First, correcting an error that originated with the blog The Hockey Schtick about not giving appropriate credit. Marcel Crok writes on De staat van het klimaat
One of the basic principles of blogging is to give credit when credit is due. I always try to mention the source of my information and most blogs do this using an acronym like h/t (hat tip). This week one of my own blog articles was not referred to as the source for another blog article on The Hockey Schtick. This blog then alerted WUWT? who brought the same news quite loudly and then also Steve McIntyre picked it up and Bishop Hill.
Marcel, I always try my best to give credit where it is due, and had I known, you would most certainly have been cited. I agree, knowing of your original blog post would have saved much trouble and speculation. I’ve also left a comment with The Hockey Schtick, asking him to credit you. By way of compensation, I’ve added De staat van het klimaat to the WUWT blog roll. That said, the post did generate quite a bit of discussion, always a good thing. Marcel writes of a guest post by Koutsoyiannis:
A blog post earlier this week about an EGU presentation of Eva Steirou (a researcher in the group of Demetris Koutsoyiannis) on temperature data homogenisation created some stir in the blogosphere after Watts Up With That? and Climate Audit paid attention to it. Koutsoyiannis has now written a guest blog to give some first reactions.
Demetris Koutsoyiannis writes:
I believe that science blogs have offered a very powerful means in scientific dialogue, which is a prerequisite of scientific progress. I have very positive personal experiences. In 2008, a poster paper in EGU, “Assessment of the reliability of climate predictions based on comparisons with historical time series”, was widely discussed at blogs and this was very useful to improve it and produce a peer-reviewed paper, “On the credibility of climate predictions” , which again was widely discussed at blogs. In the follow up paper, “A comparison of local and aggregated climate model outputs with observed data” we incorporated replies to the critiques we have seen in lots of blog comments.
In comparison, the formal peer reviewed system, while in principle encourages post-publication discussion through formal Commentaries and Replies, was able to offer us a single Commentary for the second paper (none for the former), which also gave us the opportunity to clarify our methodology (and feel safer about it) in our reply, “Scientific dialogue on climate: is it giving black eyes or opening closed eyes? Reply to “A black eye for the Hydrological Sciences Journal” by D. Huard”.
Writing about the complaints that this was a presentation, and not a paper yet, he says:
But we plan to produce a peer-reviewed paper (unless we have made a fatal error, which we hope not) and we keep studying the topic more thoroughly. That is why we think that we are lucky to have received all these comments from the blogs. I did not have the time to read them all, let alone to assimilate them, so I will not provide replies here. From first glance I find most of them very useful, whether they are positive or negative.
But of course these are scientific disagreements and it is fine if scientists disagree. Some arguments, though, fall into other categories, such as arguments from authority or ad hominem. Well, I am familiar with such arguments within scientific transactions, formal (paper reviews) or informal (in blogs), but they are always saddening and also make it necessary to refer to personal information in order to reply.
You can read the entire guest post here, it is fascinating reading.
Koutsoyiannis makes an interesting point about blogs -vs- traditional peer review. Traditional peer review is a slow and arduous process, taking months, sometimes years, and in my opinion is a holdover from a much slower time pre-Internet and email. Usually less than a dozen people are involved in that process. Blog review of papers, presentations, and topics is like an insta-launch, where citizens and scientists alike spar in sometimes a gladiatorial style over broad issues as well as minutiae. Hundreds and often thousands of eyes and minds are brought to bear, often picking the carcass clean of errors until nothing is left.
For all its warts, science blogging has a purpose and a place in today’s world. I happen to think that the occasional errors like this one, where by accident, credit wasn’t given, actually work to improve things in the long run, because as we all know:
Source: XKCD – Duty Calls