Post updated below – see my own experience with plagiarism by NOAA and how it was solved easily – Anthony
I get word that USA Today reports that the caterwaulings of the anonymous Canadian named Deep Climate and his accusations of plagiarism made against Dr. Edward Wegman in the Wegman report to Congress, which later became the paper Said et al, (published in the journal Computational Statistics and Data Analysis) has succeeded.
The paper, which revealed some questionable behavior by climate scientists has been yanked by the journal’s legal team after it went through a private 3 person review. Here’s what USA Today says:
The journal publisher’s legal team “has decided to retract the study,” said CSDA journal editor Stanley Azen of the University of Southern California, following complaints of plagiarism. A November review by three plagiarism experts of the 2006 congressional report for USA TODAY also concluded that portions contained text from Wikipedia and textbooks. The journal study, co-authored by Wegman student Yasmin Said, detailed part of the congressional report’s analysis.
Wegman’s attorney told USA Today:
“Neither Dr. Wegman nor Dr. Said has ever engaged in plagiarism,” says their attorney, Milton Johns, by e-mail. In a March 16 e-mail to the journal, Wegman blamed a student who “had basically copied and pasted” from others’ work into the 2006 congressional report, and said the text was lifted without acknowledgment and used in the journal study. “We would never knowingly publish plagiarized material” wrote Wegman, a former CSDA journal editor.
Well, congratulations to Deep Climate for being able to attack a man in another country without having having to put your name behind it. Such courage. You must be proud.
So, no problem from my view. I expect the report will be rewritten, with citations where needed, maybe even adding extra dictionary definitions of words and their origins to satisfy the imagined slights against our lexiconic ancestors envisioned by DC and Mashey man, and they’ll resubmit it with the very same conclusions. That’s what I would do.
UPDATE: Some folks have erroneously come to the conclusion that I’m siding with the idea that plagiarism is OK . Let me be clear, that’s not true at all. My issue is how this whole affair was conducted. I had my own issue with plagiarism in the case of NOAA/NCDC which I dealt with in an easy, simple way. Here’s the issue:
Menne solved the attribution issue at my request…and here’s the solution and path forward I offered, with a hint to DC, Mashey, et al to take it.
I wrote then:
So, apology made, attribution added, document updated, and the problem was solved. Simple, I’m satisfied. Of course I could have been a jerk about it and demanded all sorts actions via formal complaints, copyright claims, etc. But I didn’t. It simply didn’t rise to that level.
It would have been easy for DC and Mashey to follow that example, instead they chose the “dark side” and demanded that pound of flesh along with a national newspaper writer acting as an accessory for public flogging. It’s ugly the way it was handled. Again, the best way forward, now that they have their pound of flesh, is for Said et al to make the appropriate edits and citations were needed, and resubmit the paper. – Anthony