of the paper means it is rejected with an invitation to resubmit if the paper, as they say, “has promise”. It’s just the way a quick turnaround journal, such as GRL, works…

  167. @Mike Jonas
    Maurizio claimed authority by referring to his substantial experience in getting papers published in academic journals. I just confronted him with the facts. It’s his unidentified brother/wife/friend_he_meets_for_dinner_every_other_year who has that experience, rather than Maurizio.

    I have published 191 papers in 80 different journals, review about one paper a week, am on the editorial board of five journals, and have published 946 papers (and rejected another 2000) as editor of Energy Economics.

    I think that the behaviour of the editors of GRL is perfectly normal and perfectly fine. On the other hand, Pielke Jr’s behaviour is most peculiar. I have never encountered an author like him, which suggests that he’s in the 0.3% tail. I will use this as an example (of what not to do) next time I teach my class on “how (not) to publish”.

  168. Richard Tol – Maurizio claimed authority

    Since that’d be a first, I would like to know where and when I did it. You know, to record the event for posterity.

  169. @Maurizio
    You may want to read Pielke Jr’s book, An Honest Broker. It’s excellent.

    The bottom line recommendations are that one should distinguish facts from opinions, and that one should distinguish experts from punters.

    You pretended to be an expert talking about empirical facts.

    You are of course entitled to your opinions and free to express them.

  170. Richard and Rattus (and Leif etc) – Maybe you are right, and maybe RP should have just ignored the editors reference to “major revision”, fixed the “relatively minor issues”, and the “13 specific suggestions for punctuation, wording or emphasis”, and resubmitted. That would have been simple, and maybe it would have worked. But RP has published papers too. Maybe less or maybe more than you, but does that really matter? It seems unlikely that he has not in the past been through the processes of rejection, reacting to reviewers, etc. In this case the editor did not even reply to RP’s query about the discrepancy between the reviews and the rejection on “major revision” grounds. Is it really normal for an editor not to reply at all to a query? The chief editor then said that GRL did not actually use “major revision” and that the editor had simply issued a standard rejection. At this stage, it does seem confusing that the standard rejection, which is not based on “major revision”, says that it is based on “major revision”. Actually, to a lay person, it seems to be getting past confusing into kafkaesque, with neither the editor nor chief editor prepared to say what the “major revision” (which wasn’t actually a “major revision”) was, yet condemning RP for it. Again, is this really normal? Given that RP does have publication experience, ie. is not a lay person, it appears that even if you may think it normal, in RP’s experience it is not. Was it really so unreasonable of RP to pick up that there was a problem with “major revision” and try to sort it out?

    Now maybe it was all because GRL is a “quick turnaround journal”, but then wouldn’t it make sense for the editor, in the interest of getting the desired quick turnaround, simply to answer RP’s question? Or maybe just point out to RP that that particular standard GRL rejection isn’t a real rejection because it is aimed at the turnaround statistics (it resets the clock), not at the author? Now to be fair, it does seem to me that the chief editor really was trying to put RP on the right track, by telling him obliquely to ignore the “major revision” thing. But unfortunately in the very same sentence he referred RP to a document which, among other things, advised (three times) that GRL has a policy of rejecting on “major revision” grounds – thus undoing all the good work.

    No wonder RP was confused. Probably the best for him at that stage would have been to drop GRL and try a different paper ….. but of course, that is what he did.

  171. @Mike
    GRL is a high volume journal. They’ve already published 776 papers this year, and published 853 papers last year. I don’t know what got into Pielke, but someone of his experience should know that the editor of a journal like that has neither the time nor the desire to engage with any author in that way.

    A number of commentators here and elsewhere seem to think that an editor has a duty to help authors. That’s not the case. The editor is duty-bound to treat every one in the same (often shitty) way. Helping an author to interpret referee comments may in fact be seen as favoritism and prejudicing the next decision.

  172. Richard Tol: and that one should distinguish experts from punters.

    Historically, important contributions have been made by people whom the “experts” considered “punters”. It’s the quality of the work and the evidence that matter, not the “expertise”; in climate, consider the work of Steve McIntyre and Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley: considered “punters” by the “experts”, they have done good work that the “experts” ought to have taken much more seriously from the start.

    Your comments on the review process I heartily support. Besides the published papers of GRL, consider also the much larger number of total submissions; the editors could not possibly do what the supporters here of Pielke Jr. think they ought to have done in all those cases.

  173. Secondly the sparseness of my scientific publishing career makes the quality of my editors even more startling”.

    “Well, a quick search shows up a couple of published papers (and lots of presentation papers) by a Maurizio Morabito, just like it showed up a couple of papers for Richard Tol a while ago …..”

    A quick google scholar/Web of science search on “Maurizio Morabito” as “author” reveals zero papers in any serious peer-reviewed journals. Web of science simply says 0 papers found, while google scholar reveals some mentions in acknowledgements in the journal “Energy & Environment”, which is generally and widely regarded as a joke. Surely, nobody with a modicum of scientific training and half a brain would praise the quality of editors like Sonja Böhmer-Christiansen who let through papers like those of Ernst-Georg Beck claiming that CO2 had risen and fallen by 100 ppm from one year to the next.

    Mr. Morabito, as far as I can see, you have never had the pleasure of interacting with any reviewers or editors on a professional level. If this is supposed to pass for a “scientific publishing career”, “sparseness” sure does seem to be quite a big word indeed. With friends like you, Dr. Pielke hardly needs enemies.

  174. Christoffer Bugge Harder says:

    “…the journal “Energy & Environment”, which is generally and widely regarded as a joke.”

    I’ll suppose you’re ignorant, and not a fool to give you the benefit of the doubt. To understand the problem you need to get educated. I recommend A.W. Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion, available on the right sidebar.

    The climate journal system has been completely corrupted, as Montford shows in well documented detail. The Climategate emails also show how the climate journals have been corrupted through threats and intimidation. It is reprehensible that internationally esteemed climatologists such as Prof Richard Lindzen are forced to wait a year or more for publication, and others are never published, no matter how excellent their work – while error-filled papers like Dessler’s have a one day turnaround. If you believe that most mainstream climate journals are anything other than propaganda outlets for the “Team”, you are simply mistaken.

  175. Christoffer Bugge Harder says: “while google scholar reveals some mentions in acknowledgements in the journal “Energy & Environment”, which is generally and widely regarded as a joke.

    It is not widely regarded as any such thing. Alarmists have simply desperately attempted to smear the journal.

    Energy & Environment is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary scholarly journal (ISSN: 0958-305X)
    - Indexed in Compendex, EBSCO, Environment Abstracts, Google Scholar, JournalSeek, Scopus, Thompson Reuters (ISI) and WorldCat
    - Found at 173 libraries and universities worldwide in print and electronic form. These include; Cambridge University, Cornell University, British Library, Dartmouth College, Library of Congress, National Library of Australia, Ohio University, Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, University of California, University of Delaware, University of Oxford, University of Virginia, and MIT.
    - Thompson Reuters Social Sciences Citation Index (ISI) lists Energy & Environment as a peer-reviewed scholarly journal
    - EBSCO lists Energy & Environment as a peer-reviewed scholarly journal
    - Elsevier lists Energy & Environment as a scholarly peer-reviewed journal on their internal master list. (Source: Email Correspondence)
    - The IPCC cites Energy & Environment multiple times
    - “E&E, by the way, is peer reviewed” – Tom Wigley, Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
    - “I have published a few papers in E&E. All were peer-reviewed as usual. I have reviewed a few more for the journal.” – Richard Tol Ph.D. Professor of the Economics of Climate Change, Vrije Universiteit, Netherlands
    - “All Multi-Sciences primary journals are fully refereed” – Multi-Science Publishing
    - “Regular issues include submitted and invited papers that are rigorously peer reviewed” – E&E Mission Statement

    I guess the IPCC is a joke then for citing Energy & Environment?

    Surely, nobody with a modicum of scientific training and half a brain would praise the quality of editors like Sonja Böhmer-Christiansen who let through papers like those of Ernst-Georg Beck claiming that CO2 had risen and fallen by 100 ppm from one year to the next.

    Dr. Böhmer-Christiansen is a credentialed scientists, B.A. (Hons) Geography (Thesis: Geomorphology), University of Adelaide (1962), M.A. International Relations, University of Sussex (1971), D.Phil. (Ph.D.) International Relations (Thesis: Limits to the International Control of Marine Pollution) (1981); Lecturer in Geography, Flinders University, Australia (1963-68), Research Assistant, Institute for Public International Law, Ludwig-Maximillian University, Germany (1982-1985), Consultant, Acid Rain Project, Chatham House, UK (1986-1987), Research Fellow, Science Policy Unit, University of Sussex, UK (1985-1987), Senior Research Fellow, Science Policy Unit, University of Sussex, UK (1987-1993), Member, Working Group on Global Environmental Change, International Political Science Association (1991-1994), Referee, Environmental Research Programme, European Commission (1992), Member, Working Group on Environment and Society, International Sociological Association (1992-Present), Reader of Environmental Science and Management, Department of Geography, University of Hull, UK (1993-2007), Consultant, Climatic Impacts Centre, Macquarie University, Australia (1994), Member, International Geographical Union (1998-Present), Editor, Energy & Environment Journal (1998-Present), Reader Emeritus of Environmental Science and Management, Department of Geography, University of Hull, UK (2007-Present), Expert Reviewer, IPCC (1995, 2001)

    As for the Beck paper – 180 years of atmospheric CO2 gas analysis by chemical methods
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Number 2, pp. 259-282, March 2007)
    - Ernst-Georg Beck

    There has only been one published criticism by Harro A.J. Meijer and Ralph F. Keeling which was rebutted by Ernst-Georg Beck,

    Comments on “180 years of Atmospheric CO2 Gas Analysis by Chemical Methods”
    (Energy & Environment, Volume 18, Number 5, pp. 641-646, September 2007)
    - Ernst-Georg Beck

    It is falsely claimed that this paper was never peer-reviewed,

    …this paper was reviewed by a retired research director (of environmental sciences) from a country deeply involved in climate research; and a professor of radiation chemistry, as well as a number of experts mentioned in the paper” – Daniel C. Goodwin, Comment at RealClimate.org

  176. Theo Goodwin — “Nope, sorry, this does not wash. You do not offer an excuse for the editor but suggest that the editor is above excuses, that the editor has no duties in this matter, and is something like a god whose whims must be accepted.”

    Or perhaps a simple physical reality is in play, where people are not necessarily tied to their desk 24/7 in case something crops up and a subset of the population feel their demands must be promptly satisfied?

  177. Omnologos: I suggest you do the search yourself, rather than (by your own admission) wasting your saturday complaining about things you have not even bothered to investigate. As also pointed out by Richard Tol, Maurizio Morabito has been authoring zero papers in any scientific journal covered by google scholar or Web of Science.

    Smokey: I will restrain from speculating about your background for making such sweeping statements, and since you have chosen not to put your name on your postings, probably for a very good and easily understandable reason, I have no way of verifying it independently.

    However, you may want to at least try to consider the possibility of actually examining the scientific content of papers having trouble getting published? It may, of course, be some kind of grand, e-e-eval conspiracy keeping the truth from getting out, but have you ever thought about, just briefly, that papers like Beck, Soon & Baliunas 2003 or Lindzen´s last paper rejected by PNAS simply might not have been very good with respect to the basic scientific work? :) FYI, the purpose of peer-review is to weed out bad science. I remember you having claimed in earlier comments that CO2 was mostly a result of warming, or suggesting that volcanos might be a major source for atmospheric CO2 – if you are seriously thinking that this is true, then it is little wonder that papers you find excellent have a hard time in peer-review.

    Poptech: I´m in genetics and ecology, I can assure you that E&E is indeed widely regarded as a joke among the natural sciences – that is, for those ever having heard of this “journal”.
    As Böhmer-Christiansen herself has said:

    “By the way, E&E is not a science journal and has published IPCC critiques to give a platform critical voices and ‘paradigms’ because of the enormous implications for energy policy, the energy industries and their employees and investors, and for research”.

    For Böhmer-Christiansens background, see this

    http://scienceblogs.com/strangerfruit/2007/08/thoughts_on_energy_environment.php

    - you may be swayed by her fine-sounding membership of diverse committees, but her real science training appears to be one year of undergraduate geography. According to ThomsonReuters, she has published just 6 articles in her 40 years as a “scientist”, and none of those within natural sciences. If you have any idea about daily scientific work, you certainly know that this is not a resumé to boast too much about.
    However, the issue is not whether she has any credentials, but her qualities as an editor. If you let papers with basic schoolbay errors thorugh simply because you like some specific viewpoint – as she by her own (and quite foolish) admission does – then you just are not qualified to be an editor for a scientific journal. Alarmist or not – Beck´s CO2 paper simply shows such a ridiculously poor understanding of the carbon cycle with respect to sources, sinks, and isotopic and a near-complete ignorance of all the work by people like Süss, Keeling, Revelle or Sabine in the last 60 years that almost anyone of the 1-year student I teach in fundamental ecology could spot the errors. It has been completely debunked in many climate blogs, even by Eschenbach and Engelbeen on WUWT (!). The obvious reason why there has been no replies is that it is not worthwhile as this paper crumbles all by itself – and since it was not published in a scientific journal anyway, there is frankly no need to bother (as opposed to e.g. Khilyuk & Chilingar 2004, which was equally poor, but managed to get into a serious journal, Environmental Geology, and prompted a reply).

    No offense, but if you honestly think that papers like Beck, or Eschenbachs letter from Tuvalu or Archibald (2006) has any scientific merit, then you simply do not understand the background. Sorry, but that is the harsh truth………

  178. CBH – no surprise there. You haven’t understood my comment, you have wasted your Saturday, and you don’t know how to search for my work. Good luck with all that.

  179. Omnologos/Morabito: I have no idea what other work of yours you might refer to, and nor do I care about it or where to find it (iprovided that it does exist at all). The issue here was scientific work and published research papers in peer-reviewed journals – I.e., the kind of work that gives the experience with the scientific publication process and responding to editors you boasted confidently about,

    I have, like Dr. Tol, searched for any kind of such scientific work from your hand through all the scientific databases, where such work is found – to no avail. This is indeed as far as I can see – and as far as I, and every single natural scientist with remotely aqquainted with serious scientific research processes, care to see.

    Given your bold, confident assertions about anything and everything about scientific publishing, I find it a little sad to discover that you have zero experience within any kind of issues related to the topic of this post. In a way, I do feel sorry for you, but on the other hand, this self-inflating behaviour is quite typical of many self-appointed “sceptics”.

    I do, however, thank you for your considerations for my spare time. Be not too worried, though – it hardly takes too many precious saturday early noon minutes to dispel with whatever you have offered so far.

  180. Christoffer Bugge Harder says:

    Poptech: I´m in genetics and ecology, I can assure you that E&E is indeed widely regarded as a joke among the natural sciences – that is, for those ever having heard of this “journal”.

    Your “assurances” are meaningless rhetoric. I have spoken to many scientists who do not share your view. The only ones who claim it is a “joke” are those few desperately trying to attack it. You have failed to respond to my point that if it was so widely regarded as a “joke”, why then was it cited multiple times in the IPCC report?

    As Böhmer-Christiansen herself has said: “By the way, E&E is not a science journal and has published IPCC critiques to give a platform critical voices and ‘paradigms’ because of the enormous implications for energy policy, the energy industries and their employees and investors, and for research”.

    So? This is a strawman argument as no claim is made by the journal or anyone endorsing it that it is a natural science journal.

    For Böhmer-Christiansens background, see this

    http://scienceblogs.com/strangerfruit/2007/08/thoughts_on_energy_environment.php

    Why would I go to a four year old inaccurate blog post for someone’s background? I gave you her background,

    Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, B.A. (Hons) Geography (Thesis: Geomorphology), University of Adelaide (1962); M.A. International Relations, University of Sussex (1971); D.Phil. (Ph.D.) International Relations (Thesis: “Limits to the International Control of Marine Pollution”) (1981); Lecturer in Geography, Flinders University, Australia (1963-68); Research Assistant, Institute for Public International Law, Ludwig-Maximillian University, Germany (1982-1985); Consultant, Acid Rain Project, Chatham House, UK (1986-1987); Research Fellow, Science Policy Unit, University of Sussex, UK (1985-1987); Senior Research Fellow, Science Policy Unit, University of Sussex, UK (1987-1993); Member, Working Group on Global Environmental Change, International Political Science Association (1991-1994); Referee, Environmental Research Programme, European Commission (1992); Member, Working Group on Environment and Society, International Sociological Association (1992-Present); Reader of Environmental Science and Management, Department of Geography, University of Hull, UK (1993-2007); Consultant, Climatic Impacts Centre, Macquarie University, Australia (1994); Member, International Geographical Union (1998-Present); Editor, Energy & Environment Journal (1998-Present); Reader Emeritus of Environmental Science and Management, Department of Geography, University of Hull, UK (2007-Present); Expert Reviewer, IPCC (1995, 2001)

    - you may be swayed by her fine-sounding membership of diverse committees, but her real science training appears to be one year of undergraduate geography. According to ThomsonReuters, she has published just 6 articles in her 40 years as a “scientist”, and none of those within natural sciences. If you have any idea about daily scientific work, you certainly know that this is not a resumé to boast too much about.

    This is a strawman argument. Who is arguing she has extensive natural science credentials? Editors do not review the papers, the reviewers do. All that matters is the reviewers have appropriate credentials for the paper being reviewed.

    However, the issue is not whether she has any credentials, but her qualities as an editor. If you let papers with basic schoolbay errors thorugh simply because you like some specific viewpoint – as she by her own (and quite foolish) admission does – then you just are not qualified to be an editor for a scientific journal.

    She doesn’t let anything through as peer-reviewed without it passing peer-review. She has made no such admission as you dishonestly state. Again E&E makes no claims that it is a “natural” science journal.

    Alarmist or not – Beck´s CO2 paper simply shows such a ridiculously poor understanding of the carbon cycle with respect to sources, sinks, and isotopic and a near-complete ignorance of all the work by people like Süss, Keeling, Revelle or Sabine in the last 60 years that almost anyone of the 1-year student I teach in fundamental ecology could spot the errors. It has been completely debunked in many climate blogs, even by Eschenbach and Engelbeen on WUWT (!). The obvious reason why there has been no replies is that it is not worthwhile as this paper crumbles all by itself – and since it was not published in a scientific journal anyway, there is frankly no need to bother

    Again that paper was peer-reviewed,

    …this paper was reviewed by a retired research director (of environmental sciences) from a country deeply involved in climate research; and a professor of radiation chemistry, as well as a number of experts mentioned in the paper” – Daniel C. Goodwin, Comment at RealClimate.org

    Blog postings do not “debunk” peer-reviewed papers, you should know better. Unless of course you endorse everything posted at Climate Audit and WUWT?

    I did not say no one commented on it, I stated that there has only been one comment that was rebutted by the author.

    I am very disturbed if you are using blog posts to teach students natural science. The published debate on this paper has resulted in exactly one published criticism with a rebuttal. People are free to come to their own conclusions on it’s validity.

    Should a journal not be taken seriously for publishing a controversial paper?

  181. CBH says – “Omnologos/Morabito: … I have, like Dr. Tol, searched for any kind of such scientific work from your hand through all the scientific databases, where such work is found – to no avail.

    Dear oh dear, all that wasted time when the information (well, enough of it) was right here on this post.
    Carlo Ciulla, Tsunehiro Takeda, Maurizio Morabito, Hiroshi Endo, Toru Kumagai, and Ruiting Xiao, “MEG characteristics of spontaneous alpha rhythm in the human brain,” Brain Topography, vol. 11, pp. 211-222, 1999.
    Hiroshi Endo, Tomohiro Kizuka, Tadashi Masuda, Tsunehiro Takeda, Toru Kumagai, Tatsu Kobayakawa, and Maurizio Morabito, “Simultaneous estimation of motor and sensory activities during a finger movement,” Peter Peregrinus for Int. Fed. Med. & Biol. Eng. Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, vol. 34, pp. 201-2, 1996.

    I suspect that there are more. Certainly there are plenty of presentation papers. And it took me no time at all – a quick search and up they came – just as it took no time at all to find two papers with Richard Tol’s name on them.

  182. Thank you Mike. I suspect even if I listed the lot, it’ll be claimed as the wrong kind of papers or the wrong kind of journal or the wrong kind of topic or whatever else deemed necessary to deny me the right of expressing an opinion.

  183. Mike Jonas: Here´s the search in google scholar:

    http://scholar.google.dk/scholar?hl=da&q=forfatter%3A%22maurizio+morabito%22&as_ylo=&as_vis=1

    It returns one (1) book chapter by one Maurizio Campolo and Francesco Morabito – but nothing, nothing at all, authored by a Maurizio Morabito. Go figure.

    ThomsonReuter (ISI) Web of Science requires subscription, but I can tell you that a search for “Morabito Maurizio” reveals one (1) paper with some somewhat far-fetched speculations about “When will the human race go back to the moon”?, but no research – that´s it.

    And interestingly, the two papers you cite DO NOT have Morabito as co-author. Here is the first:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/l44751212840k087/

    MEG characteristics of spontaneous alpha rhythm in the human brain,” Brain Topography, vol. 11, pp. 211-222, 1999.

    with only “Carlo Ciulla*, Tsunehiro Takeda*, and Hiroshi Endo” credited as authors.

    With the second “paper” you list it gets really puzzling. It is supposedly published in the journal “MEDICAL AND BIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING AND COMPUTING” in 1996, volume 34, on the pages 201-2.

    However, if you look up this journal for the year 1996, volume 34, you find this paper

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/y7505l034nj45058/

    about cardiopulmonary research from three Finnish scientists (I. Korhonen, R. Takalo and V. Turjanmaa) – in Volume 34, covering the pages 199-206.

    So what we have is one existing paper with no Morabito, and another mystery paper that appears to be nonexistent (and once again – no mention of a Maurizio Morabito).

    Where have you found these “papers”? Are they some kind of conference abstracts or talks which mistakenly – accidentally or not – have been listed as real papers? Can you or others point me to any places where they can actually be found – and in this case, provide an explanation why these papers cannot be found in any databases, when the journal allegedly having published it is indeed listed?

    If not, it sure looks like somebody have simply made up some links to nonexisting “papers”, which could make the case even worse.

  184. Mr. Morabito: Given the above post, where your alleged publications appear either not to have you as coauthor or not exist at all, I would actually be very interested in seeing the lot with appropriate links to the peer-reviewed, indexed papers where you have allegedly published your “research”. If you are right, this should not be too hard. And please, no conference abstracts or presentations – these things do not require interactions with editors, which is the issue here.

    And just for the record: Nobody here is denying you the right to express your opinion (I certainly neither would like to do it, nor would I be able to do so). However, when you make overconfident claims about your enormous experience, yet appear to have, at best, a very limited experience or none at all, then you should not expect readers with half a brain to take your freely expressed opinions seriously.

  185. CBH – very interested in seeing the lot with appropriate links

    I would be doing that if you had been seriously interested indeed. But I can’t see how you could…apart from your deluge of denigrating remarks about my work, obviously my research areas are not yours (so you’ll simply disparage the topic and the results), your research specialty is not researching somebody else’s (old) papers via the internet (otherwise you’d have found some stuff already), and nobody has given you the right to argue if and when I can express my opinion.

    If you don’t believe I have experience with scientific journal editors, you will not believe it anyway. So please go away with your comments about somebody else’s work being a “paper with some somewhat far-fetched speculations [and] no research“. Yeah, right, no research at all.

    Perhaps you are a teenager living some kind of Freudian conflict within, after all.

  186. “Dr”. Morabito: I am willing to believe your experience with scientific publishing IF you are able to provide me with a functional link to a publication of yours, based on some kind of serious empirical research, which is published in a peer-reviewed journal indexed in ISI/ThomsonReuter. This should not be hard at all – that is, IF you actually have publishing experience you claim.

    FYI, I´m a mere PhD student whose publication record is limited to three papers (one in press) with another in review, so I make no claim to have any extraordinary experience with scientific publishing. I do, however, know how it generally plays out, and I also know very well how to find appropriate scientific literature in the relevant credible databases. This completely noncontroversial searches revealed nothing truly scientific work from your hand – that is the harsh truth.

    I quoted directly from your “paper” about settlement on the moon – or perhaps re-settlement? :) If it (quite understandably) appears ludicrous to you looking at it again, then please do not blame the messenger.

    And once again: I do not claim any right whatsoever to tell you if and when you can argue whatever opinion you may have. All I am saying is that when you boast about experiences and qualifications you obviously and utterly lack, then you really should not be surprised when nobody with half a brain takes your opinions seriously.

  187. CBH – Curious. The link you ask for is http://staff.aist.go.jp/kumagai.toru/Publications.html
    I looked for papers, and looked no further on finding them. I only wanted to establish that MM had some experience of publishing papers. I had no interest in the quality of the journal(s), the subject matter, etc. I assumed, on finding them, that they did exist.
    Given your pursuit of this matter, I note that the website linked belongs to the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tokyo and Tsukuba Science City, Ibaraki, so I presume the link is valid. If the information has indeed been made up, then it appears to have been made up by a Kumagai Toru. Kumagai Toru does appear to actually exist http://www.aist.go.jp/aist_e/search/aist_google_search_e.html?cx=004983608496508821980%3Aavdsyoeo0bu&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=Kumagai+Toru&sa=Search#1135

  188. CBH comes across as a fatuous jerk only interested in denigrating someone whose ideas are different. The last thing we need is another wet behind the ears know-it-all with no real world experience, attacking someone else’s CV.

    But when it comes down to the scientific debate, CBH is outclassed by the other commentators. So he takes the usual way out : personal, ad hominem attacks. Despicable.

    The juvenile CBH says: “…you may want to at least try to consider the possibility of actually examining the scientific content of papers having trouble getting published?” Apparently everyone except CBH understands the alarmist hijacking of the climate journals:

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html

    Also see this total deconstruction of CBH’s claim:

    http://scienceblogs.com/catdynamics/upload/2009/08/how_to_publish_a_scientific_co/How%20to%20Publish%20a%20Comment.pdf

    When Dr Dessler gets a paper accepted in one day, while MIT’s Prof Richard Lindzen is forced to wait a year or more for publication, there is a problem right here in River City: corruption in the climate journal industry.

  189. Mike Jonas: Just to avoid confusion, I certainly did not think that you had made anything up or did anything but present what you had found in good faith. And thank you for the civil response. I agree that it is likely to be Mr. Morabito´s japanese friend having screwed up – however, Mr. Morabito certainly does not appear too busy correcting those mistakes he must be well aware of, to say the very least. It thus does seem that Morabito still has zero experience with publishing research results in peer-reviewed articles.

    The take-home message must be that If one wants to look for scientific contributions and minimise the risk of people trying to trick you, you will help yourself by looking in the relevant databases. Books, presentations or conference abstracts do not necessarily go through peer-review (and certainly do not necessarily require interactions with editors) – and almost every new discovery in the natural sciences since WWII has been published in peer-reviewed research articles. It is all too easy to make up stuff or grossly inflate someone´s achievements on the internet; there are many people out in the blogosphere like Mr. Morabito bragging about their groundbreaking results that will overthrow Einstein, Arrhenius or Bohr on some blog or homepage, and almost inevitably, there is hardly a trace of these people´s “work” when looking in scientific databases. Best regards, CBH

  190. Smokey: When Mr.Morabito confidently flaunts his CV and his experience with scientific publishing as some kind of argument in this process, then how on earth could it ever be an ad hominem argument to point out that he has, in fact, just about zero experience in this business? In contrast to Morabito, I do, in fact, have at least some experience – which I, however, am not flauting as any kind of argument. But forget about me: Richard Tol pointed the same out, too. Is Tol also a wet-behind the ears with no experience?

    “When Dr Dessler gets a paper accepted in one day, while MIT’s Prof Richard Lindzen is forced to wait a year or more for publication, there is a problem right here in River City: corruption in the climate journal industry”.

    No. It may come as a surprise to someone completely ignorant about the scientific process, but the purpose of peer review is actually to keep bad papers from getting published. That some papers sail through review while others have a hard time happens every day, and thank God for that. Have you ever considered the possibility that Lindzen´s paper just is not very good?

    Besides, I can inform you that I had to wait 4 months just for getting the first reviews back when I submitted my first paper, that my father has just had a paper accepted after 4 years of review, and that two friends of mine from my department have just had an (in my opinion, excellent) paper rejected by PNAS after three months of review – and they received quite a shitty treatment (e.g. they even had to hear from someone else that their paper had become rejected). These things happen all the time simply out of sloppiness, carelessness, lack of time etc. There certainly was nothing politically inconvenient about any of these mentioned papers.

    However, let us look at the specific case you mention: Lindzen and Choi´s´s original paper (http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/gl0916/2009GL039628/2009GL039628.pdf) was reviewed within a months, and published within two months – that is about as fast as things could possibly go. This was susequently criticised by Trenberth, Fasullo et al., who pointed out that L&C had apparently chosen their data points subjectively, and that a computer pick would produce points yielding a positive, not a negative feedback as claimed by L&C. L&C then tried to submit a new paper, which was rejected first by JGR – and subsequently by PNAS within just two months, despite having many back-and-forths between editor, reviewer and authors. Lindzen got into trouble because a) he tried to pick some reviewers of which one (Will Happer) had no competence in the relevant field but was simply chosen because if his political support of Lindzen, and b) all four reviewers pointed out that Lindzen and Choi failed to answer the earlier published criticism from Fasullo, Trenberth et al. about subjective choice of data points. Two of the reviewers even stated that if L&C did that, and the results still held, then the paper would meet the top 10% of PNAS. Instead, they failed to do so and instead submitted it to an obscure Asian journal which apparently let it through without having considered the obvious problem: Why does Lindzen choose some points apparently arbitrarily when estimating his feedback?

    I make no claim to expertise in this, but If you fail to answer specific questions from reviewers that affect your core conclusions, then you run a high risk of having your stuff rejected. And then you can only blame yourself. By blaming others, going public, screaming like hell and embarassing yourself as Lindzen did, you just appear silly and ready for retirement.

    And finally, while submitting a commentary might be difficult, and many papers have simply stopped accepting comments, then one can always submit a new paper to a different journal where the authors do not have the holding ground, where there is no 1.00 page limit, and where the editor has no interest in protecting somebody having published in his journal. This happens all the time, too.

    P.S. As an aside, most people with an IQ of 70+ would most likely realise that complaining about ad hominem attacks while simultaneously using words like “juvenile” “wet behind the ears”, “fatuous jerk” might appear somewhat inconsistent. And if you really want to engage in that kind of arguments, you should at least have the courage to put your real name on your ravings. I´m quite sure that Mr. Watts would agree with me on this one.

  191. CBH: many people out in the blogosphere like Mr. Morabito bragging about their groundbreaking results that will overthrow Einstein

    The take-home message is that you are a sad bully who knows nothing about me, hasn’t read anything written by me (the sentence above is beyond ridicule), hasn’t been able to do a proper search even when trying to do so and has serious issues in relating to fellow human beings.

  192. “Poptech”: If we can agree that E&E is not a natural science journal, then we can stop every other argument about it´s validity or relevance for climate science here. If you want to seriously engage in natural science research, don´t publish your papers in a politics journal. I furthermore doubt that the IPCC WG1 has relied on any results published in E&E.

    I have seen Böhmer-Christiansens CV before – no need to post it again as this does not change the fact that she has no relevant background for editing or reviewing science papers. The she does that anyway hardly speaks to her credit, does it? She has herself stated that she is “following her political agenda – a bit, perhaps”, as I said, and furthermore that she likes sceptical points of view – no dishonesty here, at least not on my part.

    As for Beck´s “paper” – I did not say that it was refuted by blog posts. It is refuted by research having been carried out 40-50 years prior to its publication. Beck´s measurements from 1800-1950 show atmospheric CO2 rising and falling by more than 100 ppm from one year to the next, which is physically impossible, and this is refuted by research carried out more than 50 years ago by Suess, Keeling and Revelle – actually, Keeling set up Mauna Loa because everyone already back then realised that the old measurements were useless because of local contamination and poor techniques.

    The problem is not that Beck´s paper was controversial, but that it simply ignored all research on the carbon cycle since the 50ies and brought about needless confusion – it is equivalent to publishing a paper about heredity discussing whether DNA or protein contained the genetic code, and ignoring all work from Watson & Crick and onwards. There was also a journal publishing a paper suggesting some supernatural influence some years ago, and this did not lead to a long heated debate between evolutionary biologists as this was self-evidently ridiculous.
    The reason why nobody bother to engage in scientific debate over this is exactly because Beck´s claims can be easily debunked by average 1-years students. You may not understand this, but this merely shows that you have no idea about the carbon cycle.

  193. “When Dr Dessler gets a paper accepted in one day, while MIT’s Prof Richard Lindzen is forced to wait a year or more for publication, there is a problem right here in River City: corruption in the climate journal industry”.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    “No. It may come as a surprise to someone completely ignorant about the scientific process, but the purpose of peer review is actually to keep bad papers from getting published. That some papers sail through review while others have a hard time happens every day, and thank God for that. Have you ever considered the possibility that Lindzen´s paper just is not very good?”
    =======================================================================

    LMAO!!!! Sis, have you bothered to read some of Dessler’s offerings? In fact, his last one was destroyed so quick I didn’t have time to read it all before it was entirely discredited. So, come again about this process that filters the bad papers out?

  194. omnologos says:

    “CBH:.. The take-home message is that you are a sad bully who knows nothing about me, hasn’t read anything written by me (the sentence above is beyond ridicule), hasn’t been able to do a proper search even when trying to do so and has serious issues in relating to fellow human beings.”

    Repeated for effect.

  195. James Sexton says:
    October 5, 2011 at 8:48 am
    “When Dr Dessler gets a paper accepted in one day, while MIT’s Prof Richard Lindzen is forced to wait a year or more for publication, there is a problem right here in River City: corruption in the climate journal industry”.

    Let’s get the bias and inaccuracies out of this statement:
    “Dr Prof Dessler gets a paper letter accepted in one day17 days, while MIT’s Prof Richard Lindzen is forced to wait a year or more for publication,”

    If you write a bad paper it can take for ever to get it published! There is a big difference in the publication time and scrutiny for a letter vs a paper. Dessler’s letter was reviewed by two reviewers, presumably part of the reason for the revised version being submitted 17 days after the first submission.

  196. Phil. says:
    October 5, 2011 at 9:35 am

    So, you’re assertion is the reviewers review harder when a paper is submitted vs a letter (response to a published paper)? (BTW, that was me quoting someone else….. a long conversation)

    That’s laughable. Dessler’s entire line (the back and forth with Spencer) is demonstrably inferior, but we don’t have to focus on Dessler, we can talk about Steig and the knuckleheaded reviewers, or any number of bpeer reviewed papers that have relegated to the dust bin of history because of the poor quality of reviews. This occurs only because the assertion of the various papers support a specific ideology. It has been demonstrated time and again.

    Then people such as CBH suggests that Lindzen suddenly forgot how to write a paper? After what? 300 publications he suddenly doesn’t know what it takes to publish? Its really all academic from here anyway. The process has been exposed. Anyone lending the term “peer review” any validity is either delusional, hasn’t been paying attention, or so far gone with their ideology an objective perspective would be beyond their grasp.

    (chuckling to myself……. “peer review process prevents poor papers from being published” giggle…..giggle, snort, chuckle….. lol, LOL…… LMAO…….. ROTFLMAOPMP!!!!! hahahaahahahhaaha

  197. CBH said “I agree that it is likely to be Mr. Morabito´s japanese friend having screwed up

    Let’s just be a little bit careful about this. I didn’t say it was likely. What I was trying to point out was that if anyone had screwed up, it wasn’t MM. I think it would be a good idea to find out more before continuing.

    Actually, I think it would be a good idea not to continue, but to return to the topic of this thread. Bear in mind that it is well understood here that the ad hominem is the warmists’ weapon of choice, and tends not to be well regarded.

  198. Mike Jonas: Fair enough. I agree that there is no reason to continue this particular track. With respect to the ad hominem, however, I must, once again, say that I simply fail to see anything in the slightest way reproachable about what I have written about Mr. Morabitos scientific experience. He was the one who again and again referred to his experience as his main argument that something fishy was going on in GRL´s review process – and then its perfectly legitimate to point out that he does not have any relevant experience. If you disregard this line of argument, then I suggest that you let Mr. Morabito (and other similar people inflating their CVs in order to appear important) not to bring this up here as an argument.

    With respect to the topic of this thread, I have made clear that I see no problem at all nor anything remotely deviating from the general practices of GRL as stated in Diffenbaugh´s link. I have never heard of an editor giving authors directions about how to carry out suggested revisions of a manuscript, be they minor or major, and I have a hard time understanding that an experienced scientist like Dr. Pielke could be surprised by this. Many other people here, some of which are far more qualified and/or experienced than I, have made similar points. So far, I have not seen any serious responses to this.

  199. “Then people such as CBH suggests that Lindzen suddenly forgot how to write a paper? After what? 300 publications he suddenly doesn’t know what it takes to publish? Its really all academic from here anyway. The process has been exposed”.

    First of all: You appear to argue that because a senior scientist has a paper rejected, the review process must be somehow corrupted. Well, I hate to shock you with the harsh truth, but lots of elderly scientists write quite bad papers (as do younger ones), and some of these (perhaps too few?) do get rejected. And there are loads of examples of senior scientists sticking to something long since debunked/rejected by mainstream science because they got tuned in on something and are unable to admit having committed errors or having followed a blind track for years. This happens every day in every single existing field.

    Furthermore: What I am saying – along with all four reviewers of the PNAS submission, some of which were very friendly towards Lindzen – is that Lindzen deliberately chose NOT to answer the specific criticism about his allegedly subjective choices of data points raised by Fasullo, Trenberth et al. This is the cornerstone of the disagreement: Fasullo & Trenberth let a computer pick data points for sea temperatures randomly, while Lindzen and Choi apparently chose some specific points picked by themselves. The former approach produces a sensitivity of 4,1F, the latter one of about 1F. If L&C are wrong on this point, then the core argument of their entire paper collapses, since it thus suggests that we have a net positive feedback (=sensitivity larger than 1,2K). I make no claim to be qualified to sort out this disagreement, but it is undeniable that L&C fail to adress this very central point.

    If Lindzen wants to convince others sceptical of his work that he is right, he thus has to justify his data selection and show how and why Fasullo & Trenberth got it wrong. As long as he fails to do this, then one cannot help wonder if the simple reason is that he cannot answer this, because he well knows that correcting this problem would mean that he had no case anymore.

  200. CBH – since you’ve given up…here’s one, two and three. Yes I know, it’s not the right papers, the right topic, the right journal, the right font, or whatever else (that’s your excuse for four, anyway).

    Needless to say, your hypocritical pontificating about my right to speak despite your absolute inability to perform an internet search, has been accompanied by a string of baseless accusations and distortions against me. It’s the most classical ad-hom, but your character assassination skills ain’t that good really.

    ps perish the thought you could do a search using my initials rather than the full name

  201. Dearest Omnologos/Dr. Morabito: I´m truly sorry that you feel hurt by having your experience exposed here. And you are indeed right that I have not read any of your research, but believe me when I say that it is not because of lack of trying that I have so far failed. Mike Jonas and Richard Tol apparently have similar experiences. Apparently there´s a bug in e.g Google Scholar preventing a search on “Maurizio Morabito” for author from giving results, while allowing all other names. :) But hey, why do not you simply help us all out of our misery and provide us with some links to your research? There are so many of us looking for it without luck – you must be flattered by all the attention. ;-)

  202. OK. Dearest Mr. Morabito: I recant part of my last comment. I realise that you have indeed published two papers in peer-reviewed journals (the latter two you cite is a book chapter, while the fourth contains no publications with your name upon it). Apologies.

    I did do a search on “Morabito M”. The problem when searching for your initials is that there is at least three another scientists by the names of Marco/Michael/Melissa Morabito – and of the 87 papers in ThomsonReuters, the only one from a Maurizio Morabito was the one about lunar settlement.

    Still, having published less than a handful papers hardly makes a good case for boasting boldly about your rich experience with scientific publishing in front of people like Richard Tol……..:)

    • Another thought that should be left to perish is the idea that you put yourself in front of a mirror and realize the abyss of pompous git-ness you have reached during the past few days.

  203. omnologos says:
    October 5, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Another thought that should be left to perish is the idea that you put yourself in front of a mirror and realize the abyss of pompous git-ness you have reached during the past few days.
    ===============================================================
    LMAO…… Omn….. I think the troll believes you are Morabito.

    BTW, CBH, you took only one part of my statement and try to make a response to my statement from it. It is clear my comment is to be taken in its entirety. I don’t disagree that some scientists submit bad papers. I can and do allow that Dr. Lindzen can possibly do exactly that. However, recent literature seems to make the paper quite a bit more plausible than what it was earlier deemed. Ouch that’s gotta hurt. But, again, you didn’t address my comment in its entirety. Your insistence that peer-review is somehow a quality assurance vehicle is demonstrably untrue. It was demonstrated the first time Steve McIntyre started his blog. This has continued to be demonstrated over and over again. Not simply at ClimateAudit, but throughout the blogosphere. If you wish to deny this reality….. so be it, but that’s akin to volunteering to be the village idiot. You are familiar with Steig et al 2009? And the story behind it?

    Cling to your delusion if you wish, please don’t take offense if people laugh at you while you do this. It is, after all, your choice.

    James

  204. Christoffer Bugge Harder says:
    “Poptech”: If we can agree that E&E is not a natural science journal, then we can stop every other argument about it´s validity or relevance for climate science here. If you want to seriously engage in natural science research, don´t publish your papers in a politics journal.

    Whether E&E is “valid” or “relevant” for climate science is purely subjective, I believe it is but it certainly is not a “politics journal”, it is an interdisciplinary journal that covers both the natural and social sciences. Papers dealing with natural science in E&E are peer-reviewed by scientists with natural science credentials.

    I furthermore doubt that the IPCC WG1 has relied on any results published in E&E.

    Another strawman argument as I made no such claim. I simply stated that E&E was cited multiple times in the IPCC report.

    I have seen Böhmer-Christiansens CV before – no need to post it again as this does not change the fact that she has no relevant background for editing or reviewing science papers. The she does that anyway hardly speaks to her credit, does it?

    Editors do not need to have the same qualifications as the reviewers of a paper. This is the whole purpose of having the peer-review system. You have failed to demonstrate that she does not have the credentials to be the editor of E&E.

    She has herself stated that she is “following her political agenda – a bit, perhaps”, as I said, and furthermore that she likes sceptical points of view – no dishonesty here, at least not on my part.

    This quote has been explained many times,

    My political agenda is simple and open; it concerns the role of research ambitions in the making of policy.

    I concluded from a research project about the IPCC – funded by the UK government during the mid 1990s – that this body was set up to support, initially, climate change research projects supported by the WMO and hence the rapidly evolving art and science of climate modeling. A little later the IPCC came to serve an intergovernmental treaty, the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This enshrines in law that future climate change would be warming caused by greenhouse gases (this remains debated), is man-made (to what an extend remains debated) as well as dangerous (remains debated). It became a task of the IPCC government selected and government funded, to support the theory that this man-made warming would be dangerous rather than beneficial, as some argue.

    The solutions to this assumed problem were worked out by IPCC working group three, which worked largely independently of the science working group one and consisted primarily of parties interested in a ‘green’ energy agenda, including people from environment agencies, NGOs and environmental economics. This group supplied the science group with emission scenarios that have been widely criticized and which certainly enhanced the ‘danger’. From interviews and my own reading I concluded that the climate science debate WAS BY NO MEANS OVER AND SHOULD CONTINUE. However, when I noticed that scientific critics of the IPCC science working group were increasingly side-lined and had difficulties being published – when offered the editorship of E&E, I decided to continue publishing ‘climate skeptics’ and document the politics associated with the science debate. The implications for energy policy and technology are obvious.

    I myself have argued the cause of climate ‘realism’ – I am a geomorphologist by academic training before switching to environmental international relations – but do so on more the basis of political rather than science-based arguments. As far as the science of climate change is concerned, I would describe myself as agnostic.

    In my opinion the global climate research enterprise must be considered as an independent political actor in environmental politics. I have widely published on this subject myself, and my own research conclusions have influenced my editorial policy. I also rely on an excellent and most helpful editorial board which includes a number of experienced scientists. Several of the most respected ‘climate skeptics’ regularly peer-review IPCC critical papers I publish.” – Dr. Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen

    Please tell me what Dr. Böhmer-Christiansen’s political affiliation is.

    As for Beck´s “paper” – I did not say that it was refuted by blog posts. It is refuted by research having been carried out 40-50 years prior to its publication…

    Unfortunately Mr. Beck is not around anymore to defend his position. I prefer to leave the debate between the authors of the papers and those who publish comments on them. You are neither.

    The reason why nobody bother to engage in scientific debate over this is exactly because Beck´s claims can be easily debunked by average 1-years students.

    Somebody did engage him, Harro A.J. Meijer and Ralph F. Keeling:

    http://multi-science.metapress.com/content/c332k41405021514/

    You can read Beck’s published rebuttal here,

    http://www.biokurs.de/treibhaus/180CO2/author_reply9-2.pdf

    I would be willing to challenge you on your hypothesis of a 1st year student being able to “debunk” his claims but he is no longer around to do so. Regardless I do not believe a 1-year student they would remotely be able to engage in the debate without extensive third party help.

    All of which is irrelevant to the fact that E&E is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal, cited multiple times by the IPCC.

  205. Geez, hasn’t anybody learned the lesson of DFTFT? CBH is the Danish equivalent of Chris Colose, a wannabe climatologist who has yet to figure out the real meaning of science. A PhD student in Environmental Ecology? So much is wasted on the young…

  206. Poptech says:
    October 5, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    I think the troll believes you are Morabito.

    He is.
    ===========================================
    Thansk Pop, I got to thinking after I posted that……… …… I’ve no idea why I hadn’t connected the dots before. Doesn’t change my comments any.

  207. Omnologos: No problems. Our publication record appear similar, but I´m not the one boasting about my overwhelming experience as some kind of argument. Besides, I´m still waiting for anything substantial about what you perceive as irregularities in the GRL peer review process.

    James Sexton: “Your insistence that peer-review is somehow a quality assurance vehicle is demonstrably untrue.”

    I think you fail to understand both what I wrote, and what the purpose of peer review is. It certainly is not an inerrant “assurance” of neither truthfulness, correctness or anything – it´s main purpose is simple to check if the basic homework has been done, and to point out weaknesses where the paper could be improved. In the case here, where Pielke is trying to sell a less-than global-less-than-homogeneous database as a global, homogeneous database, the reviewer correctly points out this flaw which, if corrected, will make the paper reflect reality much better (though also less groundbreaking).
    Had Beck´s paper been peer-reviewed by a serious journal, it would immediately have been thrown out as unworthy of publishing as it completely ignored 50 years of carbon research. Beck thus chose a publication forum where no competent people were around, or where peer review is either nonexisting or just a mere rubber stamp.

    I don´t deny that very bad papers slide through sometimes, nor that very good ones are occasionally rejected. However, review does mean that ON AVERAGE, peer-reviewed papers will be better than un-peer-reviewed ones. I can at least assure you that all the 4-5 papers I have been involved in have been significantly improved by the peer-review process. It´s clear that peer-review weeding out unsupported but politically convenient stuff must be seen as highly inconvenient to people like you who has an unalterable worldview at odds with the facts and don´t care or don´t understand much about science anyway, but this is hardly an argument against the process.

    As for your comment on Lindzen, it indicated that you thought that I had suggested that Lindzen had suddenly lost his smartness or his ability to write papers. No. I agree that Lindzen is – or was – a brilliant scientist. I merely stated the obvious: He explicitly failed to adress the core objection about choice of data points raised by Fasullo & co which, if Fasullo & co. are correct, would make Lindzen´s entire case crumble. I stated that I was in no position to decide whether they are correct or not, but as long as Lindzen simply ignores this objection completely, any honest reader is left to conclude that he has no answer to this. Again, this was correctly pointed out by all four reviewers of PNAS – and this was, yet again, an excellent example of peer-review weeding out poor science. That it may have dismayed people like you is an unfortunate side effect.

    FYI, you may not have read or understood Steig and O´Donnell´s papers, but both basically tell the same story about Antarctica having warmed up significantly – in contrast to the impression left by blogs like WUWT or by ClimateAudit. Here´s the verdict from O´Donnell himself (http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/doing-it-ourselves/) (from Jeff Id´s blog, so please, no BS about how he has been bullied into a corner by Realclimate or such):

    “I would hope that our paper is not seen as a repudiation of Steig’s results, but rather as an improvement. In my opinion, the Steig reconstruction was quite clever, and the general concept was sound”.

    I suggest you read this piece for a nice roundup:

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/30/on-warming-antarctica-clouds-and-peer-review/

    which has this end salutation by Steig:

    “I congratulate the authors on the publication of this paper in a serious scientific journal. One of the great things about peer review is that it forces authors to think carefully about what they are saying. Notably absent in the paper is any mention of the completely specious criticism that populist rabble-rouser and ‘climate skeptic’ Steve McIntyre leveled at us about errors (not our errors — errors in the data we got from the British Antarctic Survey) in the data of a weather station. These were errors that McIntyre should have known made absolutely no difference to the results, but he either didn’t recognize this or he chose to ignore it in the favor of ’sound bites’ that cast doubt on our results. Given that this paper is co-authored by McIntyre, perhaps this will mark the end of the “Antarctic is not warming” meme one hears frequently from contrarians, not to mention claims about the peer review process being broken. One can only hope.”.

    I realise I may have lost you several three-syllable words ago, but as stated by the different authors, this is actually – once again – a fine example of peer-review in work.

  208. CBH says:

    “I realise I may have lost you several three-syllable words ago…”

    Listen up, Skippy. You are a know-nothing know it all, still wet behind the ears, and a True Believer in the catastrophic AGW fairy tale. If you had the most rudimentary understanding of the climate null hypothesis you would know you don’t have a leg to stand on. The whole CO2=CAGW conjecture is debunked nonsense. Juveniles like you eat it up, because you see dollars raining down on CAGW sycophants.

    The whole ridiculous scare is based on demonizing “carbon”. Either you’re a credulous fool or you are in it for the loot. Take your pick, there isn’t a third choice. You are with Big Government’s intent to get its hands deeper into our pockets based on a lie, or you are another victim of cognitive dissonance. Pathetic either way.

  209. Robert E. Phelan: Thank you very much indeed for the eloquent ad-homs. To clarify, I´m no climatologist, nor even a “wannabe”, nor have I pretended to be one. However, having sought for an “RE Phelan” in ThomsonReuters, there appears to be no records at all within the category “science” or “technology”, so if my understanding of “the real meaning of science” is wanting, I´m afraid that you are in no position to mend this want. :)

    Poptech: “Whether E&E is “valid” or “relevant” for climate science is purely subjective, I believe it is but it certainly is not a “politics journal”, it is an interdisciplinary journal that covers both the natural and social sciences. Papers dealing with natural science in E&E are peer-reviewed by scientists with natural science credentials.”.

    You have to decide: Is E&E a science journal or a social “science” journal? You cannot have it both ways. If it´s a science journal, then it requires some kind of serious editors and reviewers competent in this field, which Böhmer-Christiansen undeniably is not – and the reviewers letting through papers like Achibald´s or Becks certainly were not either. If it is not a science journal, and if it is not cited in the science part of IPCC report (WGI), then don´t try to put forward something from E&E when discussing scientific stuff.

    Once again: Beck´s paper is ludicrous on its own right – let us lay aside whether it requires an undergraduate student or someone with a Bsc to realise this, I can say for certain that every single person in my biology department that has been discussing the subject, researcher or student, graduate or undergraduate alike, has immediately been able to see the gaping hole in the argument just from looking at Beck´s graph (http://rogerfromnewzealand.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/co2-1812-2004-chemical.jpg) – according to Beck, the CO2 levels have apparently fluctuated wildly from 1812 to 1958, by up to 100 ppm from one year to the next, e.g. 1820-21 or 1940-41, and suddenly in 1958, with the introduction of spectroscopy and the Mauna Loa laboratory, it shows a calm monotonic rise of less than 2ppm from year to year. The direct historic and prehistoric measurements from Vostok ice cores are completely ignored in his 2006 “paper”, as are any thoughts on possible sources for a putative one-year rise of 100 ppm – this latter would also have forced Beck to look into the isotopic measurements of the C13/C12 ration and the content of C14 in atmospheric CO2. It is not even consistent on it´s own premises: If volcanic eruptions pre-1958 like Krakatau are associated with enormous yearly increases by 80-100 ppm seen in some years in his graph, the why don´t eruptions like El Chichon in 1983 or Pinatubo in 1991 leave the faintest small wiggle in the record post-1958? And if the temperature rise of 0,4 from 1900-1940 was the cause of Beck´s alleged 200 ppm increase in the same period, then why has CO2 since 1970 only risen by about 75 ppm, when the temperature has increased by 0,6 in this period? :)

    There is simply no wiggle room or anything to discuss for anybody with the slightest idea about the carbon cycle including sources and sinks, basic biology, chemistry and physics: Beck´s paper is completely and objectively absurd on its face, and it was debunked by research having been carried out long before it was ever published.

    If you fail to see this, then you are merely ignorant of these basics. There is no shame in this. But a serious scientific journal does not allow reviewers who are either ignorant of or don´t care about these basic facts to review papers about atmospheric CO2 levels. That E&E let this paper through – and failed to retract it or apologise for it – tells everything about the seriousness of the “review process” at E&E.

    BTW, E&E had a mission statement from 2006 also cited in the exchange between Beck and Keeling stating that is was intended as a forum for “skeptical analyses of global warming” – and as I stated, Böhmer-Christiansen is following this line faithfully.

    Thus E&E simply is not a peer-reviewed science journal to be taken seriously by anyone in the natural science – no matter how desperately you and others may want to believe and state otherwise.. It´s quite simple.

  210. CBH,

    You are a numpty fool if you believe that E&E is “not a peer reviewed science journal.” It is, as has been explained to you with valid citations. The fact is that you are flat wrong, and you have been explicitly told why you are wrong several times here. So when you persist in stating your beliefs, which are provably wrong, you are either an idiot or a liar. Take your pick, there isn’t a third option.

  211. “Listen up, Skippy. You are a know-nothing know it all, still wet behind the ears…a True Believer…..If you had the most rudimentary understanding of the climate null hypothesis………The whole CO2=CAGW conjecture is debunked nonsense. Juveniles like you eat it up…..CAGW sycophants……the whole ridiculous scare……… Either you’re a credulous fool or you are in it for the loot……..You are with Big Government’s intent to get its hands deeper into our pockets based on a lie, or you are another victim of cognitive dissonance. Pathetic either way.”

    Dearest “Dr. anonymous”: I´m sure that the eloquence, the aristotelic rigourousness so characteristic for your line of argument and the insight into the climate science background you display in your comments is fully representative of other personal traits such as your general intelligence, personal likability, polyglottism and ability to keep your head cool no matter how heated the argument.

    However charmed I may be to be lectured by (hopefully well-paying) taxpayers of your format, I may be tempted to warn you to be more careful with the language in the future – remember that this is supposed to be “the best science blog”, “that ad hominem is the warmists’ weapon of choice” which “tends not to be well regarded” – or so I´ve been told from usually well-informed regular readers here…………..

  212. Christoffer, you make some valid points, as well as invalid points regarding the purpose of peer review. But I wish to leave that aside for the moment and ask a question. If the purpose of site selection was to find locations where CO2 was well mixed and did not wildly swing, is that an accurate measurement of CO2 levels everywhere, or just where it did not wildly swing? And did you know that even at those sites, daily measurements are carefully taken when CO2 levels are stable and that CO2 outliers are removed from the data?

  213. Smokey: It has indeed been explained by a “Poptech” both that a) E&E is a science journal, b) that E&E is not a science journal, and c) that it covers both social and natural sciences. You cannot have it all these ways. The editor herself has made clear that the has no background in judging scientific content, it is not listed as science/technology in Web of Science, and it regularly publishes articles full of basic schoolboy howlers. This should nail it for anybody remotely aqquainted with the scientific process. Heck, It is not even taken seriously by Roger Pielke jr.

    I am well aware that Böhmer-Christiansen makes lots of claims about her journals scientific reliability, but no serious journal with qualified peer-reviewers publishes the sort of rubbish written by Beck, Archibald etc. we have discussed here. Hint: That somebody claims something on a webpage is not always reliable. Maybe E&E does have a peer review process where somebody with a degree in whatever field looks at the title and sees whether it conforms to the journal scope to propagate “skeptical analyses of global warming”? :)

    Listen up, Skippy. You are a know-nothing know it all, still wet behind the ears…a True Believer…..If you had the most rudimentary understanding of the climate null hypothesis………numpty fool….The whole CO2=CAGW conjecture is debunked nonsense. Juveniles like you eat it up…..CAGW sycophants……the whole ridiculous scare……… Either you’re a credulous fool or you are in it for the loot……..You are with Big Government’s intent to get its hands deeper into our pockets based on a lie, or you are another victim of cognitive dissonance. Pathetic either way.

    Dearest “Dr. anonymous”: I´m sure that the eloquence, the aristotelic rigourousness so characteristic for your line of argument and the insight into the climate science background you display in your comments is fully representative of other personal traits such as your general intelligence, personal likability, polyglottism and ability to keep your head cool no matter how heated the argument.

    However charmed I may be to be lectured by (hopefully well-paying) taxpayers of your format, I may be tempted to warn you to be more careful with the language in the future – remember that this is supposed to be “the best science blog”, “that ad hominem is the warmists’ weapon of choice” which “tends not to be well regarded” – or so I´ve heard…..:)

  214. Numpty says:

    Maybe E&E does have a peer review process where somebody with a degree in whatever field looks at the title and sees whether it conforms to the journal scope …”

    So, you’re just winging it. Typical of your baseless opinions.

    Denigrating a respected journal for publishing a paper by Beck, while disregarding other journals that publish debunked nonsense by Dessler, Mann, Ammann and other alarmists who don’t have the huevos to disclose their data, methodologies, code and metadata shows whose boots you’re licking. Nature was forced to issue a Correction to MBH98, a paper that has been torn to shreds for its cherry-picking of data [and thirteen years later, Mann still refuses to disclose his methodologies, code and metadata]. And Mann08 is based on an upside down, corrupted proxy. You have clueless, mendacious heroes who don’t know what they’re doing. Their science is at the level of Bill Nye.

    Poptech [October 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm above] and many others have been smacking you around the block in this thread. YOU are the one who is completely out of step, not everyone else. When you have a CV one-tenth as impressive as Dr Böhmer-Christiansen, whom you repeatedly denigrate, maybe we will start to take your juvenile opinions seriously. In the mean time, be thankful there’s no censorship here like there is at most of your alarmist blogs. They – and you – are trying to hold back the tide of truth with one-sided misinformation. You are being tarred with the same brush as those climate charlatans because you want to be another climate charlatan. The truth means nothing to an ambitious puppy like you. So you carry water for the anti-science crowd.

  215. Phil. says:
    October 5, 2011 at 9:35 am
    James Sexton says:
    October 5, 2011 at 8:48 am
    “When Dr Dessler gets a paper accepted in one day, while MIT’s Prof Richard Lindzen is forced to wait a year or more for publication, there is a problem right here in River City: corruption in the climate journal industry”.

    Let’s get the bias and inaccuracies out of this statement:
    “Dr Prof Dessler gets a paper letter accepted in one day17 days, while MIT’s Prof Richard Lindzen is forced to wait a year or more for publication,”

    If you write a bad paper it can take for ever to get it published! There is a big difference in the publication time and scrutiny for a letter vs a paper. Dessler’s letter was reviewed by two reviewers, presumably part of the reason for the revised version being submitted 17 days after the first submission.

    Sorry about the failure of the strikeout to work here!
    It should have been “Prof Dessler gets a paper letter accepted in 17 days, while MIT’s Prof Richard Lindzen is forced to wait a year or more for publication,”
    The statement that Dessler got his paper (actually a letter) published in one day is incorrect.

  216. Smokey says:
    October 7, 2011 at 11:02 am
    Accepted ≠ published.

    When publishing in a quick turn around journal which publishes ‘letters’ it is

    But the lopsided comparison is apt, and indisputable.

    Yes one complied with the reviewers’ recommendations and was published, the other didn’t and wasn’t!

  217. The blond guy here is obviously CBH, the [snicker] “ecologist”.

    And Phil, there are many more examples of the disparity between toe-sucking journals that give blatant preferential treatment to alarmists. Want some more examples? Just ask.

  218. You have clueless, mendacious heroes who don’t know what they’re doing. Their science is at the level of Bill Nye.

    I disagree, Smokey. They know exactly what they’re doing, they just refuse to acknowledge the obvious.

  219. Jeff Alberts,

    I suspect you’re right. And if that is the case, then it follows that they are in a conspiracy because they know exactly what they’re doing, and why.

  220. Christoffer Bugge Harder says:

    You have to decide: Is E&E a science journal or a social “science” journal? You cannot have it both ways. If it´s a science journal, then it requires some kind of serious editors and reviewers competent in this field, which Böhmer-Christiansen undeniably is not – and the reviewers letting through papers like Achibald´s or Becks certainly were not either. If it is not a science journal, and if it is not cited in the science part of IPCC report (WGI), then don´t try to put forward something from E&E when discussing scientific stuff.

    I already said it is an interdisciplinary journal that covers both the natural and social sciences. Since it covers social science it is categorized by Thompson Reuters in their Social Sciences.Citation Index. This does not mean that on topic (Energy & Environment related) natural science papers cannot be peer-reviewed and published in E&E. There is no way for an editor to have the relevant credentials with a journal that covers a diverse amount of topics like E&E, this is why they have an extensive advisory board. Which is all irrelevant to the fact that Dr. Boehmer-Christiansen has the relevant credentials to select appropriate credentialed reviewers for the papers. The reviewers for E&E are both credentialed and competent as has been stated to you ad nauseum which is all that matters.

    Whether something was cited by the IPCC in WG1 has no bearing on whether a papers from E&E can be discussed or not. Various climate related papers published in much more well known natural science journals were not cited by the IPCC in WG1.

    Once again: Beck´s paper is ludicrous on its own right…

    Yes you don’t like Beck’s paper, others don’t either. Mr. Beck is not around to defend his paper so the discussion on it is pointless. None of which changes the fact that it was peer-reviewed by credentialed scientists. I have no interest in discussing the validity of the paper. People are free to read it, the comment from Meijer and Keeling then Mr. Beck’s rebuttal to make up their own minds. You are obviously obsessed with discussing it, I am not. Everything you have stated I have heard before as it has been discussed ad nauseum online.

    If you fail to see this, then you are merely ignorant of these basics.

    If you have noticed, I have not given my opinion on the paper. What has been established is you are ignorant about many things relating to E&E and each time one gets shot down you move the goal posts or create a new strawman argument.

    That E&E let this paper through – and failed to retract it or apologise for it – tells everything about the seriousness of the “review process” at E&E.

    They published a comment on the paper, http://multi-science.metapress.com/content/c332k41405021514/
    You act like that does not exist. In many journals this is all that ever happens.

    You never answered my earlier question so I will rephrase it,

    Should a journal not be taken seriously for publishing a paper that is criticized?

    BTW, E&E had a mission statement from 2006 also cited in the exchange between Beck and Keeling stating that is was intended as a forum for “skeptical analyses of global warming” – and as I stated, Böhmer-Christiansen is following this line faithfully.

    E&E’s mission statement says no such thing,

    http://www.multi-science.co.uk/ee-mission.htm

    Thus E&E simply is not a peer-reviewed science journal to be taken seriously by anyone in the natural science

    You have failed to demonstrate this.

  221. Christoffer Bugge Harder says:

    Smokey: It has indeed been explained by a “Poptech” both that a) E&E is a science journal, b) that E&E is not a science journal, and c) that it covers both social and natural sciences. You cannot have it all these ways.

    Lies. Quote where I made any such statement. I have never claimed that E&E is a pure natural science journal. All I have stated is it is an interdisciplinary journal and since it publishes social science papers will be categorized as such in journal indexes.

    Here is a better question, Can a journal publish both natural science and social science papers?

    The editor herself has made clear that [s]he has no background in judging scientific content, it is not listed as science/technology in Web of Science, and it regularly publishes articles full of basic schoolboy howlers. This should nail it for anybody remotely aqquainted with the scientific process. Heck, It is not even taken seriously by Roger Pielke jr.

    This is why the reviewers and various advisory board members do have the relevant background. No one but you keeps repeating the strawman argument of it being a natural science journal. It is indexed in the Thompson Reuters Social Sciences Citation Index (which BTW was one of Roger’s complaints – though I am sure he will not retract it),

    http://science.thomsonreuters.com/cgi-bin/jrnlst/jlresults.cgi?PC=MASTER&ISSN=0958-305X

    Roger Pielke Jr. is not natural scientist either so why are you using his opinion? His credentials are equivalent to Dr. Boehmer-Christiansens’. He has an M.A. in Publich Policy and a Ph.D. in Political Science. Oh wait did you not know that? My apologies.

    E&E does not regularly publish any such papers, ” full of basic schoolboy howlers”.

    I am well aware that Böhmer-Christiansen makes lots of claims about her journals scientific reliability, but no serious journal with qualified peer-reviewers publishes the sort of rubbish written by Beck, Archibald etc. we have discussed here. Hint: That somebody claims something on a webpage is not always reliable. Maybe E&E does have a peer review process where somebody with a degree in whatever field looks at the title and sees whether it conforms to the journal scope to propagate “skeptical analyses of global warming”? :)

    These are all nice lies but as Dr. Tol will attest to the E&E peer-review process follows a scholarly peer-review process,

    I have published a few papers in E&E. All were peer-reviewed as usual. I have reviewed a few more for the journal.” – Dr. Richard Tol

    CBH, you are so desperate to smear a journal you know nothing about except ignorantly using Google to search for any smear you can dig up. It is rather pathetic.

  222. omnologos,

    It is a conspiracy. Some of it is organized, some is just done with a wink and a nod. But as Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth Of Nations, “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”

    They know exactly what they’re doing, and why.

  223. My apologies, I somehow missed your reply,

    Christoffer Bugge Harder says:

    Poptech: This is getting rather tedious/silly. You stated:

    E&E [...] certainly is not a “politics journal”, it is an interdisciplinary journal that covers both the natural and social sciences.

    Once again: This statement cannot be interpreted as saying anything else than E&E as a scientific journal publishing papers in the natural sciences (and the social sciences, too).

    No it can be interpreted explicitly how I stated it, that E&E is an interdisciplinary journal that covers both the natural and social sciences. No claim is made anywhere that it is a pure natural science journal. You keep stating this strawman. Due to E&E extensively covering the socio-economic aspect of energy and environmental issues it will be categorized as a social-science journal by certain indexes. This has no bearing on the fact that legitimate natural science papers appear in the journal and are scholarly peer-reviewed.

    Are E&E´s papers to be taken seriously as peer-reviewed contribution to the natural sciences, or aren´t they? You cannot have it both ways, for the umpteenth time.

    Of course they are to be taken seriously as peer-reviewed. Only the papers that deal with natural science in E&E can be taken seriously as a contribution to natural sciences. No one is having anything both ways.

    If not, then it´s easy: Stop pushing anything E&E says about the natural sciences, including climate, as if it were to be taken seriously.

    That is just absurd no such qualification exists for what should be “taken seriously”.

    If you think it is, then all I can say is this: Beck´s “paper” is just one egregious example of a paper that clearly has not been seen by anyone remotely qualified to review it. Here´s another by Archibald (2006), which attempts to refute global warming with data from 5 Southeastern US land stations. Really!

    They are just examples of papers you dislike, they were still peer-reviewed. Beck’s paper especially has been discusses ad nauseum.

    And another by Craig Loehle, messing up basic dating issues in multiproxies:

    A correction was published as is standard practice in other journals,

    Correction to: A 2000-Year Global Temperature Reconstruction Based on Non-Tree Ring Proxies

    http://multi-science.metapress.com/content/82l462p2v37h7881/

    (Energy & Environment, Volume 19, Number 1, pp. 93-100, January 2008)
    - Craig Loehle, J. Huston McCulloch

    Or Soon, Baliunas + The Idsos, repeating and expanding the howlers that had already lead to the resignation of von Storch et al at Climate Research before:

    No correcting and expanding on their overwhelming evidence of the existence of the medieval warming period,

    Reconstructing Climatic and Environmental Changes of the Past 1000 Years: A Reappraisal

    http://multi-science.metapress.com/content/w071jx861073j544/

    (Energy & Environment, Volume 14, Numbers 2-3, pp. 233-296, May 2003)
    - Willie H. Soon, Sallie L. Baliunas, Sherwood B. Idso, Craig Idso, David R. Legates

    Yes, a journal can publish serious papers on interdisciplinary issues, but only if they are careful to select sufficiently competent reviewers from a wide range of fields. Whatever one´s opinion may be, this just is not the case is these E&E “papers”…

    Competent reviewers are always selected. I have heard all of your other nonsense before and it is getting old.

    Everyone knows Pielke Jr. Ph.D. in Political Science does not like E&E, so? No one cares except desperate critics of E&E.

    Everything you have “dug up” is from desperate Google searches. You need something original that has not been extensively refuted. I suggest getting an education on E&E,

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2010/04/correcting-misinformation-about-journal.html

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