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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Ken Hall
January 19, 2014 2:44 pm

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

James Evans
January 19, 2014 2:53 pm

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.

flyingtigercomics
January 19, 2014 2:53 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 2:53 pm

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

richardscourtney
January 19, 2014 2:55 pm

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

RoyFOMR
January 19, 2014 2:56 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 2:59 pm

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

A. Scott
January 19, 2014 3:01 pm

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 …

January 19, 2014 3:02 pm

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

Crispin in Waterloo
January 19, 2014 3:04 pm

@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

DirkH
January 19, 2014 3:10 pm

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

Joe Public
January 19, 2014 3:13 pm

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

January 19, 2014 3:14 pm

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.

Joe Public
January 19, 2014 3:14 pm

Mods:-
Third typo
““No Rog, I’m hold you …”
I’ll hold you

Max Roberts
January 19, 2014 3:16 pm

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.

Editor
January 19, 2014 3:18 pm

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.

Truthseeker
January 19, 2014 3:18 pm

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

temp
January 19, 2014 3:21 pm

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.

Keith Minto
January 19, 2014 3:22 pm

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.

Rattus Norvegicus
January 19, 2014 3:22 pm

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

Zeke
January 19, 2014 3:23 pm

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

January 19, 2014 3:28 pm

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.

Konrad
January 19, 2014 3:29 pm

“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.

Peter Miller
January 19, 2014 3:32 pm

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.

Manfred
January 19, 2014 3:35 pm

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.

Crispin in Waterloo
January 19, 2014 3:36 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 3:39 pm

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.

Keith Minto
January 19, 2014 3:46 pm

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.

john robertson
January 19, 2014 3:49 pm

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.

Peter Miller
January 19, 2014 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.

temp
January 19, 2014 4:03 pm

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.

Jimbo
January 19, 2014 4:06 pm

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.’

January 19, 2014 4:07 pm

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.

Bernie Hutchins
January 19, 2014 4:11 pm

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.

NZ Willy
January 19, 2014 4:15 pm

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.

Zeke
January 19, 2014 4:17 pm

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.

sabretruthtiger
January 19, 2014 4:17 pm

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.

Peter Miller
January 19, 2014 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%!!!!!
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.

troe
January 19, 2014 4:46 pm

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.

Editor
January 19, 2014 4:48 pm

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.

tallbloke
January 19, 2014 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. 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

January 19, 2014 4:51 pm

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.

NevenA
January 19, 2014 4:55 pm

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?

January 19, 2014 4:55 pm

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)

January 19, 2014 5:00 pm

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

January 19, 2014 5:00 pm

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.

pdtillman
January 19, 2014 5:05 pm

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

Jimbo
January 19, 2014 5:09 pm

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.

Paul R. Johnson
January 19, 2014 5:11 pm

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

tallbloke
January 19, 2014 5:12 pm

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.

Hot under the collar
January 19, 2014 5:12 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 5:14 pm

(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)

DocMartyn
January 19, 2014 5:15 pm

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.

Jimbo
January 19, 2014 5:17 pm

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???]

January 19, 2014 5:18 pm

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

u.k.(us)
January 19, 2014 5:18 pm

“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.

Bob Shapiro
January 19, 2014 5:19 pm

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.

Editor
January 19, 2014 5:24 pm

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.

Truthseeker
January 19, 2014 5:30 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 5:30 pm

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.

Truthseeker
January 19, 2014 5:32 pm

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

DocMartyn
January 19, 2014 5:55 pm

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.

Goldie
January 19, 2014 5:59 pm

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.

Gatekeeper
January 19, 2014 6:01 pm

[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

Fred
January 19, 2014 6:03 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 6:05 pm

[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]

January 19, 2014 6:06 pm

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.

troe
January 19, 2014 6:10 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 6:11 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 6:12 pm

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

Ulric Lyons
January 19, 2014 6:12 pm

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?

January 19, 2014 6:15 pm

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.

Manfred
January 19, 2014 6:18 pm

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.

Merovign
January 19, 2014 6:22 pm

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.

Editor
January 19, 2014 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.
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.

Rob Ricket
January 19, 2014 6:32 pm

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?

John F. Hultquist
January 19, 2014 6:37 pm

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.

oMan
January 19, 2014 6:48 pm

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

Alcheson
January 19, 2014 6:49 pm

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.

Manfred
January 19, 2014 6:52 pm

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

Rob Ricket
January 19, 2014 6:53 pm

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

Gail Combs
January 19, 2014 6:55 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 6:56 pm

[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.

Rattus Norvegicus
January 19, 2014 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.

January 19, 2014 7:01 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 7:06 pm

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.

LdB
January 19, 2014 7:12 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 7:20 pm

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.

Scott Balfour
January 19, 2014 7:26 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 7:27 pm

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

commieBob
January 19, 2014 7:36 pm

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.

Shub Niggurath
January 19, 2014 7:37 pm

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.

AlexS
January 19, 2014 7:40 pm

“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

jorgekafkazar
January 19, 2014 7:51 pm

“[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.

Tyrroneus
January 19, 2014 7:57 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 7:57 pm

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.

Manfred
January 19, 2014 8:03 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 8:14 pm

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.

Shub Niggurath
January 19, 2014 8:24 pm

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.

Txomin
January 19, 2014 8:24 pm

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

January 19, 2014 8:27 pm

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).

john robertson
January 19, 2014 8:36 pm

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.

papiertigre
January 19, 2014 8:52 pm

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?

davidmhoffer
January 19, 2014 8:53 pm

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.

Shub Niggurath
January 19, 2014 8:57 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 9:02 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 9:09 pm

davidmhoffer, the only thing changing in peer-review is open-access journals (Which PRP was).
Crowd review gives you junk like Wikipedia.

AlecM
January 19, 2014 9:14 pm

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.”

davidmhoffer
January 19, 2014 9:15 pm

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.

Berényi Péter
January 19, 2014 9:16 pm

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.

NZ Willy
January 19, 2014 9:17 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 9:17 pm

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?

Shub Niggurath
January 19, 2014 9:34 pm

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.

gallopingcamel
January 19, 2014 9:35 pm

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.

charles the moderator
January 19, 2014 9:36 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 9:38 pm

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.

Editor
January 19, 2014 9:46 pm

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?)

January 19, 2014 9:47 pm

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.

Editor
January 19, 2014 10:00 pm

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.

Bernie Hutchins
January 19, 2014 10:03 pm

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).

January 19, 2014 10:06 pm

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.

Gkell1
January 19, 2014 10:14 pm

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 !.

January 19, 2014 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.

Bernie Hutchins
January 19, 2014 10:21 pm

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.

Admin
January 19, 2014 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.

papiertigre
January 19, 2014 10:45 pm

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.

Matt
January 19, 2014 10:47 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 10:50 pm

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.

January 19, 2014 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.

Martin A
January 19, 2014 11:05 pm

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

Martin A
January 19, 2014 11:05 pm

sole some
[Fixed. -w.]

Zeke
January 19, 2014 11:17 pm

“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.

jgc
January 19, 2014 11:33 pm

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.

January 20, 2014 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”,
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.”

tallbloke
January 20, 2014 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.
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.

January 20, 2014 12:15 am

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.

Greg Goodman
January 20, 2014 12:15 am

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.

Manfred
January 20, 2014 12:19 am

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.

Peter Miller
January 20, 2014 12:39 am

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

M Courtney
January 20, 2014 12:45 am

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.

AndyG55
January 20, 2014 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. 🙁
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. 🙁

AndyG55
January 20, 2014 12:52 am

And why did that go into moderation ?????????
Reply: Must have been a proscribed word in there somewhere- mod

January 20, 2014 12:52 am

I tried not to post this hypocrisy but they leave me no choice,
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/tag/pal-review/

Editor
January 20, 2014 12:58 am

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.

January 20, 2014 1:03 am

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?

Lukewarmerist
January 20, 2014 1:05 am

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.

January 20, 2014 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.
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.

Teddi
January 20, 2014 1:06 am

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.

tallbloke
January 20, 2014 1:29 am

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.

Editor
January 20, 2014 1:29 am

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.

Editor
January 20, 2014 1:37 am

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.

January 20, 2014 1:38 am

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

January 20, 2014 1:43 am

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!

Keitho
Editor
January 20, 2014 1:44 am

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

Gkell1
January 20, 2014 1:54 am

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.

tallbloke
January 20, 2014 1:55 am

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.

WillieB
January 20, 2014 2:00 am

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.

fadingfool
January 20, 2014 2:00 am

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?

January 20, 2014 2:06 am

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.

January 20, 2014 2:07 am

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.

Admin
January 20, 2014 2:08 am

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.

January 20, 2014 2:20 am

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.

January 20, 2014 2:46 am

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

tallbloke
January 20, 2014 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.
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.

cynical_scientist
January 20, 2014 2:58 am

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.

Martin A
January 20, 2014 3:00 am

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.

richardscourtney
January 20, 2014 3:01 am

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.

richardscourtney
January 20, 2014 3:04 am

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]

Ripper
January 20, 2014 3:06 am

“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?

tallbloke
January 20, 2014 3:18 am

Jo Nova has posted on the issues.

January 20, 2014 3:25 am

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.

Editor
January 20, 2014 3:31 am

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.

tallbloke
January 20, 2014 3:42 am

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.

negrum
January 20, 2014 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.
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.

negrum
January 20, 2014 4:03 am

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.

Shub Niggurath
January 20, 2014 4:08 am

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.

Manfred
January 20, 2014 4:18 am

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.

negrum
January 20, 2014 4:31 am

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.

Steve Richards
January 20, 2014 4:41 am

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?

Gkell1
January 20, 2014 4:44 am

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

January 20, 2014 5:02 am

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?

January 20, 2014 5:07 am

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.

DocMartyn
January 20, 2014 5:09 am

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.

richardscourtney
January 20, 2014 5:32 am

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

kim
January 20, 2014 5:37 am

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

January 20, 2014 5:41 am

For the record,
HNC [Higher National Certificate] is a 1-year vocational certificate not a degree.
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121015000000/http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/QualificationsExplained/DG_10039026

kim
January 20, 2014 5:56 am

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?
==============

Steve from Rockwood
January 20, 2014 6:06 am

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.

A C Osborn
January 20, 2014 6:14 am

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.

kim
January 20, 2014 6:19 am

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

January 20, 2014 6:23 am

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.

Carrick
January 20, 2014 6:28 am

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.

A C Osborn
January 20, 2014 6:30 am

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.

A C Osborn
January 20, 2014 6:38 am

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.

January 20, 2014 6:41 am

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 ]

January 20, 2014 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…

John West
January 20, 2014 6:57 am

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?

Keitho
Editor
Reply to  John West
January 20, 2014 9:34 am

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.

pyromancer76
January 20, 2014 7:00 am

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.

ferdberple
January 20, 2014 7:15 am

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.

January 20, 2014 7:18 am

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.

ferdberple
January 20, 2014 7:30 am

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.

January 20, 2014 7:32 am

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.

Hot under the collar
January 20, 2014 7:36 am

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.

January 20, 2014 7:37 am

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/

AJB
January 20, 2014 7:39 am

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

ferdberple
January 20, 2014 7:47 am

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.

January 20, 2014 7:57 am

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.

Crispin in Waterloo
January 20, 2014 8:03 am

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.
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.

michael hart
January 20, 2014 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’.
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

Hot under the collar
January 20, 2014 8:08 am

Comment at 7:36 am in moderation?

papiertigre
January 20, 2014 9:08 am

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.

January 20, 2014 9:17 am

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.

Adam Gallon
January 20, 2014 9:33 am

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.

Louis Hooffstetter
January 20, 2014 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 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?

papiertigre
January 20, 2014 9:34 am

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.

LamontT
January 20, 2014 9:38 am

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.

January 20, 2014 9:39 am

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.

LamontT
January 20, 2014 9:40 am

” 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.

January 20, 2014 9:45 am

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.

papiertigre
January 20, 2014 9:46 am

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.

January 20, 2014 9:50 am

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.

richardscourtney
January 20, 2014 9:51 am

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

papiertigre
January 20, 2014 9:56 am

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.

January 20, 2014 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.

January 20, 2014 10:04 am

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?

Editor
January 20, 2014 10:04 am

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.

January 20, 2014 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.

papiertigre
January 20, 2014 10:13 am

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.

January 20, 2014 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

negrum
January 20, 2014 10:18 am

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

Editor
January 20, 2014 10:19 am

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.

negrum
January 20, 2014 10:21 am

It puts me in mind of worms wriggling on a hook of their own making, but at the very least it provokes thought.

Amatør1
January 20, 2014 10:22 am

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

Editor
January 20, 2014 10:24 am

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.

January 20, 2014 10:28 am

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.

January 20, 2014 10:28 am

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.

January 20, 2014 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.

RACookPE1978
Editor
January 20, 2014 10:40 am

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.

davidmhoffer
January 20, 2014 10:42 am

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.

Editor
January 20, 2014 10:44 am

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.

January 20, 2014 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.? 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..

Zeke
January 20, 2014 10:48 am

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

January 20, 2014 10:49 am

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.

kim
January 20, 2014 10:51 am

Sittin’ onna dock of the bay.
Alla fish are bitin’ today.
==================

papiertigre
January 20, 2014 10:56 am

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 th