The Copernicus-PRP fiasco: predictable and preventable

prp-cover-webAfter reconsideration of my original story, I find that there is more than enough blame to go around on both sides and that there were warning signs that were ignored.

Last Friday while at work, my Inbox exploded with news about a “climate skeptic journal getting canceled”. It was news to me, because I didn’t even know there was one in existence. This post is an update that post I made on Friday: The ‘planetary tidal influence on climate’ fiasco: strong armed science tactics are overkill, due process would work better.  Today’s post is done with the benefit of more detailed information and more time than I had then.

Much of the mail I received Friday centered around this post by Jo Nova: Science paper doubts IPCC, so whole journal gets terminated!

Jo’s post details that a particular phrase in the announcement seemed to be the reason for the termination of the journal. The editor’s announcement (the first version) is reproduced below, bold, Jo’s: 

Termination of the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics

Copernicus Publications started publishing the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics (PRP) in March 2013. The journal idea was brought to Copernicus’ attention and was taken rather critically in the beginning, since the designated Editors-in-Chief were mentioned in the context of the debates of climate skeptics. However, the initiators asserted that the aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines rather than to focus on climate-research-related topics.

Recently, a special issue was compiled entitled “Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts”. Besides papers dealing with the observed patterns in the heliosphere, the special issue editors ultimately submitted their conclusions in which they “doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project” (Pattern Recogn. Phys., 1, 205–206, 2013).

Copernicus Publications published the work and other special issue papers to provide the spectrum of the related papers to the scientists for their individual judgment. Following best practice in scholarly publishing, published articles cannot be removed afterwards.

We at Copernicus Publications wish to distance ourselves from the apparent misuse of the originally agreed aims & scope of the journal and decided on 17 January 2014 to cease the publication of PRP. Of course, scientific dispute is controversial and should allow contradictory opinions which can then be discussed within the scientific community. However, the recent developments including the expressed implications (see above) have led us to this drastic decision.

Interested scientists can reach the online library at: www.pattern-recogn-phys.net

Martin Rasmussen
January 2014

Initially, this looked like another case of suppression due to the anti-IPCC message conveyed in the PRP Special Edition, much like we’ve seen in Climategate where an email campaign was used to pressure editors, and if the editors didn’t kowtow, “the team” would work to remove them. The Phil Jones email “Kevin and I will keep them out somehow” immediately sprang to mind.

My view was that the journal editor got “team” pressure, such as we witnessed James Annan crowing about, and they caved.

From James Annan:

Kudos to Copernicus for the rapid and decisive way in which they dealt with this problem. The problems at the journal were was first brought to my attention by ThingsBreak just last night, I emailed various people to express my concerns and the journal (which was already under close scrutiny by the publisher) was closed down within 24h.

I pointed out that the best way is to let due process take its course:

While the shutdown of the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics that published a special edition on planetary tidal influence on climate is likely a bit of overkill, rebuttals would have been the right way to handle it rather than the Climategate style strong-arm gang tactics exhibited against journal editors…

But then later, after my piece was published, I learned there was far more to the story, and that Copernicus had changed their statement, adding this paragraph:

“In addition, the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing and not in accordance with our  publication ethics we expect to be followed by the editors.”

That seems like some post facto CYA to me, or, it could also be just sloppiness due to what appears to be the “panic” they were under after getting hit with an email campaign from James Annan’s “various people”.

Jo wondered in her update:

Copernicus is a large publishing group which also publishes many other journals. I wonder if “nepotism” is the word for pal-review which occurs all the time…

It turns out that “pal-review” was indeed a problem, and that both sides should have seen this showdown coming well in advance. Had either made some effort to head it off, you wouldn’t be reading about it now.

First, let me say that it takes a lot of courage and effort to put together a special edition for a journal, and I admire the people involved for doing that, even though I disagree with much of what was presented.

Secondly, it takes a lot of work to do it right. Doing it right means getting it done where any contestable items of special interest, pal-review, and other biases aren’t part of the publication. That’s where it went wrong.

Third, if the climate skeptic community became aware of a pal-review issue like this in climate science, we’d be all over it. We should hold our own community to the same standards.

In his post about the affair, Roger Tattersall, who was both an editor and an author of a paper in the special edition, responded to William Connolley in this comment with a [Reply].

William Connolley says:

January 17, 2014 at 5:25 pm

“In addition, the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing…”

Oooh you bad boys. RT: are you in favour of nepotism in review? Come on, don’t be shy.

[Reply] I asked for reviewers from outside our discipline, but with it being a small field, there was crossover. But because the papers are open access, anyone can download, review and comment, so I don’t think it’s a big problem. Let our scientific work stand on its merit, rather than impugning the honesty of the scientists.

Climate science itself suffers from the small field crossover problem to an extent, but as we saw in Climategate emails, often they turn a blind eye to it.

I have no problem with their work in the PRP Special Edition standing or failing on its own merit, but I do have a problem with the way they went about this. For example, in WUWT comments we have:

Poptech says: January 18, 2014 at 8:47 am

People are missing the key point,

http://www.pattern-recognition-in-physics.net/

“…the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing and not in accordance with our publication ethics we expect to be followed by the editors.”

http://publications.copernicus.org/for_reviewers/obligations_for_referees.html

4. A referee should be sensitive even to the appearance of a conflict of interest when the manuscript under review is closely related to the referee’s work in progress or published. If in doubt, the referee should return the manuscript promptly without review, advising the editor of the conflict of interest or bias.

5. A referee should not evaluate a manuscript authored or co-authored by a person with whom the referee has a personal or professional connection if the relationship would bias judgment of the manuscript.

The problem is obvious, the papers list in many cases one of the reviewers as an author in the same edition and in some cases a known skeptic. While this is no different than what alarmists do all the time, skeptics will be held to a much higher standard and should not allow themselves to fall into these traps.

This makes what would be a clear censorship argument irrelevant.

Basically, they asked to play in the peer reviewed sandbox at Copernicus, then didn’t abide by the rules of the sandbox for peer review. That was the recipe for disaster everybody should have seen coming.

Which is confirmed:

Poptech says:January 18, 2014 at 3:56 pm

tallbloke says:

I’m surprised Poptech fell for the Rasmussen ruse. In his first email to the editors he said he was shutting down PRP because it had allowed sceptics to publish heresy about the IPCC dogma. Only later did he realise the own goal and cook up the unsubstantiated smears about “potential” issues with review.

With the original version I agree with you and on these grounds alone I consider this censorship but that is not the whole story.

My problem is with the process of using authors, editors and known skeptics as reviewers. This is not an unsubstantiated smear but verifiable,

Here are two examples:

Discussion on common errors in analyzing sea level accelerations, solar trends and global warming

Reviewed by: N.-A. Morner and one anonymous referee”

Dr. Morner is qualified to review this paper but he is an editor and a known skeptic with a potential conflict of interest in that he is sympathetic to Dr. Scafetta’s arguments.

The Hum: log-normal distribution and planetary–solar resonance

Reviewed by: H. Jelbring and one anonymous referee”

Hans Jelbring is again qualified but an author in this edition and a known skeptic with a potential conflict of interest in that he is sympathetic to your arguments.

And the reason I am told they published their names, was because they were concerned with having a conflict of interest! Thus, by the publishers own rules they should not be reviewing these papers. The saving grace is that one of the reviewers was anonymous but this is still going to lead to wild speculation for many reasons, especially since the editors were skeptics.

Why give alarmists the ammunition of Pal-Review? I don’t understand this.

Regardless, unless the papers get retracted I will list them, so people can read them and make up their own minds, but I will not be endorsing them nor defending the review process.

One of the PRP editors, Morner, published his own paper in the edition.  The other editor reviewed it. And, Morner reviewed other papers. No clearer example of circular review exists.

And then there’s this:

richardscourtney says: January 18, 2014 at 9:04 am

Friends:

I withdraw the suggestions in my earlier post at January 18, 2014 at 1:58 am.

When I made that post I was not aware that the journal used the same people as authors and reviewers for the papers of each other in a Special Edition on a stated subject. Such a practice is a clear example of pal-review.

The Special Edition should not have been published when its peer review procedures were a clear malpractice. Whether the reasons for withdrawal of the Special Edition also warranted closure of the journal requires additional information but it seems likely.

And so, the perception of the pal-review has trumped any science that was presented, and few people will hear of the reasons behind that problem.

The problem the PRP authors and editors have is existence in a small like-minded universe, yet they don’t see the problem that presents to outsiders looking in. The situation reminded me of a Star Trek TNG episode Remember Me where Dr. Beverly Crusher gets trapped in a “static warp bubble”. The pool of people she interacts with keeps shrinking as the bubble shrinks, and she keeps trying to convince the remaining people of this fact while they look at her like she’s crazy. She finally ends up alone, and doesn’t realize the reality of her isolation until she asks the ship’s computer “What is the nature of the universe?” and it answers:

“…the universe as a spheroid structure 705 meters in diameter.”

That’s about the size of the PRP Special Edition universe, and like the static warp bubble in the TNG episode, it is collapsing in on itself. The big problem with this event is that while that PRP Special Edition universe is collapsing in one place, it has exploded elsewhere, and that explosion has painted all climate skeptics with a broad brush.

Some news coverage of the event:

http://science.slashdot.org/story/14/01/18/0036252/alleging-malpractice-with-climate-skeptic-papers-publisher-kills-journal

It was easy to predict what kind of coverage we’d see.

Note there’s no distinction here of a “subset” of climate skeptics, or even  “a few climate skeptics”, no, ALL climate skeptics are being painted with this fiasco. That means people like Lindzen, Spencer, Christy, the Pielkes, Curry, Singer, Happer, and many others are being lumped into this even though they had nothing to do with it. I doubt any of them even knew about it, and I daresay that if they did, they’d have similar objections to what has already been voiced on WUWT about the process.

And that, makes me upset. What makes me even more upset is that this mess was wholly preventable if either Copernicus or the PRP Special Edition group had realized what was at stake and done something about it before it became the next target of “the team” looking to pressure an editor like we saw in Climategate. Had I known about it before it exploded. I certainly would have voiced objections about the use of a small and specialized universe of editors and reviewers. Almost any reasonable person looking at this from the outside can see this pal-review issue would eventually blow up, because no matter how careful they might have been internally to prevent such issues, the appearance from the outside of bias is what gets written about, as we’ve seen.

And, there were clear warnings.

Steve Mosher writes to me with this

A while back I happened upon the Tallbloke journal (comments from Tallbloke’s Talkshop)

Steven Mosher says:

cool. not only did you review each other papers ( where the reviewer had the ethical courage to identify himself) but you referenced your own papers that were simultaneously submitted but un published.

wow, way better than the CRU scams.

Of course Ian wilson chimed in

http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/special-edition-of-pattern-recognition-in-physics/comment-page-1/#comment-64917

when he knew what I said was true

more

Steven Mosher says: (bold mine)

“Ian:Three years ago at Lisbon, Mosh told me I needed to provide some numbers to back up our solar-planetary hypothesis. Now we are able to do that, he’s falling back on insult by comparing us to people who bent data and stats methods, intimidated journal editors, removed adverse data, hid sample sizes etc.

It’s standard fare from the people who have lost the plot on what the scientific method is. They play the man rather than the ball, because their threadbare theory has failed.”

No Rog, I’m hold [sic] you to the same standard that we hold mann [sic] and others to.

1. Your [sic] the editor of a journal and you publish your own papers. In the climategatemails we found similar problems; we found authors who selected journals because they had a guy on the inside.
Second, we complained because IPCC chapter authors were referring to their own work. Self interest. I can hardly complain about this practice WRT the IPCC and Mann and then let you slide simply because you are a friend. Further, when I was asked for a list of journals to submit to I eliminated all journals where our authors served as editors or as emeritus editors.

2. We complained about climate scientists citing papers that had not yet been published. Look through your references you’ll find the examples. Again, integrity. And yes, you’ll note for example that our AMO paper ( that confirms some of scaffettas work) was held back from publication until all the other papers it cites were published. To do otherwise is to build a house on quicksand.

3. I missed your policy on archiving data and code. I did note some people giving links as references. Sad. bare minimum would be link with the date accessed.

Finally, I looked for your numbers. they are still missing. At a minimum I should be able to go to the SI, get the data and run the code to make sure that the charts presented actually come from the method described.

Since you’re the editor perhaps you tell us how you plan to practice the things we agreed on long ago. Don’t feel bad, folks who think its not the sun get pissed when I tell them to share data and code.. to basically show their work. But you should not be surprised that I would argue that everybody, not just Mann and Jones, should aim for reproducable research. I’ve been advocating it since 2007. Why would I listen to any special pleading from friends. For example, see my comments in july of 2012 on steve mcintyre’s blog where he and Anthony get an earful from me.
It’s a principle for me.

http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/12/13/special-edition-of-pattern-recognition-in-physics/comment-page-1/#comment-65132

Did Tattersall or Wilson then do anything about this? It doesn’t seem so, but then again I’m, not privy to what went on behind the scenes, like everybody else, all I can do is look at their universe from the outside and note the clearly evident problems they seem unable or unwilling to see.

And the warnings went back even further, from RetractionWatch:

But scholarly librarian Jeffrey Beall noticed some…patterns in the journal back in September July:

The journal’s editor-in-chief, Sid-Ali Ouadfeul, who works for the Algerian Petroleum Institute, started publishing his research in journal articles around 2010, but he’s only been cited a couple times, not counting his many self-citations.

Co-editor-in-chief Nils-Axel Morner is a noted climate “skeptic” who believes in dowsing (water divining) and believes he has found the “Hong Kong of the [ancient] Greeks” in Sweden, among other things. These beliefs are documented in Wikipedia and The Guardian. Morner has over 125 publications, but pattern recognition does not appear to be among his specialties.

Moreover, speaking of “pattern recognition,” my analysis revealed some self-plagiarism by editor Ouadfeul in the very first paper the journal published, an article he himself co-authored.

Did he ask Copernicus to do something about it? Unknown, but it seems likely they would have been made aware of it. Again Copernicus is a seasoned publisher, they should have solved the problem well before it detonated into the science landscape.

So, in summary:

  1. While the idea of a special edition is fine, and certainly what science was presented in it should stand or fail on its own and have the opportunity for due process, but now that has been made next to impossible.
  2. The papers are still available at this link. I urge readers to examine them and draw their own conclusions not only about the science, but about the review and publishing process.
  3. The public perception problem of pal-review could have been prevented had either the journal itself or the people in the PRP Special Edition universe recognized and corrected the pal-review appearance that their small PRP universe presented to outsiders.
  4. At multiple blogs, including WUWT and Tallbloke’s Talkshop, some people are now defending the process of pal-review as a “more productive form of collaboration to produce a better result”. I’m sorry, that’s just not only wronger than wrong, it’s FUBAR.
  5. Copernicus and Rasmussen appeared to be indifferent to the appearance of a pal-review issue until they started to get pressure from “the team” spurred on by James Annan. They panicked, and in their panic, presented a sloppy argument for closure, which had to be revised.
  6. Knowing of the increasing sea of science journals and choices, Copernicus did what they thought they had to do to protect their brand, but they did it ham-handedly, and invited the Streisand effect.
  7. Copernicus and Rasmussen aren’t newcomers to this arena, they are considered professionals by the science community. They should have recognized this problem and acted on it long ago. Had they done so, we’d not be reading about it today.
  8. That said, with warning signs present that we’ve seen before in Climategate, and with the people in the PRP universe aware of those things, they should have been able to see the problem and make corrections themselves. Ideally, they never should have fallen into the trap in the first place.
  9. When warned about the problem, Tattersall and Wilson should have done something to head it off. They may have, I don’t know, but I see no evidence of it. Likewise it seems almost certain Copernicus/Rasmussen would have been made aware of the problem in July 2013 by Beall, and should have done something if they were aware. If Beall did nothing, he’s culpable.
  10. The coverage of the affair paints all climate skeptics unfairly, since only a small group of climate skeptics operated within the PRP universe, mostly unknown to the larger body of climate skeptics.
  11. Skepticism is about asking skillful questions to examine if a claim is true or not. In this affair we have a small group of people who think they have the answer, and they browbeat people who think their answer isn’t accurate or representative.  A good skeptic (and scientist) practices doubt, and should embrace criticisms, looking to see where they may have gone wrong.
  12. This fiasco pretty much dashes any chance of any sort of climate skeptic or citizen science based journal coming into existence, because should such a journal be started, no matter how careful, no matter how exacting, no matter how independent, this fiasco is going to be held up as an example as to why nobody from the larger science community should participate.

It’s a real mess, and instead of apologizing for creating it, what we are seeing from the PRP Special Edition universe is indignant rhetoric because nobody is paying attention to their ideas.

All around, a tragedy, and a wholly preventable one.

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465 Responses to The Copernicus-PRP fiasco: predictable and preventable

  1. Ken Hall says:

    Amen. No science worthy of the name benefits from the corrupt practice of pal review.

  2. James Evans says:

    What’s the big deal with “peer review”? If you’ve got an idea, just publish it. If it stinks, people will see that. If it’s useful, then great.

  3. flyingtigercomics says:

    In a world with pervasive online media, why not adopt a new paradigm and publish online without peer review, but with full data and working out shown, and crowdsource peer review from the entire planet?

    Mo rigour mo better.

  4. Must be a wave pulse generator as there is this disturbance in the force.

  5. richardscourtney says:

    Anth0ny:

    That is a good summary and I agree all you say and I applaud your conclusion which says

    All around, a tragedy, and a wholly preventable one.

    Thankyou for writing it.

    Richard

  6. RoyFOMR says:

    How true that old saying, ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right’, and good on you for stepping up to the plate Anthony.
    Having said that, it was no less than I would expect from you.
    Thanks.

  7. Rather than the redistribution of wealth seems they do better toward and have fine results in the redistribution of stupid.

  8. A. Scott says:

    Anthony … seems awfully similar to the Lewandowsky debacles. With their musical chair’s cast of peer reviewers, and ultimately the papers Editor (who was also author of a key referenced cite) ending up primary peer reviewer, … and a Journalism graduate student, who also had a paper cited and had a business relationship with Lewandowsky’s institution, a second highly sympathetic reviewer.

    The same “warmist” side’s strong condemnation was conveniently missing there …

  9. CJ Orach says:

    When has “pal review” ever become an issue when it is committed by Warmists? Hmmm

  10. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    @Anthony

    “Last Friday while at work, my Inbox exploded with news about a “climate skeptic journal getting canceled”. It was news to me, because I didn’t even know there was one in existence. ”

    Well, I did post a long note about it in Tips and Notes with all of the names of the papers listed.

    And a link.

    REPLY: With so many things and so many people vying for my attention, I don’t always see everything. Thanks nonetheless. – Anthony

  11. DirkH says:

    So publically available science can never explore new grounds.

    Einstein wasn’t peer reviewed.

    Well played, well controlled.

    REPLY: You miss the point. They approached a journal that had rules, the rules were apparently violated, the journal got called out by others and yanked their support. Now the very people that violated the rules are crying foul.

    They can’t have it both ways. -Anthony

  12. Joe Public says:

    Mods:-

    A couple of typos –

    “No Rog, I’m hold you to the same standard that we hold mann and others to.

    1. Your the editor of a journal ………..”

    ‘Mann’ & ‘You’re’

    REPLY: That’s Mosher’s comment, left intact for accuracy in reproduction, I’ll fix the other, thanks – Anthony

  13. lsvalgaard says:

    The notion that ‘pal review’ is sometimes necessary because it can be difficult to find reviewers outside of a handful of people that have the specialized knowledge needed is at times valid, but not in this case. None of papers involve highly technical or specialized subjects. Any physicist would have been qualified to review papers that are based on curve fitting, hand waving, poor or invalid statistics, impossible or implausible physics, etc. There are tens of thousands of such qualified reviewers out there. Now, it is probably the case that almost all of those would have rejected most of the papers so would disqualified by the editors on that account.

  14. Joe Public says:

    Mods:-

    Third typo
    ““No Rog, I’m hold you …”

    I’ll hold you

  15. Max Roberts says:

    Sorry, but this sort of criticism is absolutely bogus.

    There is nothing in the journal editors contract (British Journal of Psychology, European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, if you must know both minor, but at least it shows I have been there) to say that there is any obligation in any way for a journal editor to choose certain sorts of people who are likely to respond in certain sorts of ways. How on earth could any journal editor comply with any such directives?

    At the end of the day, whether or not a paper is accepted or rejected is the editors decision, and the editors decision alone. Any absurd appeal to any sort of pseudo-democratic process (two of the reviewers didn’t like the paper and therefore it has been voted down) isn’t just a misunderstanding of science, but it is a misunderstanding of sampling of opinion.

    Anthony, you are dropping a huge clanger here. It is not about due process, the editors seemed to have followed due process in as much as the whole flawed system can legislate about it in any way.

  16. Willis Eschenbach says:

    First, the special edition proposes a number of fairly extraordinary ideas. Hans Jelbring is among the contestants, saying inter alia:

    Energy transfer in the solar system

    H. Jelbring
    Tellus, Stockholm, Sweden

    Abstract.

    … There is evidence pointing to interactions (friction) between space and satellites [meaning planets, moons, etc.] producing volcanism.

    So to start with, they would need to present extraordinary evidence for such extraordinary claims. Unfortunately, what they think is “evidence” looks like this:

    The celestial bodies in the solar system are bound together by gravitational energy. Newton’s law of gravity can be used to calculate how much energy is needed to separate the plan- ets from the Sun, and the satellites from the planets. Nothing says that the total of this amount of energy has to be constant in the long run. In fact, data from planetary bodies imply that the solar system is contracting and that potential energy is lost to space. As an example, tidal friction does exist in our atmosphere and oceans. Heat escapes to space sooner or later. It is reasonable to suggest that the rotation rate of the Sun has slowed down and that Venus once rotated as Earth still does. It is known that Earth’s rotation is slowing down on a long-term bases (Marsden and Cameron, 1966). The above arguments support the notion that one energy source in our solar system is “friction” energy in a contracting solar system in which rotating bodies also loose rotational energy.

    Riiiight … no numbers. No detailed exposition. No calculations. No estimate of the size of the purported effect. Just a statement that “tidal friction does exist”, and a claim that because the solar system is contracting, that “friction” has a significant effect of some kind on the climate.

    Still not convinced? Want more evidence? Here you go (op. cit.) …

    Processes involving energy transfer can be regarded as reversible and/or irreversible. A pendulum, for example, is switching its total energy between potential energy and ki- netic energy. Still, friction exists and the pendulum is bound to stop its motion sooner or later. Its total energy content is dissipating and lost to the environment and ultimately to space. Any planet that does not move exactly in a circular orbit is constantly switching potential energy with kinetic energy when moving from perihelion to aphelion and vice versa. The idea that these energy pulsations would create friction energy is not farfetched.

    “Not farfetched”? That’s the most weight that he is putting on his theory, that it is “not farfected”?

    Sigh … their Special Edition is a joke. We’ve been through Scafetta and Jelbring here on WUWT before, their ideas don’t improve by being in some special edition.

    w.

  17. Truthseeker says:

    Wow, the hypocrisy of this post is truly mind boggling.
    For years WUWT has been railing against argument from authority and demanding that the data be respected and the evidence evaluated on its merits.
    The authors of this work allowed and encouraged anyone who was interested to evaluate their work, look at the data they had collected, check their methodology and comment directly with their opinions on what they had found or concluded. This is how science should be presented and the only way science should be presented.
    Peer review is nothing more than argument from authority and should be considered entirely irrelevant when evaluating the science. Only the data, methodology and resulting conclusions should be used when evaluating science. Nothing else is relevant.
    The hyprocrisy of the publishing house was shown hen they found out that the published article when against the IPCC establishment and withdrew the whole publication on that basis. The hypocrisy of this post is shown when it gives any value to argument by authority which is all that peer review is.

    REPLY: No, you have it wrong, I still support those things, the problem here is that those folks asked to play in the peer review sandbox, didn’t abide by the rules of the sandbox, and then it exploded all over everybody when called out. – Anthony

  18. temp says:

    The problem is though that you have a massive propaganda campaign producing propaganda.

    This journal did nothing different then hundreds of pro-cultist journal do every day.

    Don’t get caught up in the propaganda stick to the facts.

    Cultists do this all the time and have been caught with proof. None of their journals get cancelled.
    Pound the fact that not only have they not been cancelled but in many cases have been rewarded for this behavior.
    This is a great chance to demand equal treatment.

    Force them to explain why its ok to do this stuff in support of the cult but not when its against.
    Demand to know when other journals will start getting cancelled for this.

    The hypocrisy they have displayed needs to be thrown back in their faces if you want to counter the oncoming massive propaganda campaign thats about to start.

  19. Keith Minto says:

    In this small field, getting impartial peer reviewers is difficult, more so if the authors are recognised as being sceptical, the pool ‘of acceptable’ reviewers being very small. I do not have an answer for this in a traditional journal format, our job as indifferent critics has just become harder.
    Anthony, this is a well considered summary.

  20. Rattus Norvegicus says:

    You might look at the last paragraph in the publisher’s statement. That is why they ceased publication.

  21. Zeke says:

    WUWT says, “Note there’s no distinction here of a “subset” of climate skeptics, or even “a few climate skeptics”, no, ALL climate skeptics are being painted with this fiasco. That means people like Lindzen, Spencer, Christy, the Pielkes, Curry, Singer, Happer, and many others are being lumped into this even though they had nothing to do with it. I doubt any of them even knew about it, and I daresay that if they did, they’d have similar objections to what has already been voiced on WUWT about the process.”

    WUWT policy for discussion topics (see “About”/”Policy”) clearly states that the effects of planetary orbits on solar activity is forbidden.

    REPLY: Right, because it almost always turns into circular shouting matches, and I grow tired of having to moderate. There’s other blogs for those topics, such as Tallblokes. – Anthony

  22. what temp said

    Comes the final EPA rules.

    Like in a prior post, they have bent the truth even at Sandia Lab, Livermore Lab and Los Alamos Lab. Very big danger this bending of truth so bad.

  23. Konrad says:

    “The big problem with this event is that while that PRP Special Edition universe is collapsing in one place, it has exploded elsewhere, and that explosion has painted all climate skeptics with a broad brush”

    It may not be as bad as you think. Blowing up Pattern Recognition may have been a mistake. The web attention could well compromise the BBC’s current “it’s the sun” escape strategy.

    To every cloud a silver lining.

  24. Peter Miller says:

    What is sad here is that a publication that few, if any, of us (certainly not me) had ever heard has become an undeserved alarmist triumph. The science in the two articles I read makes Mann look smart.

    So the sceptic cause has been damaged by a few guys behaving like alarmist ‘scientists’.

    Copernicus, the publisher, was wrong for censoring the journal, but those writing for it should never have allowed themselves to stoop to alarmist levels. Seeing William Connolley – he of Wikipedia censoring infamy — crowing the way he did, turned my stomach.

  25. Manfred says:

    Reminds me of the Santer et al 2008 paper in the Journal of Climatology – though McGregor is still editing and Santer still carries on his cause.
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/a_climatology_conspiracy.html

    It may also be compared with BEST publicating in a journal noone ever heard of and perhaps desperate to publish anything.

    Credits in this case, that reviewers stood with their names, something typically not happening in pal review in mainstream climate science.

  26. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    It is really hard to ignore the duplicity in all the agitation about pal review and a supposed, alleged, possible, corruption of the review process. The topic of the special edition is anathema to lots of people because they don’t see, in a simplistic calculation of the gravitational force a distant planet can exert on the Earth, any possible causal relationship with climate change. I have seen this simple argument presented here on WUWT several times.

    It does not take long reading sets of papers on CO2 and temperature series, followed by a reading of a similar number of papers on gravitational and tidal forces, to realize that there is a heck of a lot more in planetary measurements and celestial mechanics ‘aligning’ than there is to be found when trying to do the same for CO2 and global temperature. The number of self-appointed judges about what other scientists ‘could find’ is amazing. They deny that the conversation can even take place (Journals are conversations).

    The issue of keeping the journal and watching the list of contributors and editors is easily managed with a little more oversight.

    The issue of how to implement the same level of due diligence on the unending stream of papers containing some pretty outrageous and speculative claims for the overpowering influence of AG CO2 is not so simple. Which fox, after all, is watching that henhouse?

    It is telling indeed to see that the journal’s use of the words ‘climate skeptic’ is only as an epithet, encompassing as he does all those who are not kneeling at the altar of Holy CO2. If that is not naked bias, what is?!

    This whole matter reminds me of the burning of all the Aztec libraries by the Conquistadors because, after inspection by the Catholic monks, they could “find no reference to our Lord Jesus Christ.” Well, that’s all right then, isn’t it.

    I found the papers, as a group, informed, well referenced, interesting, thoughtful and exploring the known, the unknown and the unsuspected. To ‘burn’ the authors and their works figuratively, literally or in print because the articles do not contain the right genuflections says much more about the match-holders than the condemned.

  27. dbstealey says:

    Rattus Norvegicus says:

    You might look at the last paragraph in the publisher’s statement. That is why they ceased publication their version, for public consumption.

    There. FIFY.

  28. Keith Minto says:

    I avoid personal digs in my comments, very deliberately, there is a living person at the receiving end, but, to me, that list of authors should have made the editor’s hair stand on end given past performance, but it didn’t, and what a mess this is.
    The review process was just the last link to fail.

  29. john robertson says:

    While all of what you say is true.
    What does it matter?
    Who even knew this journal existed?
    Climatology seems to be corrupt in every way.
    This home goal is almost funny as those who point and jeer at all climate sceptics, will not notice the irony of the teams precedent setting behaviour in this business of peer/pal review.
    Secondly the consensus types will use any issue to dismiss all sceptics, this is what they do.
    The, we are holier than thou argument, our authorities are more wonderful, more immaculate.
    Peer review of published speculation on the sciences is a dead issue, a zombie of the past when the journals controlled science, what you do here at WUWT is the future of science.
    Put your idea out to roam the web, let all who may; have at understanding it, attacking it, replicating the work or not.
    Science wins, we as a group are richer.

    Those who jeer and point the loudest,condemning all who doubt, will in the end see their derision come home to reflect their past.

  30. Peter Miller says:

    I am sorry, but anyone talking about planetary alignments and planetary gravitational fields affecting the Earth’s climate is talking complete hockey sticks.

    This is the equivalent of Mannian Maths, or Trenberth’s heat hiding in the ocean depths; the sceptic cause does not need this crass BS associated with it.

  31. temp says:

    Peter Miller says:
    January 19, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    “I am sorry, but anyone talking about planetary alignments and planetary gravitational fields affecting the Earth’s climate is talking complete hockey sticks.

    This is the equivalent of Mannian Maths, or Trenberth’s heat hiding in the ocean depths; the sceptic cause does not need this crass BS associated with it.”

    This is a big extreme… and not well reasoned in facts.

    “Planetary alignment” producing gravity that is “different” from non-“Planetary alignment” is easily proven both in the small and large scale. One need only place some balls swinging around a center pillar and have them spin at the rate and thus become “unbalanced” and then have stay in perfect alignment to see they produce different affects on the center pillar.

    In space we can see this effect in the moons of Saturn and Jupiter as they pull against each other and such.

    It is a simply fact that if the planets align they will cause different gravity forces then if they are all spread out. The question is much like CO2… its well know the gravity they shift will have an affect… but what is that affect, is it significant? Much like CO2 with warming… yeah CO2 will warm the planet but its overall meaningless. In this case we have no way to even measure the effect the gravity change will produce. Will it be significant… I personally doubt it but to say that its doesn’t exist at all is pretty much saying that you don’t believe in gravity.

  32. Jimbo says:

    What a bloody palaver.

    My view is if we see rotten apples in our basket, throw them out. Never hand over your ammunition – they will use it to shoot you.

    As for nepotism, bribery, manipulating data, withholding data, insider (family carbon) trading, UK land owner windmills, BBC getting UK 18gate government funding, re-defining what the peer review process is, getting editors sacked, wire fraud Glieck, oil funded Dana, Shell funded CRU, etc., etc., just look at what they have done over the years. The entire edifice is built on a pack of lies and half-truths.

    Dr. Phil Jones – CRU emails – 5th July, 2005
    The scientific community would come down on me in no uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only 7 years of data and it isn’t statistically significant….”

    Dr. Phil Jones – CRU emails – 7th May, 2009
    ‘Bottom line: the ‘no upward trend’ has to continue for a total of 15 years before we get worried.’

  33. Poptech says:

    Anthony, an excellent summary and well said.

    It is disappointing to see the continued support of “pal-review” here simply because the authors are skeptics and their views skeptical. This sort of behavior is both bizarre and mind-boggling. I see no reason to create further embarrassment for the members of the parties involved with verifiable charges of hypocrisy.

  34. Bernie Hutchins says:

    It was once explained to me that “anonymous” peer-reviewers are almost always correctly guessed on available evidence, and if they ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE of the subject matter, they are probably either your best friends (collaborators) or worst enemies (competitors). Either way, it SOMETIMES does works. This (sadly) in fact, IS the “good news”.

    Oh – I guess there is more good news. If chosen more randomly you will have a reviewer who, while unlikely to be familiar enough to really HELP – may nevertheless be able to give it a pass/fail “sniff test”. Really. Perhaps this is related to what Malcolm Gladwell told us in his remarkable book “Blink”, or to Feynman’s ploy of constructing a practical parallel example in his mind when hearing a math theorem formally presented and then immediately responding “true” or “BS”, and usually being right.

    Peer review is an idea whose time is long gone. It used to be that the time it took to perform it was comparable to the time it took to edit, typeset, galley-proof, print, and mail. Now it IS the only real cause of delay.

    Should it really take a person of my age (late 60’s) to suggest that a change is necessary, rather than clinging to the past? And to do so on a forward-looking internet blog! Perhaps that is what is required.

  35. NZ Willy says:

    I suspect the sequence of events were choreographed on both sides, jointly. This is because you don’t usually get a “special edition” after just one regular edition, unless that special edition was hurriedly published to beat the impending axe. Then both sides agree to both the publication and the axe. Just my speculation.

  36. Zeke says:

    I remember it like it was yesterday…”Why don’t you get your own blog?” (:

    AGW activists seeking to create a new Scarlet Letter for skeptics should be aware that because of the hostility towards this theory on WUWT, we all ended up with two good, award winning science blogs instead of just one.

  37. sabretruthtiger says:

    Peter Miller, Lunar modulation of cosmic rays and solar winds is a very real phenomena and is a major factor in climate events. Planetary alignments of course are another matter.

    Anyone that claims otherwise is attempting to derail the truth about the origin of climate change.
    The Alarmists would have us believe that solar activity can hamper global warming but is not a driving force, that CO2 is the driving force (against all evidence of course.)

    There seems to be a lot of correlation between sunspot activity/solar flares and climate change.

    I hope that we can avoid the ‘Meteorologists vs Solar-caused climate change scientists’ conflict, because there seems to be a combination of Atmospheric/oceanic/tectonic/solar/lunar/electromagnetic/axial tilt and orbital elliptic cycles that drives climate and the Anthony Watts, Tallblokes and Piers Corbyns of our world have contributed to our knowledge and fought the green monster of the CAGW scam.

    As for the journal one notices that they haven’t attacked the science in any way.

    Because they can’t.

    No Alarmist magazine has ever been withdrawn due to pal review so these actions are completely unjust. Another difference is that holes can be easily poked in warmist papers.

    As the majority of climate scientists involved with peer review work for the CAGW establishment it’s hard to get a balanced panel. As the ‘skeptical’ scientists are far more interested in the truth (sacrificing unlimited funding and promotion form the AGW gravy train to become vilified, heretic skeptics) then a skeptic pal review is the most objective panel an AGW paper could possibly have.

  38. Peter Miller says:

    I agree with Anthony that this subject of planetary influence on the Earth’s climate is an exercise in futility.

    The only influence the planets could have is by gravity. You have to remember gravity is subject to the inverse Square Law which means that Jupiter, despite its enormous size, only has a gravitational pull on the Earth about 1% of that of our moon. And that is at its closest point to the Earth, so normally it is a fraction of 1%!!!!!

    As our planet rotates every 24 hours, any minuscule effect gravitational effect from the planets will be spread evenly over the Earth’s surface.

    Occasional planetary alignments will not make a rat’s poo worth of difference to their gravitational impact on the Earth and less than a cockroach’s poo’s difference on our climate.

  39. troe says:

    If you cannot find enough qualified and willing reviewers you have to say so. You knew the rules when you signed on. The Team are human beings who put their pride and cause in front of their training.

    Skeptics are human beings as well.

  40. Bob Tisdale says:

    Anthony writes: “Note there’s no distinction here of a “subset” of climate skeptics, or even “a few climate skeptics”, no, ALL climate skeptics are being painted with this fiasco. That means people like Lindzen, Spencer, Christy, the Pielkes, Curry, Singer, Happer, and many others are being lumped into this even though they had nothing to do with it.”

    Another big hurdle for skeptics to face. A shame.

  41. tallbloke says:

    I believe Jo Nova will be posting a counterview to the WUWT peer review panic tomorrow.
    Meantime, anyone who prefers interesting science to hatchet jobs can freely download and review our open access papers here.
    http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/special_issue2.html
    Please leave comments about the scientific content of our work over at my website. Comments about peer review can stay here on WUWT.
    Cheers

    REPLY:No panic here, the only panic was at the journal. Apparently you missed the fact that I’d already posted that link with suggestion that people look at it and judge for themselves. People can leave any comments they want to here pro and con, science or non-science speaking to the fiasco you and your team created as long as they are within policy.

    Unfortunately, I see apologizing for having a hand in creating this mess is beneath you, it’s almost Mannian. – Anthony

  42. Is there a list of authors, editors, and reviewers in this post?

    There are a few names scattered here and there, but not a list that I see.

    If you don’t want all skeptics to be tarred with the same brush, then name names.

    My brief attempt from this post and from the PRP TOC.
    Sid Ali Ouadfeul: chief editor (but not listed on the cover?)
    Nils-Axel Mörner: editor, author of 2, and reviewer of (x) papers.
    Roger Tattersall: editor, author of 3
    J. E. Solheim: editor, author of 3, and ?
    H. Jelbring: author of 2, reviewer.
    N. Scarfetta: author of 2 and ?
    I. Charvátová: author and ?
    P. Hejda: author and ?
    I. R. G. Wilson: author
    R. C. Wilson: author
    R. J. Salvador, suthor

    Author list of the conclusion, not counted in the above list.
    N.-A. Mörner, R. Tattersall, J.-E. Solheim, I. Charvatova, N. Scafetta, H. Jelbring, I. R. Wilson, R. Salvador, R. C. Willson, P. Hejda, W. Soon, V. M. Velasco Herrera, O. Humlum, D. Archibald, H. Yndestad, D. Easterbrook, J. Casey, G. Gregori, and G. Henriksson

    Table of Contents: http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/special_issue2.html

    That means people like Lindzen, Spencer, Christy, the Pielkes, Curry, Singer, Happer, and many others are being lumped into this even though they had nothing to do with it.

    No sense in drawing attention those these researchers who seem to have nothing to do with PRP.

  43. NevenA says:

    ALL climate skeptics are being painted with this fiasco. That means people like Lindzen, Spencer, Christy, the Pielkes, Curry, Singer, Happer, and many others are being lumped into this even though they had nothing to do with it.

    Really? Where? Can you direct me to media reports where this happens? Or if you can’t, a handful of alarmist comment threads?

  44. Poptech says:

    DirkH says: So publically available science can never explore new grounds.

    Strawman argument, the current debate is about the peer-review process not new theories. Nothing is stopping anyone from publishing their work online and there are free, respected sites to do so (http://arxiv.org/). However, if you wish to make the argument that your paper has been peer-reviewed and published in a peer-review journal, you need to follow the procedural rules laid out and widely agreed upon by the scholarly community (which includes skeptical scientists).

    As Richard Courtney pointed out, peer-review is an insurance policy for a journal.

    I would like to add that it is an additional level of scientific scrutiny designed to weed out scientifically baseless claims. Like any process it can be abused and manipulated, as alarmists have done in the past using both pal-review and gate-keeping.

    Now, maybe some of the commentators here are new to some of these known problems so I recommend the following reading material,

    The Double Standard in Environmental Science (PDF) (Stanley W. Trimble, Ph.D. Professor of Geography)
    Caspar and the Jesus paper (PDF) (Andrew W. Montford)
    A Climatology Conspiracy? (David H. Douglass, Ph.D. Professor of Physics; John R. Christy, Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Science)
    Circling the Bandwagons: My Adventures Correcting the IPCC (PDF) (Ross McKitrick, Ph.D. Professor of Environmental Economics)

  45. Pointman says:

    Much as I admire you Anthony Watts, I have to disagree. It’s part of my wider disagreement with this whole debate and how picky and academic the whole thing is. Yes, I of course understand scientific integrity has been lost by the alarmists and your concern that “our side” shouldn’t go down the same route.

    In the round, I don’t think integrity was lost in this case but given such a small pool of reviewers of a few skeptic papers who wouldn’t immediately, and without getting past the abstract, kick it out of play – we are where we are. Sorry mate, when you get a shot, you take it.

    I’m an academic, who’s learnt how debased what’s laughingly called climate science actually is. Our science kills people and that was never what I signed up for.

    I really don’t give a damn arguing the level field scientific merits of phrenologists or eugenicists with them – I just want to stop them dead. They’re just junk science which hurts people.

    Pointman

    REPLY:
    I respect well phrased and polite disagreement. Thanks – Anthony

  46. dmacleo says:

    I won’t speak on the pal/peer review issues as I am in no way qualified to offer any opinion.
    but there is one thing about this that really bugged me
    ******************************************************
    Before the journal was launched, we had a long discussion regarding its topics. The aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines. PRP was never meant to be a platform for climate sceptics.
    *********************************************************
    that last sentence bothers me a lot.
    the acceptance and encouragement of close mindedness is alarming to me.
    anyways, thats all I will say, hope everyone is having a good day/night.

  47. pdtillman says:

    Thanks for keeping after this, Anthony, and revising your first take. Class act, guy!

    Yes, unfortunate all around. No one involved looks very good. As you say, the skeptics/outsiders need to hold themselves to a higher standard, and apparently didn’t. Sigh.

    Oh, well. Life goes on. Presume you will continue updates as needed?

    Best regards,
    Pete Tillman

  48. Jimbo says:

    Spray and clean out the dirt. The sooner it’s done the quicker it is to move on.

    ****** Can you imagine Warmists saying what I have just said again??????? Nahhhh.

  49. Paul R. Johnson says:

    To paraphrase Senator McCarthy:
    Are you now, or have you ever been, a known climate skeptic?

  50. tallbloke says:

    Peter Miller says:
    January 19, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Occasional planetary alignments will not make a rat’s poo worth of difference to their gravitational impact on the Earth and less than a cockroach’s poo’s difference on our climate.

    If you look on wikipedia for ‘planetary orbital resonance’, you’ll find a harmonic beat of alignments is capable of transferring enough energy to shift gas giants into new orbits, or eject smaller planets from the system altogether. What our new research shows is that our solar system is transferring energy between Sun and planets which periodically alters their spin rates and eccentricities among other orbital elements. This affects climate too.

  51. Hot under the collar says:

    One wonders, after all the stunts and clear intention to deceive some of the CAGW brigade have pulled – especially with ‘redefining the peer review process’ – exactly how many potentially hostile reviewers are you going to invite to review your work?

    A very sad and unfortunately inevitable state of affairs, but at least there is no indication of intention to reject other scientists work, or get editors sacked because it doesn’t fit your agenda.

    Sadly the issue has become how it is perceived rather than the science.

  52. Poptech says:

    (From the previous thread) Bernd Felsche says: January 19, 2014 at 7:07 am
    You have noticed, haven’t you, that NOT ONE of the papers published in PRP has as yet been critiqued by the warmists?

    sabretruthtiger says: As for the journal one notices that they haven’t attacked the science in any way.

    Because they can’t.

    I am seeing a trend with certain PRP supporters lack of fact checking and obsession with strawman arguments. One of the papers was already critiqued,

    http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/1/91/2013/prp-1-91-2013.html

    And thanks to an easily criticized peer-review process no one is going to waste time now discussing the scientific merits of the papers! It is absolutely maddening why PRP supporters do not comprehend this.

    Oh and for the sake of my inbox, I am well aware Dr. Scafetta rebutted this critique (http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/1/105/2013/prp-1-105-2013.html) and I am not supporting any scientific argument here nor do I have any interest in debating the science in these papers at this time. (lets see how many read this last paragraph)

  53. DocMartyn says:

    It’s all a bit ‘ Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland'; “why don’t we publish our own peer reviewed journal and pick our own reviewers”.
    The sad thing is that they could have done it all properly, followed Moshers advice and demanded turn-key code and data. They could have even have had open pre-Review so that the final product was superior to the draft.

  54. Jimbo says:

    Why should Anthony have to defend the act of others? Why should I? Why should any sceptic?

    Nothing to see here (as per Gavin Schmidt style Climategate) move along folks. It really is over – the journal – and a good thing it is. Next…………………….

    [Thinking in mind: what IF they are right???]

  55. The above post by Anthony is a complete nonsense. The only way to question the peer review process is to find evident error in the science discussed in the papers. Discussing the science is not what Anthony is doing.

    I have written a full comment on on the Copernicus affair on

    http://notrickszone.com/2014/01/19/scientists-react-sharply-to-copernicus-publishing-censorship-of-alternative-scientific-explanations-do-you-realize-what-you-have-done/

    About Anthony, I have a question for him. Tell me Anthony, do you think that Leif could serve as a fair peer reviewer for my papers, or do you think that he should refrain from peer reviewing my papers because of his personal hostility demonstrated in this site many times?

    Please respond my question.

    REPLY:
    Unfortunately, like Roger Tattersall, I see you have no shame, and won’t apologize for having a hand in creating this mess. Sorry Nicola, I’m not going to get wrapped up in your never ending pointless commentary which always ends in everybody else being wrong but you, like with that other journal issue you had. This will be the last time I respond to you.

    Feel free to be as upset as you wish. – Anthony

  56. u.k.(us) says:

    “If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.”
    ― Sun Tzu
    “Ponder and deliberate before you make a move.”
    ― Sun Tzu
    “Foreknowledge cannot be gotten from ghosts and spirits, cannot be had by analogy, cannot be found out by calculation. It must be obtained from people, people who know the conditions of the enemy.”
    ― Sun Tzu
    “Move not unless you see an advantage; use not your troops unless there is something to be gained; fight not unless the position is critical.”
    ― Sun Tzu
    ——————————————-
    And when you catch a mistake in your own work, be glad (pride be damned).
    At least it wasn’t someone else that caught it, and nobody got hurt.

  57. Bob Shapiro says:

    Just a couple of questions from somebody with no background:

    1. I expect that when you submit an article to a journal, the pub date is unknown. If so, then how would any reviewer know they also would be an author in the same edition? Or, if you ever have or hope to publish in that journal, does that disqualify you as a reviewer?

    2. My understanding is that alarmists tend to shun skeptic journals. How then can a skeptic journal get a non-skeptic reviewer? Do we know who was asked to review? Why is it wrong to have a skeptic review a skeptic?

    3. This sounds like an area with a limited number of people with requisite expertise. How likely would it be for a reviewer to not be very familiar with an author?

    I haven’t read the articles, so I don’t know the merits of the claims made. I’m just trying to understand the issue better.

  58. Willis Eschenbach says:

    tallbloke says:
    January 19, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    I believe Jo Nova will be posting a counterview to the WUWT peer review panic tomorrow.
    Meantime, anyone who prefers interesting science to hatchet jobs can freely download and review our open access papers here.
    http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/special_issue2.html
    Please leave comments about the scientific content of our work over at my website.

    Gosh, I’d love to do exactly that, Rog … but I’m banned from posting at your website. You didn’t like my scientific views, so you made me an un-person in the best tradition. And that censorship says something about the “scientific content” of your work.

    w.

  59. Truthseeker says:

    REPLY: No, you have it wrong, I still support those things, the problem here is that those folks asked to play in the peer review sandbox, didn’t abide by the rules of the sandbox, and then it exploded all over everybody when called out. – Anthony

    Actually Anthony, they did abide by the rules of the sandbox – get people who you know to review your work – those are the rules of the sandbox as they actually are. The authors of this article also decided (quite rightly) to play outside of the sandbox by making their entire work available to all, freely.

    The questions asked by Bob Shapiro at January 19 at 5:19pm are very relevant and also go to the heart of the matter.

  60. Ron House says:

    Hi Anthony, It’s very important to denounce pal review, as you do, but I think your thrust is mistaken. The journal was cancelled within 24 hours. That cannot come from a proper consideration of the pal review problem: if it was already known, the proprietors should have raised the issue earlier, or if only just discovered, time should have been taken to investigate properly. No, the reason for cancellation – regardless of the merits of the pal review issue, was exactly what their first attempt at an explanation stated: the conclusions disagreed with the assertions of the IPCC. We should not lose sight of that fact.

  61. Truthseeker says:

    Nicola Scafetta says:
    January 19, 2014 at 5:18 pm
    —————————-
    Very well said!

  62. DocMartyn says:

    Nicola, wheres the data for “The complex planetary synchronization structure
    of the solar system”? Seriously.
    Why didn’t you include the raw data and the computation, rather than incestuously cite yourself?

    It happens that I believe that the suns output is altered by the gravitational tugs from the planets of the solar system, and that you are basically right. However, you do yourself no favors acting like an arrogant Prima donna.

  63. Goldie says:

    I really struggle to believe that people do this sort of thing out of malice. Typically the problems facing editors are; 1. Obtaining suitable papers in a timely fashion and 2. Ensuring that suitable referees are available to ensure that papers are credibly reviewed and publication deadlines are met. These two factors can put pressure on the editor or editorial board to limit the extent of the peer review, either by a) limiting time for the review, b) sending papers to inappropriate peer reviewers because they are known to be quick responders or c) limiting the number of peer reviewers. I have been involved in journal production on two occasions and the question of Pal review never came up, simply because both the editor and the author wanted the most credible review of their papers. A proper peer review process can also be confidential, so that the Author may not even know who the peer reviewers are.
    Equally if, a paper turns out to be incorrect, most Journals I know of, are open to a rebuttal.

  64. Gatekeeper says:

    [snip - this discussion isn't about Dr. Svalgaard and other peer reviews. It is about the PRP, so, sorry, I'm not going to let you nor Nicola highjack the thread with by redirecting it on something unrelated, especially when your comment comes from a fake name on a proxy server -Anthony]

    UPDATE: further research has proved to me that this comment originated from Geoff Sharp, who put the identical comment at Tall Bloke’s. The only way he could have done that would be if he originated it, since unapproved comments here aren’t visible to others.

    Readers might recall Mr. Sharp has been permanently banned from WUWT for policy violations including playing sockpuppetry here. Meanwhile he’s lecturing me about integrity at TB’s. What a desperate clown. – Anthony

  65. Fred says:

    Requesting reviews of an article from contributors of related articles, in or outside a special issue, is hardly unusual. It’s the norm – a common practice of editors to obtain needed comments quickly and from those familiar with the subject. How many warmist papers do you think have been reviewed by those of a skeptical persuasion? Take a guess on by whom those papers were reviewed.

    Editorial treatment of this issue was neither unique nor noteworthy.
    The same cannot be said of the publisher’s reaction to external pressure.

  66. [snip - this essay isn't about Dr. Svalgaard and any of his peer review, it is about your group of which Dr. Svalgaard is not associated. I won't let you hijack this thread with something that is nothing more than an attempt to deflect from your own issues with this journal. -Anthony]

  67. Eli Rabett says:

    A point from the last post. It is ,now recognized that the earlier measurements of TSI were ~3-4 w/m^2 too high because apertures were not properly chosen, allowing excess light to be scattered into the sensor resulting in higher TSI being measured. See the links and figure in the link above. TSI is about 1361 w/m^2 at the earth’s orbit with a variation of about 1 W/m^2

    Scafetta continues to use the older, higher, incorrect TSI values (see Fig 9 in his PRP paper). This is not a matter of opinion, but of measurement error. In the words of John McEnroe, he can’t be serious.

  68. troe says:

    Naturally we can expect Copernicus Publishing to apply the same standards across the board. Sorry to see the whole sorid episode come about. Self discipline is usually a favorable attribute of underdogs.

    We’ve needed every little edge to get this far.

  69. Eli Rabett says:

    FWIW, a major issue is that what the editors of PRP think is pattern recognition, has nothing at all to do with serious studies of pattern recognition, in or out of physics.

  70. Jeff Alberts says:

    So we can expect all science journals to be shut down now. Cool.

  71. Ulric Lyons says:

    Nicola Scafetta says:
    “The only way to question the peer review process is to find evident error in the science discussed in the papers.”

    I would like to ask what you honestly think of your own work, do you fully believe that all your Jupiter-Saturn harmonics and 60yr triads are the correct solution to the solar variations?

  72. Steve B says:

    This is nthing to do with science but to do with warfare. Divide and Conquer. In this case the good guys are dividing themselves and will be conquered. Why do the better Muslims not criticize the bad Muslims? Why do the moderate Marxists never criticize the far left looney Marxists? Why do the pretend watermelons never criticize the ratbag Watermelons? Why because they learn the first principles of not dividing themselves. Just like the Church divided themselves so will go the way of anti-left movement.

  73. Manfred says:

    Jeff Alberts says:
    January 19, 2014 at 6:12 pm
    So we can expect all science journals to be shut down now. Cool.

    —————–

    That nails it. Reviewing ones own and each others work is actually state of the art of climate science peer review at the IPCC.

  74. Merovign says:

    I know I have a probably more jaded view of the overall community than some, but there’s an aspect of “someone tried to create a non-corrupt subset of a larger corrupted set” here that is *almost* amusing. I guess in one sense of amusing, anyway.

    I don’t have a good answer. There is a point to be made that the result would not have been much different in the end either way, but the “sandbox violation” was certainly not very bright.

    Unfortunately, the anticipated obvious response is to destroy rather than repair, because the community did not want the effort in the first place.

    The fact that skepticism is a subject of derision in the scientific community is a turn of events that is also somewhat comical.

  75. E.M.Smith says:

    There is a logic trap here, IMHO. It is the demand to do battle on an asymmetrical field.

    “We” must follow their rules of the Geneva Convention even if “they” do not.

    There is a reason the Geneva Convention only applies to signatories, and why we DO NOT need to follow it if the other folks don’t sign up and follow it. It assures that the rules are symmetrical to both parties and that it is a ‘fair fight’.

    Now it is all well and good to argue for the better more pure method, but, IMHO:

    It is essential to know when to “Be the mirror” and reflect the other person’s behaviour.

    IF they pull a knife, you may use a knife. If they lie, you may lie. If they use pal review and editor shopping, you can use pal review and editor shopping.

    Simply make it clear at each point that you are simply following THEIR lead and THEIR method and that you will ALWAYS be symmetrical in your “rules”. Usually the “crap” level drops rapidly after that…

    This is my “Be a mirror” philosophy and I’ve used it for decades. (There’s a bit more to it, but that’s the basics). Generally speaking, it works very well. Nasty people who are abusive and cheat tend to straighten up (or just go away when they realize it’s a level battle field) while for nice folks with polite manners, well, everyone ends up having a jolly good time and liking each other.

    It has, in repeated trials, regularly failed to “set a good example” by “doing the right thing and following the rules” when the other guy does not. That just gives an asymmetrical battlefield advantage to them and gets you creamed. They do NOT learn by example, often revel in your stupidity, and rob you blind. It’s a failed method.

    Thus the “Be The Mirror” method.

    FWIW, I do think it must be coupled with a generally sound moral compass, so that you EXIT “their rules” and return to “moral rules” at the first opportunity. (Much as one must use Geneva Convention rules once the other guy signs up and starts following them.) I also think it is a very good idea to periodically run a ‘test case’ of raising the morality level to see if they are ready to “slow walk” back to good behaviour.

    But I’ve also learned from many and painful experiences that expecting the morally bankrupt to learn from your good example just gets both cheeks slapped and your pocket picked. Evil is, unfortunately, rarely beaten by good intentions and an asymmetrical set of rules of battle. It is often beaten when met head on in a direct Reflective Game.

    So all those “nice nice talk” bits about the moral high ground just sound like so much hypothetical lip flapping to me. They use Pal Review and Editor “shopping”; then so ought we until such time as THEY agree to give up the tactic and return to civil behaviour. Just always stay just a little bit closer to the “white hat” side than they are so it is clear who is most out of bounds.

    Generally speaking, once the other side realizes you are onto their games, willing to play it against them, AND that you publicly state that’s what’s going on; they start a slow walk back to civility… and if not, you now have the level battle field where the right and moral side can win.

  76. Rob Ricket says:

    I have to support Anthony’s position on this unfortunate matter, as anything less is tantamount to hypocrisy. Having said that, I don’t think the concept of discrete orbits and the potential of planetary synergies influencing solar output merits further consideration. Certainly there are analogs (electron orbits) in Quantom Mechanics and the so called “Spooky Action” of Photons, where Einstein was proven wrong.

    If, (as Roger demonstrates in his paper) planetary orbits are closely aligned to Fibronaci intervals, how can we escape the conclusion that there is some semblance of order in the Solar System? With regard to the compounding effects of electromagnetism and gravity vis-a-vis the distance between bodies of matter; certainly, we needn’t search far for analogs in the natural world?

    Of course, being right (a big if) doesn’t excuse bad behavior and these fallas behaved very badly indeed. The charges of nepotism have been leveled and nobody has refuted the claim. Would anybody who concluded that each of the authors had exchanged theories prior to the formation of The Journal of Pattern Recognition in Physics be thought a fool? In fact, it would seem the journal was formed for the sole purpose of publishing congruent theories.

    Having said that, what if these guys are right?

  77. John F. Hultquist says:

    Bob Shapiro says:
    January 19, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Regarding your question #1: Often someone (maybe an editor or a researcher) will suggest a “special issue” and when agreement is reached a process begins whereby calls (e-mails now) are made and time-lines are suggested. For example, Leif-the Sun man, might suggest a future “special issue” whereby the whole scientific community is made aware of what today’s scientists think they know about Sun Spots. He would say the special issue shall be printed, say, in September of 2015. Thus, there is a difference in the process than if you just write a paper and send it to the journal’s editor and she or he starts the process of review and fitting your submission into the monthly, semi-annual, annual (whatever) review and printing of papers.
    Hope that helps a little.

  78. oMan says:

    Own goal. What a big, big mistake. Thanks for nothing, Tallbloke.

  79. Alcheson says:

    Normally I would agree with Anthony, however as AGW and the IPCC have very little to do with science (just look at the oeer-reviewed garbage that gets published that proclaims CAGW), it is all politics, I suspect there was very little chance any of the articles would have made it past any CAGW and.or IPCC supporter even if the science was good. The journal was shut down NOT because of the science but because of the politics, to think and pretend it was otherwise is naïve.
    If this were truly a question of science, I would agree with Anthony… but its not, its politics.

  80. Manfred says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    January 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm
    ————————————–

    Very effective strategy called “tit for tat” and well surported in science.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tit_for_tat

  81. Rob Ricket says:

    Typo in my previous post: “I don’t think” in the second sentence should read, “I think”.

  82. Gail Combs says:

    E.M.Smith says: @ January 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    There is a logic trap here, IMHO. It is the demand to do battle on an asymmetrical field….
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I agree with you. Well said. Bullies will walk all over nice guys if they let them.

  83. [snip]

    On another topic:
    Contrary to what you claim, I have no responsibility at all in the Copernicus-Affair. I was not an editor of the journal.

    I have simply received an email from Morner in the Summer about the special issue inviting me, as well as many other people, to contribute to the special issue. I thought it a good idea, and I submitted a couple of papers that, for what I know, have been professionally reviewed by specialists in the field and I am happy for the entire handling of my papers. I received very constructive and detailed reviews both by the reviewers and by the editor.

    Moreover, please note that my main paper which is also the first paper of the collection

    “The complex planetary synchronization structure of the solar system”

    http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/2/1/2014/prp-2-1-2014.pdf

    was a simple review of already published papers published on numerous other journals by numerous authors starting with Copernicus and Kepler’s works. So, the topic of every section of it had been already fully peer reviewed at the original journals (which include all most presigious journals beginning with Nature) and/or you can find some of the addressed issues even in every astronomy textbook.

    My second paper:

    Multiscale comparative spectral analysis of satellite total solar irradiance measurements from 2003 to 2013 reveals a planetary modulation of solar activity and its nonlinear dependence on the 11 yr solar cycle
    http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/1/123/2013/prp-1-123-2013.pdf

    was an extension of other papers published on other astronomical journals.

    I invite the readers to read my papers to verify my claim.

  84. Rattus Norvegicus says:

    Anthony. There are a lot of people associated with this incident who have graced the pages of this blog with headline posts. I assume we will not be seeing anything from them in the future.

  85. Poptech says:

    Truthseeker says:

    Actually Anthony, they did abide by the rules of the sandbox – get people who you know to review your work – those are the rules of the sandbox as they actually are.

    Wrong, those are not the rules of the sandbox,

    http://publications.copernicus.org/for_reviewers/obligations_for_referees.html

    4. A referee should be sensitive even to the appearance of a conflict of interest when the manuscript under review is closely related to the referee’s work in progress or published. If in doubt, the referee should return the manuscript promptly without review, advising the editor of the conflict of interest or bias.

    5. A referee should not evaluate a manuscript authored or co-authored by a person with whom the referee has a personal or professional connection if the relationship would bias judgment of the manuscript.

    Here is more,

    http://publications.copernicus.org/for_reviewers/obligations_for_editors.html

    7. Editors should avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest if the relationship would bias judgement of the manuscript. Such conflicts may include, but are not limited to, handling papers from present and former students, from colleagues with whom the editor has recently collaborated, and from those in the same institution.

    Anyone intellectually honest cannot argue that having known skeptics reviewing other skeptic’s papers would not be a perceived conflict of interest. Let alone authors and editors in the same special edition.

  86. Steve B says:

    If you want to check out cycles go to Martin Armstrong’s Blog. Even though he deals with economics all things are cyclical.

    http://armstrongeconomics.com/armstrong_economics_blog/

    Go through the archives for December and he has a good post about how everything is connected and especially through cycles. He has 3 basic cycles and the theme that runs through them is the Golden Mean which is the Fibonacci series.

  87. LdB says:

    @tallbloke says:
    January 19, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    If you look on wikipedia for ‘planetary orbital resonance’, you’ll find a harmonic beat of alignments is capable of transferring enough energy to shift gas giants into new orbits, or eject smaller planets from the system altogether. What our new research shows is that our solar system is transferring energy between Sun and planets which periodically alters their spin rates and eccentricities among other orbital elements. This affects climate too.

    Stock standard basic science tallbloke, correlation does not imply causation and what your show at absolute best and I am being very kind is there is a correlation. You don’t show any transfer anywhere in the paper perhaps I missed it but please show me where you measure energy transfer and the details of how that measurement was done and it’s accuracy?

    I am sure you believe your theory as do some others but if you want to be taken seriously by any science and I extend this outside climate science you will need to be able to show and measure an energy transfer.

    You may want to read and think about the most important paper about this sort of problem it goes under the quirky title “Does the inertia of an object depend upon its energy content?” by Albert Einstein. See how science works …. show the mathematics on the proposed connection and then show you can measure the transfer and the results are in agreement with theory.

    I have no objection to an theory but cycle-mania is not science and science doesn’t create shortcuts not even if your name is Albert Einstein. You want me to take your theory seriously show me the mathematics that shows the energy transfer and then show me either an experiment setup and result that shows the transfer or propose how science could do a setup to show and measure the transfer.

  88. Steven Mosher says:

    Nicola.

    We are under no obligation to read your papers or believe them. The obligation is for you to make your case and show your work. You’ve done neither. you have surpassed Michael Mann in his refusal to share code. In the end he was persuaded to show his work. You’ve surpassed his record. In short, we have no obligation to read what you write or to find errors. We can judtifiably assume that everything you say is false until you make your case and show the actual work. Not words describing what you CLAIM you did, but the actual work you did. Not a description in words of what you claimed to do, but code showing what you actually did.

  89. Scott Balfour says:

    Bob Shapiro says[snip]1. I expect that when you submit an article to a journal, the pub date is unknown. If so, then how would any reviewer know they also would be an author in the same edition? Or, if you ever have or hope to publish in that journal, does that disqualify you as a reviewer?

    (a)A reviewer would know the publication of the article reviewed and thus know of a potential conflict of interest if said reviewer had submitted an article for publication in said journal not to mention the editors would clearly know. (b)A reviewer would not be disqualified from publishing in a journal where they’ve reviewed a paper. As noted in the article, it was not just reviewers but editors that also published in the journal. An editor of a journal also publishing in it is a huge red flag that may or may not disqualify them from publishing in the journal (the journal’s published policies should be clear on that), but it should at least be handled with kid gloves due to the immediate appearance of preference (one of the points of the article).

    2. My understanding is that alarmists tend to shun skeptic journals. How then can a skeptic journal get a non-skeptic reviewer? Do we know who was asked to review? Why is it wrong to have a skeptic review a skeptic?

    (a)Due to the boycott by alarmists of skeptical papers, it may well be difficult if not impossible to have a non-skeptic review a skeptical paper, but the effort should be made and publicly documented if the appearance of pal-review is to be avoided. (b)We know some of the reviewers as they were named in the publication though others were anonymous. (c)While it is not “wrong” to have a skeptic review a skeptic’s paper, it is foreseeable that the alarmist community will leap at the opportunity to cry “nepotism” (as happened). In fact, the skeptic community has on numerous occasions made such accusations of the alarmist community (IMO rightly so).

    3. This sounds like an area with a limited number of people with requisite expertise. How likely would it be for a reviewer to not be very familiar with an author?[snip the rest]

    As noted above, the boycott from alarmists makes the reviewer of technical articles on the subject of climate from a skeptic far more likely to be a skeptic. That does not absolve the publication from publicly addressing the appearance of impropriety (which is one of the main points of the article). The skeptic community has done a very good job of refuting the alarmists both from a scientific standpoint and from a procedural standpoint. On the procedural side, things like pal-review have been one of the more frequent criticisms of alarmists by skeptics. It should therefore come as no surprise that alarmists would use such arguments against skeptics if the opportunity presents. The failure of PRP to follow its own guidelines on peer review virtually assured there would be a controversy. PRP did nothing to address it before it became a controversy by noting publicly the length to which they went to try to avoid the problem, even if they ultimately could not. A quick editor’s note at the beginning of the journal explaining how they tried to get reviewers that would not appear to be biased would have mitigated if not eliminated almost all of the problems this episode has produced. Perhaps better would have been an editor’s note after each article enumerating how many people in what fields were asked to review the article.
    Even the title of this article notes that these problems were obvious. I think what many people are missing is that this article, as far as I understand, is about breaking one’s own rules without explanation and doing other actions (like editors of the journal publishing in the journal) that have previously been contested by skeptics when the perpetrators had been alarmists. In such a politically-charged area as climate science, attacks from the other side of the debate should be expected. All parties should take precautions to ensure their work is beyond reproach. To say that the other side “does the same [disreputable] things” is not a justification of the action but a tacit admission of wrongdoing.

  90. Poptech says:

    Nicola Scafetta says: January 19, 2014 at 5:18 pm
    …do you think that Leif could serve as a fair peer reviewer for my papers, or do you think that he should refrain from peer reviewing my papers because of his personal hostility demonstrated in this site many times?

    I’ll answer this. No, I do not believe he would be entirely objective and completely unbiased (as you two seem to share some animosity towards each other) nor would I choose him to review your papers. With that being said, there are plenty of astrophysicists in the world to review your papers that are not known alarmists (likely hostile) or skeptics (likely sympathetic) that would allow the discussion to focus on your scientific arguments as you clearly intend. (Some of whom even Leif might not have a problem with being an objective third party). There are 10,735 Ph.D. level members of the IAU alone, http://www.iau.org/about/.

    REPLY: and let’s leave it at that. Nicola wants to make this thread about Leif Svalgaard rather than the issue at hand. – Anthony

  91. commieBob says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 19, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Riiiight … no numbers. No detailed exposition. No calculations. No estimate of the size of the purported effect. Just a statement that “tidal friction does exist”, and a claim that because the solar system is contracting, that “friction” has a significant effect of some kind on the climate.

    A high school student should be able to do the calculations. (http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2000/ast04may_1m/) The effects of anything other than the sun and the moon are miniscule. This looks disgusting on the face of it. As always, if I’m missing something please clue me in.

  92. The problems start with the glorification and idolization of peer-review and journal publication. The orthodoxy feels that dissenting papers and authors ought not to attain such a status so it persecutes and we get such Inquisitors as James Annan and Gavin Schmidt. To attack the perceived source of authority of ‘peer-review’, its critics identify and highlight instances of ‘pal-review’. This perpetrates the notion that pal-review is irredeemably corrupt. If ‘sceptics’ (a technopolitical label for a group of people, if anything) cannot review other ‘sceptics’ papers (one of the arguments presented in the post), the same would hold a thousand-fold for climate scientists. No scientist should be able to publish any paper given that they all obviously agree with each other and are sympathetic to each other. In fact, a field in which a bully like Michael Mann holds important positions with power would shed disagreeing researchers quite rapidly and within the span of ten years or so could reasonably expected to be homogenized and free of any alternative viewpoints. Do we therefore throw out all science that has been published under the banner of ‘climate change’? The accusation of “pal-review” can only take one so far on its own.

  93. AlexS says:

    “I am sorry, but anyone talking about planetary alignments and planetary gravitational fields affecting the Earth’s climate is talking complete hockey sticks.”

    So the moon doesn’t affect tides, and by that in long run climate?

    REPLY: The moon isn’t a planet, your question is therefore invalid. – Anthony

  94. jorgekafkazar says:

    “[T]he special issue editors ultimately submitted their conclusions in which they “doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project””

    Heresy! But, of course, now the publisher has taken that down, preferring to appear to hold the moral high ground of merely enforcing the sacrosanct rules against pal review, just like Warmist publications always do. HAHAHA!

    The reaction over at Jo’s seemed quite over the top, even under the circumstances. When I saw the list of publications, authors, and editors, it looked a little…familial, so I didn’t join in the sport.

  95. Tyrroneus says:

    If it is wrong to have so-called Skeptic scientists reviewing so-called Skeptic scientists’ papers, why is it ok to have so-called Consensus scientists reviewing fellow Consensus scientists’ papers? “Everyone knows” that 97% of scientists believe in CAGW – that’s a hella lotta pal review! I’ve had my advisor’s former students and collaborators of my advisor review my papers (I have papers published in Copernicus journals, and one aspect of open access is the review process is public, and sometimes reviewers give their names) and yet no one seemed to think anything unethical had taken place. The whole thing smells of politics to me, but I’m also just a lowly grad student in the trenches; I have much to learn it seems.

  96. Poptech says:

    Shub, I believe there are enough third parties uninterested in the ideological climate debate to choose from for reviewers and are largely untapped. There is also something to be said for perceived hostile reviewers properly handled by an editor, as they are more likely to try and find anything legitimately wrong with the paper.

    I thoroughly enjoy the most “hostile” reviews possible of anything I publish as it helps make the work more robust once you separate the valid from the invalid criticisms. I’ve lost count of the number of clarifications and corrections I have made to my own work because of these. The hard part is having a good editor who is able to weed these out from a “hostile” reviewer. A good editor would also seek a second opinion in controversial situations as further insurance.

  97. Manfred says:

    Poptech says:
    January 19, 2014 at 7:01 pm
    “…Anyone intellectually honest cannot argue that having known skeptics reviewing other skeptic’s papers would not be a perceived conflict of interest…”
    ——————–

    I think you lost it here.

    Very weird and rather offensive.

    I think you have an overkill agenda well beyond that case which is rather appalling.

    It is the very opposite happening all the time and nobody would argue.

  98. Poptech says:

    Manfred,

    1. Define “pal-review” and do skeptics use this to criticize alarmists?
    2. Do you believe it is a valid criticism of alarmists?
    3. Define hypocrisy.

    I have no agenda, except striving for intellectual honesty.

  99. poptech,
    What is meant by the journal by ‘nepotistic’ and by skeptical commenters when they say ‘pal-review’, falls under the larger umbrella of conflict of interest. In this instance, there were several ways of dealing with conflicts of interest. But the publisher’s rapid actions indicate that a concern for due process was not high on his cards. Conflicts of interest are problems no doubt, but in science (which is the realm of ideas) they do not destroy the value of what is sought to be published.

    There are many different opinions being offered here, on this thread. People think enough about these issues to write down a few paragraphs and submit it. Is there any indication from the journal of a deliberative process that reflects a fraction of this effort? What there is evidence for , on the other hand, is reflexive knee-jerk censorship with no possibility of response.

    Several years ago, Ken Rothman wrote about conflict of interest in the Journal of the Americal Medical Association, an article titled Conflict of Interest: The new McCarthyism in Science. He wrote:

    “Judging someone’s work by the funding source, or by any other characteristic other than the content, raises an ethical problem. The ethical problem is similar in principle to the discredited practice of judging college applicants by their photographs. If you are willing to skip over the content of a work and weigh it by externalities, you infringe on the rights of the writer to a fair hearing of his or her ideas and findings. After doing so you could hardly expect the privilege of having your own ideas judged by their merits, rather than by who you are. Since there are no official boundaries on what could be the reason for a conflict of interest, whenever we stray from using anything but the substance of a work itself as the basis for judgment, we begin to substitute prejudice for reason; we abridge the rights of others and convert the free interchange of critical views into a shouting match about pedigrees.”

    and

    I suppose that there will always be some people who prefer to make ad hominem judgments over substantive ones. The trend in journal policies, however, is to sanction such judgement by elevating the importance of the disclosures that facilitate them. When journals start imposing censorship to preserve “objectivity,” the pendulum has swung too far. Journals should assure their readers that they will keep their pages open to any views and any work ofimportance that is well conceived and well described. [...]
    By preserving everyone’s right to a fair hearing, journals can keep the dialogue open and keep the process of communication objective, in spite of individual biases. Then we can halt this new McCarthyism in science and get back to focusing on the work of a scientist rather than on his or her life story.

    Rothman KJ. Conflict of interest. The new McCarthyism in science. JAMA. 1993
    Jun 2;269(21):2782-4.

  100. Txomin says:

    Your argument is idealistic, Anthony. But, fine, whatever, let the remaining 90% journals fall.

  101. Poptech says:

    Rattus Norvegicus says: January 19, 2014 at 7:00 pm
    Anthony. There are a lot of people associated with this incident who have graced the pages of this blog with headline posts. I assume we will not be seeing anything from them in the future.

    I see no reason for this as it appears to be an isolated incident, while for example; Dr. Scafetta and Dr. Morner both get published in various other journals. Anthony appears open to discussions on published work, even when he disagrees with it (not to be confused with tangential comment discussion blowups).

  102. john robertson says:

    Really the question could be, is peer review useful?
    The myth of peer review was very useful to the, science as a cloak for activism,IPCC crowd.
    The reality of journal pal review became apparent in 2009.
    The only historic value was in protecting the journals reputation.
    A journal which repeatedly publishes nonsense does not last long.
    However in climatology peer/pal review has been nothing more than a power tool.
    The journals had the power, they hit the tilt button, the power is gone.
    As far as vetting the science prior to publishing, the journals are not doing so well.
    Every IPCC deadline has seen a surge of rather pathetic nonsense rushed to print.
    So as a credible tool peer review is dead and getting rather smelly.
    If a scientist does not discuss their theory with their friends and colleges before publishing, what are they doing?
    Is academia so corrupt, that this basic first step is impossible?
    Will pal review as of old, now result in theft of concept?
    This was pal/peer review, then the journal would screen an article by their own criteria, publish as they saw fit, then publish criticisms as they saw fit.
    Peer review as applied to climatology is a power tool, which the internet has made redundant.

  103. papiertigre says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    January 19, 2014 at 8:49 am (previous thread)
    The reason is very simple and well-understood: Enceladus is within Saturn’s magnetosphere and there are magnetic field lines connecting the atmosphere of Saturn with Enceladus, so particles can travel towards Saturn and cause aurorae with associated radio-effects [not changing the magnetic field of the planet]. For the Sun, the situation is very different as the outflowing solar wind prevents effects to travel upstream to reach the Sun.

    The Earth is within the Sun’s magnetosphere. Magnetic field line connect it to Earth and beyond.
    I don’t know what you’re angling toward with this.

    There’s definitely a change going on with Saturn’s magnetic field. This is a fact beyond dispute.

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/media/cassini-20070322.html

    A new study of Cassini data reported this week in the online version of the journal Science determined that Saturn’s magnetic field lines, invisible lines originating from the interior of a magnetized planet, are being forced to slip relative to the rotation of the planet by the weight of electrically charged particles originating from geysers spewing water vapor and ice from Enceladus. These results are based on joint observations by two Cassini instruments — the radio and plasma wave instrument and the magnetometer.

    The neutral gas particles ejected from the geysers on Enceladus form a donut-like torus around Saturn. As these particles become electrically charged, they are captured by Saturn’s magnetic field, forming a disk of ionized gas, or plasma, which surrounds the planet near the equator. The particles weigh down the magnetic field so much that the rate of rotation of the plasma disk slows down slightly. This slippage causes the radio period, controlled by the plasma disk rotation, to be longer than the planet’s actual rotation period.

    The water vapor spews out into a big donut shaped field surrounding the planet. Then the sun hits . Every occasionally an electron is stripped and suddenly Saturn’s mag field is dragging another water ion, gradually slowing it down from 10 hours 38 minutes 25 seconds during the Voyager flyby to 10 hours 45 minutes 45 seconds as recorded by Cassini in 2004.

    There is also the issue of a cloud top speed differential between the equator and the pole.
    What causes the polar clouds to drag 25 minutes behind?
    Could it be a mechanism similar to the 9 day drag at the sun’s north pole?

  104. davidmhoffer says:

    Journals, like newspapers, are the walking dead. There was a time in history when the cost and time required to type set, print, and circulate documents necessitated both. That’s now in the past. The only reason they continue to exist at all is that we are still experimenting with this new medium called the internet, and the formal methods for publishing and reviewing science are still being established. We’re witnessing a revolution just as profound as the printing press, with the standards and procedures for this new medium still being quite experimental, though rapidly evolving.

    Journals and newspapers have no actual value other than that which is accorded to them by their brand name. They aggregate content on certain subjects, which makes a good one tremendously useful to stay up to date on a specific area of interest, and they earn my viewership of their content by providing that service. But only a tiny fraction of a newspaper is reserved for public debate. Journals provide none, only a strictly controlled process by which the anointed may seek to debate the science itself.

    If you’re wondering what I think the future of science publication and debate is going to look like, I assert that we’re all participating in it right now. Oh, it is still evolving obviously, and you can’t publish a paper that garners comments from millions of people as consuming that many comments is impossible for a human being. But the future of science publication and debate is going to look a lot more like WUWT than it will the printing press.

    As unfortunate an incident as this has been, the take away is not that some skeptics have scored an own goal. The take away is that the processes predicated upon the printing press for review and publication of science are fatally flawed, and need to be replaced with tools and processes predicated upon the much larger audience that is now capable of participating on both a formal and informal basis.

    Peer review is dead. Crowd review is the new paradigm.

  105. poptech
    There does appear to be a problem when authors review each others papers and publish, as has happened here (?). But the reason for why such a thing is wrong has to be articulated better. These reasons ought not to include the scientific orientation of the people in question, i.e., whether they were ‘sceptics’ or otherwise.

  106. Poptech says:

    Shub, I understand your points but if you look at the links I provided above regarding Copernicus Publications, this appears a fairly blatant violation of their editorial and refereeing rules.

    By violating these rules and allowing an easy charge or “pal-review” you destroy honest debate on the scientific contents of the papers.

    It is can also be argued that PRP was not created to simply look at “Pattern Recognition in Physics” as was originally claimed, with an unusually high number of climate skeptic authors in the first special edition from a journal I had never heard of before not about climate change.

    Regardless, skeptics should be resourceful enough to shield themselves from any such criticisms and not fall into these traps. They should be strategic and demand reviewers who cannot be so easily accused of giving a “soft” review.

  107. Poptech says:

    davidmhoffer, the only thing changing in peer-review is open-access journals (Which PRP was).

    Crowd review gives you junk like Wikipedia.

  108. AlecM says:

    The issue is the determined attempt by supporters of IPCC pseudo-science to claim that any criticism of it should not be published. A prominent critic on the JoNova Blog about the PRP special edition was one William Connolley, a would-be UK Green Party politician: I wrote in reply: http://joannenova.com.au/2014/01/science-paper-doubts-ipcc-so-whole-journal-gets-terminated/

    “But, William, the so-called IPCC theory, originating with Sagan then Houghton and finally Trenberth, called the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect, assumes that the Earth’s surface emits real IR energy to the atmosphere as if it were an isolated black body in Space in radiative equilibrium with its zero point energy. Then it assumes that the atmosphere radiates heat energy to the warmer surface.

    No competent scientist or engineer accepts this to be true. Unfortunately, Meteorology now Climate Alchemy imagine it is. The reason is that they think the output of a pyrgeometer is a real energy flux when it is a Radiation Field, the aforesaid hypothetical black body flux to Space. Only the difference of RFs drives radiative energy transport.

    This explains the failure of the IPCC models to account for 17 year 4 months no warming, a period of 1.02 Santers. They are broken from the very start in respect of heat generation and transport. Closing down journals which question your illogical religion won’t stop it being based on science fiction. What’s more, it will not stop the reaction by real scientists and engineers to this form of Gresham’s Law applied to Science, bad physics driving out good.

    Just be a good boy and accept that because you and your mates have failed to be professional and/or were taught incorrect physics, you can’t throw all the toys out of the pram. Very soon, if you continue to behave like spoilt brats, which is what you lot are, your trousers will metaphorically be taken down and you will be belted out of any contact with real science to punish you and your ilk.

    Be off with you and leave the field to the honest majority.”

  109. davidmhoffer says:

    Poptech;
    Crowd review gives you junk like Wikipedia.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    And it gives you tremendously valuable forums like WUWT. As I said, the medium is evolving. Don’t paint the whole internet with the same brush.

  110. Berényi Péter says:

    Is there a clearcut way to verify if pal review (a.k.a. “nepotism”) happened in an anonymous referee system? If not, we have a pervasive problem at our hands, far greater than copernicusgate can ever get.

  111. NZ Willy says:

    Poptech says: January 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks Poptech, for the salutory links to remind us of the scoundrels in the climate “peer-review” hierarchy. It’s important to keep grounded in the actual situtation which is that it’s not so much the nominal process as the chief actors who are calling the shots.

  112. Poptech says:

    Shub, sometimes things can be this simple,

    If known skeptics “peer-review” known skeptic authors, will the charge of “pal-review” be brought by alarmists? If so why give them the ammunition? Does elementary strategy really need to be taught here?

  113. poptech,
    I agree with your last paragraph.

    That said, I took a a look at Tallbloke’s paper. It says it was reviewed by: H. Jelbring and one anonymous referee”. The rules state: “A referee should not evaluate a manuscript authored or co-authored by a person with whom the referee has a personal or professional connection if the relationship would bias judgment of the manuscript.”

    I don’t know if Roger Tattersall has a personal connection with H Jelbring. Nor do I know whether they have a professional connection. Being a skeptic falls in neither category and does not qualify for a conflict of interest.

    If we accept being a sceptic qualifies for a potential conflict as reviewer, we’d have to accept gatekeeping activities by climate scientists too. If the former is legitimate, the latter would be too.

  114. gallopingcamel says:

    Anthony,

    Thanks for your sanctimonious rhetoric.

    Somehow you missed the main issue in Climategate. The “Hockey Team” controls the “Peer Review Process” in climate science publications.

    To pillory honest scientists for contriving to publish their views in defiance of the “Hockey Team” is shameful.

    If you want to regain my respect you need to critique the papers in the issue of “Pattern Recognition in Physics” that created this tempest in a teapot. In my opinion the papers you criticize are of higher quality than the works of the “Hockey Team” with their faulty numerical analysis, inverted Tiljander sediments and the lone Yamal pine. If you disagree, please give your reasons.

  115. charles the moderator says:

    I agree with one of Shub’s points, and it is a minor flaw in Anthony’s writeup. It’s the use of the term “known skeptics” in describing editors, authors, and reviewers, and in my scathing criticism on the previous thread, I never used that language. The issue is that in a targeted topic Special Edition, authors reviewed other authors’ work. Editors wrote papers and reviewed each others’ work. Editors reviewed papers. It was one big circle-jerk and then they all sat down together and wrote a summary of how it all fits together.

    Whether you respect the peer review journal system or not, reviews are not supposed to be pats on the back and attaboys. They are supposed to provide a modest filter for the quality and presentation of novel ideas. Like thinkers will miss problems due to confirmation bias and groupthink. It is actually beneficial to have hostile reviewers. If a paper can survive a hostile review it is likely a strong paper. If a paper needs to be changed to stand up to a hostile review it likely becomes stronger. It’s up to the editor to balance the hostile review for accuracy, logic, and reasonableness. How could the editors of this Kumbaya camp fire review possibly hold any remote appearance of neutrality when they themselves were writing some of the mutually reinforcing papers all headed to support the same overall conclusion and then having another other editor inviting their buddies to review them?

    Peer review is imperfect and has been co-opted many times by warmists and in other fields. But I’ve never heard of or even conceived of a situation as bad as this. The editors failed in their duty to follow the stated rules of the publisher. They also mislead the publisher as to their intent in even creating the journal which was to provide a forum for fringe AGW skeptics and to attempt to legitimize said fringe AGW skeptics despite their stated promise not to. They committed fraud. They have no ethical ground to stand on. Even if some of their papers have any merit, at this point they have no more legitimacy than a blog post, or this comment, due to their failure at the process of running a journal. They certainly have not been forged in any peer review process.

  116. lsvalgaard says:

    papiertigre says:
    January 19, 2014 at 8:52 pm
    I don’t know what you’re angling toward with this.
    I’ll try to explain: The Earth and the sun are magnetically connected as are Saturn and its moon. Charged particles can move along magnetic field lines and do move from that moon down to Saturn, but cannot move from the Earth [or any other planet] down to the Sun because the solar wind is sweeping all such paticles away from the sun.

    There’s definitely a change going on with Saturn’s magnetic field. This is a fact beyond dispute.
    No, there is a change in the magnetic field above Saturn, not within Saturn. Saturn’s intrinsic internal field is not changed.

  117. Willis Eschenbach says:

    gallopingcamel says:
    January 19, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    … If you want to regain my respect you need to critique the papers in the issue of “Pattern Recognition in Physics” that created this tempest in a teapot. In my opinion the papers you criticize are of higher quality than the works of the “Hockey Team” with their faulty numerical analysis, inverted Tiljander sediments and the lone Yamal pine.

    Boy, you know how to set a high threshold …

    w.

    (Do I need the /sarc tag?)

  118. Anthony You need to distinguish between the establishment review process which in many fields, as seen in climate-gate, for climate science is designed to prevent the publication of unfashionable or unorthodox views and what happened at PRP which facilitated the public appearance of useful papers which should be judged only by their content. Over the last fifty years the peer review process has seriously retarded advancement in many fields and has really outlived its usefulness .Why does anyone in the 21st century feel the need to interpose third parties between the authors and the public? In this day and age when most research is publically funded most scientific papers should be published without referee review on line with downloadable PDFs and be accompanied by all necessary supporting data.Scientists in the field and the public at large can then read the papers for themselves and simply post their own comments and reviews on line just like comments on WUWT threads. In fact WUWT might consider developing a special section for just that purpose – indeed to a useful extent WUWT already serves this very useful role in climate science – similar to arXiv in many ways.
    The peer review process serves to prevent publication – it is well past it’s sell by date.

  119. Willis Eschenbach says:

    charles the moderator says:
    January 19, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    … The issue is that in a targeted topic Special Edition, authors reviewed other authors’ work. Editors wrote papers and reviewed each others’ work. Editors reviewed papers. It was one big circle-jerk and then they all sat down together and wrote a summary of how it all fits together.

    That’s the problem in a nutshell. For example, after Roger Tallbloke has provided much support in public for Hans Jelbring’s claims, and has given Jelbring space to publish his ideas on Tallbloke’s Talkshop. They also are both among the co-authors of a study published in the Special Editions … then Jelbring reviews Roger’s paper?

    While that may not be a conflict of interest, it certainly provides that appearance.

    More to the point, you should choose reviewers who don’t believe the claims of the person writing the paper if you want peer review to have any meaning. What counts is whether your enemies can find flaws in your work, not whether your friends can find flaws in your work …

    w.

  120. Bernie Hutchins says:

    davidmhoffer said: January 19, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    “ Journals, like newspapers, are the walking dead. ……. “

    Thanks David. The whole piece was really – really good. I said a bit above “Peer review is an idea whose time is long gone.” In fact, it’s a wonder science publishing has survived recently IN SPITE OF PEER REVIEW. Or – Has it survived? As a fun exercise, just Google “Peer Review is XXXX” (supply various invectives of your own).

  121. Poptech says:

    The best news out of all of this is further confirmation no one reads alarmist blogs since their articles dump out of searches almost immediately meaning their page ranking is garbage. It must be painful to them knowing no one reads their tripe.

  122. Gkell1 says:

    Nicola wrote –

    “The complex planetary synchronization structure of the solar system”

    http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/2/1/2014/prp-2-1-2014.pdf

    was a simple review of already published papers published on numerous other journals by numerous authors starting with Copernicus and Kepler’s works.”

    From that work –

    “. If the orbital period, T, is measured in years and the semi-major axis, a, is measured in astronomical units (AU, the average Sun–Earth distance), Kepler’s third law takes the
    simple form of T 2 = a3. ”

    That is not what Kepler stated ,this is what is said –

    “The proportion existing between the periodic times of any two planets is exactly the sesquiplicate proportion of the mean distances of the orbits, or as generally given,the squares of the periodic times are proportional to the cubes of the mean distances.” Kepler

    An expanded version makes it understandable to everyone –

    “But it is absolutely certain and exact that the ratio which exists between the periodic times of any two planets is precisely the ratio of the 3/2th power of the mean distances, i.e., of the spheres themselves; provided, however, that the arithmetic mean between both diameters of the elliptic orbit be slightly less than the longer diameter. And so if any one take the period, say, of the Earth, which is one year, and the period of Saturn, which is thirty years, and extract the cube roots of this ratio and then square the ensuing ratio by squaring the cube roots, he will have as his numerical products the most just ratio of the distances of the Earth and Saturn from the sun. 1 For the cube root of 1 is 1, and the square of it is 1; and the cube root of 30 is greater than 3, and therefore the square of it is greater than 9. And Saturn, at its mean distance from the sun, is slightly higher than nine times the mean distance of the Earth from
    the sun.” Kepler

    Newton chanted voodoo at this particular loose correlation between orbital periods and distance from the Sun,a correlation which equalizes orbital distances and does nothing to explain them or provide a basis for an explanation . Want to do retroactive peer review then do it on Sir Isaac’s work because his version looks like it came from a person who drank too much coffee.

    “That the fixed stars being at rest, the periodic times of the five primary planets, and (whether of the sun about the earth, or) of the earth about the sun, are in the sesquiplicate proportion of their mean distances from the sun.This proportion, first observed by Kepler, is now received by all astronomers; for the periodic times are the same, and the dimensions of the orbits are the same, whether the sun revolves about the earth, or the earth about the sun ” Newton

    “Whether the Sun revolves around the Earth” indeed !. What a mess !.

  123. Poptech says:

    Willis Eschenbach says: January 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    That’s the problem in a nutshell. For example, after Roger Tallbloke has provided much support in public for Hans Jelbring’s claims, and has given Jelbring space to publish his ideas on Tallbloke’s Talkshop. They also are both among the co-authors of a study published in the Special Editions … then Jelbring reviews Roger’s paper?

    While that may not be a conflict of interest, it certainly provides that appearance.

    Exactly and I have been trying my best to avoid posting further damning evidence out of respect.

  124. Bernie Hutchins says:

    Willis Eschenbach said in part January 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm:

    “……. What counts is whether your enemies can find flaws in your work, not whether your friends can find flaws in your work … “

    Willis – I take your point – but think it can be turned around. PRIOR to publication, it is your friends, not your enemies, who if they BE your friends, will try to keep you out of trouble. They should try to “enemy-proof” you. But anyone involved, friend or foe, SHOULD be actively looking for flaws.

  125. At this point Poptech, why hold back? What have they done that’s worthy of your restraint? Given the extremely disconcerting support they’ve received, I think anything you have that demonstrates the egregiousness of the PRP mob’s behavior should be shown.

  126. papiertigre says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    January 19, 2014 at 9:38 pm
    Charged particles can move along magnetic field lines and do move from that moon down to Saturn, but cannot move from the Earth [or any other planet] down to the Sun because the solar wind is sweeping all such particles away from the sun.

    Pretty sure the solar wind only affects the charged particles. Most particles are swept away by the light. Anyhow I get what you mean.
    But the Sun by whatever means can only sweep these things so far. After they have gone that far, then the charged and soon to be charged particles become a dead weight drag on the magnetosphere.

  127. Matt says:

    omg – divining :)

    See James Randi test a diviner’s skill in experiment:

    Morner should not be listened to on anything at all on this basis alone. Dowsing – wtf.

  128. Gkell1 says:
    January 19, 2014 at 10:14 pm
    “. If the orbital period, T, is measured in years and the semi-major axis, a, is measured in astronomical units (AU, the average Sun–Earth distance), Kepler’s third law takes the
    simple form of T 2 = a3. ”
    That is not what Kepler stated ,this is what is said –
    “The proportion existing between the periodic times of any two planets is exactly the sesquiplicate proportion of the mean distances of the orbits, or as generally given,the squares of the periodic times are proportional to the cubes of the mean distances.” Kepler

    Which is exactly the same.

  129. lsvalgaard says:

    papiertigre says:
    January 19, 2014 at 10:45 pm
    Pretty sure the solar wind only affects the charged particles. Most particles are swept away by the light. Anyhow I get what you mean.
    No, not by light. By the magnetic field of the solar wind.
    But the Sun by whatever means can only sweep these things so far. After they have gone that far, then the charged and soon to be charged particles become a dead weight drag on the magnetosphere.
    No they don’t as they move away from the Sun faster than the escape speed, and are thus decoupled [cut loose] from the Sun.

  130. Martin A says:

    I think that some posters here are whipping themselves into a frenzy of indignation. A bit of calming down would do no harm.

  131. Martin A says:

    sole some

    [Fixed. -w.]

  132. Zeke says:

    “ALL climate skeptics are being painted with this fiasco.” I think this will not be a problem. Every one knows WUWT is not connected with the group involved, and we all know the theory is anathema to AW.

    If rules for peer review were not strictly adhered to in letter, this is a problem. But I wish the punishment would fit the crime, and that no one should pay twice for the same scientific transgression of the law: already, the journal was cancelled. That is sufficient. Going forward, one possible option is to publicly say, “Do it the right way next time.” This would show commitment to the by laws of the journal and the process of peer review, without having to disavow a cordial relationship with a terrific skeptic blogger in Britain, which faces incredible challenges because of climate change energy policies. And I hope that the articles on the flaws in the peer review system would continue at WUWT…since I am making wishes.

  133. jgc says:

    By following this argument you should terminate half the journals in circulation.
    Being an author and a reviewer in the same special issue is a extremely common practice, and never before a journal was terminated for that reason. We may agree or disagree with the papers published by this journal, but the correct method is publishing a refutation, not closing the journal.

  134. Poptech says:

    Charles, just so people don’t think I am bluffing here is a sample,

    Comments from the Talkshop joking about “Pal-Review”,

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/lucy-skywalker-graeffs-second-law-seminar/comment-page-1/#comment-25781

    “The really interesting bit [paper to be published when it gets past pal review] is that the end of ice ages is caused by massive melting of the Antarctic ice pack due to the tsi increase and a reduction of local cloud albedo, no CO2 involved.”

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/is-the-earth-a-cosmic-feather-duster/comment-page-1/#comment-25915

    “It’s a cracking read – another good scientist fails the pal-review test, with good humour and insight.”

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/emissivity-puzzle-energy-exchange-in-non-vacuums/comment-page-2/#comment-40407

    “Happy also to pass it by Wayne before publication for a bit of pal review :-) if you think that would be helpful.”

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/caption-competition-cook-mann-and-lewandowsky/comment-page-1/#comment-54323

    “Cook ‘I still can’t believe the pal review was so easy’”

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/is-this-where-the-missing-heat-is-going/comment-page-1/#comment-58621

    “I’ll leave the other errors until later, possibly a monograph to bypass the corrupt pal review process, possibly by assembling the sub arguments to peer review in other venues with a final paper that assembles it all.”

  135. tallbloke says:

    Poptech says:
    January 19, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says: January 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    That’s the problem in a nutshell. For example, after Roger Tallbloke has provided much support in public for Hans Jelbring’s claims, and has given Jelbring space to publish his ideas on Tallbloke’s Talkshop. They also are both among the co-authors of a study published in the Special Editions … then Jelbring reviews Roger’s paper?

    While that may not be a conflict of interest, it certainly provides that appearance.

    Exactly and I have been trying my best to avoid posting further damning evidence out of respect.

    Hans Jelbring’s review of my paper is twelve pages long and begins with the words

    “I’m sorry, this is really going to piss you off, but….”

    I’m incredibly grateful to Hans Jelbring, who doesn’t comment at the talkshop so much these days, for his forthright criticism, detailed and useful analysis, and helpful suggestions for improvements to my main paper. I damn near had to rewrite the whole thing against a tight deadline.

    All I would have got from Svalgaard is: “This paper is of low quaility and I recommend it is rejected because of preremptory and briefly stated reasons 1&2″

    The only circle jerk (TM Charles Rotter) going on round here is the Team WUWT gleeful attack on a branch of science they don’t understand, using the pretext of an issue with peer review which they are utterly wrong about.

    Handling editor Nils-Axel Morner (a scientist with over 540 peer reviewed papers to his name), did an excellent job of providing a mixture of tough-cop friendly-cop reviewers, and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves for your premature, ill informed and prejudiced attack on honest people who did their utmost to provide useful and critical reviews of other contributors work.

    I’d also like to thank LdB for his criticism of my paper on this thread. Indeed I have been thinking about ways to quantify the energy passed between planets, and this has led in new and intersting directions which have already borne fruit. Buts that’s for the next paper I’ll be publishing in PRP once we have wrested it from Copernicus’ control (Lord Monckton has offered his assistance with that), and turned it into the success it is going to become.

    Right, I’m off to work on my planetary spin-angular momentum calcs. The joy of scientific discovery beats whipping up lynch mobs into a cocked hat for job satisfaction.

  136. Poptech says:

    Matt says: Morner should not be listened to on anything at all on this basis alone. Dowsing – wtf.

    This is a text book ad hominem. Dr. Morner’s climate science arguments having nothing to do with any eccentric hobbies he chooses to engage in.

  137. Greg Goodman says:

    Roger Tatershall’s usual response to people who disagree with his sometimes oddball ideas is to permanently ban then from commenting on his blog.

    http://climategrog.wordpress.com/2013/03/05/talkshop-immoderation/

    Oddly, he sees it as outrageous when others apply the same methods.

  138. Manfred says:

    Lubos Motl sums it up nicely

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2014/01/agw-inquisition-burns-journal-pattern.html

    …At any rate, someone in Copernicus Publications decided that he or she or they didn’t want to “risk” that his or her or their company would be connected with a heresy in any way, so he or she or they terminated the whole journal because of hypothetical implications of one paper. Well, Tallbloke publishes a letter that seems to imply that the whole journal was really killed because of one sentence in that paper (!):

    “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project.”

    What I find amazing is the openness of the reasons behind the executions. The climate alarmist jerks have harmed hundreds of good people by unfair decisions behind the scenes. But this isn’t one of them. We are explicitly told that the journal was killed because of the climate heresy. I think that they want to make everyone afraid. Needless to say, the extra accusations, e.g. “nepotism”, are nonsensical. Nepotism is a bias favoring family members. None of the people in the journal or the special issue is a relative of anyone else.

  139. Peter Miller says:

    The Sun’s and Moon’s gravity is obviously the reason for the Earth’s tides and their regular 28 day cycle of two neap and two spring tides – for those who are confused and even alarmists know this, the Moon is not a planet. Some parts of the world have extreme spring tides, such as northern Australia and parts of eastern Canada, where the difference between high and low tides can be over 11 metres (36 feet). So at a push (a real hard one), at spring tides I can imagine a tidal pressure wave locally compressing the atmosphere a smidgin. Should this be the case, it might occasionally have a marginal effect on the weather, but not on the climate – the difference between the two is where alarmists get muddled, sceptics should be above this. I found the following, which explains it far better than I can – link at end.

    “The average angular diameter of the Sun in the sky is 9.30 milliradians or 0.533o, that of the Moon is 9.04 milliradians or 0.518o. In other words, the angular diameters of the Sun and Moon in the sky are almost exactly the same. (The values, of course, vary periodically depending on the positions of the Earth and the Moon in their slightly eccentric orbits.) The cosmic accident of nearly-equal angular diameters makes possible solar eclipses in which the disc of the Moon precisely covers that of the Sun. On this basis, one would expect the tidal effects of Sun and Moon to be the same. However, the density of the Moon is 3.34 gm/cm3 while the mass density of the Sun is 1.41 gm/cm3. For this reason the Sun has only about 46% of the Moon’s influence on the tides.

    The planet Jupiter has a density of 1.36 gm/cm3 and in Earth’s sky at closest approach has an angular diameter of 0.227 milliradians. Venus has a density of 5.24 gm/cm3 and a closest-approach angular diameter of 0.292 milliradians. The maximum tidal influence of Venus is .0053% of that of the Moon and the maximum influence of Jupiter is .0020%, effects on Earth’s tides so small as to be essentially unobservable.

    The angular diameters of the other planets in the sky are even smaller, with consequently tiny tidal effects. The techno-myth that there should be very high tides and earthquakes when the planets are in the same part of the sky, the so-called Jupiter Effect, is therefore pure hokum.”

    http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&ved=0CC0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.npl.washington.edu%2FAV%2Faltvw63.html&ei=m9_cUueIMYOs7Qb-_IHQAQ&usg=AFQjCNFTzkzU_iySoMJ0lkSB-fp0hHkbiA

  140. M Courtney says:

    davidmhoffer says at January 19, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    Peer review is dead. Crowd review is the new paradigm.

    Exactly.
    And this incestuous special edition is a nail in the coffin.
    Next time a paper comes out finding that Antarctica is actually a tropical paradise the call should go up for “outing” of the peer reviewers. When they are shown to be known collaborators of the authors (and they will be) then the journal gets pulled. Not just the paper gets pulled – the journal gets pulled – as there is precedent.

    My view is that these papers were not allowed to be rebutted as such a rebuttal (wiggle fitting went out with Ptolomy) will also rebut the CO2 and SO4 drives climate paradigm. But by showing that bad science must be suppressed and not rebutted the precedent is set. Peer review must now be held to this standard. But Peer Review isn’t a gold standard.
    We all know that peer review is a joke in Climate Science.

  141. AndyG55 says:

    Anthony, sorry, but I think your attitude to this is misdirected.

    Your antagonism toward these papers leaves me wondering about your agenda.

    Are you trying to push your OWN ideas, or are you truly an OPEN scientific blog..

    I am really beginning to wonder. :-(

    It all comes down to what you think “peer-review” is all about.

    “In 2006, a group of UK academics launched the online journal Philica, which tried to redress many of the problems of traditional peer review. Unlike in a normal journal, all articles submitted to Philica are published immediately and the review process takes place afterwards. Reviews are still anonymous, but instead of reviewers being chosen by an editor, any researcher who wishes to review an article can do so”

    The problem is that open journals and open peer-review are yet to establish hard and fast clear rules.

    We need to figure out what “peer-review” is and what is its purpose. The whole definition has been bought into question by “climate science”, where pal-review is rife.

    The idea of “publishing” is to PROVIDE AN ARTICLE FOR DISCUSSION.

    THAT IS WHAT SCIENCE IS ALL ABOUT !!!!!

    The first step of peer-review is to make sure that the article is suitable for publishing, that there are no obvious errors, stupid typos etc.

    If papers are put to hostile reviewers, many possibly important ideas may be rejected.

    I have no issues with papers being thoroughly vetted by someone in the same field, someone who actually understands what the writer is trying to say, and isn’t going to reject it on some spurious grounds that the reviewer doesn’t agree with or understand.

    If papers are truly nonsense, then they will be destroyed AFTER publishing, as many climate change papers are.

    So, how about we let these papers stand and be brought down in the proper scientific manner, if that be the case, and stop trying to destroy them before they can be bought to the mainstream scientific field, just because they may contain truths that the AGW proletariat don’t like.

    Why are the climate bletheren SO SCARED that they have to act in this manner ??

    Is this work too close to the truth ??

    And why are YOU taking the tack that you are taking.. It saddens me. :-(

  142. AndyG55 says:

    And why did that go into moderation ?????????

    Reply: Must have been a proscribed word in there somewhere- mod

  143. Poptech says:

    I tried not to post this hypocrisy but they leave me no choice,

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/tag/pal-review/

  144. Willis Eschenbach says:

    tallbloke says:
    January 20, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Poptech says:
    January 19, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says: January 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    That’s the problem in a nutshell. For example, after Roger Tallbloke has provided much support in public for Hans Jelbring’s claims, and has given Jelbring space to publish his ideas on Tallbloke’s Talkshop. They also are both among the co-authors of a study published in the Special Editions … then Jelbring reviews Roger’s paper?

    While that may not be a conflict of interest, it certainly provides that appearance.

    Exactly and I have been trying my best to avoid posting further damning evidence out of respect.

    Hans Jelbring’s review of my paper is twelve pages long and begins with the words

    “I’m sorry, this is really going to piss you off, but….”

    I’m incredibly grateful to Hans Jelbring, who doesn’t comment at the talkshop so much these days, for his forthright criticism, detailed and useful analysis, and helpful suggestions for improvements to my main paper. I damn near had to rewrite the whole thing against a tight deadline.

    Roger, you seem to have misinterpreted my objection, which was to the appearance of a conflict of interest. I objected to that because unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether it was a real conflict or not. All we have is your earnest assurance that it wasn’t a conflict … you’ll excuse me if I don’t give that a whole lot of weight. Be clear that this is not because I disbelieve you on principle (I don’t), but because you are one of the players in the drama, and thus hardly an unbiased witness.

    Look, near as any of us can tell from the outside, you all wrote your papers, handed them to each other, told each other how wonderful their paper was, and then got together and wrote a joint paper. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t strike me as a good way to convince anyone of anything.

    Rog, you may be totally correct that e.g. Hans Jelbring didn’t just give a perfunctory pal review.

    And you may be 100% correct that having the authors and the editor of a special edition all both writing papers and reviewing each other’s papers is not a problem … but the optics of the whole thing are terrible.

    Finally, as I said above, you don’t want Jelbring and Scafetta reviewing your papers. You want reviewers who don’t believe in your theses, not your co-authors on the Special Edition who obviously think the sun shines out of your claims.

    w.

  145. Poptech says:

    tallbloke says:

    Hans Jelbring’s review of my paper is twelve pages long and begins with the words

    “I’m sorry, this is really going to piss you off, but….”

    Seriously? Reviewers are not supposed to care about your feelings. Do you not understand how this supports the “pal-review” argument against you?

    The only circle jerk (TM Charles Rotter) going on round here is the Team WUWT gleeful attack on a branch of science they don’t understand, using the pretext of an issue with peer review which they are utterly wrong about.

    Strawman, no one is discussing the science because that is not the argument and there is no “Team WUWT” (unless there is some new team page here I am unaware of).

    So your journal did not violate the publishers rules for editors and reviewers?

    Buts that’s for the next paper I’ll be publishing in PRP once we have wrested it from Copernicus’ control (Lord Monckton has offered his assistance with that), and turned it into the success it is going to become.

    Unreal. So your intention is for no one to take it seriously?

  146. Lukewarmerist says:

    The sceptic movement is overdue a schism now that mainstream science is moving in our direction: the rational scientific sceptics need to ‘scrape off’ the ‘no-greenhouse-effecters’, the ‘planetary harmonicers’, the ‘pressure-effect-onlyers’ and the whole gamut of ‘skydragoners’

    While we were all marginalised, it didn’t matter, we were on the same side. but now it is counter-productive to keep all the swivel-eyed amongst our ranks.

  147. markstoval says:

    I suppose that I may not fully understand all the issues, but it seems to me we have a double standard going on here. If a journal is going to print a paper and it agrees with the mythology of the day (cAGW for example) then they get to select friends and colleges of the author or those who agree with his views on the orthodoxy of the day. However, if the paper challenges the prevailing orthodoxy of the day then they should use only reviews who are loyal to the orthodoxy and no one who is known to agree with the author. Hmmmm.

    Let us offer up thanks to the Patron Saint of Science (doubting Thomas?) that Albert Einstein did all of his major work before “peer review” was the gatekeeper of science. I think I recall that he did not believe in the whole process.

    After the climate-gate e-mails plainly showed that the team was going to use the peer review process to enforce the CO2 orthodoxy and others have stated that the grant process is similar, I find criticizing this journals review process to be … ah … somewhat misguided.

  148. Teddi says:

    Wow, the reading here and other places on this subject has been riveting.

    Unfortunately (been coming here many years), I’ve lost some respect for Anthony and WUWT over this episode. Even more for Dr. Svalgaard. In fact, I’ve completely fallen away from his viewpoints after reading the comments he made in the first post to this story. There is a pettiness with Anthony coming through and a stubbornness with Leif that is shocking…

    Turn off the Sun and then check out the correlation with climate ! To dismiss external factors is the same as worshiping the Co2 (as driver) altar.

  149. tallbloke says:

    charles the moderator says:
    January 19, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    At this point Poptech, why hold back? What have they done that’s worthy of your restraint? Given the extremely disconcerting support they’ve received, I think anything you have that demonstrates the egregiousness of the PRP mob’s behavior should be shown.

    Poptech says:
    January 20, 2014 at 12:06 am
    Charles, just so people don’t think I am bluffing here is a sample,
    Comments from the Talkshop joking about “Pal-Review”,

    ===============

    Poptech is now engaging in intellectual dishonesty to try to help his desperate pal Charles who has missed his bite and made a chump of himself on Jo Nova’s site and now needs some smears, any smears, he can use.

    His first quote comes from a commenter called Mydogsgotnonose who says:
    May 29, 2012 at 2:22 pm
    Correct TB: you get at the ocean data from the equation of state. The really interesting bit [paper to be published when it gets past pal review] is that the end of ice ages is caused by massive melting of the Antarctic ice pack due to the tsi increase and a reduction of local cloud albedo, no CO2 involved.

    Note how Poptech snips the first bit of his comment: “Correct TB” which would have confirmed it’s not me or any member of the ” PRP mob” (TM Charles ‘circle jerk’ Rotter) speaking.
    The second quote likewise
    The third quote likewise
    The fourth quote is a caption competition entry taking the piss out iof John Cook
    The final quote is from AlecM talking about the failure of GHG theory and the reliance of ‘Climate Science’ on the authority of peer review.

    Resorting to dishonestly selective quoting, Poptech is another guy who must think irony is used to make steely by the addition of carbony.

    “Not bluffing” Poptech? What a joke.

  150. Willis Eschenbach says:

    markstoval says:
    January 20, 2014 at 1:06 am

    I suppose that I may not fully understand all the issues, but it seems to me we have a double standard going on here. If a journal is going to print a paper and it agrees with the mythology of the day (cAGW for example) then they get to select friends and colleges of the author or those who agree with his views on the orthodoxy of the day. However, if the paper challenges the prevailing orthodoxy of the day then they should use only reviews who are loyal to the orthodoxy and no one who is known to agree with the author. Hmmmm.

    You are correct about your lack of understanding in this regard, that very few people here think that the papers that agree with the “mythology of the day” should get pal review. Anthony, and Mosher, and I, and others are all saying that if we’re going to have peer review, that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    w.

  151. Willis Eschenbach says:

    AndyG55 says:
    January 20, 2014 at 12:51 am

    Anthony, sorry, but I think your attitude to this is misdirected.

    Your antagonism toward these papers leaves me wondering about your agenda.

    Are you trying to push your OWN ideas, or are you truly an OPEN scientific blog..

    I am really beginning to wonder. :-(

    Andy, you’re misunderstanding what Anthony, I, and others are saying. Here is what the policies of the publisher of the journal, Copernicus, have to say (emphasis mine);

    “4. A referee should be sensitive even to the appearance of a conflict of interest when the manuscript under review is closely related to the referee’s work in progress or published. If in doubt, the referee should return the manuscript promptly without review, advising the editor of the conflict of interest or bias.

    5. A referee should not evaluate a manuscript authored or co-authored by a person with whom the referee has a personal or professional connection if the relationship would bias judgment of the manuscript.”

    Simple stuff, you’d think … but noooo, the editor and the referees of this “Special Edition” not only ignored those rules, they smashed them dead and then danced on their corpses. For that, they got the journal taken away from them, and rightly so. If you sign up for something, you have to sign up for it root and branch, not just the parts you like.

    Anthony’s antagonism, like mine, has nothing to do with the papers. It has to do with the foolishness of the authors and the editor in thinking that such malfeasance would go un-noticed.

    w.

  152. markstoval says:

    W,

    “Anthony, and Mosher, and I, and others are all saying that if we’re going to have peer review, that sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”

    And so the sauce for the gander should be first? I see evidence of pal review for the alarmists all the time just reading WUWT (and in many other places to boot) and this may be the first time I have ever heard of any “skeptical” papers accused of being “pal” reviewed. Were are the disclaimers that the Team is doing this all the time?

    Or did I just imagine that “pal review” of the orthodoxy of the day is standard operating procedure?

    — Mark

  153. Poptech says:

    This is just great,

    http://www.reddit.com/r/skeptic/comments/1vfwrl/on_pattern_recognition_in_physics_on_the_other/cerxs0n

    Funny how deniers always claim problems with peer-review, and when you look closer you see that most of the major AGW-denial papers (including this new crap) fit perfectly in that category

    http://www.reddit.com/r/skeptic/comments/1vfwrl/on_pattern_recognition_in_physics_on_the_other/cerz110

    It really is the height of hypocrisy for contrarians to complain about how the peer-review system is broken, then flock to such “journals” that are actively undermining the peer-review system. What a bunch of frauds.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/skeptic/comments/1vj143/eli_rabett_on_the_pattern_recognition_in_physics/cet0153

    Please, enough with your paranoid conspiracy bullshit. The “journal” wasn’t shut down because “inconvenient” science had to be suppressed, it was shut down because it had been created under false pretences by a bunch of misinformers who planned on using it to rubber-stamp climate science denial.

    Thanks for the help!

  154. Keitho says:

    It deserved to die because of poor standards and methods. Just one of those things, now let’s get back to understanding stuff.

  155. Gkell1 says:

    Leif wrote –

    “Gkell1 says:
    January 19, 2014 at 10:14 pm
    “. If the orbital period, T, is measured in years and the semi-major axis, a, is measured in astronomical units (AU, the average Sun–Earth distance), Kepler’s third law takes the
    simple form of T 2 = a3. ”
    That is not what Kepler stated ,this is what is said –
    “The proportion existing between the periodic times of any two planets is exactly the sesquiplicate proportion of the mean distances of the orbits, or as generally given,the squares of the periodic times are proportional to the cubes of the mean distances.” Kepler

    Which is exactly the same.”

    You wish !,Sir Isaac was trying to use the predictive convenience of the equatorial coordinate system (Celestial sphere of fixed stars) in an attempt to force through the idea that observations seen from Earth (relative space and motion) transfer into observations seen from the Sun (absolute or true space and motion). That is how you read his absolute/relative time,space and motion despite the hoopla of the early 20th century when they made a bad situation even worse ,go ahead and read it again and you begin to see something all your heroes in the early 20th century couldn’t –

    “That the fixed stars being at rest, the periodic times of the five primary planets, and (whether of the sun about the earth, or) of the earth about the sun, are in the sesquiplicate proportion of their mean distances from the sun.This proportion, first observed by Kepler, is now received by all astronomers; for the periodic times are the same, and the dimensions of the orbits are the same, whether the sun revolves about the earth, or the earth about the sun ” Newton

    Poor Sir Isaac,he thinks if you plonk the Sun in the middle of Kepler’s representation of the Earth’s motion and the motion of Mars that retrogrades disappear hence his absolute/relative space and motion creation –

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kepler_Mars_retrograde.jpg

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3252/2321581337_8c61b45e3c.jpg

    It would be funny if it were not taught as mainstream education and some sort of human achievement when it represents an aggressive assault on astronomy and the major characters which pushed through those major discoveries

    Peer review is like cigarette smoking – the damage is done by the previous cigarette insofar as in respect to academia ,the whole point of the exercise is to protect the salaries and reputations of the reviewers rather than any original work. The poor slaves have to write papers that will not offend the reviewers otherwise they don’t get their doctorates so present peer review is the most uncompetitive endeavor out there,the other option of crowd review is equally unattractive as it dissolves into a babel situation.

    The IAU is an empirical vehicle and its hilarious attempt to ‘define’ a planet is an indication that there is no authority out there presently to handle the really important stuff which has now come to the fore with so-called climate modeling and especially where astronomical inputs mesh with terrestrial sciences.

    I don’t suffer the hero worship of Newton and his agenda which created the modeling mania by distorting and manipulating information to suit his conclusion and nobody here today can afford to either unless they truly want to remain with voodoo,bluffing and pretense while remaining part of the same clownish hypocrisy that emerged at the expense of climate research.

  156. tallbloke says:

    AndyG55 says:
    January 20, 2014 at 12:51 am
    Anthony, sorry, but I think your attitude to this is misdirected.
    Your antagonism toward these papers leaves me wondering about your agenda.
    Are you trying to push your OWN ideas, or are you truly an OPEN scientific blog..
    I am really beginning to wonder. :-(

    No, Anthony is not trying to push his own ideas. And no, this is not an open scientific blog. Discussion of our solar-planetary theory is banned, except when Anthony thinks Leif has come up with a slam dunk refutation of it.

    This is because Anthony knows tidal effects of planets on the Sun are tiny, and he knows that ‘Barycentrism’ is crackpottery. What he doesn’t know is that there’s a whole established branch of astrophysics out there which studies the energy transferred in stellar-planetary systems by harmonic resonance. If he did, he wouldn’t toss out the baby with the bathwater, because he’s a good guy under all the misunderstandings and grievances that have built up around this subject over the last 5 years here at WUWT. I’m responsible for some of them, Leif is responsible for a bunch of them too.

    My dearest hope is that I can make the breakthrough with the science which will bring us all back together. I’m working hard to achieve that, along with a couple dozen talented and intelligent researchers.I’m tremendously grateful for their input and for the support displayed by many people on this thread.

    Best wishes to all, and bye for now.

  157. WillieB says:

    I think that what Anthony, Poptech, and others fail to take into consideration is why PRP and other scientific journals have rules against conflicts-of-interests (aka “pal review”). It is because in the world of scientific journals, the name of the reviewers, along with their reviews, are kept strictly confidential. As such, the reader has no way of knowing if a reviewer has a conflict and is unable to give any weight to that fact when reading the article in question or when deciding whether to cite it in some future work.

    The only reason we know that some of the articles in the PRP special edition were reviewed by persons with a potential conflict-of-interest is because the journal told us so by publishing their names. Had PRP kept their names confidential and it was later discovered that there had secretly been “pal review”, then that dishonesty would be worthy of being considered scandalous and such “malpractice” would warrant closing down the journal. What makes what the “Team” does regarding “pal review” so abhorrent is that it is done in secret and, but for the Climategate emails, the practice wouldn’t be known.

    It seems to me that if articles published in peer reviewed journals are to be held in much higher regard by the scientific community than those which have not been peer reviewed, then in the interest of full transparency, the names of all reviewers (and preferably their reviews) should be fully disclosed. That way each reader can judge for him or herself whether there is a potential conflict-of-interest and whether the reviewer has sufficient expertise to evaluate the article.

  158. fadingfool says:

    Perhaps a change of process should be implemented. If the reviews of the papers are also posted would this help defuse the cries of nepotism?

  159. Poptech says:

    tallbloke says: Poptech is now engaging in intellectual dishonesty to try to help his desperate pal Charles who has missed his bite and made a chump of himself on Jo Nova’s site and now needs some smears, any smears, he can use.

    [...] Note how Poptech snips the first bit of his comment: “Correct TB” which would have confirmed it’s not me or any member of the ” PRP mob”

    No, you are being intellectually dishonest as I specifically said, “Comments from the Talkshop“, I never said they were from you. But in case you missed it, I posted the WordPress Tag you used on your site,

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/tag/pal-review/

    If you don’t understand the hypocrisy here and want to think it is a “smear” that is of course your right.

  160. What Anthony and many others don’t seem to realise is that it’s standard practise when there is a ‘special issue’ of a journal, often arising from a conference, for papers to be reviewed by other contributors to the same special issue. Normally this isn’t visible because the reviews are anonymous, but PRP got caught by their own openness.

  161. Lukewarmerist,

    “While we were all marginalised, it didn’t matter, we were on the same side. but now it is counter-productive to keep all the swivel-eyed amongst our ranks.”

    I’ve always felt it was counter-productive, but that was just me.

  162. Poptech says:

    I hate being accused of intellectual dishonesty and putting words in people’s mouths, which is why I let them speak for themselves,

    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=12706&nid=145170&print=1&id=sTo7STin:68.83.112.211

    “Long held belief in veritable institutions such as the peer review process (more like pal review process in the case of the climate clique) need a makeover in the internet age, where a greater number of well informed and able minds can be quickly brought to bear on the fruits of new research.” – Rog Tallbloke

    I said I didn’t want to do this.

  163. James Sexton says:

    Sigh, I don’t know guys. I do think this is a bit of over-reaction. Look, skeptics come in all shapes and sizes. Yes, we get painted with the same brush, but we needn’t wear the paint. Just because one skeptic is skeptical for reasons we don’t agree with doesn’t mean we should wail and moan because of something they did or said. We’re not all on the same team just because we all disagree with a bunch of ideological maniacs babbling about the earth overheating.

    Yes, I’m a bit disappointed in some of the things which were done. But, TB, nor anyone else involved owes me or anyone else an apology. They’re their own men and as far as I can recall, they never vowed to me to act in a manner which was acceptable to me. I’ll keep looking for those signed personal contracts, but, I just can’t find them! Or, was I absent when we had the skeptics ethical contract “circle jerk”? I certainly don’t recall signing one.

    I rather look at this as a positive development. Look, they shut down a journal because of circular editing, refereeing, and submissions. Okay, so a new standard was set because of skeptics!! Of course, the lunatics won’t abide by that standard. They’ll just keep doing what they do. Yes, there were written rules, but, we all know that’s not how it’s played, not by alarmists, and apparently, not by some skeptics. So what? I haven’t regarded “peer/pal reviewed” articles as holding any more merit than a blog post for years, and neither should anyone else who’s spent any amount of time reading journal articles. I would have thought this to be especially true here.

    Yes, I wish it was different, and I wish the fellows involved had gone about things differently. But, they didn’t. And, regardless of what they did or didn’t do, or lent an appearance of doing, nothing changes the fact that most peer/pal reviewed crap is just that.

    I wouldn’t waste my time wringing my hands about how this will cause skeptics to be perceived. It won’t harm the general public view one iota. Outside the very small world of people who actually read science papers, no one will hear about it, and if they do, they won’t understand what the tempest is about. To the small world of us who do read and engage, both on the alarmist and skeptic side, this will do nothing to change opinions, anyway. They’ll still call us deniers. And, even if the papers were reviewed by Hansen, it won’t change their misanthropic ideology/religion.

    I suppose it comes to a matter of priorities. I engage in climate skepticism, not because I give a crap about planetary waves, or if the earth has warmed 1/2 degree or if the oceans are eating all of our warming. I engage because there’s a bunch of lying scumbags out there seeking to humanity real harm. The institution of peer review is beyond redemption. As is climate science. There’s no getting it back. So some skeptics ran out of the boundaries of an imagined reservation. The horrors. Now, if there were people still clinging to the unreasonable notion that we can somehow turn around the science of the lunatics to where they’d accept real science, then this might seem a bit worse for them. But, for years, they’ve demonstrated they have absolutely no interest in engaging in actual science. Yes, we can expect quotes like what Poptech just quoted. But, that’s easily rebutted and one can use that to hold up over the lunatics (goose/gander thing) …. if one was feeling like arguing with an alarmist. Well, I’ve rambled long enough and turned my 2 cents into 3 or 4. Sorry about that. Stay of good cheer.

    suyts

  164. tallbloke says:

    Poptech says:
    January 20, 2014 at 2:20 am
    I hate being accused of intellectual dishonest and putting words in people’s mouths…
    =================

    If you don’t like being called for it, don’t do it. We can all see you snipped the name and first two words of MDGNN’s comment to encourage people to think it was my comment.

    So far as your claims of hypocrisy on my part go, this is actually the nub of the whole issue:
    There’s a big difference between ‘pal review’ which aims to get a sub-standard paper under the wire of the IPCC deadline, ‘pal reviewers’ who aim to keep sceptical papers out of mainstream journals, and ‘pal review’ which aims to improve a colleagues paper and honestly criticises it to do that (CF Jelbring’s 12 page “this is really going to piss you off” review of my main paper in PRP).

    Your problem is you fail to differentiate between the integrity and intentions of the various actors.

  165. cynical_scientist says:

    It is never a good thing for a journal when you look at the list of articles and see that the editors are also the authors of over half of them. Open access journals live on their reputations. To me this one looks half dead already. I wouldn’t call it murder. More like a mercy killing.

  166. Martin A says:

    I don’t get a lot of this stuff about peer-review – especially I don’t get the idea that it provides some sort of acid test of the conclusions of a paper.

    It has always seemed to me that climate science’s trumpeting that work has been ‘peer reviewed’, with the implication that it was therefore not open to dispute, was ridiculous. Indeed the term ‘peer-reviewed’ seems to have come into use via climate science. I imagine it was originally intended to exclude, for example, popular magazine articles from the IPCC’s consideration.

    Over the years I have published a good number of papers (in refereed engineering journals – nothing to do with climate) and I have myself reviewed many papers. My understanding has always been that the role of the reviewer is to uphold the standards of the journal. A reviewer should certify:

    – That the work appears to be original. This requires that the reviewer is familiar with the literature of the field.

    – That it is in an area of interest to readers of the journal.

    – That it is nontrivial and it represents a significant advance.

    – That is makes adequate reference to prior work in the area.

    – That its presentation is satisfactory (use of language and terminology, explanation of symbols, follows in logical sequence and so on).

    – That the work makes sense, there are no obvious errors and so on.

    Some issues (eg lack of originality or triviality) result in a recommendation that the paper should be rejected. Other issues (problems of language, inadequate details of experimental equipment, or inadequate reference to relevant prior work) result in recommendations for the paper to be revised and resubmitted.

    Although a reviewer should check mathematical derivations and apply ‘sanity checks’ to results, I have never considered it part of a reviewer’s role to verify the work.

  167. richardscourtney says:

    Friends:

    In the above article, Anth0ny quotes a comment I made in the previous thread. I now write to make some observations on this thread. First, I explain why I reversed my view in the previous thread because it goes to the heart of discussions in this thread.

    In the previous thread where I made a series of posts opposing withdrawal of the journal starting with this which quotes a climategate email to explain behaviour of the ‘Team’
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/17/the-planetary-tidal-influence-on-climate-fiasco-strong-armed-science-tactics-are-overkill-due-process-would-work-better/#comment-1539900
    Anybody who reads that post see the strength of my then stated view; for example, it includes this

    Man Bearpig says at January 18, 2014 at 1:29 am
    “This is very disturbing, it is a warning to other journals not to publish papers that support skeptic arguments, OR ELSE.”
    Repeated here for emphasis.

    An idea cannot be refuted if it is not allowed to be openly published.
    So, those who the ‘planetary influence’ stuff is wrong should be most concerned for it to be subjected to proper publication so they can refute it.

    But, as Anth0ny reports in his above article, I completely reversed my view and said my earlier posts were wrong and mistaken. My reversal is because of the revelation of ‘pal-review’ in the PRP Special Edition.

    This is important because as Scott Balfour says in his post January 19, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    To say that the other side “does the same [disreputable] things” is not a justification of the action but a tacit admission of wrongdoing.

    And the nature of that “wrongdoing” is stated by charles the moderator who says at January 19, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Whether you respect the peer review journal system or not, reviews are not supposed to be pats on the back and attaboys. They are supposed to provide a modest filter for the quality and presentation of novel ideas. Like thinkers will miss problems due to confirmation bias and groupthink. It is actually beneficial to have hostile reviewers. If a paper can survive a hostile review it is likely a strong paper. If a paper needs to be changed to stand up to a hostile review it likely becomes stronger. It’s up to the editor to balance the hostile review for accuracy, logic, and reasonableness. How could the editors of this Kumbaya camp fire review possibly hold any remote appearance of neutrality when they themselves were writing some of the mutually reinforcing papers all headed to support the same overall conclusion and then having another other editor inviting their buddies to review them?

    Exactly.
    And the present disaster would have been worse if the Special Edition had not been withdrawn from publication because its existence would have been proclaimed as being,
    “This is what skeptics call peer review so ignore what they write!”

    And that reality raises two issues which have been discussed in this thread; viz.
    (a) Opposing alarmism
    And
    (b) The value and nature of peer review.

    The issue under discussion is publication of information: it is NOT about opposing alarmism.
    Hence, references to Sun Tzu and the like are misplaced because our objective is furtherance of truth and scientific rigour.

    AGW-alarmists have adopted the philosophy that ‘The Cause justifies the means’. We hand victory to them if we adopt the same philosophy because that philosophy rejects the search for ‘truth’ which is science.

    Our end purpose is to protect and promote science. If we achieve that purpose then one effect of our victory will be the destruction of alarmism. There are times and places for political battles, but the field of science is NOT the place to fight them because the battles will destroy the battlefield.

    And that brings us to the other issue and it is stated by john robertson when at January 19, 2014 at 8:36 pm he asks

    Really the question could be, is peer review useful?

    And the answer is, Yes, but that begs the question of’ ’useful to whom?’
    The ONLY purpose of peer review is to protect journal Editors.
    This is explained together with the nature and limitations of peer review in my comment at
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/29/peer-review-last-refuge-of-the-uninformed-troll/#comment-1522700

    In my comment in that link I say (with following explanation)

    The worth of information is demonstrated solely by its usefulness and ability to withstand scrutiny.
    When, where, how and by whom the information is published indicates NOTHING concerning the worth of information.

    That comment is in a thread which discusses an excellent article about peer review provided by David M Hoffer. However, he goes too far in this thread where he writes at January 19, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    As unfortunate an incident as this has been, the take away is not that some skeptics have scored an own goal. The take away is that the processes predicated upon the printing press for review and publication of science are fatally flawed, and need to be replaced with tools and processes predicated upon the much larger audience that is now capable of participating on both a formal and informal basis.

    Peer review is dead. Crowd review is the new paradigm.

    Indeed, he seems to have admitted he went too far when at January 19, 2014 at 9:15 pm he replied to a rebuttal from Poptech by writing

    Poptech;

    Crowd review gives you junk like Wikipedia.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    And it gives you tremendously valuable forums like WUWT. As I said, the medium is evolving. Don’t paint the whole internet with the same brush.

    I agree that the web medium is “evolving”, but it has yet to reach maturity.

    At present there are two systems for publishing scientific information; i.e.
    1. The recent but accepted peer review process
    And
    2. The immature web (e.g. blog) publishing process.

    Anybody can choose which process to use when publishing. But people who wish to use the peer review purpose have no right to corrupt that process. Acceptance of corruption of any publication process would destroy both the peer review process AND evolution of any other publication processes.

    In conclusion, I repeat something I wrote on the previous thread and Anth0ny quoted above

    The Special Edition should not have been published when its peer review procedures were a clear malpractice. Whether the reasons for withdrawal of the Special Edition also warranted closure of the journal requires additional information but it seems likely.

    And it seems likely because publicity about the malpractice could demean the reputation of other journals published by the publisher.

    Richard

    PS Tallbloke, I have only just noticed your request for me to email you. I have lost your address so I ask you to email me, instead.

  168. richardscourtney says:

    Wow!
    Judging by comments, auto-moderation seems to be the norm for this thread. I can’t imagine why my post has gone in the bin; perhaps it is too long. Anyway, it is d*mned annoying!

    Richard

    [I have read the post several times and I cannot see why it fell into the moderation bin except for , perhaps, length and number of references. Either way please be patient as it doesn't happen very often at all and the process is proving itself to be efficient and very useful and is in no way an indictment on your goodself, thanks . . mod]

  169. Ripper says:

    “Turn off the Sun and then check out the correlation with climate ! To dismiss external factors is the same as worshiping the Co2 (as driver) altar.”

    That’s what it gets down to, how much does the temperature drop now when it is just turned off at nighttime?

  170. tallbloke says:

    Jo Nova has posted on the issues.

  171. Poptech says:

    tallbloke says:

    If you don’t like being called for it, don’t do it. We can all see you snipped the name and first two words of MDGNN’s comment to encourage people to think it was my comment.

    Quote where I said the comments were yours. I clearly linked to the full comments.

    So far as your claims of hypocrisy on my part go, this is actually the nub of the whole issue: There’s a big difference between ‘pal review’ which aims to get a sub-standard paper under the wire of the IPCC deadline, ‘pal reviewers’ who aim to keep sceptical papers out of mainstream journals, and ‘pal review’ which aims to improve a colleagues paper and honestly criticises it to do that (CF Jelbring’s 12 page “this is really going to piss you off” review of my main paper in PRP).

    Why do you not understand this is an unwinnable argument? Your comment from Jelbring shows that he was concerned with hurting your feelings and supports the “pal-review” argument against you.

    Your problem is you fail to differentiate between the integrity and intentions of the various actors.

    I do not believe it was malicious, which is irrelevant to the perception by those you are trying to convince. Intentions cannot be proven so do not trap yourself in unwinnable arguments.

  172. Willis Eschenbach says:

    tallbloke says:
    January 20, 2014 at 2:49 am

    Poptech says:
    January 20, 2014 at 2:20 am

    I hate being accused of intellectual dishonest and putting words in people’s mouths…

    =================

    If you don’t like being called for it, don’t do it. We can all see you snipped the name and first two words of MDGNN’s comment to encourage people to think it was my comment.

    Oh, please, Roger, this is not your usual audience, we’re not dumb on this site.

    Poptech clearly said that what he quoted were COMMENTS on your site. He neither said nor implied that they were your comments, and although perhaps you didn’t understand what he meant, I certainly wasn’t confused by it. He described exactly what he did. I assumed from what he said that none of them were your comments, although didn’t check to see if that was correct … nor (as it turns out) did I need to check.

    One thing’s for sure … they’re not my comments, I’m banned from posting on your site.

    w.

  173. tallbloke says:

    Comment left at Jo Nova’s site:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/01/science-is-not-done-by-peer-or-pal-review-but-by-evidence-and-reason/#comment-1375092

    Bravo Jo! A cracking post, well said!

    “As far as dashing “…any chance of any sort of climate skeptic or citizen science based journal coming into existence…”. I would say, No. Not at all.”

    After this debacle it will be our pleasure to wrest Pattern Recognition in Physics from the dead hand of Coppernickers control and set it up as an independent journal with open peer review along the lines Jo suggest in her excellent post.

    Lord Monckton has indicated that he will help with this, so god help anyone who tries to prevent, thwart or denigrate it. Martin Rasmussen is on thin ice legally.

    I have a feeling good honest scientists will be queuing up to submit papers to it, partly as a clear signal to the corrupt and shoddy controllers and gatekeepers of the overblown and over the hill mainstream big hitters such as ‘Nature’ and ‘Science’. They are already being boycotted by many scientists who are sick of their approach to real science and real scientists.

  174. negrum says:

    E.M.Smith says:
    January 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    There is a logic trap here, IMHO. It is the demand to do battle on an asymmetrical field.
    —-l
    This is not an attack on your morals, but I would say that this is how those whom we consider criminals and terrorists justify their actions.

    When you start lying, even your own group will stop trusting you (one of the reasons why politicians should be scrutinised very closely to keep them on the straight and narrow – theirs is a high risk job :))

    Self-discipline and good planning wins more battles than over-eagerness and subterfuge (any professional soldier/strategist on this thread is welcome to correct me if I am mistaken.)

    The cry: “I can do this because they did!” sounds like an eye for an eye, but in reality it is a sign of desperation which an efficient enemy can easily exploit. I do not recommend meekly submitting, but I would recommend following the example of the host of this blog – you could do worse.

  175. negrum says:

    Gkell1 says:
    January 19, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Nicola wrote –
    —-l
    I don’t think Nicola will respond to your points on this site. But if you post at http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/ you might get a response.

  176. TB,
    There are criticisms of what you guys did that originate in an idealized notion of the value of peer-review. Ignore them. There are criticisms of what has happened from a perspective of conflict because you are skeptics. It is a softer point, but, in the end, you should let go of these too. But, there are criticisms from a perspective of conflict of interest that stem from authors being reviewers of each others’ papers. These are not easily beaten back. Whatever else poptech and ctm might have had to say, this have a point when they say this. The outside world depends on appearances to determine merit and validity and we all know it.

    For the folks supporting the orthodox view of science, the adversarial nature of science ends with peer-review. They heave a sigh of relief when their paper is finally ‘published’. We know this is not the case and real debate, if your paper is worthy of any, begins when a paper is disseminated to the wider world. But the reason for peer-review holding some value is that some of the adversarial elements in science are built into it.

    When you publish a paper that has fellow authors listed as reviewers, it gives the appearance that the adversarial element has been taken away. It appears as though you might have been given an easy pass. Now, mind you, I’m repeating this because I believe this is the only problem area and the point is lost on the myriad of other charges and counter-charges, and the history that is present between the players. Not because I think this needs to be stressed.

    I checked the papers. There are about 12 of them. The ‘author-of-special-issue who’s also a reviewer’ thing affects only 5. So, it’s not even a ‘circle jerk’, only an arc, if you will.

    The issues are clouded by this being a ‘special issue’ of the journal. As Paul points out above, people might be surprised to know such reviewing and co-ordination between authors happens in special issues. Secondly, one of Scafetta’s papers is a review. For journals to handle invited reviews to be rigourously reviewed is just as common as where the editor mainly screens through reviewer comments and lets the article through direct, as the invited author is an expert in the area.

  177. Manfred says:

    negrum says:
    January 20, 2014 at 3:45 am
    E.M.Smith says:
    January 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    There is a logic trap here, IMHO. It is the demand to do battle on an asymmetrical field.
    —-l
    This is not an attack on your morals, but I would say that this is how those whom we consider criminals and terrorists justify their actions.

    ————————————————————————————-

    Tit for tat is a actually a friendly strategy.

    It is nice, forgiving, non-envious but also penalizes non friendly players.

    Better, it fosters the evolution of fairplay and cooperation, while altriusm and unconditional forgiving would leave the task of dealing with unfriendly players to the rest of the society.

    Though, moral judgement in the real world is always up to those who control media and history.

  178. negrum says:

    Manfred says:
    January 20, 2014 at 4:18 am

    “… Tit for tat is a actually a friendly strategy.

    It is nice, forgiving, non-envious but also penalizes non friendly players. …”
    —–l
    As long as it is a game. In real life the consequences can be a bit more serious.
    —-l
    ” … They use Pal Review and Editor “shopping”; then so ought we until such time as THEY agree to give up the tactic and return to civil behaviour. … ”
    —–l
    Not a good idea. There are other options.

  179. Steve Richards says:

    Peter Miller says:
    January 19, 2014 at 4:45 pm
    I agree with Anthony that this subject of planetary influence on the Earth’s climate is an exercise in futility.

    The only influence the planets could have is by gravity. You have to remember gravity is subject to the inverse Square Law which means that Jupiter, despite its enormous size, only has a gravitational pull on the Earth about 1% of that of our moon. And that is at its closest point to the Earth, so normally it is a fraction of 1%!!!!!
    ============================================================================
    So when Willis in his recent series of fine posts about the thermal regulation of earth is looking for very small changes, say a watt or so which could cause our warming or cooling, your Peter say a 1% change in gravitational effect is not even worth exploring!

    I feel we should all be able to agree that the earths temperature is finely balanced and that currently unknown forces cause a change from time to time. With Willis’s work on the CERES data set showing promise, why would you just junk a potential influence?

  180. Gkell1 says:

    Manfred wrote –

    “Though, moral judgement in the real world is always up to those who control media and history.”

    Maybe somebody should write this in large capital letters – ‘Its the education system, stupid !’

    If you own the education system and the peer review process is embedded in that system since the day students walk into a classroom then you ain’t coming out without a struggle. Which one of you wants to hand back your doctorates for the sake of freedom of expression ?.

    I see grown men who believe the moon spins,can’t match all the effects within one day with one rotation of the planet,can’t grasp the main arguments for the Earth’s motions as though this is the most normal of situations.

    Presently they should rename the planet ‘Dystopia’ for a people who have lost that most treasured of human gifts – common sense.

    “Nazi theory indeed specifically denies that such a thing as “the truth” exists. […] The implied objective of this line of thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If the Leader says of such and such an event, “It never happened”—well, it never happened. If he says that two and two are five—well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs […]” Orwell

  181. Poptech says:

    Another legitimate complaint, I do not see what qualifies Tallbloke [Roger Tattersall] to be an editor of a physical science journal,

    Roger Tattersall, HNC [Higher National Certificate] Mechanical and Production Engineering, Leeds Metropolitan University (1985); B.A. History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds (1988); Customer Services manager, Vital online Ltd. (2000-2004); Fundraising Coordinator, Yorkshire Air Ambulance (2006-2008); Digital Content Manager, School of Education, University of Leeds (2009-2013)

    Were editorial appointments also nepotistic?

  182. This is a very difficult one.

    Firstly, I agree with Jo Nova that peer review is too often held up as the ne-plus-ultra of scientific credibility, which is self-evidently rubbish.
    Secondly, it appears clear to me that the publisher over-reacted by shutting down the journal, and that their initial reason does seem to have more to do with the pro-sceptic position of the papers than the problems with the peer review that was carried out.

    However, those preparing the papers had agreed to play by the publisher’s rules, and once they had done so could not then decide to ignore the rules in the way they seem to have done. Claiming that alarmists (and sometimes scientists in other fields) do the same thing all the time is no excuse.

    If you agree to the rules, you must expect that they may be enforced.

  183. DocMartyn says:

    Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion.

    Julius Caesar

    Tallbloke, you not only needed to be virtuous, but needed to be seen to be virtuous. You failed.

  184. richardscourtney says:

    Jonathan Abbott:

    Your post at January 20, 2014 at 5:07 am nails it.

    Richard

  185. kim says:

    Heh, special issue, special review. Has anyone found anything specially wrong with the review?
    ============

  186. kim says:

    We decry pal review when it produces bad science, and we expound on the brilliance of the pals when it produces good science.

    I repeat a thought from an unfortunately closed thread: We discovered pal review in consensus science because it produced bad science. Those in the consensus are a group of pals, and they believe they’ve produced good science, and most of the world still believes them. So focus on that, not on this peerless group of adventurers. Until the science of this special issue is debunked, this bandwagon has the cart before the horse.

    Anthony seems embarrassed by the seeming own goal to the skeptic cause. ‘Cause’, where have I heard that word before?
    ==============

  187. Steve from Rockwood says:

    This journal was doomed to failure. If you have an idea that challenges the consensus you do not dress up like the consensus in attempt to make your case. You wander the desert with papyrus scrolls and dusty robes begging anyone to listen to you. You do this until finally someone within the consensus listens and has the presence of mind to invite you in. Once inside you become the new consensus with one foot on the head of the old consensus and the other foot on those wandering the desert begging to be heard. But you don’t start your own journal. That is what the consensus does.

  188. A C Osborn says:

    I find Anthony’s behaviour over Pattern Recognition and Cyclic Science to be quite bizarre.
    He has Banned Jeff Sharpe from posting and the discussion of this subject.
    Many others on here have rubbished the science as well.
    Jeff Sharpe has continued the work of Carl Smith who kept alive the work of Theodor Landscheidt, so let me remind you from his biography of who and what they are rubbishing.
    Theodor Landscheidt was a much respected and multi-discipline Scientist who held the following positions
    Elected member of the American Geophysical Union, the New York Academy of Sciences, the European Science and Environment Forum,
    the European Academy of Environmental Affairs, and the Wittheit zu Bremen.
    Director of the International Committee for Research in Environmental Factors of Brussels University.
    In 1992 recipient of the. Award of the Edward R. Dewey Institute of Cycle Research, California, in recognition of “outstanding accomplishments in the field of Solar Cycle Research”,
    and for “many contributions to the study of solar-terrestrial cycles.
    He worked on the nature of solar activity, the solar – terrestrial relations, geophysics, climatology and research of solar cycles,
    long-range forecasts of energetic solar eruptions, strong geomagnetic storms, drought periods, maxima and minima in global temperature anomalies, ENSO events, climate trends.
    His studies cover the long-term forecast to solar activity, strong geomagnetic storms, drought periods, minima and maxima in global temperature anomalies, climatic change.
    Some of his Cyclic Science predictions confirmed later by other scientists include
    A forecast experiment covering the period 1979 – 1985 was checked by the Space Environment Center, Boulder, Colorado, and the astronomers Gleissberg, Wohl, and Pfleiderer.
    The forecasts reached a hit rate of 90 % even though solar eruptions occur at very irregular intervals.
    A forecast in 1984 that the sunspot activity would get weaker past 1990 also turned out to be correct.
    The current 23-th sunspot cycle reached only mean level – although a panel of experts had predicted a sunspot maximum as high as in the preceding cycles.
    Dependable forecasts of the Sun’s activity, based on solar cycles, made it possible for Landscheidt to correctly predict climatic phenomena years ahead of these events.

    His forecasts include the end of the great Sahelian drought; as well as a period of drought in the U.S.A. around 1999 , confirmed by a maximum in the Palmer Drought Index;
    the last five extrema in global temperature anomalies; the last three El Niños; and the course of the last La Niña.
    Extreme River Po discharges, beginning in October 2000, were predicted 7 months before the event.

    His work continued by others also predicted that Cycle 24 would be even lower.

    So, the posters on this site are all happy to discuss Cycles, PDO, Enzo, Milankovic to name but a few.
    But rubbish the work of others trying to extend the work already done on cyclic phenomena.

  189. kim says:

    Thanks, Steve, there’s Barbara Streisand wandering the desert with papyrus pipes and dusty robes. No one will listen to her.
    ==================

  190. Poptech says:

    Fictional scenario,

    Michael Mann starts a journal called “Pattern Recognition in Physics”, brings in Gavin Schmidt and John Cook as co-editors. Mann then invites Phil Jones. All publish and review each other’s papers in a special edition called “Hockey Stick patterns in proxy records and their terrestrial impacts”. Cook says Mann gave him an honest 12-page review, starting with “I’m sorry, this is really going to piss you off, but…”.

    Skeptics believe everything and embrace this new era of peer-review science integrity! All Hockey Stick arguments triumph from this point forward. The end.

  191. Carrick says:

    Paul Matthews:

    What Anthony and many others don’t seem to realise is that it’s standard practise when there is a ‘special issue’ of a journal, often arising from a conference, for papers to be reviewed by other contributors to the same special issue.

    We’ve always been careful to get independent reviewers. I wouldn’t have been difficult here either, since there are certainly many people who are competent to review these papers.

    Just look at the papers referenced for each article, pick first authors from each of those papers that are not also publishing articles in this special issue. Not very hard.

    My guess is the real problem is few of the papers from that special issue were publishable, and had they opened up the reviews to a larger segment of the community, few or none of them would have been recommended for publication.

  192. A C Osborn says:

    Poptech says: January 20, 2014 at 5:41 am

    For the record,

    HNC [Higher National Certificate] is a 1-year vocational certificate not a degree.

    Perhaps you should be more diligent in your research, you do of course have to do the Ordinary National Certificate first, which takes 3 – 4 years.
    So you are correct that no it is not a UK degree. it is more akin to a “Practical” or “Applied” degree.

  193. A C Osborn says:

    Poptech says:
    January 20, 2014 at 6:23 am

    Fictional scenario,

    BUT, if they actually did good SCIENCE would other scientists complain?
    After all they did all that you say and much worse and hardly any other scientists complained.

  194. Poptech says:

    I tried posting the following at JoNova’s site but it is being censored,

    Since people may not be reading the comments at WUWT,

    Comments from the Talkshop joking about “Pal-Review”,

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/lucy-skywalker-graeffs-second-law-seminar/comment-page-1/#comment-25781

    “The really interesting bit [paper to be published when it gets past pal review] is that the end of ice ages is caused by massive melting of the Antarctic ice pack due to the tsi increase and a reduction of local cloud albedo, no CO2 involved.”

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/is-the-earth-a-cosmic-feather-duster/comment-page-1/#comment-25915

    “It’s a cracking read – another good scientist fails the pal-review test, with good humour and insight.”

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/emissivity-puzzle-energy-exchange-in-non-vacuums/comment-page-2/#comment-40407

    “Happy also to pass it by Wayne before publication for a bit of pal review :-) if you think that would be helpful.”

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/caption-competition-cook-mann-and-lewandowsky/comment-page-1/#comment-54323

    “Cook ‘I still can’t believe the pal review was so easy’”

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/is-this-where-the-missing-heat-is-going/comment-page-1/#comment-58621

    “I’ll leave the other errors until later, possibly a monograph to bypass the corrupt pal review process, possibly by assembling the sub arguments to peer review in other venues with a final paper that assembles it all.”

    Comment by Roger himself,

    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=12706&nid=145170&print=1&id=sTo7STin:68.83.112.211

    “Long held belief in veritable institutions such as the peer review process (more like pal review process in the case of the climate clique) need a makeover in the internet age, where a greater number of well informed and able minds can be quickly brought to bear on the fruits of new research.” – Rog Tallbloke

    WordPress Tag from Tallbloke,

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/tag/pal-review/

    [REPLY: The large number of links will automatically trigger the spam filter, as it did for WUWT. Your comment is on Jo's - Anthony ]

  195. lsvalgaard says:

    Steve Richards says:
    January 20, 2014 at 4:41 am
    You have to remember gravity is subject to the inverse Square Law which means that Jupiter, despite its enormous size, only has a gravitational pull on the Earth about 1% of that of our moon. And that is at its closest point to the Earth, so normally it is a fraction of 1%
    Tidal effects depend on the Inverse Cube of the distance, so Jupiter’s effect would be less than one tenth of one percent…

  196. John West says:

    At first glance it would appear to be a complicated issue, but it’s not. “Peer-review” is the modern equivalent to “Aristotle said”, that held back science for centuries.

    ”The Highest Authority in Science is the Data
    “The way the climate change debate will eventually be resolved is that the traditional primacy of data will be re-asserted, if only because by the middle of the century people will have noticed that it isn’t several degrees warmer.

    How else can skeptics get published if the review system is gatekeeping?

    Do you dismiss Principa Scientifica (sp?) because of its review system or because it’s bunk-um?

  197. pyromancer76 says:

    Anthony, I think there is (way) too much emphasis on “the rules”. Peer review, as it has been masquerading, fails to produce “good science”. So does “pal review”. There must be a middle way. Follow peer review when all current-scientists have their minds closed to different ideas (Svalgaard re the Sun’s influence on Earth — limited to TSI — although he seems profoundly brilliant and renowed as to the physics of the Sun) and alternative views do not get published. Tallbloke might have invited — and included — an alternative view denouncing as hogwash the science in the “Resonance” volume with the requisite principles and math, but “peer review” as it is structured today would have made this volume and any other outside the mainstream in this area unpublishable. This issue needs more thoughtfulness and more inclusiveness. Peer review has given us criminal fraud in the current era.

  198. ferdberple says:

    Dr. Morner is qualified to review this paper but he is an editor and a known skeptic with a potential conflict of interest in that he is sympathetic to Dr. Scafetta’s arguments.
    …..
    Hans Jelbring is again qualified but an author in this edition and a known skeptic with a potential conflict of interest in that he is sympathetic to your arguments.
    …..
    ===============
    I don’t agree with this point. Sympathy for one’s beliefs does not establish a conflict of interests.

    A conflict of interest exists if one is an author in the same edition, not because one is a “known skeptic”.

    In point of fact, the “known sceptic” argument is ad hominem, a logical fallacy. If true, it would mean that only skeptics can review non-skeptic papers, and only non-skeptics can review skeptic papers.

    Peer review is not replication. Hostile reviewers are appropriate for replication. They are not appropriate for peer review because nothing would ever get published, or if it did it would be so watered down as to be meaningless.

    Yes, it is a conflict for an author in the same issue to be a reviewer. No it is not a conflict simply because the reviewer holds similar opinions to the author.

  199. P Gosselin says:

    A lot to digest here. Whether skeptic or alarmist science, pal-review and gatekeeping have been the scourges of climate science. Whatever becomes of this, skepticism will remain the essential ingredient of climate science progress as without it there can be no science. And skepticism where Copernicus is based, Germany, continues facing an increasingly hostile environment.

  200. ferdberple says:

    Steve Richards says:
    January 20, 2014 at 4:41 am
    You have to remember gravity is subject to the inverse Square Law
    ==============
    The earth’s distance from the sun plays a part in determining climate, and this distance is not random. The harmonics between the planets stabilize their orbits within narrow ranges. Even the smallest of forces can over time set the largest of stars in motion.

  201. Poptech says:

    ferdberple, read this again,

    “4. A referee should be sensitive even to the appearance of a conflict of interest when the manuscript under review is closely related to the referee’s work in progress or published. If in doubt, the referee should return the manuscript promptly without review, advising the editor of the conflict of interest or bias.

  202. Hot under the collar says:

    Re – Poptech says:
    Am I missing something? Are you rubbishing the HNC/D qualification and Is a B.A. not also a degree?

    With regards the comments quoted by Poptech at 12:06 am, although you did post a link and referred to “comments from the talkshop”, the comments were in quotation marks and the fact that you redacted the name(s) of the commenter made it look as if you were quoting Tallbloke. That is certainly how I read it first time – especially in the context it was quoted. I think many others will have had the same impression. (Yes I did read Willis’s comment suggesting otherwise).

    The only thing you can accuse Tallbloke and the editors of doing wrong is not realising the perception of ‘friendly peer review’. What is at issue is far more important – censorship (no articles against IPCC “settled science”) and gatekeeping. Getting sympathetic like minded scientists to peer review your work is a side issue.

    Don’t turn it into character assassination.

  203. On one thing I agree with Anthony. This is a mess.
    Anthony only mistook that it is him who is making this mess.

    Let us see this comment from
    Willis Eschenbach says: January 20, 2014 at 12:58 am to Roger (tallbroke)
    “Finally, as I said above, you don’t want Jelbring and Scafetta reviewing your papers. You want reviewers who don’t believe in your theses, not your co-authors on the Special Edition who obviously think the sun shines out of your claims.”

    First, I did not review Roger’s papers. Second, according to Willis the perfect “reviewer” must be somebody who does not believe in the thesis of the work!

    Second, Willis statement is nonsense. Those who do not believe in the thesis of the work cannot serve as fair reviewers of a work. On the contrary, they should demonstrate their presumed “superior knowledge” by properly writing articles confuting the thesis advocated in the paper.

    I am sorry, Anthony. But you, Willis & company are making a huge mess here. My impression is that you simply do not understand the purpose of the peer review process and how it works or should work. Nor you understand the difference between peer and pal review.

    PRP was shut down because of one single sentence questioning the AGW projections of the IPCC, not because there was some problems with the reviews or because there was some problem with the planetary theory (as Anthony falsely claimed).

    The publisher is cristal clear on the point. He read the sentence on the AGW IPCC projections, He yelled: “Heresy!” and burned the journal.

    No errors have been found in the peer review process either. Only an insinuation such as that Morner used his relatives as reviewers (the accusation of nepotism), which is actually a false claim, was added in a second time to fool the ignorants with some smoke. And Anthony fell in the trap.

    Read JoNova:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/01/science-is-not-done-by-peer-or-pal-review-but-by-evidence-and-reason/

    Read Molt:
    http://motls.blogspot.com/2014/01/agw-inquisition-burns-journal-pattern.html

    Read my comments:
    http://notrickszone.com/2014/01/19/scientists-react-sharply-to-copernicus-publishing-censorship-of-alternative-scientific-explanations-do-you-realize-what-you-have-done/

  204. AJB says:

    Steve Richards says:
    January 20, 2014 at 4:41 am

    Some numbers: http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2000/ast04may_1m
    But not forgetting SAROS: http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEsaros/SEsaros.html

  205. ferdberple says:

    The Voyagers fly-byes of Jupiter and Saturn, and the unexpectedly intricate structures we found in the rings, demonstrated beyond any doubt how limited our understanding of orbital mechanics really is. We are great at predicting the past. The future however remains a problem.

  206. The peer review process simply passes papers in any particular field before a college of cardinals whose job it is prevent the publication of ideas which are on the Index of the current consensus paradigm .These are often the same small group who decide the allocation of academic appointments and grants. For fifty years this process has retarded scientific progress in many areas not just in climate science- cosmology springs to mind as a particularly appalling example.
    The rise of the blogosphere and arXiv has subverted the review process. Blogs like WUWT are successful because they are more open to heterodox views. Moderation is best confined to snipping ad hominem attacks on other peoples motivations or political views or even qualifications which are irrelevant to the ideas and data presented in any serious scientific discussion. Let the data speak for itself. There is absolutely no reason why the PRP papers should not have been published in the way they were. The decision to close the Journal is simple censorship of ideas with which the publishers disagree and nothing more .The notion that the peer review process didn’t conform to someone’s notion of what is appropriate is just a face saving excuse and nothing more.

  207. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    I must say I am surprised with the ease with which people are classed as ‘skeptic’ and ‘alarmist’ as it they were two churches of mutual misbelief. I am skeptical that everyone has to be plunked into these two groups.

    @tallbloke says:
    >>Occasional planetary alignments will not make a rat’s poo worth of difference to their gravitational impact on the Earth and less than a cockroach’s poo’s difference on our climate.

    That is a sort of straw man and it is not what the papers are about.

    >If you look on wikipedia for ‘planetary orbital resonance’, you’ll find a harmonic beat of alignments is capable of transferring enough energy to shift gas giants into new orbits, or eject smaller planets from the system altogether.

    If you measure only the energy that radiates from a stimulated atom you might conclude that practical radio communication is impossible over long distances. Radio communication does not rely on a single emission of a photon, it relies on resonance.

    Resonant systems can easily create physical effects that at first glance seem impossible. One is the well described effect of entire neighbourhoods sinking suddenly and completely into the ground (San Diego is at risk of this) when an earthquake has the right frequency profile. On the face of it the forces are far too small to have enough power to drop all the houses into the sandy ground. It happens because of resonances and it is perfectly reasonable to investigate any other interesting facts of nature involving them.

    If find the claims about there not be way to transfer energy between resonant orbital bodies tedious. Ever heard of the mechanism is shepherding? Good grief.

    The solar system is filled with examples of resonance from the placement of the planets in their orbits to their size and rotation. The solar system is replete with beat frequencies. The paper discussing the timing of D-O events based on super-tidal peaks was very interesting.

    I observe several objectionable clusters of statements above:
    1 – People should literally not be allowed to publish journal articles on things that involve ‘wiggle matching’ (unless they are matching pro-CO2 argument wiggles or are on the ‘right side’ of the solar physics community).
    2 – People should repeatedly be told that correlation is not causation as if we are all children, because that is an effective dismissing of discoveries of previously unrecognized correlations for which there are not already comprehensive, peer-reviewed complete physical explanations (as if such an explanation would ever get past hostile peer review in the first place).
    3 – People should not be allowed to have their papers reviewed by others who agree in principle with the core arguments – if they involve resonance systems (but it is OK for CO2-induced AGW claims and many, many other fields of study).
    4 – People should be held to ‘standards’ that are different if they are ‘skeptical’ – whatever the topic, but especially climate topics – because people labeled (by ‘warmists’) ‘skeptical’ should not really have the same rights, privileges and opportunities as ‘normal people’ (this is a core element of a vile process called ‘othering’ which is in strong evidence at certain CAGW promoting groups/websites).
    5 – People should realise there are different classes of people: scientists, skeptics, real skeptics, and a target population of at-risk know-nothing tax payers and beneficiaries that are at least influence-able.

    All these statements resonate poorly with me.

    Number 1 is dismissive hand waving and evidence of fear, not knowledge. It is priestcraft.
    Number 2 was used against all sorts of people including Landsheidt but never Prof Rhodes Fairbridge because he was way too famous and qualified, even though the message was exactly the same.
    Number 3 is used against authors of papers on some subjects but not others – noting as well the sensible mix of opinions above that are settling on realism and fairness.
    Number 4 is used by the CAGW-promoting community against anything that threatens to expose the rubbish that passes for peer-reviewed climate alarmist articles. It is used shamelessly.
    Number 5 is clearly shown by the management of the Journal in this case. The ease with which authors and reviewers are lumped into ‘classes’ of human being of different worths is frightening. It is a clear case of othering and delineating it would make a good social science paper. How on earth could the meme that there exists a sub-class of human called ‘skeptics’ that are not to be treated with the same deference as others, whether ‘scientist’ or not, come to be so easily applied in a important conversation about ‘ethics’! The hypocrisy is astonishing. Now we have ethics for skeptics and Ethics for scientists? Wow.

  208. michael hart says:

    Anthony, I hope that when I contributed approximately 20 suggestions/comments to your invited review of your submitted paper headlined “New study shows half of the global warming in the USA is artificial”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/29/press-release-2/ ,
    that you didn’t consider my efforts part of an organized cabal of climate-skeptics trying to ‘game the system’.

    REPLY: No of course not. We looked at every suggestion, we’ve embraced many. The whole dataset and the paper has been reworked as a result. – Anthony

  209. Hot under the collar says:

    Comment at 7:36 am in moderation?

  210. papiertigre says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    January 19, 2014 at 10:54 pm
    papiertigre says:
    January 19, 2014 at 10:45 pm
    Pretty sure the solar wind only affects the charged particles. Most particles are swept away by the light. Anyhow I get what you mean.
    No, not by light. By the magnetic field of the solar wind.
    But the Sun by whatever means can only sweep these things so far. After they have gone that far, then the charged and soon to be charged particles become a dead weight drag on the magnetosphere.
    No they don’t as they move away from the Sun faster than the escape speed, and are thus decoupled [cut loose] from the Sun.

    Let us check your supposition, that all particles are pushed away by the solar wind.
    Picture of the Hale Bopp comet.
    Notice that it has two tails, both trailing off in different directions. One of those tails, the bright white one, is made up of neutrally charged materials that are pushed away from the head of the comet by the pressure of photons of light. This is called radiation pressure. The physical manifestation of individual photons impacting and bouncing off solid material. Satellites are blown off course by it.
    Read more about it here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_sail

    The other tail, the whispy bluish one, is made up of electrically charged ions, and is pushed by the Sun’s magnetic field in a slightly different direction. The energy it takes to drag these ions off in the other direction is imparted to the Sun by slowing the rotation of the Solar Magnetic field.
    Which in turn manifests as a 9 day lag in the suns polar regions.

    Tadoocha.

  211. lsvalgaard says:

    papiertigre says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:08 am
    Let us check your supposition, that all particles are pushed away by the solar wind.
    All charged particles which are the ones involved in magnetic phenomena which were the starting point of your question.

    The energy it takes to drag these ions off in the other direction is imparted to the Sun by slowing the rotation of the Solar Magnetic field. Which in turn manifests as a 9 day lag in the suns polar regions.
    No, the energy comes from the solar wind being very hot [million degrees near the sun] and has nothing to do with the ‘lag’ of the polar regions.

  212. Adam Gallon says:

    This discussion seems to have lost sight of a couple of issues. The first being the original reason given for killing the journal, that it questioned the IPCC orthodoxy.
    The “nepotism” (Pal-revue?) aspect being introduced later.
    The first “reason” is entirely reprehensible, the second should, surely, have been raised when revuers were suggested.

  213. Louis Hooffstetter says:

    Kudos to the editors & owners for nipping incestuous pal review at the bud!
    We’re all glad to see this problem exposed and eliminated whenever & wherever possible.

    Now when will ‘The Journal Nature’, JGR, EOS, Nature, Climate Change, and the dozens of other incestuous pal review climate journals terminate themselves for repeatedly doing the exact same thing?

  214. Keitho says:

    Indeed, it will always be the data that speaks. Unfortunately at the moment we only have the adjusted data but the real data is trying to get out. Just a little longer to wait.

  215. papiertigre says:

    Now you’re coming back to earth. All charged particles – that’s an important modifier.

    But still you’re trying to blame me for your mistake.

    No, the energy comes from the solar wind being very hot [million degrees near the sun] and has nothing to do with the ‘lag’ of the polar regions.

    If it were due to heat there would be only one tail on the comet.

  216. LamontT says:

    Tallbloke and the others rushing to argue against this article have completely missed the point of Anthony’s post here. Nothing in this article is about the science of the journal or it’s papers. There no discussion or criticism of the actual journal or papers in this post.

    What is being criticized is something different. We as skeptics have been critical of the AGW proponents use of pal review in place of peer review as poor science. What this means is that if we want to encourage good science than we can not engage in the very things we criticize about the AGW sides actions. If pal review is bad then it is bad and we should never ever engage in it ourselves.

    There has been not commentary by Anthony about the actual science of the papers or the special edition of the journal. Yet I see that is what people are racing to defend.

    The editors of the journal had a responsibility to abide by the appearance of good science at the very least. As critics of the consensus any opening provided by them could be used as an attack without even bothering to actually address the papers involved.

    The editors made a mistake. They either should have made the effort to find independent reviewers or they should not have used peer review at all. It is as simple as that.

    The entire point here is that we as skeptics must hold ourselves to a higher standard than the AGW side does. Just because they use poor procedures that let them past an appearance of approval on their papers does not mean we as skeptics should do so. What is interesting is all the people who don’t want to admit this truth.

  217. lsvalgaard says:

    papiertigre says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:34 am
    All charged particles – that’s an important modifier.
    That is the reason Enceladus can create radio noise from Saturn, so those charged particles are the ones to watch.

    If it were due to heat there would be only one tail on the comet.
    The solar wind is due to the high temperature in the sun’s atmosphere. The creation of the ion tail is due to the magnetic solar wind hitting the comet and there is indeed only one ion tail. The dust tail is irrelevant here.

  218. LamontT says:

    ” michael hart says:
    January 20, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Anthony, I hope that when I contributed approximately 20 suggestions/comments to your invited review of your submitted paper headlined “New study shows half of the global warming in the USA is artificial”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/29/press-release-2/ ,
    that you didn’t consider my efforts part of an organized cabal of climate-skeptics trying to ‘game the system’.”
    ———————————————————————————————

    No I would think not. It is very clear that Anthony is not attempting to engage in a mask of peer review. Instead he is running an open review process where anyone can come along and provide input before the final paper is published. It is an alternate and very probably better approach to review than the typically incestuous peer review favored by most journals.

  219. Poptech says:

    John West says: Do you dismiss Principa Scientifica (sp?) because of its review system or because it’s bunk-um?

    I dismiss it because of it’s review system and do not consider it a real journal. For this reason I do not include their papers on my list.

  220. papiertigre says:

    Another thing,
    No they (dust particles -pt) don’t as they move away from the Sun faster than the escape speed, and are thus decoupled [cut loose] from the Sun.

    If that were true there wouldn’t be a zodiacal cloud in orbit around the Sun.

  221. lsvalgaard says:

    papiertigre says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:46 am
    “No they (dust particles -pt) don’t as they move away from the Sun faster than the escape speed, and are thus decoupled [cut loose] from the Sun.”
    If that were true there wouldn’t be a zodiacal cloud in orbit around the Sun.

    You are confusing the dust particles with the solar wind charged particles. It is the latter than move away very fast from the Sun, like 400 km/sec.
    And BTW, everything I tell you is true.

  222. richardscourtney says:

    Crispin in Waterloo:

    At January 20, 2014 at 8:03 am you say

    4 – People should be held to ‘standards’ that are different if they are ‘skeptical’ – whatever the topic, but especially climate topics – because people labeled (by ‘warmists’) ‘skeptical’ should not really have the same rights, privileges and opportunities as ‘normal people’ (this is a core element of a vile process called ‘othering’ which is in strong evidence at certain CAGW promoting groups/websites).

    NO!
    That is turning the issue on its head!

    Everybody should abide by the applicable ethics.
    The PRP journal was withdrawn because its participants did not abide by the stated ethics.

    Everybody should abide by the applicable ethics.
    The ‘Team’ has not obeyed the ethics, but so what?

    Many criminals get away with crime but that does not imply that the acts of caught criminals should get a ‘free pass’.

    Richard

  223. papiertigre says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:39 am

    That is the reason Enceladus can create radio noise from Saturn, so those charged particles are the ones to watch.

    There’s another radio signal from Saturn which is caused by the planet’s magnetic field winding up like a spring. At a regular interval the spring comes un sprung sending out a radio pulse. It’s this radio pulse that is used, or maybe I should say formerly used since Enceladus throws it off, to measure the rotation of Saturn’s magnetic field.

  224. lsvalgaard says:

    papiertigre says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:56 am
    There’s another radio signal from Saturn which is caused by the planet’s magnetic field winding up like a spring.
    all rotating magnets emit radio noise, but that has nothing to do with the original question.

  225. Poptech says:

    Hot under the collar says: Am I missing something? Are you rubbishing the HNC/D qualification and Is a B.A. not also a degree?

    No, I am making the factually accurate statement that and HNC (not HND) is not equivalent to a university degree. You are free to show me where this is not true. While a B.A. is a degree, his is not a relevant degree to be an editor for a physical science journal.

    With regards the comments quoted by Poptech at 12:06 am, although you did post a link and referred to “comments from the talkshop”, the comments were in quotation marks and the fact that you redacted the name(s) of the commenter made it look as if you were quoting Tallbloke. That is certainly how I read it first time – especially in the context it was quoted. I think many others will have had the same impression. (Yes I did read Willis’s comment suggesting otherwise).

    The context was “Comments from the Talkshop”, which is correct. I made no claim they were Rogers and directly linked to each one. I intentionally did not want to post his quote but then I got falsely accused of intellectual dishonesty. The links are there so there should be no confusion.

    The only thing you can accuse Tallbloke and the editors of doing wrong is not realising the perception of ‘friendly peer review’. What is at issue is far more important – censorship (no articles against IPCC “settled science”) and gatekeeping. Getting sympathetic like minded scientists to peer review your work is a side issue.

    My argument has nothing to do with your strawman. The censorship argument is meaningless when you abuse the peer-review process and can be so easily accused of “pal-review”.

    What part of, YOU CANNOT SPIN THIS, IT IS AN UNWINNABLE ARGUMENT do you not understand?

  226. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Shub Niggurath says:
    January 20, 2014 at 4:08 am

    When you publish a paper that has fellow authors listed as reviewers, it gives the appearance that the adversarial element has been taken away. It appears as though you might have been given an easy pass. Now, mind you, I’m repeating this because I believe this is the only problem area and the point is lost on the myriad of other charges and counter-charges, and the history that is present between the players. Not because I think this needs to be stressed.

    I checked the papers. There are about 12 of them. The ‘author-of-special-issue who’s also a reviewer’ thing affects only 5. So, it’s not even a ‘circle jerk’, only an arc, if you will.

    Shub, thanks for that. I agree with all of your points except the final one. Perhaps you could let us know who were the reviewers for each paper. Although some of them are identified, I couldn’t find names for many of them. You say authors-as-reviewers only occurs in five of the papers … so who were the anonymous reviewers?

    Me, I think the solution to all of this is sunlight. Do things as normal for peer review, except double-blinded, where the reviewers don’t know the author’s identity.

    But when you finally publish the paper, publish the reviews and the names of the reviewers as “Supplementary Online Information”. If one of the reviewers thought the paper shouldn’t be published, that’s important information, he might know something. If one of the reviewers was opposed to a particular claim made in the paper, she might be right about that particular issue, again, that’s important information. Finally, if the reviewers are giving the author a free pass, that’s important too.

    Regards,

    w.

  227. lsvalgaard says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:04 am
    Do things as normal for peer review, except double-blinded, where the reviewers don’t know the author’s identity.
    Unworkable, as the most quoted references in almost any paper is by the author[s] themselves. This is not always bad because an author’s work often builds on his earlier works so such self-referencing is often necessary.

  228. papiertigre says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:50 am

    You are confusing the dust particles with the solar wind charged particles. It is the latter than move away very fast from the Sun, like 400 km/sec.
    And BTW, everything I tell you is true.

    Dust particles, whether charged or neutral, have mass. That mass effects the Sun gravitationally.
    The charged particles also have magnetic effects superimposed on top of the gravitation effect.
    Inertia is overcome by the rotation of the Sun’s magnetic field, resulting in the second comet tail.
    That inertia drags the magnetic field, slowing it down in relation to the sun equatorial rotation rate.
    Thus the 9 day lag.

  229. lsvalgaard says:

    papiertigre says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:13 am
    Dust particles, whether charged or neutral, have mass…. etc
    No, that is not how it works. You are wrong on every assertion.
    Here is some info on comets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet
    and on the solar wind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_wind

  230. negrum says:

    richardscourtney says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:51 am:

    ” … Everybody should abide by the applicable ethics.
    The ‘Team’ has not obeyed the ethics, but so what?

    Many criminals get away with crime but that does not imply that the acts of caught criminals should get a ‘free pass’.”
    —-l
    This is exactly what they are trying to do without stating it outright. I think E.M SMith was one of the first to try the angle, now they are all going for it. The other technique is to downplay the seriousness of the matter. The two approaches however, are not compatible.

    It puts me in mind of worms wriggling on a hook of their own making

  231. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Poptech says:
    January 20, 2014 at 5:02 am

    Another legitimate complaint, I do not see what qualifies Tallbloke [Roger Tattersall] to be an editor of a physical science journal,

    Poptech, while I agree with much of your position on this whole question, I was unaware that there was some kind of entry test for the post of Editor, some kind of intellectual GREE, the Graduate Record Editors Exam.

    This is particularly true in climate science. Climate involves 6 main subsystems (ocean, atmosphere, cryosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, electrosphere), each of which contains a number of sub-disciplines. I see no one who is a master of all of those, so that’s out. That means, well, what you need is someone with a broad rather than a deep knowledge. For example, although the doings of a particular kind of microbe at ocean vents might affect the CO2 content of the ocean, and although ocean CO2 content is currently a hot topic in climate science … does being a PhD world renowned expert on that microbe qualify someone to be the editor of a climate science journal?

    Napoleon famously said that “I would rather have a general who was lucky than one who was good.”

    Me, I’d rather have an editor who is curious, honest, and inquisitive than one who has specialized knowledge. No editor will know the intricate details of every paper that crosses her desk, but that’s OK. The editor has reviewers for the specialized knowledge.

    w.

  232. negrum says:

    It puts me in mind of worms wriggling on a hook of their own making, but at the very least it provokes thought.

  233. Amatør1 says:

    Feel free to be as upset as you wish. – Anthony

    This kind of dogmatism does no good. I have my doubts about the correctness of these theories, but I will fight until the end to defend their right to publish.

    REPLY: If you read my essay, you’ll see clearly that I state I have no issues with the publication of the papers. If the only reason was that they wrote a defiant sentence against the IPCC, then I’d be quite up in arms about the whole affair as being unfair and arbitrary. But, that wasn’t the only reason, and the email campaign against the journal wasn’t started by that one sentence, it was started due to the pal-review issue.

    It’s the process of publication that’s the issue, yet these folks are brushing aside the fact that there are published rules for the process, and they broke them, then they got called out by the journal. Now matter how you try, you can’t argue around that fact. That’s why I say “feel free to be as upset as you wish” It’s wasted energy.

    Trying to rationalize that their work was above the rules is just ridiculous.

    We routinely admonish “the team” for their exploits in pal-review. We should apply the same standard to our own people who play in the peer-review sandbox. – Anthony

  234. Willis Eschenbach says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    January 20, 2014 at 6:51 am

    Steve Richards says:
    January 20, 2014 at 4:41 am

    You have to remember gravity is subject to the inverse Square Law which means that Jupiter, despite its enormous size, only has a gravitational pull on the Earth about 1% of that of our moon. And that is at its closest point to the Earth, so normally it is a fraction of 1%

    Tidal effects depend on the Inverse Cube of the distance, so Jupiter’s effect would be less than one tenth of one percent…

    Thanks, Leif, I was going to point that out but you beat me to it … and phrased it more nicely than I would have.

    w.

  235. Poptech says:

    Hot under the collar says: Don’t turn it into character assassination.

    I’m not but Roger chose to say to me, “…you know jack sh1t about astrophysics, so why would we care?”. I have said repeatedly that I do not want to but I can keep escalating if necessary. You want to keep arguing an indefensible position, I can keep escalating.

  236. lsvalgaard says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:24 am
    “Tidal effects depend on the Inverse Cube of the distance, so Jupiter’s effect would be less than one tenth of one percent…”
    Thanks, Leif, I was going to point that out but you beat me to it … and phrased it more nicely than I would have.

    A more accurate calculation shows that Jupiter’s effect is only 1/50,000 of the Moon’s.

  237. Poptech says:

    Willis, as with most jobs they post required qualifications,

    Assistant Editor – Nature Methods
    http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/jobs/364143-assistant-editor-nature-methods

    Applicants should have completed a Ph.D. in the biological sciences. Post-doctoral experience in biology is highly desirable.

    Editor, Trends in Cognitive Sciences
    http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/jobs/358965-editor-trends-in-cognitive-sciences

    The minimum qualification is a Ph.D. in neuroscience, cognitive science or a related field. Post-doctoral training is an advantage.

  238. RACookPE1978 says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:09 am (replying to)

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:04 am
    Do things as normal for peer review, except double-blinded, where the reviewers don’t know the author’s identity.

    Unworkable, as the most quoted references in almost any paper is by the author[s] themselves. This is not always bad because an author’s work often builds on his earlier works so such self-referencing is often necessary.

    Rather, instead of a double-blind peer-review, require a double-exposure peer-review.

    1. During the edit-and-rewrite period, reveal NEITHER the writer’s name NOR the reviewers’ names to either party.
    2. Use 3- 5 reviewers, but allow (or even require!) publication even if one reviewer strongly disagrees with the paper.
    3. Allow that reviewer to publish his/her disagreements simultaneously with the original paper
    4. At publication, print the reviewers’ names on the paper below the authors.
    5. Professionally, “award” “recognize” and “reward” reviewing scientific papers just as strongly – if not more so – as “writing” scientific papers. Now, a person could spend 90 days of the years reviewing several dozen papers …. and get nothing.

    That needs to change.

    When a paper is “peer-reviewed” by incompetents or by “pals” or by fellow-writers (or by administrative sub-ordinates, rivals, or superiors, its worth is “invisibly” tarnished. But it is tarnished nonetheless. When (if) a published paper is debunked in open literature, the reviewers MUST also be also exposed to public scrutiny and criticism. When a paper is publicized with public praise for innovation and world-important findings, its reviewers ALSO deserve recognition for their role and their time.

  239. davidmhoffer says:

    richardscourtney;
    Indeed, he seems to have admitted he went too far when at January 19, 2014 at 9:15 pm he replied to a rebuttal from Poptech by writing
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    If I implied that the new paradigm is ready to go, then yes, I went too far. It isn’t ready to go and considerable experimentation is going to have to occur before an effective process that leverages the internet emerges.

    That said, the old paradigm, the peer review process as developed for paper based communication is quite dead. It is like your point about the last COP conference in which the CAGW meme was effectively killed, but its corpse still walks among us. It will continue to walk among us for decades to come.

    I spent much of my career moving large organizations from paper based procedural systems to electronic ones. The regular starting point was always to take the paper based procedures, document them, and make them electronic. It was a ridiculous thing to do since it embedded all the limitations of a paper based system into the new electronic system, preventing the additional value of an electronic system from being realized. But that’s what most organizations did anyway. It took years, sometimes decades, for large organizations to adopt new procedures that were predicated upon an electronic medium, often shortening their administrative procedures from weeks to hours.

    Old habits die hard, and they last well beyond their original reason for existing. I don’t know what the next generation of peer review predicated upon the existence of the internet is going to look like, I only know that it is just starting to emerge. I am quite confident that that the old one is dead, it simply walks among us though it is alive and will continue to do so for a very long time.

  240. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Nicola Scafetta says:
    January 20, 2014 at 7:37 am

    … PRP was shut down because of one single sentence questioning the AGW projections of the IPCC, not because there was some problems with the reviews or because there was some problem with the planetary theory (as Anthony falsely claimed).

    Nicola, was there some part of the following rule that you, the Editor, and your co-authors didn’t understand?

    4. A referee should be sensitive even to the appearance of a conflict of interest when the manuscript under review is closely related to the referee’s work in progress or published. If in doubt, the referee should return the manuscript promptly without review, advising the editor of the conflict of interest or bias.

    It’s Copernicus’s journal and their rules, so stop bitching and whining about how you broke the rules and got swatted down. What did you expect, a pat on the back for breaking their rules and kudos for packing the referee box and turning peer-review into pal review?

    My friend, you had an unparalleled chance, one it’s possible I’ll never have, and you pissed it down the drain. You get no sympathy from me, not one bit. All you had to do was choose independent reviewers and your ideas would have gained prominence. The ideas would still be wrong … but at least they would have been prominently wrong.

    Instead, you did your best Samson imitation and brought the temple down on your own heads … and now you want to claim that you were treated krool by the AGW meanies, the ones who gave you your own journal issue … not impressed.

    Sorry, Nicola, but it’s just as bad when you do it as when the AGW activists do it. Actually, it’s worse when you do it, because then I and other skeptical folks get tarred with it.

    Let me repeat for you Poptech’s imaginary scenario from above:

    Michael Mann starts a journal called “Pattern Recognition in Physics”, brings in Gavin Schmidt and John Cook as co-editors. Mann then invites Phil Jones. All publish and review each other’s papers in a special edition called “Hockey Stick patterns in proxy records and their terrestrial impacts”. Cook says Mann gave him an honest 12-page review, starting with “I’m sorry, this is really going to piss you off, but…”.

    Skeptics believe everything and embrace this new era of peer-review science integrity! All Hockey Stick arguments triumph from this point forward. The end.

    Nicola, you are many things, but you are no fool. Think about Poptech’s scenario, and consider your own actions. Because from the perspective of the outside world, you’ve just played out Poptech’s scenario, and now you want sympathy …

    w.

  241. Can anyone here tell me why it is useful to prevent the publication of papers via the peer review process? Why do editors think that readers are unable to judge the quality of papers for themselves.? What has happened is that editors of Science and Nature by favouring and indeed often propagandizing the establishment climate point of view, often by editorial comment ,have devalued the standing of their Journals as reliable sources of objective science information. They are acting more like Discover Magazine ,Scientific American ,National Geographic or especially New Scientist which are increasingly seen as mere propaganda outlets for the establishment viewpoints..

  242. Zeke says:

    It is not strictly true that the PRP was withdrawn because the participants did not abide by the stated ethics. It was withdrawn for the following reasons in order given:

    1. “We were alarmed by the authors’ second implication stating “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project”.

    2. “Before the journal was launched, we had a long discussion regarding its topics. The aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines. PRP was never meant to be a platform for climate sceptics.”

    3. “In addition to our doubts about the scientific content of PRP, we also received information about potential misconduct during the review process.” emph added

  243. lsvalgaard says:

    RACookPE1978 says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:40 am
    1. During the edit-and-rewrite period, reveal NEITHER the writer’s name NOR the reviewers’ names to either party.
    In 9 of 10 cases the author will be obvious [highest number of references].

    2. Use 3- 5 reviewers, but allow (or even require!) publication even if one reviewer strongly disagrees with the paper.
    It is hard enough to get 1-2.

    3. Allow that reviewer to publish his/her disagreements simultaneously with the original paper
    All reviews must be published with the papers. I often do that on mine, e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/swsc130003.pdf

    4. At publication, print the reviewers’ names on the paper below the authors.
    Often done.

    5. Professionally, “award” “recognize” and “reward” reviewing scientific papers just as strongly – if not more so – as “writing” scientific papers. Now, a person could spend 90 days of the years reviewing several dozen papers …. and get nothing.
    Many journals do that already.

  244. kim says:

    Sittin’ onna dock of the bay.
    Alla fish are bitin’ today.
    ==================

  245. papiertigre says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:58 am
    papiertigre says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:56 am
    There’s another radio signal from Saturn which is caused by the planet’s magnetic field winding up like a spring.
    all rotating magnets emit radio noise, but that has nothing to do with the original question.

    Let’s go back to the original question. Some of the stuff spewed out of Enceladus’ geysers goes into orbit around Saturn. This stuff doesn’t make much difference gravity wise because it’s tiny.
    As it sits out there in orbit sometimes a solar wind particle impacts with the Enceladus stuff stripping an electron off, making an Enceladus stuff ion. That ion is caught up by Saturn’s magnetic field, and like an ice skater’s arm the further the ion is from Saturn the more drag it will have. This causes the magnetic field to rotate slower than the planet.

    My original question is why wouldn’t this mechanism operate for the solar magnetic field?
    Then I went and looked. Low and behold there is a 9 day drag on the Sun’s poles.

    You answered that the solar wind blows all of these particles away at escape velocity so they can have no impact.

    I showed a picture of a comet with a clearly visible diversion between an ion tail and a non charged tail – obvious impact.

    Little bit later it occured to me that if the ion tail were moving away at escape velocity there would be no Zodaical light – i.e. dust particles in orbit, slowly dragged along by the Sun’s mag field to their ultimate fate, impacting one of the Sun’s poles.

    So that’s three examples of ,
    a) the solar wind not blowing these particles away at escape velocity and
    b) a massive impact on the Sun’s rotation.

    You have to come back with something beside, “Everything I tell you is true!”

  246. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Nicola Scafetta says:
    January 20, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Let us see this comment from
    Willis Eschenbach says: January 20, 2014 at 12:58 am to Roger (tallbroke)

    “Finally, as I said above, you don’t want Jelbring and Scafetta reviewing your papers. You want reviewers who don’t believe in your theses, not your co-authors on the Special Edition who obviously think the sun shines out of your claims.”

    First, I did not review Roger’s papers. Second, according to Willis the perfect “reviewer” must be somebody who does not believe in the thesis of the work!

    Second, Willis statement is nonsense. Those who do not believe in the thesis of the work cannot serve as fair reviewers of a work. On the contrary, they should demonstrate their presumed “superior knowledge” by properly writing articles confuting the thesis advocated in the paper.

    Nicola, you say that “Those who do not believe in the thesis of the work cannot serve as fair reviewers of a work”. I fail to see the logic in this. If someone is your adherent and devotee, and they think that the sun shines out of your claims, they would make a terrible reviewer. If they are your friend and co-author, same thing. What’s the point in having your work refereed by someone who is already convinced that you are right?

    A reviewer needs to be what I would term “properly skeptical”. For example, if there are extraordinary claims, the reviewer should see if there is extraordinary evidence. Nor should they believe a word that the author says. They should make sure that there is backup for the claims, in the form of math, logic, citations, computer code, and the like.

    Peer review is set up to be an adversarial system, with the reviewers on one side, the author on the other side, and the editor to make the final decisions. If you pack the review box with people who believe your theses, if referees turn out to be your co-authors, if you rope in reviewers who already think your ideas are right, that’s called “pal review” … and that’s exactly what it APPEARS that you did.

    And as Caesar’s wife found out before you, and as you are finding out now, and AS THE RULES SPECIFICALLY STATED, you needed to avoid the appearance of impropriety … and you failed spectacularly in that regard.

    Again I say, it’s wrong when either side stuffs the ballot box.

    w.

  247. Zeke says:

    The study of the Golden Ratio and Fibonacci patterns in nature have a long and venerable history. The proportion, symmetry and beauty of all nature seems to reflect order, and invite numerical and philosophical contemplation and hypothesizing. Here is Vihart’s Doodling in Math, showing examples of Fibonacci spirals in nature, great for kids too:

    I do enjoy the shape of pinwheel galaxies, and I suppose there are mathematical/proportional reasons why it is aesthetically pleasing. Architecture, art and sculpture utilize these same proportions. Ya gotta love people who love the Golden Ratio. They are one of the spices of life.

  248. richardscourtney says:

    davidmhoffer:

    Thankyou for your response to me in your post at January 20, 2014 at 10:42 am.

    Your post contains much ‘good stuff’ so I provide this link to it for those who missed it.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/19/the-copernicus-prp-fiasco-predictable-and-preventable/#comment-1542408

    And I suspect our views have more in common about peer review than your reply suggests. But I stand by my statement (in my post you have answered) which says

    I agree that the web medium is “evolving”, but it has yet to reach maturity.

    At present there are two systems for publishing scientific information; i.e.
    1. The recent but accepted peer review process
    And
    2. The immature web (e.g. blog) publishing process.

    Anybody can choose which process to use when publishing. But people who wish to use the peer review process have no right to corrupt that process. Acceptance of corruption of any publication process would destroy both the peer review process AND evolution of any other publication processes.

    Richard

  249. Dikran Marsupial says:

    Dr Norman Page says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:48 am

    “Can anyone here tell me why it is useful to prevent the publication of papers via the peer review process? Why do editors think that readers are unable to judge the quality of papers for themselves.?”

    Because the readers don’t have the time to read flawed papers to find out that they are flawed, the time available to read and understand the really good papers is short enough already! Also many readers are students (and others) who haven’t yet acquired the skills to spot the flaws and who might be mislead and end up wasting their time pursuing a line of research that will lead nowhere. Peer review should be regarded by the reader as only a basic sanity check that verifies that the paper is plausible, NOT that it is correct or useful.

    The real value of peer-review however, is to the author as (a) it helps to prevent them publishing mistakes that they will regret later and (b) the comments help improve the paper and make them more likely to be understood and appreciated by the intended audience. Good researchers take critical peer reviews very seriously, if you can’t refute their criticisms, it is in your own best interests for your paper not to be published until you can. The reviewers that give you a hard time are the ones that are doing you a favour.

  250. Anthony Watts says:

    Dikran, on the real value of peer review we agree.

  251. John West says:

    Oops! I forgot to link my quote above:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2012/04/the-highest-authority-in-science-is-the-data/

    Poptech says:
    ”I dismiss it because of it’s review system” [sic]

    So, do you dismiss all the science that came before “peer-reviewed” journals?

    ”The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than just a crude means of discovering the acceptability—not the validity—of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.” — Richard Horton

  252. davidmhoffer says:

    richardscourtney;
    Anybody can choose which process to use when publishing. But people who wish to use the peer review process have no right to corrupt that process.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    On this we are in 100% agreement.

  253. Willis Eschenbach says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Do things as normal for peer review, except double-blinded, where the reviewers don’t know the author’s identity.

    Unworkable, as the most quoted references in almost any paper is by the author[s] themselves. This is not always bad because an author’s work often builds on his earlier works so such self-referencing is often necessary.

    Thanks, Leif. There’s a huge difference between guessing, suspecting, and knowing. The reviewers may guess or suspect, but as long as they don’t know, it will have a calming effect.

    w.

  254. Sparks says:

    If you ever take the time and effort to write a paper to share the results of your research, and if you don’t want to be censored, then don’t disagree with the almighty IPCC overlords by writing a hypothetical conclusion like this one.

    “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project.”

  255. richardscourtney says:

    Dr Norman Page:

    You begin your post at January 20, 2014 at 10:48 am by asking

    Can anyone here tell me why it is useful to prevent the publication of papers via the peer review process? Why do editors think that readers are unable to judge the quality of papers for themselves.?

    I have answered those questions in this thread, in the previous thread, and in the thread which discussed the excellent article on peer review by David M Hoffer. This is a link to the first of those posts which answer your questions
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/29/peer-review-last-refuge-of-the-uninformed-troll/#comment-1522700

    Richard

  256. lsvalgaard says:

    papiertigre says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:56 am
    You answered that the solar wind blows all of these particles away at escape velocity so they can have no impact. I showed a picture of a comet with a clearly visible diversion between an ion tail and a non charged tail – obvious impact.
    no impact on the Sun, which is what be required to change something on the Sun.

    Little bit later it occured to me that if the ion tail were moving away at escape velocity there would be no Zodaical light – i.e. dust particles in orbit
    The Zodaical light is due to dust, not solar wind charged particles [which are the ones moving away at 400 km/sec]

    a) the solar wind not blowing these particles away at escape velocity and
    b) a massive impact on the Sun’s rotation.

    You are confused about the difference between dust and solar wind. Those are completely different things. And do not have a ‘massive impact’ on the Sun’s rotation.

    You have to come back with something beside, “Everything I tell you is true!”
    You have to begin to learn from all the information I am giving you, because, yes, “Everything I tell you is true” as I happen to know whereof I speak.

  257. Alan Millar says:

    Hans Jelbring!!

    Some of the stuff he comes up with is completely away with the fairies. It is so ludicrous and easily disproven that he gives sceptics a bad name.

    I am not surprised he is in bed with Roger Tattersall because Roger is willing to print any old nonsense on his site as long as it disagrees with CAGW. Not only that, he has no problem censoring and banning people like Willis and myself for pointing out some of the Alice in Wonderland stuff published there.

    We have to hold the high ground and not be debased into ‘the end justifies the means’ as have the warmists.

    Alan

  258. lsvalgaard says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:08 am
    Thanks, Leif. There’s a huge difference between guessing, suspecting, and knowing. The reviewers may guess or suspect, but as long as they don’t know, it will have a calming effect.
    At least in my field, authors almost always have presented their findings already at seminars, conferences, workshops, and informal discussions long before the paper is even submitted, so the amount of guessing is absolutely minimal.

  259. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Poptech says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Willis, as with most jobs they post required qualifications,

    Assistant Editor – Nature Methods
    http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/jobs/364143-assistant-editor-nature-methods

    Applicants should have completed a Ph.D. in the biological sciences. Post-doctoral experience in biology is highly desirable.

    Editor, Trends in Cognitive Sciences
    http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/jobs/358965-editor-trends-in-cognitive-sciences

    The minimum qualification is a Ph.D. in neuroscience, cognitive science or a related field. Post-doctoral training is an advantage.

    Thanks, Poptech. Indeed, some of them have published qualifications. But what about those journals that don’t?

    And indeed, so what? My point was simple. I’d much rather have Steven McIntyre as the editor of a climate science journal, despite the fact that he has no formal qualifications for the part, than have Michael Mann, who on paper is eminently qualified. Why? Because McIntyre is both hugely knowledgeable and scrupulously honest and open about his work, and Mann is … not.

    w.

  260. Guam says:

    Wow,
    Let me start by saying poptech please quit with the clear attempt at muckraking and character assassination against tb littered throughout this thread, It is demeaning to all of us, the implications of your various posts are clear even to the most myopic of readers.

    Notwithstanding my sympathies with the general tenet, that this appears to have let the side down, as others have posted there are positives to take from this.

    Most significant of all is that the skeptical community hold each other to the highest standards and are rightly abrasive when they are not met.

    I see no long term damage on the horizon, there is a stock response to the other side when attempting to demean the whole community using this, show me your criticisms of the climate gate revelations, show us your anger at years of corrupted peer review then we might take your comments seriously.

    What has disappointed me as a long term lurker in here has been the general tone of some of the posts, we are better than this on here,surely we can criticise without trying to misrepresent or tear someones qualifications apart, critical yes, tawdry and getting into the gutter no imho!

  261. Willis Eschenbach says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:08 am

    Thanks, Leif. There’s a huge difference between guessing, suspecting, and knowing. The reviewers may guess or suspect, but as long as they don’t know, it will have a calming effect.

    At least in my field, authors almost always have presented their findings already at seminars, conferences, workshops, and informal discussions long before the paper is even submitted, so the amount of guessing is absolutely minimal.

    That’s true, Leif, and you make my point. It weights the system heavily against both the unknown author, as well as the solo researcher like myself who doesn’t participate in conferences or workshops. While as you point out, double-blind reviewing is no cure-all for this problem, it would be a step in the right direction.

    Remember what happened with the FOI requests? The guys at UEA convinced the FOI gatekeepers that they could legitimately ignore all requests from anyone associated with Climate Audit … and they did so. Of course, this allowed them to ignore many requests from unknown authors who might have posted once at CA … it is this kind of blanket condemnation of unknown authors that I’m trying to avoid in peer review.

    w.

  262. richardscourtney says:

    Zeke:

    You begin your post at January 20, 2014 at 10:48 am saying

    It is not strictly true that the PRP was withdrawn because the participants did not abide by the stated ethics. It was withdrawn for the following reasons in order given:

    I do not see how you – or anyone else – can know what is “strictly true” about the reason for the publisher ‘pulling’ the paper.

    As I said in the previous thread (at January 19, 2014 at 1:26 am)

    Importantly, when people correct an error for which they are responsible they often pretend the reason for the correction is other than it is. Their responsibility is an embarrassment. But if their pretended excuse for correcting the error becomes a greater embarrassment than their responsibility then they usually ‘own up’. And that seems to be what has happened in this case.

    And the evidence of ‘pal review’ certainly was sufficient reason to ‘pull’ the journal.

    Richard

  263. Zeke says:

    “we also received information about potential misconduct during the review process.”

    That must have been an interesting phone call. Now you can say that it was peer reviewed in the end.

  264. Zeke says:

    Richard, thank you, I forgot to cite the reference for the PRP statement:
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/breaking-pattern-recognition-in-physics-axed-by-copernicus/

    This was the text of the withdrawal statement I used.

  265. lsvalgaard says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:21 am
    double-blind reviewing is no cure-all for this problem, it would be a step in the right direction.
    I will disagree with you on this. I think just the opposite would such step: authors, reviewers, paper, review report, editor decision, etc should be known and in the open at all stages of the process. This is particularly important for papers that are rejected. Authors could publish the rejected paper on his own website [as I do] with the review[s] so people can see on what flimsy grounds the paper was rejected, e.g. http://www.leif.org/research/Waldmeier.pdf with review http://www.leif.org/research/Review-History-2010GL045307.pdf

  266. dikranmarsupial says:

    Regarding double blind reviewing, from personal experience I don’t think it has any effect on the reviewing (as lsvalgaard suggests it is usually pretty obvious who wrote the paper if they are an established researcher – if you are given their papers to review, you are very likely to have read or even reviewed their previous work). The only difference it makes lies in the perception of the review process.

    The real problem is that there are too many journals, and not enough competent reviewers to go round, sadly this is unlikely to go away whilst academic performance measures focus on quantity rather than quality. Extreme case, I know, but interesting example:

    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/dec/06/peter-higgs-boson-academic-system

    Journal editors *do* need to have a good working knowledge of their field, be an active part of it and have experience in publishing and how the review process should operate. The editor cannot just rely on the reviewers becuase (a) the editor needs to know the field well enough to identify suitable reviewers and (b) can intepret the reports that are sent back from the reviewers and form an accurate view on the paper (generally the editor needs to decide which issues really need to be addressed, which are optional, and which criticisms are misguided). The outcome of the review process is not just a matter of the reviewers voting on the paper, the editor needs to weigh the quality of the content of the reviews.

  267. David L. Hagen says:

    Why can’t authors in an edition provide constructive review to other parts of a book/Journal?
    Tim Ball describes examples of book editors REQUIRING authors to review another chapters.

    Content of the book illustrates how much climate changes through time and provides extensive data and analysis from different sources and regions. My chapter in the historical climate section is titled “Historical and Instrumental Evidence: Central Canada, 1714-1850”. One valuable benefit was the editors required each author review another chapter. (Is that a form of peer review?). I had the privilege of reviewing the chapter by E.P. Borisenkov “Documentary evidence from the U.S.S.R”. His major source was the Russian Chronicles, a collective of weather and crop conditions essentially from 1000 AD in conjunction with arrival of Vikings in what is now Moscow and the beginning of the Romanov regime. Borisenkov and Pasetsky (1983) established the occurrence of 350 “hungry” years in the intervening1000 years. They identified a long term awareness of the relationship between weather, crop conditions and peasant unrest.

    While you still want independent reviewers, why forbid constructive input from friendly reviewers?

  268. richardscourtney says:

    Friends:

    At January 20, 2014 at 11:30 am , dikranmarsupial wrote:

    The real problem is that there are too many journals, and not enough competent reviewers to go round, sadly this is unlikely to go away whilst academic performance measures focus on quantity rather than quality.

    Repeated here in hope that those who missed these important facts will now take note of them.

    Richard

  269. Poptech said @ January 20, 2014 at 10:04 am

    No, I am making the factually accurate statement that and HNC (not HND) is not equivalent to a university degree. You are free to show me where this is not true. While a B.A. is a degree, his is not a relevant degree to be an editor for a physical science journal.

    I recently edited (and published) a history book. So far nobody other than the author has commented on my editing. The book has been very well received and has been reprinted.

    Sadly, I never got around to finishing my history degree. Why do you believe that a degree in anything is needed to be an editor? John Maddox was a physicist, yet he was the editor of Nature when that journal published Watson and Crick’s seminal paper on the structure of DNA. That was biology not physics. I also note that he decided, on very excellent grounds, not to have the paper peer reviewed.

  270. vukcevic says:

    Mike Jonas says:
    January 18, 2014 at 7:50 pm
    …….
    Mike Jonas made a reference to ‘Vukcevic papers’
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/17/the-planetary-tidal-influence-on-climate-fiasco-strong-armed-science-tactics-are-overkill-due-process-would-work-better/#comment-1540812
    It is possible that he meant to say ‘Scafetta’ ( in which case Dr. Scafetta may not be amused), but in case he did mean what he wrote, than I have taken a note of his opinion.

  271. papiertigre says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:18 am
    papiertigre says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:13 am
    Dust particles, whether charged or neutral, have mass…. etc
    No, that is not how it works. You are wrong on every assertion.
    Here is some info on comets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comet
    and on the solar wind: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_wind

    So you are saying that dust doesn’t have mass?

    Obvious impacts, two sets of comet tail debris going in different directions, one set being dragged by the magnetic field, the other by radiation pressure, not happening?

    The polar regions lagging the rest of the Sun’s rotation by 9 days, doen’t exist?

    This is for the other readers.

    I think I’ve found the flaw in the peer review process.

  272. negrum says:

    Guam says:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:19 am
    —-l
    I think they succeeded in their aim to rile poptech. As you are a self-confessed non-poster and someone who is concerned with how posters express themselves, I suggest that you couch your (well meaning) advice a bit more politely and humbly, no matter how outraged you are, especially since poptech is the one who has been taking the flak.

    I cannot see how reading your post in its current form is going to make him change his mind.

  273. David L. Hagen says:

    Publishing rejections
    lsvalgaard observes above:

    I think just the opposite would such step: authors, reviewers, paper, review report, editor decision, etc should be known and in the open at all stages of the process. This is particularly important for papers that are rejected. Authors could publish the rejected paper on his own website [as I do] with the review[s] so people can see on what flimsy grounds the paper was rejected

    At at ITIA, Demetris Koutsoyiannis addresses “What are the pathologies of the scientific publishing system and how can it be improved?” with examples of the problems and possible solutions with the peer review system.

    Accordingly Demetris Koutsoyiannis publishes rejections. e.g., Prehistory: Rejection from Physical Review Letters (44 KB)

    Contrast Phil Jones in a Climategate email committing to preventing McIntyre and McKitrick’s paper from being published or referenced in IPCC:

    The other paper by MM is just garbage. […] I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!

    Exposing and evicting such corrupt reviewing including biased gatekeeping “pal review” is as important to science as reviewing papers.

  274. lsvalgaard says:

    papiertigre says:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:46 am
    So you are saying that dust doesn’t have mass?
    I was saying that every assertion you made was wrong. Saying that dust has mass is not an assertion.

    Obvious impacts, two sets of comet tail debris going in different directions, one set being dragged by the magnetic field, the other by radiation pressure, not happening?
    Again what is wrong is the conclusion you draw from this.

    The polar regions lagging the rest of the Sun’s rotation by 9 days, doen’t exist?
    Same thing. The lag is not for the reason you assert. Here is more on that: http://solarphysics.livingreviews.org/open?pubNo=lrsp-2005-8&page=articlesu24.html

    Let me repeat: every cause and effect assertion you made was wrong.

  275. dikranmarsupial says:

    Watson and Crick’s (and Franklyn’s) work was at least as much physics as it was biology, x-ray crystalography being a large part of it. The structure of a molecule is physics and chemistry, the function that results from that shape is biology, hence biophysics/biochemistry.

  276. E.M.Smith said @ January 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    There is a logic trap here, IMHO. It is the demand to do battle on an asymmetrical field.

    “We” must follow their rules of the Geneva Convention even if “they” do not.

    The end justifies the means? Oh dear…

  277. Zeke says:

    Richard, thank you, I forgot to site a reference. The actual text of the withdrawal statement came from [the person in question]‘s website.

  278. Bob Kutz says:

    Couple of points; “a known skeptic” is an interesting epithet and stranger still as a disqualifier for peer-review. How can a non-skeptical person further the interests of science. (Yes, I do understand that in the context of climate science ‘skeptic’ denotes someone who disagrees with the orthodox view of AGW.)

    Second; interesting to note how differently the ‘skeptical’ side of the climate science debate treats pal-review than the alarmist side. (One of these things appears to be science, the other appears to be a frat house. You can decide for yourself if science is a heated debate over genuine issues or a wild and raucous affair where one triumphs by having the least coherent argument and hurling epithets at one’s opponent.)

    When they were found out (church of AGW) they rallied around one another, casting aspersions far and wide and pretending a crime had been committed. When someone on the skeptical side pretends to do peer-reviewed research but yet isn’t up to par, they get called out.

    The Pro-AGW side threatens to shut down a peer-reviewed journal for publishing something they disagree with, the skeptical side shuts down a journal for publishing things which are not properly peer reviewed, whether they agree with them or not.

    I’m sure Jones, Mann, Hansen and the usual suspects think this is hilarious, but in reality, it could be a death knell for un-skeptical science. I see where people are calling for the prosecution of a researcher at ISU over forged data on an HIV vaccine. Several million dollars were allocated to the research based on his preliminary (faked) results. Climate ‘science’ makes that guy look like a piker.

  279. Sparks says:

    Poptech,

    You are forgetting that ‘tallbloke’ has years of experience editing his award winning website.
    And is very knowledgeable and well read on the subjects he writes about. Experience is just as important or in some cases more important than a certificate.

  280. Guam says:

    negrum says:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Guam says:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:19 am
    —-l
    I think they succeeded in their aim to rile poptech. As you are a self-confessed non-poster and someone who is concerned with how posters express themselves, I suggest that you couch your (well meaning) advice a bit more politely and humbly, no matter how outraged you are, especially since poptech is the one who has been taking the flak.

    I cannot see how reading your post in its current form is going to make him change his mind.
    Firstly, just because I tend to lurk does not make me a non poster, (research is everything)

    Second I have been on here many years, so my opinion whether you like it or not is as valid as anyone else’s.

    Your attitude there is indicative of what I am referring to, inaccurate statements and failure to accept someones view.

    What has evolved on this thread has done no one here credit imho.

    My opinion if you don’t like it move on!

  281. kim2ooo says:

    Albert Einstein’s revolutionary “Annus Mirabilis” papers in the 1905 issue of Annalen der Physik were peer-reviewed by the journal’s editor-in-chief, Max Planck, and its co-editor, Wilhelm Wien, both future Nobel prize winners and together experts on the topics of these papers. An external panel of reviewers was not sought, as is done for many scientific journals today.

    IMO; The science stands or falls on it’s own.

    Copernicus Publications has been described as the largest open access publisher in the Geo- and Earth system sciences,[3] and it is known as one of the first publishers to embrace public peer review.[4]

  282. DayHay says:

    “Louis Hooffstetter says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:33 am
    Kudos to the editors & owners for nipping incestuous pal review at the bud!
    We’re all glad to see this problem exposed and eliminated whenever & wherever”

    Louis, yes, good luck on that one.
    I am absolutely FOR all pal, friend, mother reviewed submissions, whatever, just state the dogs you have in the fight, up front. This is exactly why all “reviewers” should be made public. If you don’t have the balls to put your name on it, shut up.
    But in this particular case, I don’t really read it as Tallbloke and company violating rules and getting their journal sacked, it involved their message, and was actually sacked by guys like James Annan, who emails his pals and CAUSES the actual event to take place, regardless of the review process. The real reason this journal is cancelled is because Tallbloke submitted the paper. I would hope in the future this is a big lesson for us bad, bad, skeptics, we are held to a higher standard whether you like it or believe it or not. Perception is reality, please plan and protect yourself accordingly.

  283. I must say that this almost seems like a setup by “The Team”. How is it that PRP could exist for almost a year without a hint of it being known by informed people like Anthony etc. This almost seems like a sham magazine specifically designed to result in a disgrace of skeptics. And the special edition is almost too “out there” to even beleve that it was done in good faith. Really, the planets effecting earths climate? It just all seems too crazy.

  284. Lars P. says:

    “In addition, the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing and not in accordance with our publication ethics we expect to be followed by the editors.”
    If this would have been the reason, then it would not be much to say. Copernicus should have had a record of checking, approaching and warning that this (closure) will happen if the proper process is not followed. Do they have such? I bet not.

    the above text was added only later when they realised the mess they are in

    The reason is clear, they closed the journal because it did not play the religious tones – as they clearly said in the initial mails and post.

    Does anybody believe the journal would have been closed would it have stuck to the party line and sung hosannas for the climate-apocalypse religion?
    Can anybody give any such example of a warmist paper ever retracted for “nepotistic” selection of reviewers, or worse, I would say even incestuous chosen referees? There have been enough examples reviewed here at WUWT that should not have passed any peer-review.

    So yes, it could maybe have been avoided to give the warmist this argument. Maybe. If then, it is a pity they allowed themselves to work almost in a “warmista” kind of way.

    Actually the pal-peer review is broken and mostly irrelevant. It only helps to reduce the garbage but does not eliminate it. A next generation of direct-net-journals is already here where a fast internet review is the correct review – and they are slowly getting out there, but maybe too slow – I guess too much money is involved in all the journals yet.

    LamontT says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:40 am
    No I would think not. It is very clear that Anthony is not attempting to engage in a mask of peer review. Instead he is running an open review process where anyone can come along and provide input before the final paper is published. It is an alternate and very probably better approach to review than the typically incestuous peer review favored by most journals.

    my underlying above – I find that is the only review that really makes sense, and I understand this was actually also the intention of the PRP editors to let it stand by its own merit.

    The peer-pal review can function only as the first stage, the internet review is the true check. Unfortunately there are no sites which do really count the many times much more pertinent internet reviews, this is something that the reader has to do on itself in most cases.

    Why did the NASA not link to the RRResearch post here on their arsenic claim paper?
    http://rrresearch.fieldofscience.com/2010/12/arsenic-associated-bacteria-nasas.html
    This just an example of a pal-review corrected very fast by an internet review. This is how science can progress faster.

    Sorry, never heard of the PRP journal before and I did not read the publication yet.
    I trust some skeptics sites will properly analyse and review the papers if they find these interesting, so I would say the skeptics internet paper review works, and we will learn soon if there is value in these and how much.

  285. wayne says:

    Re: Poptech in one of his references:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/emissivity-puzzle-energy-exchange-in-non-vacuums/comment-page-2/#comment-40407

    “Happy also to pass it by Wayne before publication for a bit of pal review :-) if you think that would be helpful.”

    Poptech, you have no foggy of what you are talking about.

    If you would have read the context of you complaint and that reference you would have realized that reference to “pal-review” had nothing to do with journals and the real peer-review process and was actually a case when pal-review is a proper, innocent and cute way to say “I might want to pass this under your nose before I write my next blog top-post” in a series of posts on the influence of GHGs near the top of atmosphere compared to the lower troposphere where opacity nears or equals total if I remember correctly. Notice the happy face?

    Furthermore, that reference was not uttered by any of the party in question here and was said by another scientist, to my limited knowledge a bona-fide one who I will not name here to keep this from going any further. Also, that was a dead end, he didn’t even follow through with his possible request for my review though I wish he would have on that topic.

    So if you are an honest and humble man I expect you to public post here an apology and retraction of your inaccurate reference about two innocent parties. Immediately pease to clear your “record”.

  286. Amatør1 says:

    We routinely admonish “the team” for their exploits in pal-review. We should apply the same standard to our own people who play in the peer-review sandbox. – Anthony

    I believe the only thing that has been proven here is that the idea of peer review is wrong wrt. saying anything useful about the quality or correctness of the science presented. The main function of peer review is an authoritarian one, that is how it has been used by alarmists. I don’t think it is useful to copy such practices. I believe scientific work should be posted directly on the web for all to see, complete with underlying data, without any filtering. If people want to review then, there is no stopping them.

    REPLY: epic dodge – A

  287. Amatør1 says:

    Alan Millar says:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Hans Jelbring!!

    Some of the stuff he comes up with is completely away with the fairies. It is so ludicrous and easily disproven that he gives sceptics a bad name.

    That may be correct (“ludicrous and easily disproven”). If you are right, there is no reason to fight against its publication because – in your own words – it is ludicrous and easily disproven, and people will see it as such.

  288. WillR says:

    If Nepotism and Pal Review is such a problem I expect that we will see many journals closed in the following days and weeks — it should be a deluge actually.

  289. Hot under the collar says:

    Poptech, thank you for the courtesy of reply (bar the shouting). Regrettably I did indeed miss something.

    Most of my comments on WUWT are satirical in that they ridicule the CAGW establishment. This is because I believe they invite the derision. If one is arguing against ‘the establishment’ and they are arguing from ‘authority’ yet they are also using propaganda and underhand techniques then ridicule and derision is probably the best way, at least for me, of pointing out the ridiculous.

    When it comes to the subject in question, peer/pal review, yes I have derided it, but what I am deriding is scientists knowingly using the peer review process to censor other scientists, get editors sacked, knowingly deceive and delete / hide / cherry pick data. Yes, if this has indeed been a peer / pal review exercise and the editors have not followed the rules then I do agree it deserves criticism. But a reviewer who is personally antagonistic, contrarian, demonstrates unwarranted bias – for or against or may benefit financially from publication is really what we mean by conflict of interest, a skeptic or indeed a friend honestly reviewing another skeptic’s work is not in itself a conflict of interest.

    This is not in the same league as censoring and corruption. Yes I understand that skeptics have to demonstrate higher ethical standards than some of the CAGW crowd (not difficult).

    The level the criticism has reached is not deserved.

    As regard ‘tit for tat’ arguments, I will just say ‘childish’ and beneath both of you.

    For me, censorship is the argument. Pal review, in this context is, in my opinion, a side issue.

    I am sorry you feel my comments are ‘spin’ and ‘strawman’.

  290. Manfred says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:44 am
    My friend, you had an unparalleled chance, one it’s possible I’ll never have, and you pissed it down the drain. You get no sympathy from me, not one bit. All you had to do was choose independent reviewers and your ideas would have gained prominence.
    —————————————————————————–

    Hi Willis,

    I think you are overoptimistic here.

    It is absolutely right to discuss the malpractise of pal review, but it is wrong to totally neglect the first reason for the termination.

    The message from Copernicus clearly says, they terminated the journal, because “PRP was never meant to be a platform for climate sceptics” (see full quote below).

    I think Lubos Motl got it right, as he was educated by personal experience with communism. This was THE reason. The peer review issue (of 4 out of 12 papers) was just an “in addition”.

    It may be surprising that they admitted this reason so openly, but remember this comes form Germany, a country totally brainwashed by the most extreme AGW agenda on the planet, where open dissent is almost non existent, where the ministry of environment published a list of skeptical scientists and journalists to smear them and warns the public of believing them

    The Copernicus team is certainly thinking, their statement must be acceptable or even convincing to everyone else they ever talked to.

    The peer review issue may have certainly be used as a tool by those trying to terminate the articles from the outside (because they did not like the articles), but Copernicus terminated, because they think opposing views of the IPCC is just an untolerable.sin.

    I also don’t see anything good coming from this episode and particularly the reaction in this thread.

    1. This sets a standard. But not a positive standard for climate science, as some have claimed here. Only for skeptical science.

    2. The first lesson learned will be that you can terminate a skeptical article or even journal because it opposes views of the IPCC.

    3. The second lesson will be to keep referees’ names surpressed to cover the common practise or often necessity of pal review.

    3. The third lesson will be that skeptical articles may be treated differently and hostile in general wihich includes hostile referees, if #1 has not already been pulled. Take Michael Mann for a paper from McIntyre, for example.

    5. The forth lesson will be, that you can really do all of that, because many skeptics are just too naive to see what has been going on here. and prefer to focus on their own errors in the first place.

    Dear Sid-Ali, dear Nils-Axel, We regret to inform you that we decided to terminate the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics (PRP).
    While processing the press release for the special issue “Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts”, we read through the general conclusions paper published on 16 Dec 2013. We were alarmed by the authors’ second implication stating “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project”. Before the journal was launched, we had a long discussion regarding its topics. The aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines. PRP was never meant to be a platform for climate sceptics. In addition to our doubts about the scientific content of PRP, we also received information about potential misconduct during the review process. Copernicus Publications cannot risk losing its excellent reputation in the scientific community. We therefore wish to distance ourselves from the apparent misuse of the originally agreed aims & scope of PRP and decided today to cease the publication. This decision must come as a surprise for you, but under the given circumstances we were forced to react.
    We hope that you understand our reasons for this decision. We thank you very much for your cooperation and wish you all the best for your future career. Best regards, Martin and Xenia

  291. J Martin says:

    Each paper should be published in turn on WUWT so that the people may review and come to their own conclusions. I think people get too hung up on peer review, who cares if a bunch of anonymous or named peers have reviewed a paper before it gets published, all it really is is a form of proof reading. To my mind peer review is just a pointless waste of time and merely delays publication. If an author is nervous that he may have made some mistakes and wants the comfort of a proof reader (peer review), then fine, but if an author is confident of their paper, why bother with peer review. This whole thing is a storm in a teacup. Publish.

    If anything peer review is a mechanism for preserving the status quo and for preventing outsiders from advancing new ideas. Hopefully the internet will break the stranglehold that publications like nature etc have. I want to see ideas put forward, new, controversial, peer reviewed or not, its the content that counts and I will be the judge of it, not some peer reviewer.

    The papers should stand or fall on the merit of its contents, not the merit of its peer reviewers.

  292. papiertigre says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:54 am
    Blah.

    Disagree with my conclusions then, not with the absolute facts. The polar regions of the Sun do revolve 9 days more slowly that the Sun’s equator. Tell me why. You can’t just gainsay everything.

    Particles of dust in the solar system have mass and in agregate their own gravitational field.
    That’s not a statement you can answer with an “Oh no they don’t.”
    Ions have mass and are being deflected from their natural tragectory by the spinning solar magnetosphere.
    That’s not something you can answer with, “you just don’t understand.”

    Make me understand it. Explain or get off the pot. You’re blocking traffic.

  293. lsvalgaard says:

    papiertigre says:
    January 20, 2014 at 1:49 pm
    The polar regions of the Sun do revolve 9 days more slowly that the Sun’s equator. Tell me why.

    A good explanation is here http://www.ncra.tifr.res.in:8081/~basi/ASICS_2/071-Kitchatinov.pdf
    To summarize: it is the result of interacxtion between convection and rotation. The solar plasma moving along a radius [convection] is deflected by the Coriolis force [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coriolis_effect ].

    Particles of dust in the solar system have mass and in agregate their own gravitational field.
    The amount of dust is so small that their gravitational field is negligible compared to that of the Sun. The dust from comets are pushed away by the pressure of sunlight, but the dust tail is really formed because the head of the comet is running away from the dust left behind [as the comet gains speed by getting closer to the sun].

    Ions have mass and are being deflected from their natural trajectory by the spinning solar magnetosphere.
    They are so hot that they simply escape radially away from the Sun, like steam evaporating from a pan. And are not significantly deflected away from the radial direction. The magnetic field embedded in the escaping ions prevents other charged particles [except high-energy cosmic rays] from moving towards the sun and thus influence anything on the Sun.

    You’re blocking traffic.
    It seems to me that your inability [or unwillingness] to accept the facts is the real blocker. Now, you can tell me which of the above you do not understand, then I can explain further.

  294. cynical_scientist says:

    Dr Norman Page says: “Can anyone here tell me why it is useful to prevent the publication of papers via the peer review process? Why do editors think that readers are unable to judge the quality of papers for themselves.?”

    It is because papers have become the recognised unit of academic output. Academics are ranked, promoted and paid, essentially on measures of the number of papers they produce. This means there is an incentive to cheat. Peer review makes it more difficult to publish garbage and claim credit for it.

    The politicians, bean counters and accountants who run our academic institutions are deeply convinced right down to their bones that most of the academics they pay must be slackers. But it is difficult for them to determine which ones because they don’t understand what the academics are doing. Hence the invention of the “paper” – something a bean counter can — well — count — to rank academic output.

    Bean counters have seized on this idea of the paper and refuse to let it go. Without the “paper” they would be lost – they wouldn’t know who to hire or fire. With it — “Fred has produced 6 papers this year. Well done Fred – here is your raise.” “Jones has only produced one. He is letting the side down. Sack the bugger!” “The output target for 2014 has been raised to 4 papers per academic as part of our plan to make the university one of the top 100 by 2020.”

    Academics know that paper count is a lousy measure of quality, and that “publish or perish” the pressure to churn out papers, is destructive to science. But academics are trapped in the system and have little power to change it. The name of the game is producing lots of papers in peer reviewed journals. And if you don’t play the game your career will come to a halt and you may even lose your job.

  295. WillieB says:

    Many posters have referred to “Rule #4″ as proof that PRP did something wrong. Their reference to “Rule #4″ is often accompanied by sarcastic comments such as “What part of the rule don’t you understand” and/or “Copernicus’s rules…”. However, I believe those posters have misinterpreted the rule and have inferred from it something it does not say. I have read the rule a number of times…

    4. A referee should be sensitive even to the appearance of a conflict of interest when the manuscript under review is closely related to the referee’s work in progress or published. If in doubt, the referee should return the manuscript promptly without review, advising the editor of the conflict of interest or bias.

    … and no place can I find where it says a person with “even the appearance of a conflict of interest” cannot be a referee. All it says is, if a referee thinks he may have a conflict of interest, he must disclose it to the editor. It is then up to the editor to decide whether or not to use the person as a referee. However, just as Rule #4 says it is incumbent upon the referee to disclose a potential conflict to the editor, should the editor decide to continue to use the person as a referee, it then becomes incumbent upon the editor to disclose this to the publication’s readers. The PRP editor did this by revealing the otherwise confidential names of those referees with a possible conflict.

    Having a conflict of interest does not automatically disqualify a person. It is only if the conflict is not disclosed that it becomes unethical and may, as the Copernicus publisher declares, be “malpractice”. For example, if I hire an attorney and that attorney has a conflict and fails to disclose it to me, that is unethical. I can sue the attorney for malpractice and the attorney can be disbarred (the journal shut down). However, if knowing of the conflict, I decide to hire the attorney anyways, the attorney can continue representing me without fear of adverse repercussions.

  296. DirkH says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:44 am
    “Let me repeat for you Poptech’s imaginary scenario from above:

    Michael Mann starts a journal called “Pattern Recognition in Physics”, brings in Gavin Schmidt and John Cook as co-editors. Mann then invites Phil Jones. All publish and review each other’s papers in a special edition called “Hockey Stick patterns in proxy records and their terrestrial impacts”. Cook says Mann gave him an honest 12-page review, starting with “I’m sorry, this is really going to piss you off, but…”.

    Skeptics believe everything and embrace this new era of peer-review science integrity! All Hockey Stick arguments triumph from this point forward. The end.

    Nicola, you are many things, but you are no fool. Think about Poptech’s scenario, and consider your own actions. Because from the perspective of the outside world, you’ve just played out Poptech’s scenario, and now you want sympathy …”

    Means nothing. CO2AGW science stands and falls with predictive skill of models. Not with a thousand papers that all describe some wiggles that the model output makes. All these papers are worthless no matter who reviews them as long as the predictive skill of the models has not been shown. For obvious logical reasons.

    And that’s the papers they churn out. Peer reviewed. Predictive skill has never been shown.

    Obviously the same criterion holds for the paper by Tallbloke et al. Will show its value only after time has passed as it makes a prediction.

    The Göttingen ecofascii changed their reasons. They’re just liars, is that so hard to fathom.

  297. richardscourtney says:

    WillieB:

    re your post at January 20, 2014 at 2:16 pm.

    It is ‘pal review’ for a group of people to publish papers in a Special Edition on a specific subject who act as reviewers of the papers of each other. If they did not know that or did not understand that then they should have known and understood it.

    Ignorance of the law is not an excuse for breaking the law.

    And your attempt to reinterpret the rules is not relevant because everybody knows that ‘pal review’ is not acceptable.

    Richard

  298. MattK says:

    It seems that quite a few people don’t understand why there is a rule against the “appearance” of a conflict of interest.

    Not only should you not have a conflict of interest (rule 5), but it should not even look like you might have a conflict (rule 4).

    Mainly because it leaves people wondering about the impartial nature of a decision that is being made. If there is an appearance of a conflict of interest then the potential for a conflict is there automatically. The evidence that something may be wrong is in the appearance of a conflict of interest. That means whatever was done must be scrutinized to make sure the decision was not improperly influenced.

    To those that say that the other side does it too… they are wrong to do it, it is still wrong if we do it.

    To those that say it is ok because the whole peer review system is broken… then why bother with a journal to begin with? It doesn’t make sense to further misuse an already broken system.

    To those that say the conflict of interest was only a side matter and that the “real” reason is that skeptics dared to publish in a journal… then it was extremely stupid to not follow all the rules and to hand the alarmists the ammunition needed to easily discredit your work. If you misrepresent why you want to start a journal and at the same time ignore the rules for running the journal, don’t be surprised when the publisher takes it away.

    If you want to be mad at the publisher for taking the journal away under pressure from alarmists, then you must also be angry at the people who ran the journal and gave the publisher and alarmists all the justification that was needed to take it away.

  299. Ulric Lyons says:

    WillieB says:
    “… and no place can I find where it says a person with “even the appearance of a conflict of interest” cannot be a referee.”

    I found it in the next sentence:
    “If in doubt, the referee should return the manuscript promptly without review,”

  300. DirkH says:

    MattK says:
    January 20, 2014 at 2:53 pm
    “If you want to be mad at the publisher for taking the journal away under pressure from alarmists, then you must also be angry at the people who ran the journal and gave the publisher and alarmists all the justification that was needed to take it away.”

    You don’t have to pressure a modern day Göttinger to act politically correct. That would be like trying to convince a Polar Bear to eat meat.

  301. Streetcred says:

    January 20, 2014 at 6:41 am | Poptech says:
    ————-

    You weren’t censored, mate … you just have an over inflated opinion of your station in debate requiring the immediate attention of all. You might have noticed that your commentary at Jo’s is not exactly going down very well.

    Oh, I do have ‘science’ degree and a ‘management’ masters from a university ;)

  302. JC says:

    All this hand waving and pissing and moaning is pointless and irrelevant (not to mention giving me a head-ache). The warmists proved long ago just what peer review was worth. To ignore the science because someone who reviewed it was on your side is asinine and just shows the elitist “only an expert can understand” mentality that has brought the scientific method to its knees. With the internet and science blogs that act as a grist mill for scientific advancement, we no longer need “peer review”. It should be relegated to the ash heap where it belongs.

  303. Poptech says:

    John West says:
    Poptech says:
    ”I dismiss it because of it’s review system” [sic]

    So, do you dismiss all the science that came before “peer-reviewed” journals?

    I always dismiss strawman arguments.

  304. Alec Rawls says:

    A skeptic having a skeptic as a reviewer is no more illegitimate than a warming-consensus author having another warming-consensus person as a reviewer. If it is a double-standard, it is not a standard.

    Neither is there any inherent problem with some contributors to the special issue reviewing the work of some others. All that indicates is that they have similar expertise, not that they have any conflict of interest. To avoid conflicts of interests, scientists can only review work in areas they are unfamiliar with? No way.

  305. In grad school 40 years ago I saw careers spent in computational clouds detached from the essential math which showed them to be pal reviewed Ptolemaic epicycles . As an APL programmer , I only understand that which I can compute . So far , that’s only to present the computations for the equilibrium temperature of irradiated uniformly colored opaque balls based on the most experimentally tested and testable classical physics . But even that I have found to be very poorly , at best , understood on all sides of this endless , never converging , debate . I know of no public website which goes thru this non-optional basic quantitative physics other than my own . If someone knows of one , please send me a link . We may be able to collaborate on fleshing our a succinct web accessible quantitative model .

    We are about 3% warmer than the approximately 279k of a gray ball in our obit and have seen a variation of about 0.3% since the invention of the steam engine . So we are seeking to understand effects on the order of the 2nd and 3rd decimal places .

    Of all the parameters of our temperature , that which is known by far the most accurately is our distance from the sun . Our temperature is inversely proportional to the square root of our distance from the sun . Yet I have never seen even an analysis extracting even the precisely known in both phase and magnitude variation in our temperature due to the 3.3% annual variation in our distance from aphelion to perihelion which must produce a 1.6% variation in our equilibrium temperature , all else being constant . If such an effect , tho largely confounded over the short term with our hemispheric asymmetry , cannot be extracted from our temperature record , I have little care for more subtle and speculative orbital effects .

    I had hopes that Dr Scafetta had a rigorous orbital model which could flesh out the long term variations in our orbit , eg , the relationship between our seasons and our solar distance , but it seems he is off in speculative clouds rather than analytically removing the most certain orbital effects first .

  306. Poptech says:

    Willis Eschenbach says: Thanks, Poptech. Indeed, some of them have published qualifications. But what about those journals that don’t?

    And indeed, so what? My point was simple. I’d much rather have Steven McIntyre as the editor of a climate science journal, despite the fact that he has no formal qualifications for the part, than have Michael Mann, who on paper is eminently qualified. Why? Because McIntyre is both hugely knowledgeable and scrupulously honest and open about his work, and Mann is … not.

    From my sampling of a couple of hundred journals, all the editors had a Ph.D (or equivalent) relevant (otherwise relevant employment) to the topic of the journal. Qualifications were somewhat less stringent on the editorial boards I reviewed. I am sure there are journals that do not but they are likely to be the exception rather than the rule. The rational behind this would be the same reason for having peer-review Richard Courtney mentioned – as an added insurance policy.

    I would not select Steve McIntyre as an editor either (I suspect he would not be interested) but he would make a great reviewer. While, I would consider his frequent colleague Dr. McKitrick to be an excellent choice for an editor. I agree with you on Mann.

    The reason this was brought up is Roger made the comment, “you know jack sh1t about astrophysics”. Which led me to ask, what qualified him to be an editor of a physical science journal? It is not a question I wanted to ask until he made that statement. From what I can tell he was chosen because he supported a certain viewpoint. This can be used as another charge of nepotism or cronyism.

  307. Poptech says:

    Guam says: Let me start by saying poptech please quit with the clear attempt at muckraking and character assassination against tb littered throughout this thread,

    If I made a factually untrue statement let me know and I will correct it.

    It is demeaning to all of us, the implications of your various posts are clear even to the most myopic of readers.

    If people refuse to admit to an irrefutable argument, I will provide enough evidence as is necessary to make my case. You can clearly see me repeatedly stating that I do not want to post more damning evidence but they don’t want to act rational, they want to keep defending an indefensible position. The only implications I am trying to show is a hypocrisy with “pal-review”..

  308. Poptech says:

    Sparks says: You are forgetting that ‘tallbloke’ has years of experience editing his award winning website.

    I will take that as an unintended joke in relation to relevant qualifications for editing a physical science journal.

  309. Anthony Watts says:

    The most telling comment at Tall Blokes

    Ian Wilson says:
    January 20, 2014 at 6:04 am

    I have deleted all of my URL links to WUWT. I will never visit that site again. My only hope is that Anthony Watts will live long enough to know that what he has done is wrong.

    My goodness, the sensitivity to criticism is quite astounding, and still they all seem to think it was OK to not follow the rules of the journal.

  310. Poptech says:

    Jeff in Calgary says: How is it that PRP could exist for almost a year without a hint of it being known by informed people like Anthony etc.

    Lack of communication and poor marketing by PRP. I was aware of Dr. Scafetta’s sea-level paper in PRP in May but was unaware there was anything special about the journal outside of it being a new open access journal, since there was only a handful of papers listed at that time (while the current listings would have caused me to investigate further). New open access journals appear every year, so I did not find it unusual.

  311. Manfred says:

    Anthony Watts says:
    January 20, 2014 at 5:08 pm
    ————

    Yes rule #1.
    Do not critizise the IPCC.

    They could have spared that sentence – but then Cook would have probably counted them as a 97% consensus paper.

  312. Poptech says:

    Anthony Watts says:
    My goodness, the sensitivity to criticism is quite astounding, and still they all seem to think it was OK to not follow the rules of the journal.

    Their whole behavior is mind boggling. Who do they think is going to support their (IMO baseless) arguments for not following the rules? Since when did not acting like a hypocrite become “doing wrong”?

  313. Poptech says:

    wayne says:
    Re: Poptech in one of his references:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/emissivity-puzzle-energy-exchange-in-non-vacuums/comment-page-2/#comment-40407

    “Happy also to pass it by Wayne before publication for a bit of pal review :-) if you think that would be helpful.”

    Poptech, you have no foggy of what you are talking about.

    If you would have read the context of you complaint and that reference you would have realized that reference to “pal-review” had nothing to do with journals and the real peer-review process and was actually a case when pal-review is a proper, innocent and cute way to say “I might want to pass this under your nose before I write my next blog top-post” in a series of posts on the influence of GHGs near the top of atmosphere compared to the lower troposphere where opacity nears or equals total if I remember correctly. Notice the happy face?

    This reminds me of the Hockey Team’s defense of the word “Trick”. I actually read things before I quote them and it is directly mocking actual “pal-review” in a sarcastic way by applying it to something else, emphasized by the smiley face. This quote is even better because Roger directly responds to the comment and cannot claim he was unaware of it.

    Furthermore, that reference was not uttered by any of the party in question here

    Strawman, I never claimed it was. I specifically said, “Comments from the Talkshop…”

    So if you are an honest and humble man I expect you to public post here an apology and retraction of your inaccurate reference about two innocent parties. Immediately pease to clear your “record”.

    Wait, the quote was not from the reference linked? So the commentator at Roger’s TalkShop did not mockingly use the phrase “pal review”?

    I intentionally only posted those comments as examples (and I thought a very obvious hint) since I did not want to post Roger’s actual comment but no one wanted to back down. I said I was not bluffing.

  314. pdxrod says:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/01/science-is-not-done-by-peer-or-pal-review-but-by-evidence-and-reason – “Bureaucratized Peer review is highly flawed, doesn’t prove a thing scientifically and works to the advantage of those who are already in the game.”

    Joanne points out that she has never criticized the hockey team for pal review. It’s not the pal review – it’s not that they redefined what peer review means. It’s that the team promoted unscientific theories, pretending it was peer reviewed according to high standards, and pretending that this gave credibility to the AGW hypothesis. It wouldn’t matter if Darwin’s Origin of Species had been favorably reviewed by all his friends. Joanne is right, and Anthony wrong.

  315. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Manfred says:
    January 20, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:44 am

    My friend, you had an unparalleled chance, one it’s possible I’ll never have, and you pissed it down the drain. You get no sympathy from me, not one bit. All you had to do was choose independent reviewers and your ideas would have gained prominence.

    —————————————————————————–

    Hi Willis,

    I think you are overoptimistic here.

    It is absolutely right to discuss the malpractise of pal review, but it is wrong to totally neglect the first reason for the termination.

    The message from Copernicus clearly says, they terminated the journal, because “PRP was never meant to be a platform for climate sceptics” (see full quote below).

    Thanks, Manfred. That is indeed what Copernicus said.

    The irony is that by their deliberate flouting of the normal rules of review, the editors, authors, and reviewers of the special edition turned it into exactly that—a platform for what I see as the far fringe of climate skeptics to propound their ascientific views without hindrance or restriction. (I say “ascientific” because the papers I’ve read so far are not really anti-science so much as they are simply science-free.)

    How is that not a bad thing? You don’t want a scientific journal to be a platform for any specific point of view on scientific questions, it’s the curse of the times.

    w.

  316. Manfred says:

    Poptech,

    you are not following rules 4 and 5.

    The rules say, It is not up to you to judge wether there appears to have been a conflict of interest, but up to the referees to decide by themselves .

    That is what the rules say and that is what they did.

    They may have concluded for themselves, that despite their interaction, they still would be able to deliver a proper review.
    And they may have decided for themselves, that this would not appear to be a conflict of interest for others, because others did not mind similar practise elsewhere and particularly at the IPCC.

    Probably a poor decision, but within the rules.

    Having said that, it is still a side show and the letter from Copernicus surprisingly open about the real motivation..

    The main point is the German Angst to allow free speech and to critizise authority. Which now is – as reported by Cowtan in the secret sceptical science forum – a global Angst, where even professors at US universities do not dare to speak up any more.

  317. Willis Eschenbach says:

    pdxrod says:
    January 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/01/science-is-not-done-by-peer-or-pal-review-but-by-evidence-and-reason – “Bureaucratized Peer review is highly flawed, doesn’t prove a thing scientifically and works to the advantage of those who are already in the game.”

    Joanne points out that she has never criticized the hockey team for pal review. It’s not the pal review – it’s not that they redefined what peer review means. It’s that the team promoted unscientific theories, pretending it was peer reviewed according to high standards, and pretending that this gave credibility to the AGW hypothesis.

    And how is that different in any detail from what the reviewers and editors of the special edition did?

    w.

  318. Poptech says:

    WillieB says: Many posters have referred to “Rule #4″ as proof that PRP did something wrong. Their reference to “Rule #4″ is often accompanied by sarcastic comments such as “What part of the rule don’t you understand” and/or “Copernicus’s rules…”. However, I believe those posters have misinterpreted the rule and have inferred from it something it does not say. I have read the rule a number of times…

    Wrong, it is further reinforced when you read the editor rules,

    http://publications.copernicus.org/for_reviewers/obligations_for_editors.html

    7. Editors should avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest if the relationship would bias judgement of the manuscript. Such conflicts may include, but are not limited to, handling papers from present and former students, from colleagues with whom the editor has recently collaborated, and from those in the same institution.

    All it says is, if a referee thinks he may have a conflict of interest, he must disclose it to the editor. It is then up to the editor to decide whether or not to use the person as a referee. However, just as Rule #4 says it is incumbent upon the referee to disclose a potential conflict to the editor, should the editor decide to continue to use the person as a referee, it then becomes incumbent upon the editor to disclose this to the publication’s readers. The PRP editor did this by revealing the otherwise confidential names of those referees with a possible conflict.

    Pure spin, those rules in not way allows for the use of a reviewer with a perceived conflict of interest to simply be excuse by stating their name. The whole point of those rules is so editors do not use such reviewers. Reviewer rule 4 explicitly states,

    If in doubt, the referee should return the manuscript promptly without review, advising the editor of the conflict of interest or bias.”

    Editor rule 6 says,

    6. Editorial responsibility and authority for any manuscript authored by an editor and submitted to the editor’s journal should be delegated to some other qualified person, such as another editor or an associate editor of that journal. Editors should avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest. If an editor chooses to participate in an ongoing scientific debate within his journal, the editor should arrange for some other qualified person to take editorial responsibility.

    That is three times so far the publishers emphasized avoiding a conflict of interest. I am beginning to suspect that the publishing rules were never read.

  319. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Manfred says:
    January 20, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Poptech,

    you are not following rules 4 and 5.

    The rules say, It is not up to you to judge wether there appears to have been a conflict of interest, but up to the referees to decide by themselves .

    That is what the rules say and that is what they did.

    As I read it, the decision is not up to the referees. All they are required to do is notify the Editor(s) if there is, not just actual conflict of interest, but also the appearance of conflict of interest. It is then up to the Editor(s) to make the call.

    But the issue isn’t who made a ludicrously bad call. The issue is that the bad call was made, and what that means and brings in train.

    Specifically, they were enjoined from reviewing people with whom they have a “personal or professional connection” which would give the appearance of a conflict … ya think they might have broken that rule? The resulting furor says yes …

    To me, it’s simple. If you want to play, and you agree to follow certain rules, then follow them. If you don’t, you have no one to blame but yourself.

    w.

  320. Manfred says:

    Hi Willis,

    it is not hard to see a difference here. Which is that one team got terminated and the other got a Noble Price.

  321. pyromancer76 says:

    Anthony Watts says:

    January 20, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    The most telling comment at Tall Blokes

    Ian Wilson says:
    January 20, 2014 at 6:04 am

    I have deleted all of my URL links to WUWT. I will never visit that site again. My only hope is that Anthony Watts will live long enough to know that what he has done is wrong.

    My goodness, the sensitivity to criticism is quite astounding, and still they all seem to think it was OK to not follow the rules of the journal.

    Anthony, this “pissing contest” does no credit to anyone, or to science, or to the scientific method. Apologies and forgiveness are needed here. Rules don’t work when “criminals” are making them; nor do elections work when those who will use voter fraud to win then destroy democracy. Stop it! Bow out of it. Find another way. Do not give in to the insanity that is driving this “whatever-it-is” destructive conflict. We can all agree to disagree and live together. We do not have to like each other, but we can listen.

  322. Carla says:

    Poptech says:

    January 20, 2014 at 5:12 pm
    ..PRP in May but was unaware there was anything special about the journal outside of it being a new open access journal, since there was only a handful of papers listed at that time..
    ——
    I was doing a sort of cross ref on Morner when I first considered it. During searches it would come up with the rest of the journals. And it kinda creeped me.. as maybe not being on the up..
    Now..well, we find out the other side of the story and who is at the top of the heap? Oh my my, Oh my my. lol

    Ok back to work..
    Vortexs and gravitational influences inside and outside of the solar system..

  323. Manfred says:

    @willis, @poptech,

    this is not what the rules say. They leave the decision to the referees and the editor and nobody else. If they decide, they complied with the rules, they complied with the rules.

    It is not relevant if anybody else thinks their judgement was poor. That would have required an additional rule such as an “expectation test”. Here’s an example
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/23/section/5

  324. Poptech says:

    pyromancer76 says: Rules don’t work when “criminals” are making them

    So Copernicus Publications are criminals?

  325. Poptech says:

    Manfred, keep spinning no one is buying it.

  326. Gail Combs says:

    NOTE: I have not read any of the papers. However I took a look at the other sites on this topic and the one thing that stands out is from Jo Nova’s site.

    The editors wrote to Nils and their main reason was that anyone could doubt the IPCC:

    “We were alarmed by the authors’ second implication stating “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project”.

    LINK

    Also the excuse:

    UPDATE: I hear that there is a newer version of this note which added an extra paragraph:

    “In addition, the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing and not in accordance with our publication ethics we expect to be followed by the editors.”

    Tallbloke is saying that some of the reviewers were anonymous.

    dikranmarsupial says:
    January 18, 2014 at 4:55 pm
    tallbloke,it might be worth Prof. Morner approaching the reviewers for permission to publicly say whether they had reviewed a paper for PRIP (but of course not which papers they had reviewed). Some journals publish a list of reviewers that had reviewed for them each year, mostly as acknowledgement of a rather thankless task, so this would not be unprecedented.

    If the list contained the names of non-climate skeptics, or especially experts who had expressed critical opinions in the past, or experts in statistics, pattern recognition or solar physics from outside the group, that would go a long way in answering the questions regarding the integrity of the review process.

    With a reply:

    tallbloke says:
    January 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm
    Dikran: Thanks, I’ll pass that comment to the senior editors for their consideration. Currently they have no access to the journal interface, because Copernicus has locked them out. So I doubt any info will be forthcoming immediately. Rasmussen needs to be specific and elevate his innuendo and smears to specific allegations so the Editors can defend themselves.

    AND THERE I AGREE
    Everyone is condemning Prof. Mörner, a man with 580 peer reviewed papers to his name based on a frecking AFTER THOUGHT that has now been removed. Martin Rasmussen’s comment has already disappeared from the PRP website. http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/special_issue2.html

    I think we need to wait until actual evidence is presented and not smears and mudslinging.

    Has anyone ever consider that this was a set-up to smear skeptics from the get go? Because this thread has done a dandy job of it.

  327. Poptech says:

    Gail, you obviously did not read Anthony’s post. Please do so before commenting with things that have already been addressed or are a strawman to the actual argument.

  328. Anthony Watts says:

    Gail,

    With respect, I’m honestly puzzled by your response. I ask that you read my essay again.

    Thanks.

  329. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Manfred says:
    January 20, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    @willis, @poptech,

    this is not what the rules say. They leave the decision to the referees and the editor and nobody else. If they decide, they complied with the rules, they complied with the rules.

    That makes no sense at all. If that is the case, then what is the reason for all of the strictures such as the following:

    Editors should avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest. If an editor chooses to participate in an ongoing scientific debate within his journal, the editor should arrange for some other qualified person to take editorial responsibility.

    Surely you can’t believe that simply making a decision, no matter what the decision might be, means that the editor has complied with that rule. That doesn’t scan.

    w.

  330. JC says:

    [snip - too much derogatory content - you are welcome to try again -mod]

  331. JC says:

    Well, well. Too close to home? Now you show your true colors. What did I say that wasn’t true?

  332. JC says:

    How about this?
    Willis, what can I say. You are the biggest pompous xxx that I have ever read. While you are definitely intelligent you also need a big dose of humility.
    Same goes for Watts.
    As for Poptech, well you’ve pretty much said it all.
    Get over it!

  333. Willis Eschenbach says:

    JC says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    How about this?
    Willis, what can I say. You are the biggest pompous xxx that I have ever read. While you are definitely intelligent you also need a big dose of humility.
    Same goes for Watts.
    As for Poptech, well you’ve pretty much said it all.
    Get over it!

    JC, I’ve presented ideas, answered objections, raised issues, clarified terms, discussed the issues, and offered links and citations.

    Rather than discuss any of that, your response is to fling verbal feces in all directions and hope something sticks … and it does, just not to me.

    If you want to show that I’m wrong, I invite you to quote my words and tell us your objections. At present you are acting like a spoiled child, who thinks his tantrum carries intellectual weight in the adult world.

    w.

  334. Gail Combs says:

    Anthony, I was referring to this sentence
    “It turns out that “pal-review” was indeed a problem, and that both sides should have seen this showdown coming well in advance. Had either made some effort to head it off, you wouldn’t be reading about it now.”

    If no one knows who the heck the “anonymous referees” are that statement is a bit premature.

    Given the publication was a start-up I would not be surprised if the pool of referees was small. It is the nature of the beast. Just getting enough papers to publish can be darn hard (BTDT) So a small pool would be expected until it made a name for itself. The fact this it has never been screamed about for every single other start up journal makes me wonder why now?

    As you said it could be seen in advance and that makes me wonder if it was a set-up. It is not like Nils Mörner isn’t a well known skeptic. It is not like these people do not hire top of the line ‘hired gun strategists’ like Stan Greenberg of Greenberg, Quinlan, Rosner. A man who coordinated the strategies for Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Bolivian president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada, South African president Nelson Mandela and leaders of 60 other countries. And yes “…He is also a strategic consultant to the Climate Center of the Natural Resources Defense Council on its multi-year campaign on global warming…. http://www.dl21c.org/fbevent/616

    Mud slinging and smears is de rigueur for a guy like Greenberg. Republican pollster Frank Luntz says “Stan Greenberg scares the hell out of me. He doesn’t just have a finger on the people’s pulse; he’s got an IV injected into it. He’s the best.”

    Anti-Nils-Axel Mörner Articles:
    Skeptical Science – Nils-Axel Mörner is Wrong About Sea Level Rise: http://www.skepticalscience.com/Nils-Axel-Morner-wrong-about-sea-level-rise.html

    Nils-Axel Morner | DeSmogBlog http://www.desmogblog.com/nils-axel-morner

    The Carbon Brief: Rising incredulity at the Spectator’s use of dubious sea level claims
    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2011/12/rising-incredulity-at-the-spectator’s-use-of-dubious-sea-level-claims/

  335. JC says:

    Verbal feces? That’s a good one. You are very good at verbal sparring. But this has nothing to do with your “objections, raised issues, clarified terms, discussed the issues, and offered links and citations”. It has to do with your “opinions”. You are of the opinion that somehow the small minded people that think they know better can make rules that we follow but they don’t. In any event that is meaningless. Science is science, no matter how peer reviewed it is.

  336. JC says:

    I’ll take your silence as an answer.

  337. Anthony Watts says:

    @ Gail thanks for the clarification.

    This journal and the papers in it are small potatoes in the larger climate science scheme of things. I could be wrong, but honestly, I think the idea that this was some sort of “setup” doesn’t jibe with the low profile of the journal and its content. Virtually nobody had heard of it until this incident.

  338. A. Scott says:

    After reading thru Anthony’s well reasoned comments and the others here, I have to make one point that seems to be getting lost in the tempest. And that is the quality of the science itself, along with the quality of the peer review that was completed.

    I can completely agree with the concerns raised about pal-review. I understand and agree with Anthony’s concerns that this provides ammo for warmist’s to try to smear all skeptics.

    That said – it seems unfair to lose sight of the science and the quality of the peer review.

    To say no skeptic can review a skeptic paper is silly. To say no “sympathetic” scientist can review, or to say an Editor or related author can never review is equally silly IMO … At least considering how extremely often it occurs on the warmist’s side. To a point, peer review can be improved with critical reviewers – challenge is a cornerstone of the scientific method – however, if we get to a point where hostility becomes involved the process breaks down as well.

    Again, while I agree with and understand Anthony’s concerns and disappointment it seems we play right into the warmist’s hands by allowing this side issue to over shadow whether the papers and science along with the peer review are legitimate and accurate.

    Worse is this focus lets the bigger issue – that within a day the entire journal was terminated – apparently in part due to warmist’s complaints over exactly the same processes they regularly employ themselves!

    No one can undertake a legitimate scientific review in 24 hours – let alone one complete enough to justify termination of the entire journal. To me that is a far bigger concern here.

  339. negrum says:

    Guam says:
    January 20, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    ” … Firstly, just because I tend to lurk does not make me a non poster, (research is everything) …”
    —-l
    The term lurking implies not posting on the net. I agree that research is everything.
    —-l

    “… my opinion whether you like it or not is as valid as anyone else’s.”
    —-l
    Self-evident and not something I am disputing. Try to avoid those kind of statements. Equally obvious is that once you take it upon yourself to lecture regular posters on style, you become fair game for similar treatment.
    —–l

    ” … Your attitude there is indicative of what I am referring to, inaccurate statements and failure to accept someones view. …”
    —–l
    Since you saw fit to comment on someone elses style, my comment was on your style, not your views, since I agree with some of them. Learn to read with more comprehension and you might find less “inaccurate” statements.

    Before posting, think about what you are trying to achieve, apart fom appearing in print.
    —–l

    ” …What has evolved on this thread has done no one here credit imho. …”
    —–l
    Some of it is good, some of it is not so good. This is the nature of open discussion in an imperfect world. I am glad to see that you do seem to have a humble opinion. I would not have deduced that from your first post.
    —–l

    My opinion if you don’t like it move on!
    —–l
    Your opinion is fine (you don’t get to decide when I move on), but your style is less than impressive. I am awaiting your reply to poptech with interest to see how mature you are and whether you can frame a reasonable argument. Please don’t to feel oblidged to waste your time replying to me, unless you really need my help.

  340. lsvalgaard says:

    Gail Combs says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:37 pm
    Given the publication was a start-up I would not be surprised if the pool of referees was small.
    None of the papers were of any technical or specialized sophistication. There would be tens of thousands of physicists capable of being referees.

  341. Willis Eschenbach says:

    JC says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Verbal feces? That’s a good one. You are very good at verbal sparring. But this has nothing to do with your “objections, raised issues, clarified terms, discussed the issues, and offered links and citations”. It has to do with your “opinions”. You are of the opinion that somehow the small minded people that think they know better can make rules that we follow but they don’t. In any event that is meaningless. Science is science, no matter how peer reviewed it is.

    JC says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    I’ll take your silence as an answer.

    Ah, my friend … I fear I’ve been working in R for the last … mmm … hour and seventeen minutes since I replied to your post, looking at the TAO buoy data.

    So I hate to break the sad news to you, JC, but I don’t hang on your every word. I don’t sit by my computer breathlessly awaiting your next post. As a result, I didn’t see either your content-free answer, nor your ultimatum a whole 21 minutes later

    In fact, since to date your stock in trade seems to be insults, and you haven’t raised a single substantial objection to anything, I fear I pay little attention to your posts.

    I just found it quite funny that you’d think that 20 minutes after issuing your deathless prose, you can declare someone’s silence as an answer … that’s just too good to pass by.

    w.

  342. Guam says:

    At negrum, I have said all I need to, if you are happy with attempted character assassination as a discussion format then it speaks volumes for how far things have sunk with this issue, the point is, this place was always better than that, the other side were historically the ones who reduced themselves to the gutter when making their argument, to see posters on here complain about the fact that * pal review” is rightly a tactic that should be left to them and yet devolve to using their most banal of techniques is hypocritical at best.

    Interesting you are more concerned at my style than the content of which I complained. I suspect I may not be the only one of the silent majority that finds what took place more than a little tawdry.

    All of course imho.

  343. negrum says:

    Guam says:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:04 pm:
    ” … character assassination … ”
    —-l
    Do you feel that this would include terms like muck-raking? I feel that If you can’t take it, you shouldn’t dish it out.

    I agree with most of your points on this issue, though I find them overstated. I don’t completely agree with your reading of the whole situation ( I am assuming your research includes the previous post and comments that generated this one).

    Still awaiting your reply to the person whose actions you so generously characterised and critcised and who has taken the trouble to mount a defensive argument. Forget about me – it is not worth your time or effort.

  344. Guam says:

    Guam says: Let me start by saying poptech please quit with the clear attempt at muckraking and character assassination against tb littered throughout this thread,

    If I made a factually untrue statement let me know and I will correct it.

    It is demeaning to all of us, the implications of your various posts are clear even to the most myopic of readers.

    If people refuse to admit to an irrefutable argument, I will provide enough evidence as is necessary to make my case. You can clearly see me repeatedly stating that I do not want to post more damning evidence but they don’t want to act rational, they want to keep defending an indefensible position. The only implications I am trying to show is a hypocrisy with “pal-review”..
    Guam says: Let me start by saying poptech please quit with the clear attempt at muckraking and character assassination against tb littered throughout this thread,

    If I made a factually untrue statement let me know and I will correct it.

    It is demeaning to all of us, the implications of your various posts are clear even to the most myopic of readers.

    If people refuse to admit to an irrefutable argument, I will provide enough evidence as is necessary to make my case. You can clearly see me repeatedly stating that I do not want to post more damning evidence but they don’t want to act rational, they want to keep defending an indefensible position. The only implications I am trying to show is a hypocrisy with “pal-review”..
    Poptech, that doesn’t wash you had already won the core argument, I agreed (as I indicated), with the general gist and criticism of the debacle (I am a regular on Tallblokes blog as well, although I seldom post). You had no need to go the “extra mile” all that succeeded in doing was create the impression of “axe grinding” to the detached observer.

    The move to hunting down his qualifications was really one step too far.

    The average reader on here is fairly smart (it is why most of us find this place). The undesirability of what appears to have occurred was not lost on most of us, the other stuff just makes everyone look bad imho.

  345. Martin A says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    None of the papers were of any technical or specialized sophistication. There would be tens of thousands of physicists capable of being referees.

    Disagree. To referee a paper requires more than a knowledge of the physical principles involved. It requires familiarity with the literature of a subject – so that the referee can judge:
    – Whether or not the work is original.
    – Whether or not it makes adequate reference to relevant previous work.

  346. negrum says:

    Guam says:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:33 pm
    —-l
    Thank you. I am pleasantly surprised and have much more respect for you.

  347. Brian H says:

    Are reviewers all to be drawn from a pool of disinterested and neutral experts? Where does this fabulous resource reside? (fabulous – adj. Existing only in fables.

  348. dikranmarsupial says:

    While Prof. Morner has a large number of publications, as far as I can see none of them are on Pattern Recognition (a field of statistics/machine learning), which is a main topic of the journal (the other being the application of those techniques to problems in physics). He is well qualified in one area of physics, oceanography, but that does not make him suitable as an EiC for such a journal and associate editor yes, and EiC, no.

    The other editor Prof. Ouadfeul, does have expertise in pattern recognition, but is not a leading figure in the field (which is what EiCs usually are, for the reasons given in my earlier post), according to google scholar his papers are not very highly cited, and most of those citations are self-citations. This is not an slur on Prof. Ouadfeul, we all have to start somewhere, he just isn’t nearly far enough into his career yet to be an EiC. The really sad thing is that this episode may seriously damage his chances of getting an editorship in the future when he has established himself more firmly (I hope he does, and that this experience is educational rather than detrimental).

    The real problem with the journal is demonstrated by looking at the papers that were not part of the special issue; of the 10 papers, two were written by Oudfeul and one by Morner. It is generally considered “not the done thing” for an editor to publish their own papers in a journal they edit (it is an obvious conflict of interest – some journals have a specific set of regulations to deal with this, but it is best avoided anyway). This is a strong indication that the journal was in trouble from the outset, because there was insufficient interest from the research community for authors to submit their papers to PRiP, so the editors had to submit some instead to get things going. Of the other eight, one was a paper by Scafetta, which attracted a response from Benestad and a reply from Scafetta. Comments papers are generally an indication of a problem in the quality of the review process, and it is not a good sign for the journal that this should happen in the very first issue. Thus there were only really six papers from external authors and three from the editors, which is not an encouraging ratio.

  349. dbstealey says:

    dikranmarsupial,

    What’s your opinion of Michael Mann’s qualifications?

  350. richardscourtney says:

    Friends:

    The discussion is becoming bizarre. People are trying to talk about any imaginable irrelevance instead of the issue at hand. And the issue is clear; i.e.

    The publisher (Copernicus) of a small-circulation peer reviewed journal (PRP) enabled publication of an unusual opinion on cause(s) of climate change by inviting a group of people who espouse that opinion to provide a Special Edition of PRP, but the group flagrantly broke the rules of peer review so the publisher decided to protect its reputation by stopping the Special Edition and discontinuing publication of PRP, and this has resulted in damage to the entire community of climate skeptics.

    The clique responsible have no excuse for what they did because there can be no excuse.
    There was no compulsion on them to engage in peer reviewed publication: they chose to do it.
    If you ‘join the game’ then obey the rules or ‘get sent off the field’. And when in the ‘sin bin’ don’t whinge that some others have got away with committing fouls because ‘two wrongs don’t make a right’. The miscreants chose to use peer review then broke the rules.

    The education and qualifications of those involved are not relevant unless it can be shown that they were illiterate so were incapable of reading the rules. The miscreants chose to use peer review then broke the rules.

    And the personalities of those involved are not relevant in any way.
    For example, Nils-Axel Mörner is one of the miscreants: he is one of my friends, he has conducted excellent scientific work on sea-level, and I admire him, but so what? Loyalty does not consist of pretending that an error of behaviour did not happen. The miscreants chose to use peer review then broke the rules.

    The nature and worth of the contents of what would have been in the Special Edition are not relevant. Those contents were not published because the rules of peer review were flagrantly violated. The miscreants chose to use peer review then broke the rules.

    Suggestions of “censorship” are ridiculous. The Special Edition was not published because the rules of peer review were flagrantly violated. The miscreants chose to use peer review then broke the rules.

    The value and purposes of peer review are interesting and worthy of discussion but they are not relevant to this debate. If people don’t like peer review then they don’t have to use it but can publish their ideas elsewhere; e.g. on a blog. The miscreants chose to use peer review then broke the rules.

    It is also not relevant that overvaluation of peer review has increased the publication of scientific dross. Academia has adopted the practice of considering number of peer reviewed publications as being an indication of an academic’s work, but quantity is not quality and this practice has increased the publication of rubbish which obscures published gems. But again, in the context of this discussion, so what? The miscreants chose to use peer review then broke the rules.

    And the resulting discredit for the miscreants’ actions has not been constrained to them. It has enabled climate-alarmists to smear all AGW-skeptics as being like the handful of miscreants. This is extremely hypocritical because the alarmists have a long record of doing what the miscreants did and worse while being applauded for it by their supporters. But so what? Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    The miscreants chose to use peer review then broke the rules. The reputation of all AGW-skeptics has been damaged by it. And this thread has not provided any indication that the miscreants have any remorse.

    Richard

  351. dikranmarsupial says:

    “The reputation of all AGW-skeptics has been damaged by it. ”

    Not in my opinion, if that is any consolation, errors made by indivuduals belong with those individuals.

  352. “Sandbox” is the right word for all this “peer review” and “pal review” shameful nonsense.
    Publish your ideas openly, then wait for others to take them apart and see if you are wrong.
    Everything else, including degrees and titles, is just a squabble in the qeue to the feeding trough.

  353. bobl says:

    I would like to go on the record here as agreeing with Anthony. Even though Pal review is rife on the other side, we cannot afford to play by these rules. In order to be able to call out Pal review for what it is, we need to rise above it. If anything, I’d like to see broader reviews. Given that this was a new Journal and has a limited list of reviewers, I think the overlap was understandable, however I also think it was a mistake.

    Still, I would have counseled the Editors on the publication rules and helped with compilation of a more extensive reviewer list, rather than just cancelling it.

  354. Gail Combs says:

    Brian H says: @ January 21, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Are reviewers all to be drawn from a pool of disinterested and neutral experts? Where does this fabulous resource reside? (fabulous – adj. Existing only in fables.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Disinterested?? “Science advances one funeral at a time.” ~ Max Planck

    I am reminded of the lady who was turned down for a job in a doctor’s office because she did not have a ‘Certificate” stating she had been ‘Trained” on the medical equipment she had invented. (Note it was her signature on the certs.!) Of another professor with only a masters teaching phd students in the field he invented. When a bureaucrat raised a fuss because he was “Un-qualified to teach because he did not have a phd in the field” his answer was “But who will examine me, my students?”

  355. dikranmarsupial says:

    bobl wrote “Given that this was a new Journal and has a limited list of reviewers,”

    Journals do not have lists of reviewers, the editors can invite anybody they like to review a paper if they think they have suitable qualifications and could provide a useful review.

    The reason that editors need to be very experienced, eminent researchers in their field is so that they know the different branches of research within the field well enough (in addition to ther own specialism) to be able to identify suitable researchers, or at least well enough to know how to find them. These days it is much easier as tools like Google Scholar would help; for instance if you have a paper on planetary resonance to review, you could look up “planetary resonance” on google scholar and see who has published papers on the topic that have been well recieved by the research community, e.g.

    http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=“planetary+resonance”

    And related searches such “orbital resonance” that a competent referee will know to perform. You might even find some that have a direct bearing on the paper to be reviewed, but which do not appear in the reference list.

    Looking at the references of the paper is also a good place to look for possible reviewers, provided the paper is of sufficient quality that the reference list contains the papers that it should (i.e. it doesn’t ignore papers that cast doubt on the argument the paper puts forward). Naturally, a good editor would not rely on this apporach alone, without investigating further.

    Prof. Svalgaards’ comment “None of the papers were of any technical or specialized sophistication. There would be tens of thousands of physicists capable of being referees.”

    is essentially correct, from what I have seen of the papers included in the special issue. For instance on the topic of planetary resonance, there will be thousands of astronomers and astrophysicists that could competently review that topic, it appears to be a fairly basic topic that is covered at undergraduate level.

  356. Hot under the collar says:

    There are a number of issues that have been raised in this post. Firstly I agree that the resulting accusation of ‘pal review’ was an inevitable outcome of a small group of, mainly skeptics, collaborating on a peer review journal in a small field of science. I also respect the right of the publisher to withdraw the journal, whatever the reason – yes they do have a reputation to protect. I agree with most of Anthony’s post and Richardscourtney’s comments.

    One area where I disagree is that it has resulted in damage to the entire community of climate skeptics – no it has resulted in damage to the editors of the journal. This fact seems to have been lost on some people. Yes you may argue that it was self inflicted but imagine how you would be feeling now if you had spent all that time and effort, with good intent, for the right reasons and your journal is pulled?

    I will go further and say if it had happened to me (or most of you) and I then felt that the post or commenters were at this time ‘rubbing my nose in it’ then I am likely to get angry and make comments I later regret.

    The other issues are double standards, both in respect of ‘skeptics’ not doing something (pal review) we accuse others of but also comparing a clearly defined intent at corrupting the scientific process (climategate) with the mistake of choosing the peer review avenue for the publication of their work. I accept, if the accusations are correct they broke the rules and the journal was withdrawn, better now than later.

    The other issue of double standards is what we do if the rules are broken – how many journals have been withdrawn after climategate showed some alarmists censoring work critical of the ‘settled science’ or even getting editors sacked for not following the mantra? No, it was all brushed under the carpet, slapped wrists at most. If this had been a CAGW sympathetic journal it likely wouldn’t have been brought to anyone’s attention.

    Yes, some will use the opportunity to accuse all skeptics of being unscientific – what’s new? It will only give an opportunity to point out the ethical standards they aspire to. The game of ethical ‘Top Trumps’ is not exactly a winning formula for them.

    No I am not aware anyone is arguing two wrongs make a right, I am not arguing the indefensible, on the contrary I agree, break the rules face the consequences it is just a shame some of the CAGW crowd don’t follow the same standards, as such we are left with both scientific and press censorship in the UK.

    They made a mistake, let’s not have personal attacks.

  357. pyromancer76 says:

    Anthony and Richard S Courtney, it is time to get over sanctifying “peer review” — they no longer are sacred “rules of the game”. They have been utterly and forever falsified. There no longer is any sacred value to which we must bow down or any “necessity to the scientific method” that belongs to peer review. Too many scientific criminals have hidden and continue to hide behind it. Not only in these fields, but in many, many more.

    This issue is telling here because of the hatred and vindictiveness directed towards a group of scientists — who are not considered scientists by others (not even of undergrad quality) — who are trying to present a perspective. There is way too much ridiculing of “resonances”. This is pure splitting and projective identification of the kind that demands all opposition being sterilized, euthanized, exterminated, or disappeared. Take a good look.

    Any idea that “all” AGW skeptics will be tarnished is bunk. Anyone who says so is terrified of his/her own scientific positions and the free enterprise of free and open discussion.

  358. dikranmarsupial says:

    pyromancer76 Nobody is ridiculing resonances, per se, Pluto *is* in 2:3 resonance with Neptune. However, many of the other relationships between orbital parameters are not nearly close enough to the claimed ratios to be due to genuine orbital resonance. There are plenty of papers in the litterature on possible influences of the planets on the sun, so nobody is trying to prevent scientific discussion of this in the journals.

  359. Poptech says:

    Gail Combs says: If no one knows who the heck the “anonymous referees” are that statement is a bit premature.

    Gail, maybe you did not read the previous discussion either,

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/17/the-planetary-tidal-influence-on-climate-fiasco-strong-armed-science-tactics-are-overkill-due-process-would-work-better/

    If you read Anthony’s article, on multiple papers you have the authors and editors in this special edition listed as reviewers. Then it gets worse, while the “anonymous” reviewers were not so anonymous as Ian Wilson admitted to,

    Ian Wilson says:
    January 18, 2014 at 8:33 am

    …I treated the submission of my paper with all the scientific gravitas that is required in these situations. I did the same with any paper that I was asked to review. [...]

    As a reviewer I gave what I considered was my best scientific advice to the Editor so that they could collectively evaluate whether or not a given manuscript was suitable for publication in the Special Edition.

    That speaks for itself.

    Gail Combs says:Given the publication was a start-up I would not be surprised if the pool of referees was small.

    This is a common misconception with journals, they do not have a “pool of referees” – anyone can be a reviewer (you just have to convince them). So it doesn’t matter how new or small your publication is, you can tap any qualified person to review the papers. So your argument is meaningless.

    Failure to get independent reviewers is a problem with the editor not being resourceful enough or trying hard enough.

  360. Sparks says:

    Poptech,

    Was the evaluation (review) undertaken by one or more people of similar competence to the producers of the work (peers) and are they considered qualified for the review process?

  361. Poptech says:

    JC says:
    January 20, 2014 at 9:28 pm
    How about this?
    Willis, what can I say. You are the biggest pompous xxx that I have ever read. While you are definitely intelligent you also need a big dose of humility.
    Same goes for Watts.
    As for Poptech, well you’ve pretty much said it all.
    Get over it!

    WTF? Willis and Anthony have done nothing here but rationally argue their points. It gets rather tedious when people repeatedly fail to address the actual arguments being presented and instead choose to argue strawman arguments.

    Apparently people are not reading what is being said, so I have to say it again.

  362. pdxrod says:

    Reply to Willis Eschenbach @ January 20, 2014 at 6:44 pm: “And how is that different in any detail from what the reviewers and editors of the special edition did?”. I don’t know. I don’t know if pal review resulted in poor papers in Pattern Recognition in Physics or great ones. The point is, as Joanne says, evaluate the papers according to science and logic, not procedure.

  363. Poptech says:

    Sparks says:
    January 21, 2014 at 9:58 am
    Poptech,

    Was the evaluation (review) undertaken by one or more people of similar competence to the producers of the work (peers) and are they considered qualified for the review process?

    Strawman, I already stated they were qualified which does not address the pal-review argument. As per the journal publication rules, reviewers cannot have even a perceived conflict of interest (to prevent pal-review). Are you even familiar with skeptic arguments of pal-review and the hypocrisy of endorsing this now?

    Is Phil Jones of similar competence to the producers of the work (peers) and is he considered qualified for the review process of a paper by Michael Mann?

  364. richardscourtney says:

    pyromancer76:

    I do not understand your post at January 21, 2014 at 5:59 am.

    I know of nobody who “sanctifies” peer review and/or claims it is “sacred rules of the game”. Clearly, you have not read my posts in this thread.

    And I have not directed “hatred and vindictiveness” at anybody. Indeed, I pointed out that personalities are “not relevant” to the issue. But one of the “group” you mention did try to smear me. Again, I can only assume you have not read the thread.

    And you are stating demonstrable nonsense when you write

    Any idea that “all” AGW skeptics will be tarnished is bunk. Anyone who says so is terrified of his/her own scientific positions and the free enterprise of free and open discussion.

    I am not “terrified” of anything you mention. And all AGW-skeptics are being smeared by association with the group: this is happening at alarmist blogs across the web. But it is clear that you did not not read this thread before posting your untrue comment so I suppose it was to be expected that you would not check facts elsewhere.

    Your retraction would be appreciated.

    Richard

  365. Poptech says:

    A. Scott says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    After reading thru Anthony’s well reasoned comments and the others here, I have to make one point that seems to be getting lost in the tempest. And that is the quality of the science itself, along with the quality of the peer review that was completed.

    That argument has been forfeited by the journal’s failure to follow the rules of the publisher for peer-review. Anthony, already addressed this,

    And so, the perception of the pal-review has trumped any science that was presented, and few people will hear of the reasons behind that problem.

    I have been debating this issue on more websites on the Internet (hundreds) than just about everyone here, for over 7 years and I can guarantee you no one and I mean no one is going to take anything published in these papers seriously because of these failures in the peer-review process. You can sit there and argue until you are red in the face but will never get past the irrefutable evidence that supports “pal-review” charges. I don’t know how much clearer I need to be.

    Anthony and Willis both have had papers published in journals were they can actually have a discussion about the science because they don’t have to worry about defending the peer-review process.

  366. JC says:

    In case you’re still there,
    Willis says:
    “So I hate to break the sad news to you, JC, but I don’t hang on your every word. I don’t sit by
    my computer breathlessly awaiting your next post. As a result, I didn’t see either your
    content-free answer, nor your ultimatum a whole 21 minutes later …”

    Ah Willis, let me set your mind at ease. I don’t think that you hang on my every word but since you responded to my first post so quickly I just assumed you were still reading and as I had to get up early this morning I went to bed. My bad…
    I’m not sure what ultimatum you’re referring to in your response. As you are fond of saying “quote me”. Unless you are referring to the first post, then that was more of a comment than an ultimatum. After all there are no consequences real or implied if you ignore my advice as I’m sure you will.

    In fact, since to date your stock in trade seems to be insults, and you haven’t raised a single
    substantial objection to anything, I fear I pay little attention to your posts.

    So far I’ve only offered a single insult but IMHO one that is well deserved.
    Since I’m sure that others do understand my objection and as I’ve said verbal sparring with you is pointless, I will leave your words as an answer… you do pay little attention.

  367. Poptech says:

    lsvalgaard says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:31 pm
    Given the publication was a start-up I would not be surprised if the pool of referees was small.
    None of the papers were of any technical or specialized sophistication. There would be tens of thousands of physicists capable of being referees.

    Exactly, and as I stated above, with no effort you can find 10,735 Ph.D. level members of the IAU alone, http://www.iau.org/about/ and that does not include all the other qualified scientists from relevant disciplines. The only hard part is convincing them but with enough effort you should have no problem locating independent qualified reviewers.

  368. dikranmarsupial says:

    “Was the evaluation (review) undertaken by one or more people of similar competence to the producers of the work (peers) and are they considered qualified for the review process?”

    This is being a little more precise in the specification of “peer” than is warranted.

    If Prof. Enid Gumby sends a paper to the Lancet on “The Effect of Brain Surgery on Flower Arrangers”, it would be O.K. if it were reviewed by Prof R.J. Gumby, rather than a qualified brain surgeon?

    Ideally, as an author, you want to have your papers reviewed by someobody who is smarter and better qualified than you are. The less qualified you are, the more important this is.

  369. Stephen Fox says:

    Thanks to Gail Combs and Alexander Feht for their excellent clarity.
    If scientists must rely on getting help from from peers, who will help the peerless? Or are we not bothered about involving them in our discussions?
    We are to be content with hearing the discourse of Poptech, are we?
    I notice that on the Popular Technology blog page, there is a comprehensive takedown of Willis Eschenbach, which asserts that he is no more than a carpenter and not an engineer, or a computer scientist or any other relevant ‘-ist’. and that moreover, he has repeatedly failed to correct the mistaken impression that he is some kind of qualified person.
    Is this correct? And if it is, in what sense is he even a peer? Are pals allowed here, but not at the PRP journal?

  370. Lars P. says:

    Gail Combs says:
    January 21, 2014 at 5:04 am

    Disinterested?? “Science advances one funeral at a time.” ~ Max Planck

    I am reminded of the lady who was turned down for a job in a doctor’s office because she did not have a ‘Certificate” stating she had been ‘Trained” on the medical equipment she had invented. (Note it was her signature on the certs.!) Of another professor with only a masters teaching phd students in the field he invented. When a bureaucrat raised a fuss because he was “Un-qualified to teach because he did not have a phd in the field” his answer was “But who will examine me, my students?”

    I see the peer review as a necessity of the journals to ensure a certain quality check. What has a journal of value except the value of its papers?

    If it allows for low quality papers – which are obvious bogus to a specialist – then the quality of the journal itself decreases rapidly towards zero.
    People would not be happy to have papers published in a journal that publishes rubish, that is bad PR.
    So it is in the interest of the journal to have good quality check, to continue to gather good papers in the future, and from all methods the peer-review quality check seems to work best.
    It could be even pal-review if it works properly.
    If it can be maintained otherwise people should not bother, but this is the problems with pal-reviews, kind of friends do not want to be the “bad guys”.
    We have seen that even quality check through peer-review fails many times.

    Now for the PRP journal – do we really have a good quality check of the papers and good quality papers?
    I have had a brief look at one of the papers which was criticised by Willis above:
    Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 19, 2014 at 3:18 pm
    First, the special edition proposes a number of fairly extraordinary ideas. Hans Jelbring is among the contestants, saying inter alia:
    and it does not really look as a quality paper at first sight. Ok I work full time and do not really have much free time (will look at it at the week-end) – but even such short glance raises alarm signals.
    This is something that a proper peer-review should find.

    And I perfectly understand Anthony’s pain: Copernicus cancelled the journal on the wrong reasons. If the papers are garbage, they now justify the wrong reasons, and that’s the dilema. Copernicus can say: see the reasons are not wrong, it is garbage.
    Well even if the papers are garbage, the reason is wrong, however now we should make the proper analysis of those papers as we did for the warmista ones, to see if they are worth fighting for.
    Will try to have a look at the week-end to proper appreciate for myself, as I think many people will do now with all the PR the paper’s received.
    Would it have not been fabulous with stellar papers?
    Well this my 2 cents.

  371. Eugene says:

    Anthony, an excellent, thoughtful post. You are right to feel as you do; the team and their minions are aggressively labeling all skeptics as unethical, despite it being a case of the pot calling the kettle black and we should not turn a blind eye to the situation. And I am sure that any “evolving field” in science, engineering and other areas of research will have the same challenge. In this case, the editors likely owe a public apology to quite a large audience.

    I daresay it would be interesting to see the actual comments; in my experience some people are much better than others in shelving personal bias when examining the work of others. If the peer review comments were heavily laced with “attaboys,” then the process was a total and abject failure, and it’s best the Journal has been terminated. On the other hand, if the comments were largely solid, probing, thoughtful, and ultimately helped make the papers and their conclusions more understandable — that is, solid constructive criticisms — then that’s not as bad (though it doesn’t eliminate the underlying problem nor the many perceptions associated with what we now know as pal-review, thanks in no small part to “the team,” of course). The fact that there were apparently only two reviewers, only one of which was apparently unaffiliated, is also problematic to me. Had the editors sought additional reviewers with adequate basic knowledge to grasp the fundamentals of the papers, and adding at least one (for a total of three or more reviewers) would have helped allay some suspicions.

    But in the end, the conundrum, I believe, is that in such evolving areas of science (and engineering, etc.) there are limited numbers of “expert” practitioners who can most effectively serve on peer-review teams. Eventually, perhaps even quickly, they become “personally” or “professionally” familiar with many or most others in their own field due to discourse at conferences, via professional collaboration, as former students and professors/mentors, and so on.

    So how do the scientific and engineering fields effect change in the peer review process? It seems that, somehow, there needs to be a larger pool of potential reviewers. But if they have not the expertise to be “peer reviewers,” how can they actually review “peers?” This assumes, of course, that the need for professional publication is valid as a basis for recognition, and thus leading to tenure, pay and benefits, grant awards, etc. On the flip side, if such people can be found and recruited, and do have the potential expertise but have not been active in that specific area, will existing researchers welcome them as reviewers? Such “less than expert” reviewers could develop adequate expertise to compete for grants and other funding (as well as recognition), or they could be malicious with their comments. And, in any case, increasing the pool of reviewers is great in the abstract, but they all still typically serve on a voluntary basis and given that they receive no renumeration, their availability is limited.

  372. Sparks says:

    Poptech,

    I asked an honest question, which I also put to Roger himself, he replied with a direct and honest answer, without all the hand-waving, asking a question isn’t a straw-man argument or an endorsement of the review process, but it should be noted that reviewers were asked for from outside their discipline.
    I think its silly to compare such a small area of non-paid research with the enormously well funded climate cabal that you mentioned above.

    Was the evaluation (review) undertaken by one or more people of similar competence to the producers of the work (peers) and are they considered qualified for the review process?

  373. Martin A says:

    richardscourtney says:
    January 21, 2014 at 2:38 am

    Friends:

    The discussion is becoming bizarre. People are trying to talk about any imaginable irrelevance instead of the issue at hand. And the issue is clear; i.e.

    The publisher (Copernicus) of a small-circulation peer reviewed journal (PRP) enabled publication of an unusual opinion on cause(s) of climate change by inviting a group of people who espouse that opinion to provide a Special Edition of PRP, but the group flagrantly broke the rules of peer review so the publisher decided to protect its reputation by stopping the Special Edition and discontinuing publication of PRP, and this has resulted in damage to the entire community of climate skeptics.

    That’s not my reading at all. The original letter to the editors announcing the closing down of the journal stated very clearly it was because of the climate skeptic views expressed by the editors. Issues with reviewing were not mentioned in the original letter.

    They were announced later – as if the publishers were on the offensive and wanted to sex up the original letter. And they were announced only in the vaguest way, and apparently without previously asking the editors for their response to the allegations. A very seedy way of handling things.

    I have to say I find the tone of the discussion on this thread on WUWT quite surprisingly nasty, with many of the characteristics I have hitherto associated with some AGW websites. I’d characterize this thread as having a whiff of lynch mob character to it.

  374. Martin A says:

    offensive defensive

  375. richardscourtney says:

    Martin A:

    At January 21, 2014 at 11:28 am you quote me then conclude saying

    I’d characterize this thread as having a whiff of lynch mob character to it.

    I assume that means you were offended at the attempted smear of me by one of the miscreants. I can see no other reason for your associating my name with assertions such as “a whiff of lynch mob character”.

    Richard

  376. dikranmarsupial says:

    sparks, as I wrote above, “peer review” doesn’t mean having your papers reviewed by somebody just as incompetent or as competent as you are. It means getting your papers reviewed by somebody that is competent to determine whether the paper is basically correct and if so give constructive advice on improving it. That is not at all the same thing, which is wht the question as posed:

    “Was the evaluation (review) undertaken by one or more people of similar competence to the producers of the work (peers) and are they considered qualified for the review process?”

    is based on a misconception of the purpose of peer review. Authors should want their papers reviewed by people who are smarter and better qualified than they are, the more so, the better. The correct question ought to have been:

    “Was the evaluation (review) undertaken by one or more people of sufficient competence to review the work, and are they considered qualified for the review process?”

  377. Poptech says:

    Guam says:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Poptech, that doesn’t wash you had already won the core argument, I agreed (as I indicated), with the general gist and criticism of the debacle (I am a regular on Tallblokes blog as well, although I seldom post). You had no need to go the “extra mile” all that succeeded in doing was create the impression of “axe grinding” to the detached observer.

    Maybe those who are posters at Tallbloke’s blog not to everyone else. They refuse to acknowledge why this would even be considered a problem (some continue to), then Roger falsely accused me of intellectual dishonesty.

    Guam says: The move to hunting down his qualifications was really one step too far

    Not when he says to me, “…you know jack sh1t about astrophysics, so why would we care?” and started calling me childish names. So I asked a legitimate question and provided evidence to support my argument.

  378. Poptech says:

    dikranmarsupial says:
    January 21, 2014 at 2:08 am

    While Prof. Morner has a large number of publications, as far as I can see none of them are on Pattern Recognition (a field of statistics/machine learning), which is a main topic of the journal (the other being the application of those techniques to problems in physics). He is well qualified in one area of physics, oceanography, but that does not make him suitable as an EiC for such a journal and associate editor yes, and EiC, no.

    I agree on his lack of a background in pattern recognition, but Dr. Morner also well qualified in Geology and Geophysics,

    Nils-Axel Morner, Fil. Kand. [B.A.], Stockholm University, Sweden (1962); Fil. Lic. [M.A.] Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden (1965); Fil. Dr. [Ph.D.] Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden (1969); Associate Professor of Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden (1969-1971); Associate Professor of General and Historical Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden (1971-1980); Secretary, Neotectonics Commission, INQUA (1977-1981); Editor, Bulletin of the INQUA Neotectonics Commission (1978-1996); Professor of General and Historical Geology, Stockholm University, Sweden (1981-1991); President, Neotectonics Commission, INQUA (1981-1991); Chairman, Nordic Historical Climatology Group (1989); Professor and Head, Department of Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden (1991-2005); Co-ordinator, INTAS project on Geomagnetism and Climate (1999-2003); President, Commission on Sea Level Changes and Coastal Evolution, INQUA (1999–2003); Expert Reviewer, IPCC (2001, 2007); Professor Emeritus of Palegeophysics and Geodynamics, Stockholm University, Sweden (2005-Present); Golden Chondrite of Merit Award, University of the Algarve, Portugal (2008)

    dikranmarsupial says: The other editor Prof. Ouadfeul, does have expertise in pattern recognition, but is not a leading figure in the field (which is what EiCs usually are, for the reasons given in my earlier post), according to google scholar his papers are not very highly cited, and most of those citations are self-citations. This is not an slur on Prof. Ouadfeul, we all have to start somewhere, he just isn’t nearly far enough into his career yet to be an EiC.

    This argument is baseless, career length and popularity is irrelevant to be an editor in charge,

    http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/jobs/358965-editor-trends-in-cognitive-sciences

    “The minimum qualification is a PhD in neuroscience, cognitive science or a related field. Post-doctoral training is an advantage. Previous publishing experience is not necessary – we will make sure you get the training and development you need.

  379. Poptech says:

    Sparks says:
    January 21, 2014 at 11:24 am
    Poptech,

    I asked an honest question, which I also put to Roger himself, he replied with a direct and honest answer, without all the hand-waving, asking a question isn’t a straw-man argument or an endorsement of the review process, but it should be noted that reviewers were asked for from outside their discipline. [...]

    Was the evaluation (review) undertaken by one or more people of similar competence to the producers of the work (peers) and are they considered qualified for the review process?

    No asking a question is not a strawman, the question asked was – go look up “strawman argument”. The charges of “pal-review” has nothing to do with the qualifications of the reviewers. It is like arguing that medical malpractice is good because the doctor was well qualified. One argument has nothing to do with the other. By not addressing the actual argument, you are arguing a strawman. You never answered my question,

    Is Phil Jones of similar competence to the producers of the work (peers) and is he considered qualified for the review process of a paper by Michael Mann?

    Do you not understand what “pal-review” is?

  380. dikranmarsupial says:

    Poptech, that job advert appears to be for an editor in the publishing sense (i.e. like the editor of a magazine), not an academic editor who oversees the review of papers. Note the advert does not mention anything about overseeing review. It is also a full time job, which would prevent them from doing much in the way of research themselves. I suspect it is for someone who will produce the editorials etc.

    Academic editors are normally unpaid and are appointed rather than hired, and are normally eminent people in their fields, and normally still active in their research field. Look up the editors of top journals and compare their h-indicces with Ouadfeul’s. This is not a criticism of Ouadfeuls, he is just not at the point in his career yet where he is ready to be an EiC.

  381. Poptech says:

    Stephen Fox, you seem rather annoyed you are unable to actually debate the actual arguments so you introduce red herrings as distractions. Since it is shown you are a frequent commentator at the Talkshop it is not surprising you are engaging in more logical fallacies.

  382. Poptech says:

    dikranmarsupial, It does not say that at all but rather,

    “We are seeking to appoint a new Editor for Trends in Cognitive Sciences, [...] As Editor of Trends in Cognitive Sciences…”

    It does not say “an editor” or some other lesser title. If you look on their website they have listed an “Acting Editor” implying that they are filling in until a replacement is hired,

    http://www.cell.com/trends/cognitive-sciences/home

    Academic editors [...] and are normally eminent people in their fields, and normally still active in their research field.

    There is not such requirement to be an Editor of a journal. This is purely your invention.

  383. What the heck is dikran doing here, by the way? I’ve never seen him criticize a single aspect of the behaviour of his minders at Skepticalscience. Heal thyself.

  384. dikranmarsupial says:

    poptech, as I said, look at a range of leading journals (not just a job advert for one journal), look at the h-indices of the EiCs, compare with Prof. Ouadfeuls, let me know what you find.

  385. wayne says:

    “That’s not my reading at all. The original letter to the editors announcing the closing down of the journal stated very clearly it was because of the climate skeptic views expressed by the editors. Issues with reviewing were not mentioned in the original letter.

    They were announced later – as if the publishers were on the offensive defensive
    and wanted to sex up the original letter.”

    Thank you Martin A. This is but an another attack from both side because it has to do with the force gravity. Every other time gravity is even mentioned in their work… Miskolczi, Nikolov-Zeller, Tattersall, etc the same attacks have occurred. It stinks with agenda and “sides”. Any time “which side” gets involved, good possible science gores out of the window.

  386. wayne says:

    gores goes

  387. Poptech says:

    Eugene says:
    January 21, 2014 at 11:12 am

    The fact that there were apparently only two reviewers, only one of which was apparently unaffiliated, is also problematic to me. Had the editors sought additional reviewers with adequate basic knowledge to grasp the fundamentals of the papers, and adding at least one (for a total of three or more reviewers) would have helped allay some suspicions.

    I am not sure how you misread that but those were just two examples of what will be accused of as “pal-review”. There were more than two reviewers in PRP. However, all those named by the journal were authors and editors in the same issue and the “anonymous” reviewers were not so anonymous as Ian Wilson confessed to,

    Ian Wilson says:
    January 18, 2014 at 8:33 am

    …I treated the submission of my paper with all the scientific gravitas that is required in these situations. I did the same with any paper that I was asked to review. [...]

    As a reviewer I gave what I considered was my best scientific advice to the Editor so that they could collectively evaluate whether or not a given manuscript was suitable for publication in the Special Edition.
    That does not look good against charges of “Pal-Review”.

    But in the end, the conundrum, I believe, is that in such evolving areas of science (and engineering, etc.) there are limited numbers of “expert” practitioners who can most effectively serve on peer-review teams. Eventually, perhaps even quickly, they become “personally” or “professionally” familiar with many or most others in their own field due to discourse at conferences, via professional collaboration, as former students and professors/mentors, and so on.

    I have no idea why people believe this. Reviewers are not supposed to be what most people would consider “the best in their field” (I am sure that is great if you can get them) but rather having relevant qualifications. Astrophysics is not a field that has only a handful of qualified professionals.

  388. Poptech says:

    dikranmarsupial, the job advert destroys your entire argument.

  389. dikranmarsupial says:

    Shub wrote “What the heck is dikran doing here, by the way? I’ve never seen him criticize a single aspect of the behaviour of his minders at Skepticalscience. Heal thyself.”

    agreeing with Anthony?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/19/the-copernicus-prp-fiasco-predictable-and-preventable/#comment-1542433

    being rational about how this affair reflects on the skeptic community as a whole?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/19/the-copernicus-prp-fiasco-predictable-and-preventable/#comment-1543062

    It is a shame that discussions on climate degenerate into this sort of partisan sniping. It is generally an indication that further rational discussion is unlikey, so I think I’ll leave it at that.

  390. Stephen Fox says:

    Gosh. Are you now or have you ever been a commenter at the Talkshop?
    You don’t know how sick you sound.

  391. richardscourtney says:

    wayne:

    Your post at January 21, 2014 at 12:42 pm supports Martin A in his disagreement with my understanding of why the Special Edition was withdrawn; i.e. the publisher wanted to protect its reputation by stopping publication of a journal usurped by ‘pal review’.

    It says

    Thank you Martin A. This is but an another attack from both side because it has to do with the force gravity. Every other time gravity is even mentioned in their work… Miskolczi, Nikolov-Zeller, Tattersall, etc the same attacks have occurred. It stinks with agenda and “sides”. Any time “which side” gets involved, good possible science goes out of the window.

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    As evidence, I quote a post I made on the site of Jo Nova. Read it and see which “side” you think I am on and if I am open-minded about the science. Please note that it is a reply to one of the contributors to the withdrawn journal

    Hans Jelbring:

    It is good to hear from you again. Indeed, I think you could witness that I am not prejudiced against publishing things likely to have been in the withdrawn Special Edition of PRP. I think this because I assisted you in getting the Editor of E&E to consider for publication your paper which you debated with Willis Eschenbach in this thread.

    I am disappointed that you imply I have lost “personal integrity”.

    Please read my post again.
    The issue is not “bureaucracy”. And it is not “dedicated scientists”.
    Indeed, I listed all such irrelevancies and stated why they are not relevant.

    The issue is the clear stupidity demonstrated by those who chose to use peer review then broke the rules. The inevitable outcome of that is a disaster. And – as I said – I have yet to see any remorse from any of you.

    Richard

    And this is a link to that post
    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/01/science-is-not-done-by-peer-or-pal-review-but-by-evidence-and-reason/#comment-1375943

    Richard

  392. Poptech says:

    Martin A says:
    January 21, 2014 at 11:28 am

    That’s not my reading at all. The original letter to the editors announcing the closing down of the journal stated very clearly it was because of the climate skeptic views expressed by the editors. Issues with reviewing were not mentioned in the original letter.

    How the original letter was worded is irrelevant to the fact they had legitimate grounds for what they did based on publishing rule violations regarding the peer-review process.

    And they were announced only in the vaguest way, and apparently without previously asking the editors for their response to the allegations. A very seedy way of handling things.

    Why do you need to ask someone if Jelbring reviewed Tattersall’s paper? You can see it by reading the damn paper!

    http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/1/185/2013/prp-1-185-2013.pdf

    [Page 197] Acknowledgements. The author wishes to thank the following
    people for their generous assistance in the production of this
    unfunded work: Stuart Graham, Ian Wilson, Roy Martin, Wayne
    Jackson, Graham Stevens, Roger Andrews, and many other people
    offering insight and comment at “Tallbloke’s Talkshop”.

    Edited by: N.-A. Mörner
    Reviewed by: H. Jelbring and one anonymous referee

    Do I need to take screenshots because people cannot click on links?

  393. richardscourtney says:

    Stephen Fox:

    At January 21, 2014 at 12:56 pm you ask

    Are you now or have you ever been a commenter at the Talkshop?

    I answer, YES, and I have an article there.

    I have answered your question so can you explain its relevance because I fail to see that.

    Richard

  394. wayne says:

    Unlike so many here I for one do not rule out gravity’s possible influence on climate. Judith Curry and her Stadium Wave and Bob Tinsdale and his El Nino and La Nina and the harmonics Tattersall thinks he finds may all have a commonality in guess what, gravity and the length of the instantaneous “day” length so i don’t just toss any of their works out of the window or attack any of them. What causes the Pacific to slowly slosh from the Asian shores to the Americas shores seeming with yet unfound harmonics to help explain this phenomena?

    When ever there is bounded liquid (edges) with distances (space) and differences in the forces and timing ruling their existance there can possibly be harmonics involved and the periods are probably at the decadal scale.

    I find the reviewing of Tatterall adequate and even though I too, as Anthonny, still cast a leary eye on whether there is enough forces involved to physically perform these feats at the planet scale, on our planet Earth, I refuse to join the chorus to figuratively hang his work out to dry and I have yet to read any of the papers mentioned here, but I will over time, and give them my critical review. It’s called science.

    This was a witch hunt from both sides.

  395. Poptech says:

    Stephen Fox, so far my engagement with most (not all) who are commentators from the Talkshop, has been rampant logical fallacies. Maybe if people would actually read Anthony’s article or our comments. He even mentions an eco-chamber analogy from Star Trek, yet you guys don’t seem to read anything. We are aware you are upset, you still have to address the actual arguments presented.

  396. lsvalgaard says:

    wayne says:
    January 21, 2014 at 1:11 pm
    Whenever there is bounded liquid (edges) with distances (space) and differences in the forces and timing ruling their existence there can possibly be harmonics involved and the periods are probably at the decadal scale

    Tattersall’s ‘paper’ contains the following lapsus:
    “The coincidence of peaks in the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) curve with multiples of the Carrington Rotation (CR) period indicates a resonant effect of this frequency (27 days)”

    which immediately dooms the paper to the dustbin. Any reviewer worth his salt would know that the 27-day recurrence period in cosmic rays is simply the result of the sun rotating with a period near 27 days giving rise to co-rotating interaction regions scattering cosmic rays and not of any ‘resonance’ of anything.

  397. richardscourtney says:

    wayne:

    I took issue with your supporting Martin A in associating me with his assertion of “a whiff of lynch mob”.

    At January 21, 2014 at 1:11 pm you have responded and concluded

    This was a witch hunt from both sides.

    That is a demonstrable falsehood!

    Our host initially supported the miscreants and so did I because we thought there had been censorship. Anth0ny posted an article which criticised it and you can read that article here
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/17/the-planetary-tidal-influence-on-climate-fiasco-strong-armed-science-tactics-are-overkill-due-process-would-work-better/

    In that thread I made a series of strong posts which also criticised the apparent censorship; e.g.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/17/the-planetary-tidal-influence-on-climate-fiasco-strong-armed-science-tactics-are-overkill-due-process-would-work-better/#comment-1540048

    But then I learned of the ‘pal review’ and reversed my opinion (as reported in the above article).

    Subsequently, Anth0ny reversed his opinion for the same reason (and he provided the above article).

    Trying to spin this as a “witch hunt” is demonstrably untrue propaganda.

    Richard

  398. wayne says:

    Go ahead Richard, do everything your group do so well, where is Poptech and Eschenbach? It was my opinion as I see it.

  399. Martin A says:


    I assume that means you were offended at the attempted smear of me by one of the miscreants. I can see no other reason for your associating my name with assertions such as “a whiff of lynch mob character”.

    Richard

    Richard, please re-read my words carefully and see if you still think they can reasonably be interpreted as applying to you in particular, rather than to this thread in general. This is what I said in my final paragraph:


    I have to say I find the tone of the discussion on this thread on WUWT quite surprisingly nasty, with many of the characteristics I have hitherto associated with some AGW websites. I’d characterize this thread as having a whiff of lynch mob character to it.

  400. richardscourtney says:

    Martin a and wayne:

    I am replying to both of you in this thread for convenience and not as an insult to anyone.

    Martin A:
    I understood your comment to be directed at me because it cited me.
    Clearly, the subsequent posts from wayne indicate that he had the same understanding. However, I acknowledge that his understanding is not much of an indication of anything.
    So, I thank you for clarifying that you were not directing your post at me although it did quote me.

    wayne:
    At January 21, 2014 at 1:40 pm you say

    Go ahead Richard, do everything your group do so well, where is Poptech and Eschenbach? It was my opinion as I see it.

    My “group”? Do you ever read anything?

    Poptech and I have had severe disagreements.
    My post to you at January 21, 2014 at 1:01 pm quoted (with a link) a post I made to Jelbring (one of the contributors to the withdrawn journal) and it referred to the assistance I gave him to obtain publication of his hypothesis which Willis reviles (and I don’t accept).

    Your “opinion” has no relationship to reality and I see no reason for me to accept your untrue and insulting comments.

    Richard

  401. Bernie Hutchins says:

    I don’t understand why the two most central issues, indeed the elephants in the room, keep slipping off the radar here. First, could anything be more central and threatening than the original claim for cancelling PRP?

    ‘ . . . . . ultimately submitted their conclusions in which they “doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project” ‘

    This is like your kid making the excuse that he is philosophically opposed to having to do homework. That, however tactlessly presented by the publishers, is the overriding issue. The fact that they came back with peer-review issues (your kid adds that, anyway, the dog ate the assignment sheet) is indicative of additional insecurity of position, but a secondary issue.

    The second elephant is that peer-review, IN GENERAL, has in fact failed. It morphed from a marginally useful tool to a weapon. It is broken, but like a broken hammer, its fractured parts are still useful as bludgeons, just not for pounding nails.

  402. PJF says:

    So does this great parting of the ways improve the chances that “solar” article comment threads here at WUWT wont get almost completely distracted by Jupiter pixies and other cosmic curve riding phantoms? This would be a good thing.

    However, it’s often the case that the removal of a pathogen opens up the field for others to thrive. Which seems like a good opportunity for me to introduce my theory about the influence of the Great Pumpkin on TSI…

  403. wayne says:

    “Poptech and I have had severe disagreements.”

    Richard, I did not say you are complaining on the same points as Poptech or even Willis’s, each is different, it is the general whiff that Martin seems to have also detected that I was speaking of. You got your point over long ago, same for the others. Have you not said enough?

    And no, I have not read all 400+ comments completely here, many hurt my soul so I don’t need to, the tone blares out just by skimming through it.

    But this is my last comment here.

  404. Manfred says:

    richardscourtney says:
    January 21, 2014 at 2:23 pm
    Trying to spin this as a “witch hunt” is demonstrably untrue propaganda.

    ————-

    Its not. The reason for termination was criticism of the IPCC.

    This thread failed to make this clear..And this is a shame.

    You may, of course, add (as the journal did), that “in addition”, the papers were reviewed poorly or improperly, likewise similar cases of most influential warmist papers or even the whole IPCC reports.

    You may also cirtizise the content / missing data / missing code likewise possibty in hundreds of other cases of warmist papers and then conclude, the articles should not have been published.

    You then may have a point, but this is not what happened here.

  405. J Calvert NUK says:

    In the paper “Planetary beat and solar–terrestrial responses” by N.-A. Mörner, I read that “The multi-body interaction of the planetary motions on the Sun’s motion is so large that the Sun’s motion around the centre of mass is perturbed by up to about 1 solar radius.”

    That’s quite amazing. One learns something new everyday. (I wonder where further authoritative information about this fact can be found?)

  406. Poptech says:

    wayne says:

    January 21, 2014 at 1:40 pm
    Go ahead Richard, do everything your group do so well, where is Poptech and Eschenbach? It was my opinion as I see it.

    I’ve defended Dr. Scafetta and Dr. Morner all over the place from baseless charges, so please spare me your conspiracy theories. Just like Richard I thought this was a clear case of censorship but when I investigated the nepotism peer-review charges I found irrefutable evidence to support the allegation. What do you want us to do sit here and look like hypocrites and endorse a process that can so easily be attacked as “pal-review”?

    I’ve had disagreements with Anthony, Richard and Willis so it is laughable you call us a “group” or as Roger keeps ridiculously repeating, “Team WUWT”.

  407. Manfred says:

    J Calvert NUK says:
    January 21, 2014 at 3:43 pm
    In the paper “Planetary beat and solar–terrestrial responses” by N.-A. Mörner, I read that “The multi-body interaction of the planetary motions on the Sun’s motion is so large that the Sun’s motion around the centre of mass is perturbed by up to about 1 solar radius.”
    That’s quite amazing. One learns something new everyday. (I wonder where further authoritative information about this fact can be found?)
    ————————————–

    This may be surprising, but is rather basic physics. If all planets would be aligned on one side, the barycenter would be 800.000 km outside the sun.

    http://mechanicalintegrator.com/2009/solar-system-center-of-mass/

  408. A. Scott says:
    A. Scott says:
    January 20, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    After reading thru Anthony’s well reasoned comments and the others here, I have to make one point that seems to be getting lost in the tempest. And that is the quality of the science itself, along with the quality of the peer review that was completed.

    That argument has been forfeited by the journal’s failure to follow the rules of the publisher for peer-review. Anthony, already addressed this,

    “And so, the perception of the pal-review has trumped any science that was presented, and few people will hear of the reasons behind that problem.”

    I have been debating this issue on more websites on the Internet (hundreds) than just about everyone here, for over 7 years and I can guarantee you no one and I mean no one is going to take anything published in these papers seriously because of these failures in the peer-review process. You can sit there and argue until you are red in the face but will never get past the irrefutable evidence that supports “pal-review” charges. I don’t know how much clearer I need to be.

    Poptech … I think we all do a disservice to the scientific process by ignoring the quality of science and the quality of the peer review here. You can say all you want they “forfeited” the right for the science to be considered, but that is a in my opinion a highly flawed approach.

    First, I am certain the people involved did not set out to purposely violate the rules. Whether their actions are right or wrong, I simply do not believe their intent was to violate the rules or cause this controversy.

    Second, this behavior occurs regularly on the warmist side. Recently the debacle with Lewandowsky, which saw a gigantic abuse of peer review – a silly game of musical chairs among reviewers, with multiple different iteration before they settled on the Editor, who was also an important cite, and a Journalism graduate student highly sympathetic to Lewandowsky, and with a prior business relationship with his employer. There couldn’t be a much better example of the corruption of peer review than this, yet essentially this flagrant abuse was ignored.

    And worse – the damage was already done, just as with Lewandowsky’s prior ridiculous “Moon Landing is a Hoax” paper, the Recursive Fury paper WAS covered in the media. They achieved the desired affect. In these cases peer review was just corrupted, the entire scientific process was tortured – intentionally – in order to generate negative and highly prejudicial press towards the skeptic community.

    We did attack this abuse, for what little good was done as a result, and rightfully so too should we address the issues here. I agree we should stand up and condemn “pal” review whenever it occurs.

    That said – being directly involved with the Lewandowsky debacle – I believe it is equally important to acknowledge the differences. With Lewandowsky – all of the alleged “science” was outright garbage. Soundly and completely refuted on all levels; from data collection, the ‘process’ and right on to the ‘science’ behind the conclusions. It was ALL garbage, with the authors manufacturing ‘findings’ out of nearly thin air.

    The work was complete garbage, the conclusions were complete garbage, the entire process was a complete joke.

    And they then tried to use (or abuse) the peer review process to sanctify the garbage they had produced. It is clear they shopped for peer reviewers they thought would be sympathetic to their goals.

    The reviewers were originally Elaine McKewon and Michael Wood. This was changed to McKewon and editor Viren Swami. Then the list of reviewers was changed to McKewon, Swami and Prathiba Natesan, Then Natesan was removed from the list of reviewers, returning the list to McKewon and Swami again.

    Dr. Michael Wood’s “primary research interest (and expertise) is in the psychology of conspiracy theories.” which would appear to make him a qualified reviewer. Ms. McKewon on the other hand was a “journalism” graduate student, who was nothing more than a rabid activist – a “junior” Lewandowsky, who also had a publishing relationship with Lewandosky’s institution. Her twitter posts should tell what you need to know: http://archive.is/nUDbr

    Dr. Woods told me he expressed reservations, which were not addressed by the authors, and he asked to be removed as a reviewer. Dr. Natesan, was by all appearances highly qualified, especially in the area of Psych statistics, and also was withdrawn.

    Leaving the Editor, Dr. Viren Swami, whose own work is a cornerstone of Lewandowsky’s work, and the highly sympathetic activist grad student as the remaining reviewers.

    The appearance here is of outright corruption and direct manipulation of the peer review process. Yet nothing happened. The paper s still there:

    http://www.frontiersin.org/personality_science_and_individual_differences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073/abstract

    Despite far, far more egregious behavior – the appearance of intentional and direct manipulation of the peer review process, the Journal is unaffected. And the publishers claims the problems would be “investigated … as swiftly as possible and which Frontiers management considers the most responsible course of action,” are shown for what they are. Lip service. Almost a year later nothing has been done.

    In my opinion, by attacking rather than simply ‘addressing’ the concerns with peer review here, we fail to make a very important distinction. The intent. We lump the actions here, which I can see no overt intent to defraud, with the clearly intentional peer review corruption with Lewandowsky’s papers.

    Each of Lewandowsky’s garbage papers, despite the peer review issues, were thoroughly evaluated on their science by the skeptic community. The work was invalidated by detailed review. Which also invalidated the peer review and proved intent.

    The attitude that because the authors here are alleged to have violated some rule, we should ignore the science is seriously flawed. We would not, and do not, dismiss the science with garbage like Lewandowsky (nor any of the other myriad questionable other works from the warmist side) – and to do so here, for work of committed (whether we agree with their findings or not) skeptics, is in my opinion a serious problem.

    I believe we do far more harm to the skeptic side by the different, much higher, standard being applied here, as compared to how we treat similar, worse offenses by the warmist side.

    If we truly cared about protecting the image of skeptics, we should, while acknowledging the errors and failings, review the underlying science – discuss and debate, prove or disprove – the actual WORK product and conclusions.

    Zig Ziglar says we should praise the player while criticizing the performance. I think that applies well her – on a couple levels – both as applies to the individuals, and as applies to the science.

    Acknowledging there appears no intent to use pal review to support bad science, or at least lets question the players and identify what their intent actually was. Review and validate or disprove the science – which will also identify whether the peer review was accurate or not – is what we should be doing in my opinion.

    These guys, whether we condone their actions or not, deserve at minimum the same treatment as we afford the other side.

    Eating our “own” over a violation over rules, while ignoring their science, is first, unfair. And second, again in my opinion, does more damage than the concerns with peer review.

    We need to stop the witch hunt. Follow the process we would if this was Lewandowsky or anyone similar. Validate the science, which helps validate the peer review. If the science is generally sound (and please note that does not necessarily mean “proven”) then the peer review, regardless of the rules violations, is also shown as generally sound.

    Validate the science, which validates the quality of the peer review. We do that for the ‘other’ side – we owe the same to “our” side. Then we can fairly and rightfully investigate and address the peer review process violations on their own merits.

    My 2 cents. Your mileage may vary.

  409. WillieB says:

    Since this thread still seems to be alive, let me offer my rebuttal to those who have critiqued my much earlier post regarding Rule #4. Some posters have pointed to this rule as the one violated by the editor of PRP and justified the closing of the journal. In their reply to my post they have pointed to one sentence in Rule #4.

    “If in doubt, the referee should return the manuscript promptly without review, advising the editor of the conflict of interest or bias.”

    Again, those posters are misinterpreting this sentence and inferring from it something it simply does not say. This sentence plainly states that if a referee thinks he may have a conflict, he should notify the editor, stop his review of the manuscript, and return it to the editor. In other words, submit his resignation. It does not state that the editor cannot, under any circumstance, decide to have the referee review the manuscript despite the conflict and to return the manuscript to the referee so he can review it.

    As an experienced, worldwide publisher, surely Copernicus’s Editorial Rules have gone through a number of reviews, including by their lawyers, before being adopted. In my experience, corporate lawyers hate ambiguities and strive for absolute clarity — a “say what you mean” mantra. Rule #X: Under no circumstance shall an editor use a referee with a conflict of interest.

    Perhaps it would help to look at this rule from a different perspective. Both Rule #4 and #5 begin with “A referee should…” They go on to set forth the responsibilities of being a referee and the actions a referee should take to fulfill those responsibilities. These rules make no mention of what the author, the editor or the publisher should or shouldn’t do. Therefore, how can an editor be fired for violating a rule that only applies to the referee?

    Please do not infer from the above that I am advocating for the wide-spread, willy-nilly use of pal reviews. I am not. However, if there is a conflict, it is the responsibility of the editor to disclose it to the reader. In this instance the editor did just that (though I agree with those who say the editor should have handle things better).

    In an earlier post, Poptech, to bolster his analysis, presented a fictitious scenario of Mann starting a journal which solely employed his “pals” as editors, writers and reviewers. As long as Mann fully disclosed the names of all the players involved with each and every article in each and every issue, then I don’t believe Mann would be doing anything unethical, nor should he be accused of malpractice.

    That said, would I lend much credence to any article published in Mann’s journal? No.
    Would I cite an article from Mann’s journal in any of my writings? No.
    If another author were to cite an article, would I view said citation as bolstering the author’s paper? No.
    Would I subscribe to Mann’s journal, or even read it. No.

    If enough people felt the same way, the journal would be shut down, not due to malpractice, but rather market forces (both from the financial marketplace and the marketplace of ideas).

    This whole “scandal” began when the publisher announced the closure of PRP and gave a reason which many viewed as biased and unwarranted. After much blow back, the publisher then came back with the much more serious, though somewhat vague, accusation of nepotism and malpractice.

    Let me present my own fictitious scenario. Bob is the worldwide publisher of numerous journals. One day he announces that he has long been concerned about the philosophies held by the editor, Joe, of one of his journals. Bob explains that those philosophical differences had become so great that he has decided to shut down Joe’s journal. Later, after much blow back, Bob says, oops, I forgot to mention that I’m also shutting Joe down because I believe Joe has been embezzling from me.

    The question is, which is the true reason Bob closed down Joe’s journal. Did Bob, in the heat and confusion of the situation, completely forget the far more egregious accusation of embezzlement. Or, was it just a CYA excuse after having received much blowback for shutting Joe down over philosophical differences? Only Bob knows the answer.

    As with others, this will be my last comment.

  410. A. Scott says:

    I need to acknowledge that Anthony says many of the same things I do in his points above. I think we should follow much of his advice – validate the science. Validate the quality and accuracy of the peer review. Discuss the seemingly increasingly prevalent use of non-published papers as reference cites.

    And then investigate BOTH the peer review process AND the journal’s apparent knee jerk response – certainly there can be no legitimate review of an important issue in 24 hours.

    Address the real issues – in proper perspective.

  411. Hot under the collar says:

    richardscourtney says:

    Richard,

    Although I stated in my post that I agree with most of your comments, I was a bit uncomfortable with your use of ‘miscreants’, I let it go because I have occasionally called my two children “a couple of miscreants” but obviously in an affectionate way. I have now read the posts you linked to at Jo Nova’s and it was pointed out to you that miscreant can be defined as “depraved, villainous and / or dishonest”.

    May I respectfully request you withdraw the word, otherwise you may reasonably be asked who you are referring to and explain exactly how they have been “depraved, villainous and dishonest”.

    Respectfully Yours,
    Richard (Hot under the collar)

  412. calvertn says:

    Manfred. The position of centroid is not difficult to estimate. But does it actually ‘perturb the motion’ of the sun? If Jupiter was (for arguments sake) 2x as far away, the centroid would be even further out. But I find it hard to believe that the motion of sun would be ‘more perturbed’ in this scenario.

  413. Poptech says:

    WillieB says:
    January 21, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    In an earlier post, Poptech, to bolster his analysis, presented a fictitious scenario of Mann starting a journal which solely employed his “pals” as editors, writers and reviewers. As long as Mann fully disclosed the names of all the players involved with each and every article in each and every issue, then I don’t believe Mann would be doing anything unethical, nor should he be accused of malpractice.

    I think we have entered into loony land.

  414. lsvalgaard says:

    calvertn says:
    January 21, 2014 at 4:27 pm
    But does it actually ‘perturb the motion’ of the sun? If Jupiter was (for arguments sake) 2x as far away, the centroid would be even further out. But I find it hard to believe that the motion of sun would be ‘more perturbed’ in this scenario.
    The Sun and the planets are all in free fall and do not ‘feel’ any forces no matter where the center of mass is.

  415. Poptech says:

    Once people have to resort to defending the most ridiculous fictitious example I could come up with regarding Michael Mann pal-reviewing with Phil Jones, Gavin Schmidt and John Cook simply because you refuse to concede, I believe I have won the argument.

  416. sabretruthtiger says:

    All of you dubious characters supporting the obviously WRONG axing of the journal are forgetting that it’s not about the purported ‘pal review’ it’s about the science.

    It’s all about the SCIENCE. It doesn’t matter which scientists review a paper provided they can provide detailed analysis of their conclusion that conforms to logic and scientific reasoning, something that never happens with the Alarmists.

    The difference that we should focus on is no Alarmist publication ever got the ‘oh no it’s pal review’ treatment and they all were easily debunked regarding man made global warming.

    I challenge people to find fault with the science in the paper.

    Geez, It’s like a bunch of alarmists are pretending to be WUWT’ers

  417. sabretruthtiger says:

    Jo Nova sums it up well:

    “1. The media are going to one-sidedly cherry pick a belated unsubstantiated excuse anyway. They always falsely try to pin any flaw to “all skeptics”. Why amplify that or accept it? I would point out their hypocrisy, rather than join the chorus.

    2. The real priorities are logic and reason, evidence and free speech. In the peer-pal debate there is no win worth achieving. Peer review is a weak system anyway. And current journal editors are only going to send alarmist papers to independent skeptics as a matter of course when everybody realizes the real debate occurred online, and some bloggers were closer to the truth than Nature. Let’s help independent scientists continue to push the bounds of knowledge.

    3. As far as dashing “…any chance of any sort of climate skeptic or citizen science based journal coming into existence…”. I would say, No. Not at all.

    4. Until Copernicus shows that the papers contained flaws worse than MBH98, which was not even retracted, terminating a journal for no named error at all is a scandal. When will Copernicus be closing the other journals?”

  418. lsvalgaard says:

    sabretruthtiger says:
    January 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm
    I challenge people to find fault with the science in the paper.
    I did: upthread at January 21, 2014 at 1:27 pm

  419. Poptech says:

    A. Scott says:
    January 21, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Poptech … I think we all do a disservice to the scientific process by ignoring the quality of science and the quality of the peer review here. You can say all you want they “forfeited” the right for the science to be considered, but that is a in my opinion a highly flawed approach.

    This strawman has been argued ad nauseum. It is an irrelevant argument because no one is going to take the science seriously if they believe the peer-review process was broken. Nor is anyone going to care about your opinion on the “quality” of the peer-review since they will believe it was “rubber stamped”. I have no idea why you do not get this. The only thing flawed is not protecting yourself from such easy criticisms.

    First, I am certain the people involved did not set out to purposely violate the rules. Whether their actions are right or wrong, I simply do not believe their intent was to violate the rules or cause this controversy.

    I am beginning to believe the rules were never even read.

    The rest of your comment equates to:

    1. Two wrongs make a right.
    2. Stories of other wrongs that have been done.
    3, We should argue the strawman for the 1000th time.
    4, Make excuses, look like hypocrites.

  420. Poptech says:

    sabretruthtiger,

    Why did they go through the trouble to create the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics with Copernicus Publications?

  421. Hot under the collar says:

    WillieB says:
    January 21, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    “In an earlier post, Poptech, to bolster his analysis, presented a fictitious scenario of Mann starting a journal which solely employed his “pals” as editors, writers and reviewers. As long as Mann fully disclosed the names of all the players involved with each and every article in each and every issue, then I don’t believe Mann would be doing anything unethical, nor should he be accused of malpractice.”

    I actually thought personally that Poptech had made a good point but, what do you mean fictitious?

    In practical terms, didn’t climategate demonstrate that was exactly what some of ‘the team’ were doing by sacking and planting their own editors and reviewers in order to keep out skeptics work and be able to cite each other. The only difference is it was done deceitfully and when they were caught out – guess what – the journals weren’t pulled and nothing happened to them. You didn’t see many of the alarmists calling peer review foul then did you?

    Also you didn’t require a PhD, Degree, HNC or even to be a scientist to know it was wrong.

    In fact, if ‘the team’ actually got together and started a journal but then were caught out giving biased reviews, no the journal wouldn’t be pulled. In fact they would probably be awarded a Knighthood, Nobel Prize and Congressional Medal of Honor to boot!

    Yes, double standards and censorship, it’s alright as long as it’s for ‘the cause’.
    They are the ones who have made a mockery of the peer review process, let’s not forget.

  422. calvertn says:

    Lsvalgaard, Re “The Sun and the planets are all in free fall and do not ‘feel’ any forces no matter where the center of mass is.” That seems to make more sense. So, I wonder what is the basis of Dr Morner’s assertion that “the Sun’s motion around the centre of mass is perturbed by up to about 1 solar radius”? The paper (Planetary beat and solar–terrestrial responses) did not seem to include a citation in support of it.

  423. lsvalgaard says:

    calvertn says:
    January 21, 2014 at 5:12 pm
    I wonder what is the basis of Dr Morner’s assertion that “the Sun’s motion around the centre of mass is perturbed by up to about 1 solar radius”?
    It is not disputed that the center of mass of the solar system can at times be that much outside of the sun, but that does not ‘perturb’ the sun and cause upheavals of any kind.

  424. PJF says:

    For further perspective on the centre of mass issue, consider that the centre of mass of the Earth-Moon system is only approx. 1700km below the surface of the Earth. Every day (due to the spin of the Earth being at a different pace to the orbit of the moon), this notional point is “dragged” right around through the lower mantle. Somehow we survive this marauding; it’s almost as if there is no effect at all…

  425. Ulric Lyons says:

    sabretruthtiger says:
    “I challenge people to find fault with the science in the paper.”

    The faults are relatively easy to find, I challenge people to find the science in the paper.

  426. Carla says:

    lsvalgaard says:

    January 21, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    sabretruthtiger says:
    January 21, 2014 at 4:39 pm
    I challenge people to find fault with the science in the paper.
    I did: upthread at January 21, 2014 at 1:27 pm
    ——————-
    Glad that you did Dr. S., thank you..

  427. A. Scott says:

    Poptech. I attempted to reasonably, rationally and intelligently state my opinion. And that is that WE – the skeptic community – first judge the science. Which will tell us MUCH about the quality of the peer review, regardless of who the reviewers were.

    Only THEN can we make a reasoned and measured response to the concerns.

    No matter how you try to frame it, it is a FAR different issue if “pal” review resulted in poor review, in rubber stamping rather than fairly reviewing the science. It is imperative in my opinion to know the quality of the science and quality of the resultant peer review, in order to judge the alleged violations.

    If the science in these papers is shown to be bad or poor, then the peer review was poor by allowing these papers t pass and be published. If, however, the science was solid, then the quality of the peer review, regardless of the reviewers, is NOT at issue.

    And in that case we are left with a far, far different issue than if the peer review was pal-sourced and too friendly.

    If you cannot understand why that is important I cannot help you.

    Keep in mind the object of peer review is not to necessarily prove or disprove the science, but rather whether it and its conclusions are credible.

    WE are the ones judging here, and our – the skeptic community’s – response here will have a significant affect on the public perception. It is not about future credibility of these authors or anything else. If we ignore the proper path – if we ignore the way we treat warmist’s papers – then we cede all credibility … and deserve the ridicule we get.

    Your position – ignore everything the didn’t follow the rules – only serves to guarantee the latter.

    This situation should be treated exactly as we do others. FIRST, and foremost, review and validate whether the science is credible and accurate. Then, with that info in hand we can review the credibility and quality of the peer review.

    And I think you would have to agree – how we approach the failures in the peer review process absolutely IS affected by whether the review was credible, as compared to if it was sympathetic and promotional, ignoring the facts at hand…

  428. Poptech says:

    Roger only helps to bury PRP the more he tries to “explain” things,

    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/01/science-is-not-done-by-peer-or-pal-review-but-by-evidence-and-reason/#comment-1375897

    Rog Tallbloke
    January 22, 2014 at 2:26 am

    “(1) We were alarmed by the authors’ second implication stating:
    “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project”

    So what? This is the direct inference of the 12 research papers (especially Papers 1,4,5,7,9,11,12).

    The charges from the publisher were that they were concerned the journal would be used to focus on climate change topics,

    However, the initiators asserted that the aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines rather than to focus on climate-research-related topics.

    Dr. Scafetta previously argued that most of the paper don’t even discuss climate change and here we have Roger arguing they most certainly do infer this!

    Rog Tallbloke
    January 22, 2014 at 2:26 am

    (2) “the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis”

    Nepotism is to favor friends and relatives without respects to qualifications. We did the opposite; the reviewer chosen were all specialists on the topics in question.

    It is true that they primarily were chosen among the authors of the special issue with some additional from outside. This does not mean “pal-reviewing”, but serious colleague reviewing… “

    Now we also have confirmation that the anonymous reviewers were mostly “colleagues”!

    “7. Editors should avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest if the relationship would bias judgement of the manuscript. Such conflicts may include, but are not limited to, handling papers from present and former students, from colleagues with whom the editor has recently collaborated, and from those in the same institution.”

    I have never seen someone help to wreck the train and proceed to set it on fire trying to defend why they wrecked the train.

    **shakes head in utter amazement**

    I withdraw my initial statement that I was going to list the papers, sorry but I cannot defend this.

  429. Poptech says:

    A. Scott,

    Why did they go through the trouble to create the journal ‘Pattern Recognition in Physics’ with Copernicus Publications?

  430. Poptech says:

    For the record here is what the journal PRP looked like when I initially saw it,

    https://web.archive.org/web/20130718144101/http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/recent_papers.html

  431. john robertson says:

    Best advertising of The Journal; Pattern Recognition in Physics’ to date.
    Massive discussion on two major science blogs.
    What? 1000 plus comments and some of us will now go to this site or Tallblokes blog and read, attempt to follow the conjecture there writ and draw our own conclusions.
    Without this viral publicity campaign, I would probably never have heard of this material and would not now plan to put some time aside to peruse it.
    Well played.
    Possibly the future of advertising.

  432. Poptech says:

    John, I give you points for humor.

  433. Manfred says:

    Poptech says:
    January 21, 2014 at 4:28 pm
    I think we have entered into loony land.
    ———————————–

    You certainly did.

    There have been a few very interesting and sensible comments in last couple of hours, but you keep on riding your dead horse.

    This is about censorship and about science.

    Nothing happened because of “your” rules (which by the way do not even say what you think they say – you missed the “may, if, should, would etc.”). This is (at least for me) a rather annoying distraction from the actual events.

    They have been terminated because they critizised the IPCC.

    Even if you would think their papers are crap or not properly reviewed, you would (imho) still have to stand up for their publication, because such censorship is intolerable.

    And regarding the science:

    With the most important issues, (a few brilliant) skeptics have proven to lead the science. Be it broken hockey sticks, low climate sensitivity, model failure, warming hiatus, importance of ocean cycles to name just a few examples.

    These achievements have never been recognized, attributed or honoured, because, again, we have this appalling system of double standards and censorship.

  434. Poptech says:

    Manfred says:
    January 21, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    This is about censorship and about science. [...]

    They have been terminated because they critizised the IPCC.

    There is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition.
    – Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Science, MIT

    Manfred,

    Why did they go through the trouble to create the journal ‘Pattern Recognition in Physics’ with Copernicus Publications?

  435. Poptech says:

    Manfred says:
    January 21, 2014 at 11:08 pm

    Even if you would think their papers are crap or not properly reviewed, you would (imho) still have to stand up for their publication, because such censorship is intolerable.

    Why do you want me to be a hypocrite?

  436. Guam says:

    Guam says:
    January 20, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    Poptech, that doesn’t wash you had already won the core argument, I agreed (as I indicated), with the general gist and criticism of the debacle (I am a regular on Tallblokes blog as well, although I seldom post). You had no need to go the “extra mile” all that succeeded in doing was create the impression of “axe grinding” to the detached observer.

    Maybe those who are posters at Tallbloke’s blog not to everyone else. They refuse to acknowledge why this would even be considered a problem (some continue to), then Roger falsely accused me of intellectual dishonesty.

    Guam says: The move to hunting down his qualifications was really one step too far

    Not when he says to me, “…you know jack sh1t about astrophysics, so why would we care?” and started calling me childish names. So I asked a legitimate question and provided evidence to support my argument.

    Sorry Poptech, still doesnt wash, not when the identical approach can be viewed on other parts of the web, Jo Nova’s blog for instance.

    You have clearly gone personal on this matter and imho, readers should factor that in to reviewing your comments on this issue. Its almost bordering on an obsession in my personal opinion.

    Sometimes one should recognise victory and step back.

  437. richardscourtney says:

    Hot under the collar:

    At January 21, 2014 at 4:21 pm you write to me saying and asking

    Although I stated in my post that I agree with most of your comments, I was a bit uncomfortable with your use of ‘miscreants’, I let it go because I have occasionally called my two children “a couple of miscreants” but obviously in an affectionate way. I have now read the posts you linked to at Jo Nova’s and it was pointed out to you that miscreant can be defined as “depraved, villainous and / or dishonest”.

    May I respectfully request you withdraw the word, otherwise you may reasonably be asked who you are referring to and explain exactly how they have been “depraved, villainous and dishonest”.

    Firstly, I see your post as a semantic Red Herring. However, to prevent any possibility of accusation that I have avoided it, I will answer it.

    The Collins English Dictionary (Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003) provides this definition.

    miscreant (ˈmɪskrɪənt)
    n
    1. a wrongdoer or villain
    2. (Ecclesiastical Terms) an unbeliever or heretic

    adj
    3. evil or villainous
    4. (Ecclesiastical Terms) unbelieving or heretical

    [C14: from Old French mescreant unbelieving, from mes-mis-1 + creant, ultimately from Latin credere to believe]

    Those under discussion broke the rules of peer review, so they did wrong; i.e. they are wrongdoers.
    They ARE miscreants.
    I clearly stated that when questioned on the same point at Jo Nova’s.

    There can be no doubt that I used the word as a noun and I was not making an ecclesiastical reference. So, it is a falsehood to assert that I was saying the miscreants are “evil, villainous, unbelieving or heretical”.

    The alternative meaning from “wrongdoer” is “villain”. The word “villain” was not my intent, but it is appropriate.
    Following my decades of opposition to the AGW-scare I object to AGW-scepticism having been ‘stabbed in the back’ by people who claim to be AGW-sceptics, and I want to prevent them or others doing it again. The ‘stab in the back’ is villainous.

    So, NO! I will not withdraw my use of the correct, accurate and appropriate word “miscreant”.

    Richard

  438. A. Scott says:

    Poptech … you keep quoting the following as the support for your position that we should ignore the quality of the papers, and ignore the quality of the peer review, simply becasue the authors failed to follow the Journal’s “rules.”

    “7. Editors should avoid situations of real or perceived conflicts of interest if the relationship would bias judgement of the manuscript. Such conflicts may include, but are not limited to, handling papers from present and former students, from colleagues with whom the editor has recently collaborated, and from those in the same institution.”

    Each time you bring it up you point to the conflicts by the authors regarding this rule.

    Yet it seems you ignore the entirety of your quote … the all important qualifier. Which says:

    “… if the relationship would bias judgement of the manuscript.

    You seem to feel ANY conflict is grounds to find guilt in violating the rule, and once you find such guilt you believe the authors should be thrown overboard, and their work disregarded. The problem is that is NOT what the rule says. It says IF the conflict causes a bias.

    And the only way to know that is to review the paper and its contents. A relationship or conflict is NOT against the rules – unless it causes a bias in reviewing the paper.

    Which directly supports my belief – that we should treat this work as we would any other. Review the quality of the work, which lets us also review the quality of the peer review. If the work is credible, and free of major flaws, then there was no failure on the pat of the peer review process, regardless who did the reviews.

    We can argue if its smart or proper to have close associates do the peer review, but the journals rules do NOT prohibit exactly that … they prohibit relationships and conflicts that cause a bias in the reviewers judgement of the work.

    The journal IMO has committed the same offense as you … they also ignored their own rule, cherry picking only the part they wanted. There is no way in the world they could have reviewed IF the conflicts caused a bias in review of the work in 24 hours. And their comments make clear they did not consider this part.

  439. richardscourtney says:

    Manfred:

    Your post addressed to me at January 21, 2014 at 3:43 pm is pure – and delusional – spin.

    It was completely refuted by me in my post at January 21, 2014 at 2:38 am and this link jumps to it
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/19/the-copernicus-prp-fiasco-predictable-and-preventable/#comment-1543060

    Richard

  440. richardscourtney says:

    A. Scott:

    Your spin addressed to Poptech at January 21, 2014 at 7:59 pm attempts to turn reality on its head.

    For example, you write this

    Your position – ignore everything the didn’t follow the rules – only serves to guarantee the latter.

    In reality the issue is the clear stupidity demonstrated by those who chose to use peer review then broke the rules. The inevitable outcome of that is a disaster. And – as I have repeatedly said – I have yet to see any remorse from any of them.

    Richard

  441. richardscourtney says:

    A. Scott:

    You guys are spinning so fast it is amazing that you are not giddy. For example, at January 22, 2014 at 1:08 am you write to Poptech

    The journal IMO has committed the same offense as you … they also ignored their own rule, cherry picking only the part they wanted. There is no way in the world they could have reviewed IF the conflicts caused a bias in review of the work in 24 hours. And their comments make clear they did not consider this part.

    The publishers did NOT “ignore their own rule”. Indeed, as you admit, they applied the pertinent part of one of their rules.

    Nobody gets to pick and choose which parts of the rules to apply: if any part of a rule is transgressed then the rules have been transgressed.

    I yet again repeat
    In reality the issue is the clear stupidity demonstrated by those who chose to use peer review then broke the rules. The inevitable outcome of that is a disaster. And – as I have repeatedly said – I have yet to see any remorse from any of them.

    Richard

  442. Poptech says:

    Guam says:
    January 21, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Sorry Poptech, still doesnt wash, not when the identical approach can be viewed on other parts of the web, Jo Nova’s blog for instance.

    You have clearly gone personal on this matter and imho, readers should factor that in to reviewing your comments on this issue. Its almost bordering on an obsession in my personal opinion.

    Sometimes one should recognise victory and step back.

    You mean when Roger posts in this discussion to check out JoNova’s site and links directly to his comment I replied to? [See: tallbloke January 20, 2014 at 3:42 am]. Are we not allowed to comment there? Richard, Willis and even Mosher (not sure if he came from here) all went over there and commented.

    Roger made it personal when he said, “…you know jack sh1t about astrophysics, so why would we care?” and started calling me childish names [PopTop ect...]. I simply asked a question and supported it with evidence. It was a very simple rebuttal to his challenge, if he can make claims I know nothing about astrophysics, I can certainly ask a more relevant question – what are his qualifications to be an editor of a physical science journal.

    Let me know what I said that was not my opinion and is factually untrue.

  443. Poptech says:

    A. Scott, please read what Richard wrote – I am getting tired of trying to say the same thing in a way you will understand (as I am sure Richard is too).

    You also failed to answer my question,

    Why did they go through the trouble to create the journal ‘Pattern Recognition in Physics’ with Copernicus Publications?

  444. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Stephen Fox says:
    January 21, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I notice that on the Popular Technology blog page, there is a comprehensive takedown of Willis Eschenbach, which asserts that he is no more than a carpenter and not an engineer, or a computer scientist or any other relevant ‘-ist’. and that moreover, he has repeatedly failed to correct the mistaken impression that he is some kind of qualified person.
    Is this correct? And if it is, in what sense is he even a peer? Are pals allowed here, but not at the PRP journal?

    Thanks, Stephen. You can read the whole story, including a link to my CV, at my post It’s Not About Me. Short version? It doesn’t matter who puts forward a scientific claim … what matters is whether it is true or not.

    w.

  445. Guam, you’re right. poptech does give the impression of axe-grinding. But he always gives the impression of axe-grinding. That’s his style. ;)

    My summary: I accept poptech’s position, on most points. Where I don’t agree however, are:
    (a) It is not ‘pal-review’ if a skeptic reviewers another skeptics’ paper.

    ‘Pal-review’ is not good, or is found to be not good retrospectively. poptech’s blind spot in this regard is evident with this mann-cook pal review example. If Cook reviewed Mann’s paper, that would be fine. But, hopefully, in such an instance, there was a possibility of a tie-breaker. On the other hand, if Cook becomes editor, apppoints Nuccitelli and say Andy Skuce (another skepticalscience guy) as reviewers, I wouldn’t buy it. You can have your game and tweak things a little, but you don’t go overboard, rig the system and destroy the appearance of fairness. The appearance of fairness is how you sell your product, in this case your growing reputation as reviewers and editors as a peddler of scientific journal. (It is not the science guys, no one reads papers. Well, except grad students maybe). You see how the Climategaters gave the appearance of fairness by hiding all their back-rubbing in the back and projected an aura of authority up-front. This is not to condone such behaviour but to stress instead, on the fact that even corrupt individuals and organizations appreciate the value of an appearance of fairness. It is strategy and no one should have to teach you these things.

    (b) Journals print special issues. Special issues play by special rules. These factors are not being considered in poptech’s arguments, as far as I can tell.

    Additionally, I don’t agree with the “we acted all high and mighty in the pre-Climategate era about peer-review so now we should try to be pristine” argument. Looking at point (a) above, recall, that it was climate activists who sold peer-review as the ultimate arbiter of scientific truth. It is the corrupt people and the dictators who make a big deal about fairness, always. It was this salesmanship that handed skeptics the stick of the idealized peer-review to beat them with. In reality, peer-review is as broken as broken can be. If you acted high and mighty during Climategate, well, it was because you found it useful. You don’t have to slaughter everyone else and lie down the world in your Procrustean bed.

    The funniest thing of it all … – none of the above matter. As always, the real issue in the climate debate is censorship (even when it could have been otherwise!). The journal’s reason to close down was opposition to the IPCC. In all likelihood, they did it because they got a bunch of emails at the same time from climate scientists, set off by James Annan, which in turn was triggered by a blogger called Thingsbreak.

  446. Manfred says:

    Richard,

    repeating your mantra simply avoids addressing the issues in dispute, which are

    1. The chronology/content of the emails (imho clearly) supports the assumption, that criticism of the IPCC was “the” reason for termination.

    2. The “rules” do not require what you say they do.The “ifs” and “mays” granted reviewers and editor a personal and subjective judgement. You can’t pick half sentences to make your point.

    The situation would be very different, if there was intent to break the rules, such as a leaked email appearing, written in Phil Jones style about “redefining peer review”. Though, I think it would be much more interesting to read Rasmussen’s email account …

  447. Poptech says:

    Shub,

    Why did they go through the trouble to create the journal ‘Pattern Recognition in Physics’ with Copernicus Publications?

  448. Poptech says:

    Manfred,

    Why did they go through the trouble to create the journal ‘Pattern Recognition in Physics’ with Copernicus Publications?

  449. Poptech says:

    Since rational debate is not working, time to burn it down.

  450. richardscourtney says:

    Manfred:

    re your post at January 22, 2014 at 2:50 am.

    You are WRONG.
    I have repeatedly explained HOW AND WHY YOU ARE WRONG!

    It is not my “mantra” to repeatedly explain YOU ARE WRONG when you repeatedly ignore everything I have said and reply with unsubstantiated assertions.

    I yet again repeat what you call my “mantra” but in reality is the truth which you attempt to avoid, evade and obfuscate.

    In reality the issue is the clear stupidity demonstrated by those who chose to use peer review then broke the rules. The inevitable outcome of that is a disaster. And – as I have repeatedly said – I have yet to see any remorse from any of them.

    Richard

  451. Poptech says:

    “Censorship” defenders REALLY don’t want me to dig, this is going to get ugly…

    http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/2/21/2014/prp-2-21-2014.pdf

    “Reviewed by: R. Tattersall and one anonymous referee”

    I REALLY want someone to try and spin how Roger [B.A. History and Philosophy of Science; Digital Content Manager, School of Education, University of Leeds] is a qualified reviewer for a paper on solar physics.

  452. Hot under the collar says:

    I have read most of the arguments in this post. Anthony, Poptech and Richard S Courtney all put forward some good arguments. Most of the skeptics here have agreed with your points that ‘Pal review’ should not take place from either side and we do not excuse it or condone it, we criticise it equally (or even more so if it is skeptics).

    Mosher and others have rightly highlighted some hypocrisy that has taken place.

    However, Poptech and Richard you have now lost the argument. You have not shown any interest whatsoever in the view of anyone else, in particular that you cannot compare this to the abuse of peer review demonstrated by climategate. All we get back is repeated Mantra such as “two wrongs don’t make a right” and “make excuses”.

    …and Richard, well, I thought I had tactfully pointed out what could be read as an offensive remark, but that is just my view.

    What exactly have they done wrong to warrant the abuse they are receiving? Collaborated with friends to publish a journal – which has now been pulled, and been hypocrites.

    Your comments have now become Rhetoric. What you are now doing and repeatedly saying is far worse than the accusation against them. You have now become the hypocrites in your own “warp bubble”.

    Please excuse the rest of us having our own view. I am now off to another universe to do something constructive.

    Please feel free in my absence to character assassinate me until no one is interested anymore.

  453. Poptech says:

    The usage of the word nepotism is valid,

    http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/nepotism

    “nepotism (noun) – favouritism shown to relatives or close friends by those with power or influence”

    http://www.freedictionary.org/?Query=nepotism

    “nepotism (noun) – favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power ”

    http://mnemonicdictionary.com/word/nepotism

    “nepotism (noun) – favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power”

    http://lookwayup.com/lwu.exe/lwu/d?s=f&w=nepotism#n/748538

    “nepotism (noun) – favoritism shown to relatives or close friends by those in power”

  454. Poptech says:

    Secret Decoder Ring

    Why was Roger chosen as an “editor” [with no relevant qualifications] and what do all the authors of the “Special Edition” have in common? It’s quite special…

    They are all favorite discussion topics at Talkbloke’s Talkshop,

    Wilson
    Jelbring
    Scafetta
    Salvador
    Morner
    Charvatova
    Solheim

  455. Guam says:

    Must remember to wear my Tinfoil hat on future visits here from now on!

  456. tallbloke says:

    Poptart:

    6 out of 10 of the google results for Solheim are referring back to a discussion on WUWT.

    Are you OK? Seriously.

  457. Manfred says:

    Poptech says:
    January 22, 2014 at 3:28 am
    Manfred,

    Why did they go through the trouble to create the journal ‘Pattern Recognition in Physics’ with Copernicus Publications?

    ———-

    Sorry, I do not know what you mean ? They created a new journal, that is their business.

    They probably never thought, that any scientist would dare to critizise the IPCC. Hey, this is Germany.

    Their Ministry of Environment has published a brochure which names and smears critical journalists and scientists and warns the public to believe them.

    http://notrickszone.com/2013/05/16/german-ministry-of-environment-identifies-targets-american-and-german-enemy-skeptics-in-123-page-pamphlet/

  458. negrum says:

    tallbloke says:
    January 22, 2014 at 7:15 am:
    Guam says:
    January 22, 2014 at 6:58 am
    —–l
    According to the theory that adhominem plus sarcasm indicates an empty hand, poptech wins :)

  459. Curious George says:

    Ah, tradition. Mr. Hitler once made 100 leading German scientists denounce Einstein.

  460. Guam says:

    At Negrum, do I look like I care?

    This discussion is really losing the plot when conspiracy theories appear, Poptech can carry on with his muckraking, if he chooses, fortunately I have better things to do than witness his ramblings all over the web on points that bear little relevance to the core infraction.

    I am sorry you are more peterbed by my little jibe re his ludicrous ongoing nonsense than the content of which I am sardonic (more my intention than sarcasm but hey ho) :)

  461. Guam says:

    Oops, see thats what happens when a man multi tasks and isnt paying attention, apologies Negrum :)

    Doesnt help I have just transitioned to mac and havent got used to the zoom functions for the screen fonts !

    Ps Anthony that long missing post edit function would help somewhat :)negrum

  462. Bernie Hutchins says:

    Anthony – why not shut down comment here?

    REPLY: Yeah it’s off the main page, and most comments are redundant now. Everyone seems to have said what they needed to say.

  463. Rob Ricket says:

    Perhaps a voluntary release of emails (including a list of individuals contacted) calling for papers for both the first and second (special edition) editions might prove instructive?

Comments are closed.