The journal Nature is going to begin requiring reproducibility in submitted papers

From the Journal of Irreproducible Science – over 2/3s of researchers say they are unable to replicate study results

WUWT Reader “QQBoss” writes:

The BBC reports (shockingly), that the journal Nature is going to begin requiring a reproducibility checklist of authors, based on a survey performed last year where at least 70% of respondents (self-selected, of course) indicated that they were unable to reproduce expected results. As the ability to replicate studies is what allows science to demonstrate meaningfulness and continue moving the body of knowledge forward, it is surprising that it has taken this long for top of the line journals to more strongly encourage replication to establish validity.

“Replication is something scientists should be thinking about before they write the paper,” says Ritu Dhand, the editorial director at Nature.

But will they take the next step and more actively police published research and denote when it is not replicable? There needs to be an accessible list of papers that sits between valid, replicated studies and the full blown Retraction Watch . I highly doubt that most journals are willing to self-police themselves, so just as Retraction Watch has come into being, perhaps there needs to be be a web site that aggregates the list of all papers published each year and allows researchers who are able to replicate results to make some fanfare when they are able to remove a paper from the list, since replications are usually quiet affairs.

In the face of the hockey shticks, 97%s, and PAL reviews, combined with researchers refusing to release data “because you want to find fault with it” or just handing their hard drives over to their dogs to chew on, what percentage of AGW-related studies should be listed as unreplicable, perhaps even nonredeemable?

Has Nature thought through the implications of what they are suggesting for a significant amount of the papers they have pushed through that under tougher (aka more meaningful) standards would never have seen the light of day?


269 thoughts on “The journal Nature is going to begin requiring reproducibility in submitted papers

      • Leopoldo February 25, 2017 at 10:01 am
        Not a problem Leopoldo, as long as all parties make it clear that it is speculative and a work in progress. It is important also to publish failures as well. This way we don’t keep trying to reinvent the square wheel.
        The problem is where individuals push the publication of inaccurate and fundamentally flawed research.

      • Leopoldo, sure that is tongue in cheek, don’t you mean “speculative”.
        “Has Nature thought through the implications of what they are suggesting for a significant amount of the papers they have pushed through that under tougher (aka more meaningful) standards would never have seen the light of day?”
        In the vein of that great scene in “The Shipping News” todays speculative headline “Deadly Storm Threatens Town” is just a segue to tomorrow’s “Town Saved from Deadly Storm.
        Think of all those wonderful papers debunking ‘climate science’ and the ‘con’-census. It will be a gold rush, the crap we have being seeing was just the product of (thirty pieces of) silver (per paper). How many vengeful, ravenous true scientists wil line up to rip apart Mann, Karl, Gergis etc o cleanse their profesion. Put some blood in the water and the sharks will come.

      • Most? I have yet to find one article on AGW that was not riddled with qualifying holes: might be, could, possibly, “Most” cases, suppositions founded upon Computer Modeling programmed to the qualifier. If I program it to tell me this then it will tell me this. Circular Science. Voila! Settled! Debate over! Move it along to the Politicians. Oh and don’t forget to add that request for more funding.

    • With MathCad and giga-/tera- byte peronal comuters, there is no excuse for not showing most of your data, operations, and work, clearly with the original data.
      Publishers should require all the work to be submitted with the files in duplicate….

    • “The journal Nature is going to begin requiring reproducibility in submitted papers”. Excepting climate alarm papers of course!
      When it comes to climate ‘Nature’ is little more than an activist paper for climate alarmists to publish pal reviewed papers. The editor has already made comments to the effect that they are not going to publish any “climate denial” papers! For anyone to reproduce your results you first have to be allowed to publish. No climate science going on in ‘Nature’, only alarmist propaganda.

    • But if all of their published studies are reproducible than more true scientist will use it. That might also might improve the journals approval ratings and profit.

    • that is the reason they blame the computer models or suggest the argument is sort of infallible because of the computers. They have not any intelligence, it is the computers that have all the intelligence.

      • …”computers have all the intelligence”…. as opposed to the programmers who formulate the algorithms and scientists that collect the data from observation.
        We’re in deep doo doo.

      • “They have not any intelligence, it is the computers that have all the intelligence.” ->
        They have not any discipline, it is the computers that have all the discipline.

  1. What would be a step is if the US federal government required the same sort of reproducibility rules for all research it finances, or if the IPCC required those rules for submissions.

      • A lot of honest research results in negative outcomes

        And there’s the problem in the current “publish or perish” mentality. To my mind (as an ERP software developer / technical consultant), finding that something doesn’t work is a completely valid outcome of research (even if it disappoints customers to find that).
        My wife is an academic (although is working to escape). During her PhD, one of her supervisors was having trouble finding enough data to support his paper, which was at this stage 80% written and publication lined up. He offered for her name to be on this paper in exchange for an interview where she answered the questions “the right way”. She said no and quit her PhD shortly afterwards, and the paper was published anyway (with made up data to support the hypothesis). This was in Educational Psychology, and the paper was part of a series of recommendations to the government.
        Publish or Perish encourages dishonest research, and if Nature is going to demand reproducibility in some way, shape or form, then good on them!

      • Why can’t one just try the experiment again and if it’s still negative, then that hypothesis can be crossed off and on to finding a better one?

      • I don’t see the point here. In physics it’s often said that a null result is a good result – because it saves other researchers from having to go down that blind alley again. But that honest research which demonstrated the null result has to be repeatable in exactly the same way as research leading to positive results. Any ‘research’ which is unrepeatable is unscientific – by definition.

      • Neil, would that that be the only problem with Educational Psychology. Congratulations go to your wife for having the moral convictions to say “no” and not continue her PhD studies under that supervisor. I do hope she found another area of interest or location to pursue that one.

      • Neil – “Publish or Perish encourages dishonest research, and if Nature is going to demand reproducibility in some way, shape or form, then good on them!“. I have serious doubts that this is what Nature are doing. I suspect that they are printing the words which they think are needed to rescue their reputation. Without a leadership change at Nature, it is very difficult to believe that they have any intention of actually doing what they say.

      • “Sheri on February 25, 2017 at 10:09 am
        Why can’t one just try the experiment again and if it’s still negative, then that hypothesis can be crossed off and on to finding a better one?”
        Never worked, Sheri when you ask from the tester to dedicate his life for withdrawal of 1 single paper – of another one.

    • Tom
      There was a book/article by an independent researcher that traced all references of the IPCC and found that over 30 percent were reference from news articles. That is a fact.

      • That was Donna Laframboise and her book is “The Delinquent Teenager,” referring to the IPCC. A summary outline (pdf) is available here.
        Here’s her summary of finding:
        UN’s Climate Bible Gets 21 ‘F’s on Report Card
        . all 18,531 references cited in the 2007 IPCC report were examined
        . 5,587 are not peer-reviewed
        . IPCC chairman’s claim that the report relies solely on peer-reviewed sources is not supported
        . each chapter was audited three times; the result most favorable to the IPCC was used
        . 21 out of 44 chapters contain so few peer-reviewed references, they get an F (59% and below)
        . 43 citizen auditors in 12 countries participated in this project

  2. The BBC has quite a few semi-scientific programmes and they often have scientists on who talk about the need for replication and for scientists to be sceptical. But they throw talk of scepticism and replicability out of the window when it comes to climate “science”. No programme which mentions climate “science” allows any scepticism or talk of replicability. Normal science and climate “science” are treated totally differently by the BBC.

    • this was the main reason I become suspicious with AGW. I did not see anyone showing even a bit of skepticism.

    • The BBC are a national embarrassment. They’ve now hit pretty much their all time nadir by being ignominiously slung out of the White House as sleazy undesirable fake new peddlers. I don’t watch any of their grotesque propaganda and the day they manage to extract any cash from me for ‘licence fees’ is the day Satan will be skating to work.

      • To my mind the refusal to allow the BBC entry reflects badly on Trump, not the BBC. The BBC may not be free from bias, but they are certainly not “fake news” peddlars.

      • @ cephus0
        February 25, 2017 at 11:45 am: Good one Cephus0. Our own Public outfit, Radio NZ, is now the same. Leftist sounding-box, with continual CAGW cheerleaders lovingly interviewed and feted. Sadly, this will lead to the network’s closure or privatisation. Probably in the next 2 years or so.

      • ….but they are certainly not “fake news” peddlars….
        Of course they are. BBC is worse in fact.
        For a start their are funded by stateist violence.
        Their main objective is to censor news that are detrimental to their cause and to inflate or outright lie those that are in support of their cause.
        For example most news about Climate on BBC are fake news. Most Israeli news from BBC are fake news. The website BiasedBBC is full of BBC fake news.

      • “seaice1 February 25, 2017 at 2:18 pm
        The BBC may not be free from bias, but they are certainly not “fake news” peddlars.”
        With regards to climate change, the BBC is certainly in the “fake news” business. I am glad my job application was rejected in the 1980’s.

      • My idea is the “news” media should be ground into fine powder and spread over deep water. However, my wife is of the opposite persuasion and has no patience for my weak and conciliatory opinion.

      • Concur. If the Beeb told me the sun was shining, I’d have to go out and check! So warped is their agenda that I automatically take it that they are lying unless I can prove otherwise.

      • Patrick, when it comes to anything dealing with politics or economics, the BBC prefers fake news to real news.

    • Psychiatrists removed homosexuality from their list of illnesses because they didn’t know what caused it and they didn’t know how to treat it. True?

  3. As Climate Science disintegrates, Nature will be the first to sack some staff, blame them for the mistakes, and claim they dealt with the problems, once they were drawn to their attention.
    The length of time taken to draw their attention to the mistakes, can also be blamed on the previous management (now sacked) That is how Cover-Ups are carried out.

    • Wasn’t it the editor in chief of Nature, McCarthy, who said they were not going to publish any more “climate denial” papers. They should start the sackings at the top.

      • If main stream media / all media had to have provable facts before publishing there would be nothing but advertising on the television and in the papers .

    • Ugh, Climate Science needs to reform / heal, not disintegrate. The more we understand our climate the better. And by heal I mean remove the political parasite from the discipline.

      • When a machine reaches this state, you melt it down for scrap and build a new one.
        It is both faster and cheaper than trying to fix the unfixable.

      • IMHO climate science is still in its infancy and there are “climate scientists”, like Mann and Hansen, that have set real climate science back by about 30 years.

    • Why would Nature care about whether or not climate change is happening and if it is man-made or not?
      Nature is a for profit journal publishing the work of others. If anything what it would love would be a paper
      disproving climate change since that would sell more copies.

  4. I saw something that made me laugh out loud a couple nights ago, and this might be slightly O-T but not really. Tucker Carlson was interviewing Zac Petkanis, a DNC Senior Adviser, and Tucker asked him if there was any scientific basis for thinking that Gender is only what the individual in questions asserts it to be. (if you hadn’t noticed, this is now official Democrat dogma)
    Zac has obviously spent some time arguing in favor of Global Warming, because as soon as Tucker brought up science, Zac said “of course the science supports this view! Lots of scientists!” Tucker said nothing more than “Really? What scientists? What science?” and Zac went straight into “The Science is Settled! There’s no question!!!” (of course he produced no names or actual “evidence” of this.
    So this is now the go-to line in every dispute the Left has. “The Science is Settled! You Cannot Question it!!!!” (Galileo’s judges must be nodding in approval.) It’s a hilarious interview to watch. At one point, he’s asked “how can someone like me tell, when I meet someone, what gender they are, if everyone is only what they think they are?” and the reply was “Well, I don’t know if you’re enlightened enough to know that.”
    It’s a hilarious video to watch.
    (and so THAT’S why I don’t “get” the climate change issue – I’m not “enlightened enough”)

    • Reminds me of a local zealot who, in response to the spontaneous formation of a protest against a draconian bylaw, stated: “The only people against it are either conservatives or libertarians, and they don’t count!”. Well, Lady Godiva, hang onto your saddle horn!

    • Mr. Petkanis sounds like a genital denier or a biology denier or at the very least a chromosome denier.

      • Thanks Roy, I love that clip. It’s a shame most of the progressive true believers just don’t have the intelligence to see the implications of that position. Or, hopefully, they’re just blinded by their own heartstrings.

      • Ah, it’s “settled science” , that’s why we’re not allowed to question it. And when the host does question it he gets insulted as having “issues” with this state of “enlightenment” and accused of rightwing pseudo-science.
        Interesting response to whether one can also chose what race one wants to be. That apparently is “different”.

      • “It is so because I say it is so.”
        This is the level of absurdity that the left has sunk to. I just cannot believe that other “news” organizations elevate such nonsense to worthy-of-discussion status and give it credibility.
        (And of course, having written that statement, I suppose I’m now an evil person who wishes harm on differently-gendered people.)

      • Thinking of starting a pool on when Carlson will overtake Bill O’Reily as most watched show on Fox News.

      • Ipso facto I can’t be racist or sexist when I criticise anyone because there’s no such thing as different races or sexes. Is that where these folks are going?
        Yeah I know I’m about to be labelled a criticist.

    • I found this on Ted the other day .It is not about climate science, per se, but, my word, there are some similarities. It is about the manipulation of messages in the media and “astroturfing”. It describes how people who speak the truth are systematically marginalised and how Wikipedia is manipulated.

      • Here are Sharyl’s comments on the techniques we’ve seen used by the alarmists:

        The language of astroturfers and propagandists includes trademark inflammatory terms such as: anti, nutty, quack, crank, pseudo-science, debunking, conspiracy theory, deniers and junk science. Sometimes astroturfers claim to “debunk myths” that aren’t myths at all. They declare debates over that aren’t over. They claim that “everybody agrees” when everyone doesn’t agree. They aim to make you think you’re an outlier when you’re not. link
        And most of all, they reserve all their expressed skepticism for those who expose wrongdoing rather than the wrongdoers. In other words, instead of questioning authority, they question those who question authority.

        In her talk, she also exposes the shortcomings and corruption of Wikipedia. We’ve seen that for sure.

      • Watts Up With That? (or WUWT) is a blog[1] promoting climate change denial[2][3][4][5][6] that was created by Anthony Watts in 2006.
        That is the first line of the Wikipedia entry for this site (Watts up with that). Could they be more blind to their ideological slant? Apparently adding 5 footnotes pointing to 5 ad hominem attack articles justifies a Wikipedia ad hominem attack of climate change denier. Great, that is what encyclopedias are for I guess.
        Not surprisingly the attributions are to articles by the likes of Mann , Cook, etc. It would be just as easy having a first line using the same footnotes that reads.
        Watts Up With That? (WUWT) is a blog created by Anthony Watts in 2006, that takes a critical look at Global Warming and is often attacked by climate change zeolots[2][3][4][5][6].

        • Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that Jimmy Wales, founder and boss of Wikipedia joined the board of that well-known Left-wing propaganda mouthpiece ‘the Guardian’ as a non-executive director in Jan 2016.

      • Insightfull and thought provoking TED lecture concerning ‘fake’ news that is created to push an agenda.
        Thanks for the post and the link.
        I have found that Google searchs concerning any issues related to climate ‘change’ show obvious selection to push the cult of CAGW dogma and have found recent evidence the Google searches are now pushing their paid advertisers.
        Yahoo ‘science’ news and Yahoo world news is now filled with articles which are obviously/comically propaganda for the cult of CAGA or the Democrate Party.

      • “According to Tom Steyer, 99.5% of the public are not super sophisticated enough to understand climate science”
        It just struck me that probably throughout all of human history, every King, Pope, Pharaoh, and Emperor would most powerfully agree that 99.5% of their subjects were not fit to govern themselves, and thus needed to have their most important decisions made by someone much Stronger and Wiser than they were.
        Whether the dirty peasants liked it or not, of course.

      • According to Tom Steyer, 99.5% of the ‘demo-KtraZen’ are not super sophisticated enough to understand climate science … there, fixed that 😉

      • Yeah, we have this rubbish in Britain right now. Apparently those of us who voted to leave the hated EU didn’t know what we were voting for, or had, according to Tiny Blur “imperfect knowledge” I knew EXACTLY why I voted leave, and if it happens to pi$$ on their bonfire, then so much the better

    • “Well, I don’t know if you’re enlightened enough to know that.”—I think he meant “gullible enough” and just misspoke.

    • wws @ 7.30 am, I saw that as well, Carlson has had a few like types on the last few days ( did you see the one SJW lady that just kept on going on? screaming at Carlson?) . I wish Carlson had an volume off switch so he could stop these crazies from ducking the question. Every single time he asks a question they just start talking over top of him and completely deflect the question. They must be “trained” to do so.
      Frankly I find the way this is being done, this talking over the interviewer is extremely impolite and really irritating to watch, Let the other person finish the question or maybe ask it twice and end the interview if they don’t answer ( Okay sometimes it is hilarious to watch them dig the hole deeper but still bloody irritating!).

      • Yes, saw that – what was amazing was that she actually thought this was an effective debate style!
        But I don’t think they are “trained” so much as that this is just the way today’s Leftists talk, and act. It’s like a person needs to have a really severe personality disorder to move up very far in the leftist hierarchy these days.
        And they just can’t figure out why us “normals” are more and more just tuning them out.

      • I had the exact same problem discussing global warming with believers, especially the intelligent & educated ones. One day at the pub, I was surrounded by about four believers all throwing questions at me. I answered every one as well as I could, but nobody addressed my answers at all, they just threw different questions at me. It was exasperating. Eventually I was just told that I was an irredeemable case, yet I was the only one actually answering any questions, as all mine were deflected by new questions, mostly unrelated to my questions.
        From that day I’ve refused to discuss it, and if anyone asks, I just tell them to look at the actual data, not the media, and read what the IPCC actualy state*, not the summary for tax gougers.
        *as I understand it, they say we may get 1.7C warming in total, and any environmental effects will be completely overshadowed by the effects of changes in society and technology.

  5. Is there a list of papers in which the science could not be reproduced? How about a list of climate science paper in the cue for some reproductive examination?

  6. I think this is mainly for Life Sciences (medicine, drugs etc.)
    Nature started a reproducibility checklist for Life Sciences in 2013 already.
    Made no difference of course, it is just not sincere.
    It will not apply to “Nature Climate Change” or global warming in general because nothing published in there can be reproduced except for applying the exact same faulty assumptions. Like all the tree ring reconstructions apply the same Mannian math to produce hockey sticks. Not reproducible with other techniques but there are 20 of them with the same statistical techniques.

    • Tree rings mainly track rain more than temperature. Especially winter moisture. In the desert, the ‘trees’ which are very stunted, grow like crazy during wet winters. So assuming these same trees in tree studies are showing temperature has been a total fraud from day one.

    • ” Like all the tree ring reconstructions apply the same Mannian math to produce hockey sticks.”
      Bill, Mann’s hockey stick was not a tree ring reconstruction. It used a whole range of different proxies. The problem was how he combined a whole bunch of proxies from different sources. So tree ring reconstructions are not producing hockey sticks using Mannian methods.
      Also verification by reproducibility would have made all the difference as it did when M&M tries to reproduce it and found the Tiljander varves were being used upside down and that even red noise would produce a similar hockey stick.
      He would also have been able to validate CRU land temp data had they not been beligerently obstructive and then disappeared the data.
      So, no, this does and should be applied to climate science and would make it more meaningful and probably reduce by a factor of the ten all the pointless BS studies that are flooding the literature for the last ten years or so.

    • Greg February 25, 2017 at 12:09 pm
      ” Like all the tree ring reconstructions apply the same Mannian math to produce hockey sticks.”
      Bill, Mann’s hockey stick was not a tree ring reconstruction. It used a whole range of different proxies. The problem was how he combined a whole bunch of proxies from different sources. So tree ring reconstructions are not producing hockey sticks using Mannian methods.
      The hockey stick part comes from vastly over-weighting the white mountain bristlecone pine trees, as in ridiculously over-weighting. [I note there is a very near-by airport to these specific trees that does not have a hockey stick temperature record, so the whole thing should just be thrown out.]
      How one could even use cores from such trees is totally beyond me.

  7. “Therapists and educators rely on such findings to help guide decisions.”
    To tell you the truth, there are virtually no solid theories in human psychology
    that deal with any significant human behavior. Psychology is a junk science –
    just watch some clinical psycologist testify in court for the defendent (and usually
    contradicted by the prosecutor’s psychologist) and state that the defendent is not
    a danger to society, followed a few days later by news that the freed defendent
    killed some bloke. The only valid response by any psychologist to just about any
    question is “I don’t know.” This from a graduate psych student of decades past.
    And Hillery and Bill (the Fools) Clinton, once wanted the Fed to pay for psychological
    counselling for the population. Had that come to pass, the university clinical psych
    programs would have expanded exponentially. Every manjack a therapist. Easy money.
    No knowledge required, since psychology the science cannot rule out any guy’s theory
    since psychology knows from nothin’. Take John Cook’s 97% study. Looked at journal
    articles of years’ past and tried to figure out what they writers believed back when the
    article was writen (before the pause, most likely) , which is invalid if estimating
    current opinions. Any sane researcher would simply have called the article writers (and
    other notable climatology folk) on the phone and ASK THEM DIRECTLY what their
    opinions about global warming were. But NOOOOO………

    • I know someone who worked on a case involving a serial killer. The guy was already locked up, I think the case involved additional murders discovered after conviction. Apparently the guy seemed normal for the first few minutes of conversation, but as it went on, you could tell something was off with him.
      At any rate, a psychologist involved with the case said that there was really no way to be absolutely 100% positive if someone was faking insanity or not. If I recall correctly, he said the only cases where he felt “sure” were cases where the person WAS faking. My take on it is this: only believe the psychologist if he admits he does not know if the person is crazy or reoffend. Or if he says the person is faking. (In court cases.)

      • In the old days lunatics were “diagnosed” in a court of law – because psychiatrists had not yet been invented. Now we think we use science to diagnose – because we think psychiatrists are scientists. But there exists no science about lunacy – only clinical knowledge handed down from generations. And yes, a diagnosis of “homocidal mania” can still only be diagnosed in a court of law, i.e. by common sense (and, funnily enough, common human compassion and charity).

    • Reminds me of a story about medical specializations I once heard (from a General Practioner by the way):
      A General Practitioner knows what is wrong with the patient, but he doesn’t know what to do about it, a Surgeon doesn’t know what is wrong, but he knows what he’s going to do about it, a Psychiatrist doesn’t know what is wrong, and he doesn’t know what to do about it and a Pathologist knows what was wrong and what should have been done about it.

      • Or, birds flying over a blind. The generalist says they are ducks; the specialist says they are geese that look like ducks; the surgeon goes ‘BLAM BLAM’, turns to the pathologist and says go find out what they are.

      • There’s another good one that I’ve forgotten all but the last line for: ‘and the pathologist knows what it is and what to do about it, but it’s too late.’

      • Oops, it’s just a variant of tty’s. We need tinting, fixing and microscopy to determine just what variant.

      • Psychiatrists removed homosexuality from their list of illnesses because they didn’t know what caused it and they didn’t know how to treat it. True?

        • I did tend to follow the field casually, even though I never used my degree in Psych. Partly it was political, and again somewhat political inside the field, the Freudians lost influence. Freud was very obsessive about homosexuality, and blamed repression of homosexual urges for a vast variety of syndromes. There was a tendency to examine anything associated with Freud, and most of the Freudian model did not survive examination. The only real attempt to revive Freudianism was the “repressed memory” foofraw some years ago. Add that to political lobbying by gay groups, and it went away.

      • Mr. Baer, Robert Reilly explains the deception involved in removing homosexuality from the APP Manual of Mental Disorders in his book Making Gay Okay.

    • Agree completely that psychology is, kindly, a very squishy science that can be done by anyone who is observant. I scored in the 99 percentile on a psych CLEP back in the ’70s that I took just to get rid of a requirement. I had never taken a single psych course and didn’t want to!

      • I have a BS of psychology (BS seems appropriate, doesn’t it?). It was so easy. I also have a BS in chemistry, where actual work was required. My minor was in philosophy, also easy. “Hard science” is called that for a reason. I was fully aware of the lack of science in psychology (there are or were some areas in experimental psych that weren’t bad) and I will fully admit that pscyh is more philosophy than anything else. There are virtually no hard and fast “laws” in psych, nothing but squishy guidelines and list of symptoms that fit three-quarters of the population. It’s very, very limited.

      • @ Sheri and Tom, actually I am thankful for what you guys do. I had to talk with a “shrink” as part of my process to deal with a chronic pain problem and the Workmen’s Compensation board. ( Who of course were doing their best to deny compensation). The Dr was a very compassionate person and we had great interaction and he helped out a great deal and favorably with my case.
        But the main thing that I learned was that his help made me think for myself in a very different way, less reactive and more proactive . He helped me organize my ( and my wife’s).thoughts. We went through a very difficult time that included some serious negative stuff. If it would not have been for him and the litterature he gave us to read and the different course he set us on we really do not know what would have happened to me and my family, that was 10 years ago and we are fine although the pain is still there.
        Don’t be hard on yourself, maybe they call them “Personal Trainers” these days but we feel strongly you are great sounding boards and can help people to see the trees rather than the forrest.

    • “…just watch some clinical psycologist testify in court for the defendent (and usually
      contradicted by the prosecutor’s psychologist) and state that the defendent is not
      a danger to society..”
      There is an easy fix for that. Just hold them legally responsible for providing a correct diagnosis or at the least pull their credential. Same thing with the review boards that release people from prisons and mental institutions who committed felonious acts.

  8. In most cases it would suffice only to puplic papers with the data and methods they are based on.
    Without data and methods they are by default not reproducible.

    • Not always. Good papers would have methods of COLLECTING data by which the findings through analysis are reproducible. The best papers would identify data collection and processing methods that would identify precursors and high probability windows by which a significant event is about to happen. This applies to fields from genetics, solar astronomy, aircraft maintenance, to card-counting in blackjack.

  9. This should be the end of the repeatedly falsified CACA conjecture, but probably won’t be.
    The only repeatable results in so-called “climate science” are those made up by the Team, ie (as yet) unindicted coc0nspirators.

    • I not sure it could be in total. Where there is data extant (and available) and properly documented methods of processing that data to produce a result, then maybe. In most of the cases it seems all or at least part of the source for Climate Science papers is modeled output. That output is NOT data. Even that cannot reproduced as the key algorithms use randomisation even in the presence of all known starting states. To use the output of one model as the input to another. That is just plain insane to assume that it has some value in the real world other than, “well, that’s interesting”.

  10. Science should also require some logical reasoning in its articles.
    Climate “Science” on Trial; Clear-Cutting Forests to Save the Trees
    Also, lack of reproducibility should be considered evidence of fr@ud in some cases. I’ve outlined the Criminal Case here. IMHO, it is time we take a hard look behind the curtain.
    Climate “Science” on Trial; The Criminal Case Against the Alarmists

  11. First you let them get away with bastardizing the peer review process…
    Peer review is just plausible speel chex….then you throw it out there and see if it sticks
    Somehow peer review morphed into reality check

  12. This could mean that the climate scientists reckon they have the historical data so well ‘adjusted’ that it will be easy to replicate scare stories….
    On the other hand, will Nature accept papers showing that certain critical papers CANNOT be replicated? if not, then Mann et al can claim that their hockey stick paper is now published ‘in a journal with really tough replication standards’…

  13. Who Cares?
    For the 97%, reproducibility is just a phone call away.
    From here, it just looks like they are circling the wagons.
    “The study was Reproduced!
    It must be true. Same faked data, same faked methods, same faked results. Reproduced!
    Remember the (in)famous MBH “Hockey Stick” paper, which was reproduced by at least half a dozen researchers. It must be true.
    The alarmists control the funding, who gets published, and who speaks at conferences. Now they put forth a program to reproduce each others work. So what?

    • As far as I know nobody has ever managed to figure how the uncertainty range in that paper was calculated and Mann et al refuses to tell. So, no, MBH hasn’t been reproduced.

      • Good Lord.
        Steve McIntyre over at ClimateAudit had a scientific Soap Opera going on for well over a year as he and McKittrick broke the Hockey Stick. Several people (I will not call them researchers) came to the same conclusions as Mann, using the same data and methods.
        Was it all exact, exactly? No, of course not. It does not need to be.
        On the other hand, Exactly:
        You want Exact Replication? Give me your data set and your method. (read that as your computer program)
        I will run your computer program on my computer and get the same Exact numerical result. Then we can give the program to someone else, and see that they get the same *Exact* result.
        So what did it prove? A computer program can have the same output when run on different machines.
        Score one for AMD vs. Intel.
        And that is all that proves, but you get *Exact* replication.

      • TonyL,
        Unless one is using Excel and other spreadsheets because there are known flaws in the Excel calculations and apparently no interest by Microsoft to correct the problems.

      • TonyL:
        Exact replication gives you the starting point of your own research. If you can not replicate the results exactly then either the data or method is incorrect leading you to believe that the original researcher got it wrong.
        The benefit of exact replication is that you can take the paper, data and methods and move forwards with your own research – step by step…
        I suspect in your world you it does not matter if a climate paper is in correct!

      • @ Clyde Spencer
        “there are known flaws in the Excel calculations”
        It is going on 20 years now that people have known that the Excel math library is screwed up.
        They still have not fixed it?
        Way back ~2004 I was doing high precision calculations. Everything was in IEEE 80 bit format. (This by the way is what the hardware math co-processor is set up to do).
        The Microsoft compiler was Evil because it *silently* truncated 80 bit values down to 64 bits, then sent them off to the 80 bit FPU.
        Certain monks of certain Orders take a Vow of Silence.
        I have never seen a greater justification for a Vow of Silence.

      • @ stevenrichards1984:
        “I suspect in your world you it does not matter if a climate paper is in correct!”
        You are absolutely correct. I consider the field to be totally bogus, and without merit. At this point I do not care if one paper or another has something in it which is correct.
        “The benefit of exact replication is that you can take the paper, data and methods and move forwards with your own research – step by step…”
        OK, there is some merit in this. But consider this. If you do an exact replication and get the exact results, that is all well and good, but it is little more than an undergraduate laboratory experiment. (Still necessary, nonetheless)
        To truly replicate results on a larger scale:
        Understand the principles. What was done, how it was done, why it was done.
        Now, do it your way. That is to say, do not run somebody’s computer code, write your own.
        Do not accept someone’s adjustments and corrections to the data, do your own, using the same principles.
        Now, did you get broadly similar results? Did you get largely the same results? Did you get complete agreement?
        If so, that is a positive confirmation. If you have *independent* work which gives the same result, that is confirmation. If the work just duplicates what has been done, it is not really an independent confirmation.

      • steverichards1984 February 25, 2017 at 9:56 am
        “Exact replication gives you the starting point of your own research. If you can not replicate the results exactly then either the data or method is incorrect leading you to believe that the original researcher got it wrong.”
        The first point of your paragraph if flawed. The person reproducing the research is NOT doing research , they are engaging in quality control.
        If the person does out to the same area cuts their own tree sample and gets a different result then the process is not reproducible.
        I know this means every reconstruct is fair game. But that is the real game. 100% replication.
        In the case of the “Hockey Stick” you must go out and get you own samples. If it does not yield the same result the original research was flawed and sloppy.
        By the way it is bad form to insinuate that the people here or in disagreement with CAGW would refuse to acknowledge legitimate replication. You should retract the statement.

    • “The alarmists control the funding, who gets published, and who speaks at conferences. Now they put forth a program to reproduce each others work. So what?”
      I think this is likely correct. Nature are probably aware how thin are their castle walls and this is nothing more than an exercise in shoring up the ramparts. No one can back away from this debacle now. Way too much time and effort and other people’s money has been invested in it and the slightest sign of weakness would be fatal.
      No, they are hunkering down and hoping to survive. I expect this will end not even with a whimper but the World will gradually move on and the once mighty journals will be slowly sidelined as it becomes increasingly more evident that their credibility is a total bust.

  14. Here is what I want to know: Did they take the names of the 70% and the pertinent papers? When should we expect to see the retractions?
    Hahahaha. I have no simple idea of how to fund this, but I think there ought to be some sort of independent group in charge of attempting to replicate data before a study is accepted for publication. Of course, no matter what one does, someone will figure out how to game the system. Unfortunately.

  15. Nature is so full of sh!t…where has their integrity been wrt their rules of the peer review process (not pal review). Notwithstanding climate ‘replication’ is nearly impossible. However they could start with explicit details of how any and all data is manipulated ( warmer-speak for modeled) and a completely transparent reveal of all the data so that others can ‘replicate’ the conclusion of said paper.
    But hey, what do I know, I just frame houses for a living.

  16. I suggest this opens a door to setting up a group with statisticians and major science practitioners to be a watch dog organization. Take random samples of papers to gauge the percentage of replicable studies plus select studies with “flashy” findings and those with potential for high impact social costs. It could pass the main workload on to the discipline by being a reporting centre for those in the discipline with the availability of funding where costs could be significant.
    There is so much foundation money available for destruction of western civilization. Surely there is money for a societal benefit like this. Hopefully it could be non partisan politically though it doesn’t look attractive to Ngos who are all Champaign marxbrothers. I would also honour honest scholarship by collecting such work or at least their abstracts in its own prestigious publication. This would further incentivize the cleanup. Perhaps give the work a seal or some form of recognition.
    I think there is an overwhelming number of people not properly trained in their disciplines or adequately talented to participate in scientific work. (I agree with S. McIntyre that in climate science, the Team members would be lucky to get jobs as high school science teachers a couple of generations ago). A massive requalifcation is necessary with remedial courses, research to re-obtain their degrees after such a destruction of education in the west. What to do with today’s professors? Maybe some one else can tackle this!

    • it would only take a small bit of regulation change to require federally-funded research to be replicated prior to publication. The formal replication would need to include statistical review, archived datasets, archived code, and specs for all equipment and processing hardware. Organizations like Underwriters Laboratories ( Research Replicators, anyone?).

      • Rather than delaying publication of the research, any conclusions derived from that research may be treated/referenced as no better than conjecture until two steps have been performed. First, the funding agency must authorize and fund an independent verification of both the data and methods of the original study. Second, at least one additional independent study, using different data and methods should be performed and must validate the original conclusions prior to them being assigned any significance.

    • Gary Pearse
      I’m sorry but the solution to big government over reach is not MORE government or NGO’s that are funded by the government. The very organization your proposing could, and probably would, be corrupted to support the governments desire at a particular time. What your proposing is a government funded “fact checker” and would be little different than so called “fact checkers” we have now which are in fact tools of partisanship created due to the lost credibility of the press.
      No, this blog and so many others have been doing a great job of exposing the elements of this fraud machine by bringing their claims into the light where a simple truck driver like I am can read and assess and learn. With the current government in place what we see now is simply the inertia of a an ever slowing climate change train. Give it time. The truth will win.

  17. “over 2/3s of researchers say they are unable to replicate study results is surprising that it has taken this long for top of the line journals to more strongly encourage replication to establish validity.”
    How did it get to that point? Not by osmosis.
    It was people with names who corrupted the journals. They should be listed, highlighted, shamed and disgraced for having allowed, enabled and produced the stench.

    • 1) The fewer people know how to do something. The more of an expert you are, the more valuable you are. Publish a basic outline of your method and claim that anyone skilled in that domain can achieve the same results. Give out the least amount of information you can get away with.
      2) Sometimes data is just too noisy, especially in areas like social science where borderline p values <= 0.05 show up in studies that psychologists consider 'science'.
      3) There's a bit of outright fraud.
      4) It's better for one's career to publish 5 studies with small sample sizes than 1 with an adequate size. More publications. The true careerist must resent that 'wasted time' in the field and lab.

    • Steve O ===> “They should be listed, highlighted, shamed and disgraced…”
      YES sir, replacing the U of East Anglia artwork against Lord Monckton (et al), with “Lest we forget the derailleurs…” emblazoned in solar LEDs.

  18. In a field of science where the output of somebody else’s computer simulation (“model”) of future climate is considered to be “data” that is as reliable, if not more so, than actual observations and measurements of real things, I would say that reproducibility should be the least of their concerns.

  19. All this talk about reproducibility brings up some memories.
    I was in Grad School at the time, as an analytical chemist. I wanted to observe some proteins via fluorescence. So I had to tag the proteins with some fluorescent compound, to make them visible with my technique.
    A friend of mine, who was much more into biochemistry than I was, came up with a research paper, about 4 years old, which described a technique. The paper described a reaction where a specially modified fluorescent dye is bound to the N-terminus of a globulin protein. I tried it out, doing just as the paper described, and ended up with perfectly tagged protein, on my very first try!
    Try that with “Climate Science”
    Everywhere in real science, reproducibility is alive and well.

  20. h/t to the paper, Negative Results are Disappearing from Most Disciplines and Countries [2011] from master lexicographer Daniele Fanelli, whose 2009 work on scientific misconduct is also of note. He finds that “the proportion of papers that, having declared to have tested a hypothesis, reported a full or partial support has grown by more than 20% between 1990 and 2007.” Does this mean that as a species we are becoming better at guessing — or are there other forces at work?
    One thing that jumped at me in Fanelli’s paper [Fig 3, p7] was the smoothness of this progression for the US authors, as compared with other countries. Richard Feynman noted “The thing that doesn’t fit is the thing that’s most interesting.” Are we seeking those things? Newton was almost right. Bereft of rigorous testing to invalidate popular hypotheses, would we be likely to notice “negative results” such as the rounding error disparities that led into quantum mechanics, today? Or would they be swept under the rug of selective funding and implied consensus?

  21. This is big. Replication crisis is going mainstream. Their will be a lot of academic fakers extremely nervous right now.

  22. I am sure computer simulations of computational climate models are fully reproducible with sufficient work (and some insider info — it is best to steal the code altogether). Therefore it makes sense to restrict climate research to that field, no pesky measurements are needed. And from that point on let’s call model runs “experiments”, see e.g. CORDEX: COordinated Regional climate Downscaling Experiment. It is an excellent paradigm.

    • “no pesky measurements are needed. And from that point on let’s call model runs “experiments””
      This is what is utterly bizarre and antiscientific. When I object to this on other fora I’m invariably asked what problem I have with modelling and accused of making arguments from incredulity. It’s quite mind-blowingly stupid and yet the faithful see no problem with it.

  23. There is a journal for irreproducible results called, ‘The Journal of Irreproducible Results’. It even has a website,
    I’m a bit surprised it isn’t the leading journal for climate science. 🙂

    • Well, mostly because JIR is closely akin to National Lampoon but on a higher level and tends to publish papers we write when we are struggling with a concept and turn to silliness to break the log jam. That is how papers appear describing transgender in paperclips and siamese twinning in gummie bears….

      • SMC February 25, 2017 at 10:30 am
        “I wonder, has anyone studied the reproductive habits of Legos?”
        That is a study I would support. I keep asking my 9 year old how they keep showing up in my shoes……

    • Highly recommend the famous jir paper, a quantum gravity treatment of the angels on a pinhead problem. Best piece of double entendre science satire ever. Google takes you right there.

    • There is a journal for irreproducible results called, ‘The Journal of Irreproducible Results’. It even has a website,

      Wouldn’t it be funny if its Internet URL changed constantly, at random? And the only way to access it would be to start guessing? HILARIOUS! At times I amaze myself. Maybe it’s why I’m the only imaginary friend I have left.

  24. This reproducibility topic reminded me of Anthony’s attempt to reproduce Bill Nye the science guy’s experiment to demonstrate that CO2 caused warming by using a heat lamp and some jars. Don’t have any links could use some help.

  25. For quite some time there has been discrimination against descriptive works in ecology. It is less probable for these to be corrupted, except in the incompetence sense, or if you play games with the raw data. Such data is also discriminated against because a lot of it is in gray literature which is less likely to become digitized and harder to justify in the modern library. Descriptive studies can sometimes lead to fruitful insights and experiments perhaps partly because you are not trying to prove a hypothesis one way or another. Simple curiosity and problem solving are still important to science. There are examples from epidemiology, albeit now helped by easier data analysis.
    In estuaries, properly described as individually idiosyncratic, it is often difficult to easily reproduce results. Some long term descriptive work has been carried on by state fisheries agencies and other venues, but academic work too often gets improperly thrown into the statistical category. Maybe things will work out better as we now can better store raw data, too often presented even in descriptive studies as at least partial summaries of data. However, as noted, we need to back way off from publish or perish and value good peer review. It would help to put more researchers and administrators back into the class room where they could learn from their students and earn their pay.

  26. Maybe “….reproducibility in submitted papers” should be part of the Data Quality Act enforcement.

  27. So, I thought I’d put Q = U * A * dT to a test. I inserted some assumed values for the earth’s atmosphere to determine U and k, U = k/x.
    Q = 1,368 W/m^2 aka solar irradiance. X = 100 km. Surface T = 288 K. ToA T = -90C.
    U = 13.03, k = 1,303
    Now I doubled the irradiance and thickened the atmosphere by 2.5 times and calculated the surface temperature.
    Q = 2,736 W/m^2 aka solar irradiance. X = 250 km. ToA T = -90C. k = 1,303
    U = 5.211, Surface T = 798 K.
    This result looks just like Venus without any CO2 or RGHE hocus pocus.

    • Your Q does not seem to have the loss from radiation from the Earth. You need to account for all energy flows. What are the units of U? It can’t be just 13.03 unless U is dimensionless, which I don’t think it is. I recognize this is a quick post so full details may not be included, but can you go through what you calculated?

  28. Nature is mentioned in a listing of media and people all involved in the Foreign Trade Council, the US equivilent of the Royal Societies we find in the UK and other countries and who in reality form the outer ring of a secret society that is Pteparing for World Governance based on a collective, read Communist model.
    All you have to know about Globalism and how close they are to achieving their ultimate objective:

  29. Here’s why we’ve got to this state. I put it on Bishop Hill’s a few days ago when the BBC first reported this.
    A ‘reproducibility crisis’ is inevitable because of basic statistics.
    For a result to be considered plausible it must meet a 95% confidence level. But why 95%?
    The answer was very sound. 95% means it’s a 1 in 20 chance of it being a spurious anomaly in the data.
    (OK, we all know that. Bear with me).

    Back in the 1900s to 1920s the chances of two groups both getting a 1 in 20 chance was 1 in (20 x 20) all multiplied by the number of groups looking.
    E.g. 3 or 4 groups looking in 400. Thus if you do get a spurious result the chance of it being replicated by another spurious result was about 1 in a 100. Unfortunate – bad – science gets weeded out. Success!
    95% confidence levels kept science on the right track… back in the 1900s to 1920s.
    Now though we have a lot more research going on. Universities have more post-grads. And every town in the developed World has a university. Plus lots of universities in the Third World too. This alters the sums.
    Chances of a spurious result being accepted as guidance for further research now =
    30 or 40 in 400 or about 1 in 10.
    But that’s for a dull subject. Exciting findings that attract research funds suddenly become 300 or 400 in 400 or in practical terms ‘pretty darn tooting to be confirmed’.
    Remember, failed results don’t get published. After all, it might be the sloppy technique of the investigator. Bad luck post-grad.
    In fact, for interesting results it won’t be just two spurious results that confirm each other. It becomes four or five.
    Enough for a conference and a special journal.
    The lucky researchers are now the world leaders in this exciting new field. They can get poached by more prestigious (sand richer) universities. And they will be doubling down in that field. Others will follow. Inter-disciplinary approaches offer now opportunities to crack old problems. If you’re really lucky you can turn your approach from something that might be a dead-end towards this new advance.
    But remember, 95% confidence levels can no longer prevent spurious results from being established. So all that effort is often wasted.
    Hence you are bound to get a ‘reproducibility crisis’. We are publishing on too low a confidence level. And no-one would ever suggest that we should publish less. That’s not how jobs in academia work.

    • Fortunately in climate science we do have different groups replicating the work of the others. Hence different temperature series.

      • The Nature discussion on the Today program was talking about medical studies, not climate data.
        As usual, you miss the point in your eagerness not to question the practice of climatologists or be sceptical of anything at all.

      • Since few climate studie authors have archived their data and methods, I do not understand how they could be independently replicated. Please explain how this is possible.

      • A quick look back at the posts I estimate about 70% specifically mention climate science. Yet you only make this comment on mine. Why is that? Why did you not say that to all he other commenters talking about climate science?
        This is primarily a climate blog, and putting scientific news in the context of climate science is pretty much what it does. Calling me out for putting the climate science perspective makes no sense at all.
        It looks a bit like desperation.

      • Because you were replying to me and I was talking about the story on the BBC. I began with “Here’s why we’ve got to this state. I put it on Bishop Hill’s a few days ago when the BBC first reported this.”
        You thread-jacked my comment in your monomania. I’ve every right to respond to you contemptuously.

      • Brook: You have NASA, NOAA, HadCRUT and Berkeley Earth all producing independent data sets. Each is a test of replicability. You also have two independent satellite based data sets. If you are not aware of them or their methods you can look them up.
        Replication is a big problem in science. Just not so much in the temperature data sets in climate science.

      • Ok your reason for not commenting on the 70% of other posts is reasonable, as I was responding to you. The point still stands, climate science is not one of those that suffers from the replication problem. I am glad that you do not dispute this, but merely object to me inserting this into your discussion of medical research.
        On that point, your analysis is flawed because the multiplication of research groups are not all doing the same thing, so the chances of duplicate spurious results is not as you state.

      • seaice1, if they aren’t doing the same thing then they aren’t replicating the results. They are doing something different.
        You’re back on your “astrology is sound if I like the results” argument again.
        They have to be investigating the same thing to replicate results. And they have to be using the same method to provide confidence in the method.
        And even if that was wrong, it wouldn’t change the statistical fact that – with the increased number of research groups and bias against publishing negative results – spurious results will probably be confirmed.

      • MCourtney. Is your argument that in medical science there are too many groups trying to replicate the work of others? This is an interesting take on the issue and somewhat at odds with the article.
        If you follow the link you will see that I never mentioned astrology, and it is simply another of your straw man errors.

      • Rather that the level of significance taken to prove replication is too low for the number of groups trying to replicate.
        And you mentioned anything that has the same conclusion – regardless of whether the method is known – as replicable.
        So that includes astrology, sometimes.
        You can’t defend Karl et al 2015 like that and exclude astrology too.

      • M Courtney, you just made up the astrology replication study. There are none. Astrology is not capable of producing one. You can’t just make stuff up then argue about it as if it were real. Show me the astrology paper that got past peer review and supported Karl15 and we can discuss it.

      • No. No. No.
        There is no-one stupid enough to write a paper claiming that any astrology prediction replicates anything. Karl et al 15 or anything else.
        No. They will not. Because Karl et al is rubbish.
        That is the point I have repeatedly made and you have repeatedly missed.
        You claim that it matters not one jot how a prediction is made, repeatable or explicable – Pah!
        You claim that if any method reaches the same conclusion as Karl et al then the practice that created Karl et al is confirmed.
        It is not.
        And further more, it will never be so because Karl et al is fabricated. That’s why they hid the data by losing it in a computer fault.
        However, (pay attention here) if the method that leads a conclusion is irrelevant and the repeatable logic that leads to a conclusion is irrelevant… then (Ta Daaa) the Karl et al Conclusion is Relevant.
        Then, and only then, Karl et al is (maybe) not rubbish.
        But how do you let Karl et al 15 in and not also believe in Astrology?

      • You claim that it matters not one jot how a prediction is made, repeatable or explicable – Pah!
        I have never claimed this
        You claim that if any method reaches the same conclusion as Karl et al then the practice that created Karl et al is confirmed.
        I have never claimed this.
        And further more, it will never be so because Karl et al is fabricated
        So you claim.
        But how do you let Karl et al 15 in and not also believe in Astrology?
        By using all the usual scientific processes, checking the paper has cited and used previous work in a relevant context.
        Your “logic” would seem to exclude progress in science without acknowledging astrology, which is absurd.
        There are no astrology based papers supporting Karl15. You are just making it up. You are saying “if astrology could support Karl15 then you would have to accept astrology.” But the fact is that astrology cannot provide any meaningful support for karl15, so your argument is just nonsense.

      • One last time, if they aren’t doing the same thing then they aren’t replicating the results. They are doing something different.
        This is obvious.
        But you say that it doesn’t matter that they are doing something different so long as the conclusion is the same. If the conclusion is the same then Karl et al is supported. This is silly.
        Astrology is something different. If astrology comes to the same conclusion then is Karl et al supported? No. Because the workings of astrology are not replicating the workings of Karl et al 2015.
        Remember though, nothing can replicate the workings of Karl et al 2015. Because they fudged the ship data and then hid there working.
        So how can anything provide support for Karl et al 2015 just through having the same conclusion? You say “By using all the usual scientific processes, checking the paper has cited and used previous work in a relevant context.” But there is no relevant context for Karl et al 2015. They lost the data. Therefore, the new paper may well be OK. But it has nothing to do with Karl et al 2015. It has no more to do with how Karl et al 2015 works than astrology does.
        The problem with your concept of science is that it lets anything in. Yes, even astrology. Because if the “relevant context” is just having the same conclusion – what else can it be when there is no working to compare to – then anything and everything is OK if the conclusion meets your desired target.
        This is why your argument that a ‘similar conclusion is support’ is a justification for astrology being science. And it is also why you are completely wrong.

  30. Replicating other group’s research results costs money and time and very few researchers are willing to spend their time and money reproducing (or failing to reproduce) other researchers work when they can do original science.
    The truth is most scientists are well aware of the results in their small subfield that are suspect. With time articles that have irreproducible results are forgotten and no longer cited, and science just churns along self correcting and building up on solid knowledge. The main problem is fashion research that attracts money and resources detracting from solid scientific research, and top journals encourage fashion research, sometimes even asking scientists to produce it. Human caused climate change is just one example of fashion research that interests people in this blog, but fashion research contaminates every single aspect of most scientific fields. Fashion research has a very high risk of being biased and violate principles of the scientific method. However is where the money and fame is. Fashion research is for example finding a fossil that is a human ancestor. If your fossil is not a human ancestor is a lot less fashionable. Or finding an exoplanet that can support life. A lot of supposed human ancestor fossils are not, and a lot of exoplanets could not support life. In the end it is our fault that fashion science exists and contaminates research. It is just a manifestation of old anthropocentrism, like the climate is our fault.

    • Removing fashion science, then, would be more important than pursuing replicability? I can see your point to a degree, but without replication, how does one know if the result was a fluke or real? Reproducibility is necessary in science—note that physicists are often very good at asking for others to reproduce their outcomes if they can. They understand how important this is.

    • There is a problem here, but the solution is not obvious. The problem is that replication is a valuable thing, but the researcher (and funder of) doing the replication does not get the benefits. If the replication is successful, then the original researcher gets the benefit of everyone having confidence in the result. The wider community gets the benefit of confidence in the original result. The person who does the replication gets essentially nothing. Who is going to fund this? The only body that is supposed to represent the interests of the wider community is the Government. So are we saying that there should be a lot of Government spending in reproducing every paper that is published?

  31. I’ve been waiting for this! Now all the deniers will see how the caring people really care when they can read how CO2 heats the air. The glaciers will melt, the seas will rise, and we’ll all DIE!!! I mean, we have an equation, right? All we have to do is loose the CO2 into the atmosphere, apply the equation, and watch the temperature go up, up, up! And it will be reproducible! AND caring!

  32. Will Nature now require reproducible statistical significance?
    Bailey finds “5 sigma” scientific models deviate by up to five orders of magnitude beyond naive normal distribution assumptions.
    Bailey DC. (2017) Not Normal: the uncertainties of scientific measurements. R. Soc. open sci. 4: 160600.
    Demetris Koutsoyiannis (2010) shows random probability statistics severely underestimate climate persistence (Hurst Kolgomorov dynamics).
    Koutsoyiannis, D. Memory in climate and things not to be forgotten (Invited talk), 11th International Meeting on Statistical Climatology, Edinburgh, doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.17890.53445, PDF. Presentation

  33. How does this help with the massive number of papers that only regurgitate the results of the results from a computer analysis? Isn’t the same code on a different computer going to give the same garbage?

  34. The article does not mention climate science at all.
    Possibly because it is one area where replication is commonplace.
    There are several independent series published. BEST is a good example. Could the temperature series be replicated by an independent team using different methods? Yes it could.
    Climate science is possibly the mos replicated area of science.

    • seaice1:

      Possibly because [climate science] is one area where replication is commonplace.

      You’re kidding (mainly yourself), right? Do tell us how many have replicated Mann’s work – with his data and methods and code? Or, from the (not so) sublime to the ridiculous, Cook’s, with his data and code?
      But, of course, you don’t mean ‘replication’, do you?

      • I don’ want to get into the many replications of Mann’s work for now. I was mainly referring to the surface temperature data sets.

      • The reason you don’t is that red noise fed into Mann’s centered PCA produces hockey sticks. So all the Pages2 crap produces them. Because the method is fatally flawed. McIntyre published a peer reviewed paper on this years ago. As for temps, the GAST stuff does not replicate the sat stuff. The GAST stuff can be showed flawed many ways. The fact that it comes out ‘sort of the same’ doesn’t mean it is right. The flaw is taking raw data not fit for purpose ( lack of coverage, UHI, poor station quality) and thinking it can be massaged into something useful with tight error bars. It is the error bar thing that is the real reproducible problem.

      • seaice1:

        I don’ want to get into the many replications of Mann’s work for now.

        Frit!!!!! Go away and hide behind your pusillanimity!

      • Yes, because my point is that the temperature data is very well replicated. .
        So you agree that BEST was a good replication study? Your issue is that Mann’s study has not been replicated?
        Well, here is the evidence:
        Robustness of the Mann, Bradley, Hughes reconstruction
        of Northern Hemisphere surface temperatures:
        Examination of criticisms based on the nature and
        processing of proxy climate evidence
        Eugene R. Wahl · Caspar M. Ammann
        From the abstract:
        “Altogether new reconstructions over 1400–1980 are developed in both the indirect and direct analyses, which demonstrate that the Mann et al. reconstruction is robust against the proxy-based criticisms addressed. In particular, reconstructed hemispheric temperatures are demonstrated to be largely unaffected by the use or non-use of PCs to summarize proxy evidence from the data-rich North American region. When proxy PCs are employed, neither the time period used to “center” the data before PC
        calculation nor the way the PC calculations are performed significantly affects the results, as long as the full extent of the climate information actually in the proxy data is represented by the PC time series. Clear convergence of the resulting climate reconstructions is a strong indicator for achieving this criterion. Also, recent “corrections” to the Mann et al. reconstruction that suggest 15th century temperatures could have been as high as those of the late-20th century are shown to be without statistical and climatological merit.”
        In contrast Soon and Baliunas 2003 has not been replicated.

      • Seaice1: It’s not at issue that the ‘temperature data is very well replicated”. It is all to do with whether the work of the scientist’s paper can be replicated – using the data and methods/code he/she used. When Mann released his paper (MBH98, I think it was) he took great pains to make sure his data and methods were very difficult – if not impossible – to find.
        I don’t think you really understand replication.

    • replication and reproducability are technically two different things.
      BOTH are important.
      Reproduceable typically means the author supplies all the code and data and you can reproduce the same results.. or do the experiment again and get the same result.
      replication, as you note, involves using perhaps different data and different methods and coming to the same conclusions.

    • “Possibly because it is one area where replication is commonplace.

      Climate science is possibly the mos replicated area of science.”

      And that doesn’t ring any alarm bells with you?
      Not a single one?
      Ye Gods!
      You’re not a scientist, are you?

      • caweazle666. Can you explain your comment as it makes no sense as it is. I seem to be saying replication is a bad thing and should ring alarm bells.

  35. I think the journal should go one step furthere, studies that makes a prediction of a future natural event at a specific date should go on watch. If the event does happen as predicted then the journal should publish the study and add the observed data for the predicted result.
    On this site somewhere someone posted a study about the relationship between earth to sun distant and wetter than normal years. I recall it stating that 2016 / 2017 would be wetter than normal. It currently looks like that prediction is coming true I also read about a computer model that predicted past sunspot behavior based on the orbits of the 4 outer planets. It predicted that this solar cycle would be weak and possibly would have a double peak in sun spot numbers. The prediction appears to have been accurate.

  36. That’s being very “sciencey”. Maybe trying to recoup some of their credibility lost with fake articles about species extinctions and plant die offs due to AGW? Whatever their reason….. I applaud it.

    • It would seem so at first glance, but an unreplicable study may be redeemed if a minimal error is detected and corrected. An nonredeemable study is so rife with error, projection, etc that no amount of new work could save it.
      Contemplate Pons & Fleischmann cold fusion, for example. Certainly not a sure thing now, but what was originally perceived as nonredeemable (at least, in part, because they decided to go Las Vegas with the initial report before publishing or having replication attempted) has led to small modifications by the US Navy, Texas A&M researchers, and others that have hinted at reproducability. That doesn’t mean the E-Cat will ever work (I wonder if that is going to get me put into moderation LOL), but perhaps something will.

  37. But how do I met my publishing quota if I have to provide all the data? It’s so much easier to get my papers published if I can hide the fake data from prying eyes. /Sarc

  38. “…thinking about when they write the paper.”
    How about trying it out BEFORE you write the paper, lest the frank gets caught above the beans.

  39. In the same way that Nature does not enforce it’s archiving data rule, this one won’t be enforced either. It’s a method used by journals al the time. Publish a paper, a rule whatever with great fanfare and then forget about it.

    • They mean to be ‘more scientific’ but will do ‘business as usual’ while this operates as a simple fig leaf.

  40. TonyL (above) raises interesting points. What is meant by replication of a study? Using the same assumptions, data, math, programs, and operating systems will very likely (certainly?) produce the same results yet prove nothing. But changing assumptions, collecting new data, using different computer programs is not exactly replicating the study. Meaningful replication must involve getting into the details of the assumptions, the sources and validity of the data, and the mathematical and logical validity of the methods.
    It isn’t simple, but it has been done for years in other disciplines. It should be possible in Climate Research.

    • I get it! It took me a while to figure out the connection between the spiraling human replicas and the present discussion.. Metaphor is not my strong suit (and jokes are beyond me) whether worded or pictured. But yes! Replication is indeed low hanging fruit and can be accomplished with rapid fire.

  41. This is an excellent beginning, if and only if Nature enforces this. Words notwithstanding, Nature has never required replication in the past. Actions, not words will show whether Nature’s editors are serious.

    • As the submitter of the article, I highly doubt this rule will be applied to any paper that is in line with the editorial and management philosophy, which is why I think an independent web site documenting meaningful replication of published research could become something of significant value to academia.

  42. How? You require authors to submit raw data that has normal distribution. That what we do with our journals being doing it for 5 years now. It works.

    • Eliza- don’t you mean data with error measures that are normally distributed? Lots of things in the world display other than normal distributions. For instance personal income is log-normally distributed. Air pollutant concentrations are often best fit by Weibull distributions.

  43. “Nature” is unlikely to hold global warming papers to the standard of reproducible results for two reasons:
    1) “Nature” is 100% behind the concept of anthropogenic global warming; and,
    2) if Pro-global warming papers were held to a standard of reproducibility, the number of such papers that could be published would be vanishingly small, while the number of pro-natural warming/cooling papers that could be published would be much higher. This would threaten the world view of the editors of “Nature”.
    Politics had been at play in the science publishing business for a very long time.

  44. What exactly do they mean by “reproducible?” Seems to me that this is somewhat akin to the principle of “falsifiability.” Do they mean reproducible in theory? It seems like an easy standard to insist upon in laboratory science. What does it mean for statistical studies? Is it enough to archive the data and explain the statistical methods adequately? Or what about earth sciences, or astronomy? How does one replicate the study claiming to have discerned “resonances” in the solar system that influences climate from sedimentary geology?
    Isn’t the big deal over lack of reproducibility in laboratory sciences where papers pass peer review without anyone actually checking the methods? It sounds almost like they are saying they will not accept such papers unless the same results can be produced by two independent labs. Is that what this is all about?

  45. In other news today – John Podesta, the founder of “Think Progress”, the employer of Joe Romm, the man who financed and organized, as the head of Hillary’s campaign last year, a constant drumbeat of Climate Alarmism last year, combined with constant vilification of anyone who took the skeptic position….
    … has just been hired as a new senior political analyst at the Washington Post. Well, they were always very sympathetic to the Warmist position before, but this is a clear sign that they are ripping all the masks off, and from this day forward the most radical diatribes written by our most bitter enemies are going to be printed as “hard news” in the pages of the WaPo.
    Disgusting, is all I can say.

  46. In the expectation that a serious discussion is possible here, what is meant by a test of reproducibility? Papers already have statistical analysis showing that the result was reproducible by the original researcher. It is clearly not possible for every published paper to have the results reproduced by an independent laboratory. That would be hugely expensive, and who would pay for that work?
    I see the problem as a lack of interest in publishing negative results. Journals must be encouraged to publish when someone submits a paper showing that they could not reproduce a previous result. Maybe a publicly funded “journal of negative results” should be set up.

    • seaice1: As you have already said:

      I don’ want to get into the many replications of Mann’s work for now.

      …you cannot possibly claim that you want a ‘serious discussion’ here. You have, by your own words, ruled yourself out of such discussion.

      • Harry, look up – I have posted the information.

        Ha ha ha! Yes TWO hours after my comment here. But you had to add it to a different part of the thread to make it look like you’d already made the comment and I had missed it. Naughty step for you, my lad.

      • Harry, don’t get paranoid. I was not trying to make it look like you had missed it. I just posted it, then scrolled down and came across your comment here, so pointed you towards it.

    • The main criticisms of nearly all climate science papers is their shopping around for a statistical protocol will make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Only a few people, like Steve McIntyre have been working on this problem and his work has forced some retractions of papers and some admissions that the authors had stepped beyond the bounds of their results in their conclusions. McIntyre and McKittrick in deconstructing Michael Mann et al paper on the hockey stick showed that with Mann’s new methodology, white noise could be made to produce of hockey stick every time! How would you judge this central icon of the CAGW movement?

      • Gary “Steve McIntyre have been working on this problem and his work has forced some retractions of papers.”
        I had a look for the papers he had forced to be retracted but could not find them. Can you tell me some of them please? Retractions are quite rare and I only found Said et al 2008 and Sidall et al 2009 and Lewandowsky 2013 none had anything to do with McIntyre.
        here is another:

      • Seaice, of course there will be no credit given to the dreaded S. McIntyre. He found terminal problems with a Karoly et al paper a few years ago. Karoly a few days later withdrew the paper saying HE himself had found errors, giving no credit to SM. I guess ‘technically’ you are correct, it was a forced withdrawal. Similarly, MBH correction recognizing the LIA which made it a scythe handle instead of a hockey stick handle was a halfway retraction as a ‘Sauve qui peut’ change to try to make the beleaguered hockey stick a little more respectable. The proof of McIntyre that red noise processed with Mann’s invented statistical method always gave a ‘hockey stick’ would, in more honest and ethical times, have caused a retraction. But hey, this was an icon of Climate science and, like the finding of a surging polar bear population, nothing will be acknowledged that kills icons.
        Look, you are clearly a smart guy and some of your comments are thought provoking, but with all the shenanigans in this business, Climategate revelations, book cooking, cheerleading and the like, plus connections to NWO Champaign soshulizm, you must have had some doubts about this stuff. I believed it all myself as did Anthony about a decade ago. You can’t be this easy to fool. I’m a actually a geologist and engineer and I studied paleo climate as a regular part of the Geo curriculum. I also did work on Quaternary geology associated with the last glacial period and it’s melt back. I even discovered the extension of the old Missouri River when it flowed north through Saskatchewan and Manitoba to Hudson’s Bay during the Eemian.

    • “…Papers already have statistical analysis showing that the result was reproducible by the original researcher…
      Actually, no. Maybe you’re referring to Wahl and Ammann trying to refute Steve McIntyre’s work but actually confirming it. Even if you were to accept that Mann et al’s non-standard PCA analysis were appropriate, ignore the dependence on bristlecone’s (inappropriately used as temperature proxies), etc, it’s a statistical failure. And even when it pretends to be statistically appropriate, it isn’t, such as citing that Preisendorfer’s Rule N was used to determine how many principal components were to be retained when it fact it wasn’t. Mann and RealClimate present some examples to explain how Rule N works, but this process does not match what was in the hockey stick code nor match the PCA’s retained in the hockey stick.
      What you’re probably thinking of is the claim that many others have come to similar “independent” hockey stick results. What you/they are ignoring is the continued dependence on inappropriate proxies and a relatively apples-to-oranges comparison to thermometer records.

      • Michael, I was no thinking about climate in particular. I was thinking about papers in general. As I explained elsewhere on here, statements such as n=5, COV = 5% are an indication of how well the original author reproduced his own results.

  47. This and requirement for a formal review by a professional statistician, will go a long way towards cleaning up the literature.
    Then we can work on the inane global warming statements attached to every paper by the grant departments.

  48. RAH, ( I wasn’t thinking of government at all. I’m thinking of a new scientific organization that does this stuff. The workload is enormous at present, but if replication was hanging over the heads of would be cookers of books, there would be a couple of orders of magnitude fewer studies published and they would be incentivized to do their research correctly. Personally, I see no way that government can actually do science without corruption – except basic stuff like mapping the geology, collecting data on rain, snow and temperatures but no interpretation, or any discipline where you aren’t feeding a policy agenda. The policy question for research should be “What should we do?” Most should be contracted out. Replication would be an insurance policy, although you have to beware of “replications done by those on a political agenda.
    I note commenters like seaice and other defenders of the faith accept that the temperature record is ‘replicated’ by several independent agencies. Those who know the inbreeding of these “independent’ researchers know that they have created one monster with 3 or 4 heads. After “Karlization” of the dreaded “Pause”, all the independents and one satellite temp keeper (RSS) suddenly also adjusted themselves out of the pause. They even created problems for themselves with other products that depended on them. I understand the deep concern of the spin doctors on such an article as this, who visit to badger sceptics (and we all have broad shoulders). They know that if over 70% of medical and other similar type sciences are spurious or fraudulent and their work is put to real world tests that can kill people, then climate science findings that won’t reach maturity until everyone alive today is dead, the percentage of worthless papers is undoubtedly much higher than for medical stuff.(Ironically I think 97% of papers add no honest knowledge to the science)
    Question: how can you have a simplistic formula for CO2 affect on temperature that was promulgated ~ 50 years ago and yet have hundreds of thousands of papers on the subject that don’t change numbers of a couple of generations ago? The IPCC certainty on this anemic formula has reached 99% with half a dozen identical reports over 25 years. The most astounding contribution made by Cook of the 97% consensus was that he used 100,000 papers on climate that were produced over only 10 years!!! What novelties could they be regaling us with? That alone should make a sceptic out of everybody if they are being honest about it. Probably before 1950, there weren’t 100,000 papers in all of science for all time.

      • seaice, You recheck the number of papers. They boiled it down to about 10% of them that they judged as alluding to the question. Their final ‘cut’ involved only about 75 papers and this doesn’t trouble you? Any reasonable and the majority of unreasonable people would be stunned that there were so many papers at all in all of climate science – that was my main point.
        Here is a test of your sincerity: you argue against every finding by a sceptical author on the subject of warming and yet you defend everything that comes out of the vaunted consensus. What are the chances of that being right?

  49. Please Mods, my comment is thoughtful and clean and it will just get buried under additional comments when it appears.

  50. Reproducibility has long been a (supposed) pillar of the scientific method. So has falsifiability, as a matter of fact. While we’re at it, asking authors to set out the falsifiability conditions for empirical claims could be healthy.

  51. Seaice1, “To my mind the refusal to allow the BBC entry reflects badly on Trump, not the BBC. The BBC may not be free from bias, but they are certainly not “fake news” peddlars.”
    To my mind, the BBC are making up science. Highly qualified Scientists with similar thoughts on CAGW to myself are not permitted to speak on the BBC. Meantime, BBC Radio 4 broadcasts the Bishop of Stafford, claiming that Scientists with views similar to mine, “Are like Fritzl.” When I wrote to the Bishop of Stafford and requested a public debate with him concerning CAGW, I did not rceive a reply.
    In this case Trump is right. The BBC has no impartiality and I resent the Government taking my hard earned money to support their propaganda machine.

  52. Why now and not 8 or 10 years ago when the basis of climate scam was being formulated? This is an overdue catastrophe for climate science, climate psychology, and climate political science.

  53. ” Papers already have statistical analysis showing that the result was reproducible by the original researcher. ” –seaice1
    Utter nonsense.

    • I am no talking about climate science in this case, just papers generally. They will usually have a number of replicates and a measure of the precision (say n=5, coefficient of variation = 4% or something like that). This shows that the original researcher was able to reproduce his own results.

  54. Just a suggestion.
    For any scientific work done for the government, all data, software, notes, etc. are placed in an archive completely open to anyone wishing to look at the basis of a study.
    BTW, you don’t get paid for your work until everything is placed in the archive.
    If it is a multi year study, place what you have at the time to receive your pro-rated grant amount.
    If you work for a government agency, you place all your work in the archive on a semi-annual basis.
    We seen many examples of individuals on this website able to critically exam several papers advocating different hypotheses with only the data supplied (sometimes unwillingly) testing the hypothesis advanced.
    Imagine how much easier it would be to exam the basis of any report if everyone could exam the work.

      • Nah Mosher until you have proven you can tell hot from colder your claim is worthless without proof. And if you can’t provide it then the claim’s based on your reputation which is that of a truth commode. Whatever goes into you, feces comes out.
        The guy who released the climategate emails ADDRESSED YOU PERSONALLY for being such a SCIENTIFICALLY IGNORANT dunce.
        Your word really is worse than worthless. If you said it then it means the opposite’s probably true.
        You’re not escaping it, along with all the other kooks who endorsed the fraud.

      • Jones not only didn’t provide data but claimed he couldn’t find the original data behind HadCRU’s alleged temperature reconstruction. Maybe he doesn’t count on Planet Mosh because you yourself didn’t ask him for them.

      • Steven Mosher makes a point from his own experience. E Mendes calls him a liar. Is that within site policy?

  55. What are the chances of reading the next article in this ‘esteemed’ periodical NOT containing the words ‘may’, ‘might’, ‘possibly’, ‘suggests’, ‘perhaps’, ‘indicative’ ‘climate change’, ‘global warming’, and ‘man made/anthropogenic’ etc in the same sentence? Slim to no chance I would suggest. As for ‘natural variability’. Well, dealing properly with that baby will take a hell of an editorial mind shift. Still, overhauling reproducicity and pal review is a start, if they are serious…….Are they?

  56. Reproducible and robust are two different vastly separate processes in research. The most important thing for readers to take away from this post is that reproducible science does not produce robust results. A lie can be reproduced.

    • “Reproducible and robust are two different vastly separate processes in research.”
      Adjectives aren’t processes.
      I suppose you meant “reproduction” and “robustification”. 😉

  57. What is the safeguard against pal reproduction, such as Wahl and Ammann’s garbage?
    Sounds like this is just another “trust us” stamp.

  58. So, does this mean that HadCRU’s temperature “data” are no longer allowed in Nature, since the original raw data have been “lost”?

  59. Climate science typically used 95℅ as it’s significance level, so right out of the gate at least 1 in 20 papers are dead wrong. Now if 20 people try and replicate the result, 19 will fail but 1 will succeed by chance. Now if only that 1 positive replication is published, you have a replicated paper with a false result.

    • Yep. It’s easy to replicate false findings. It’s harder to put them to a robustness test. Mann’s removal of the medieval warm period can be replicated. However it has failed investigations of robustness. It did occur and could easily occur again without the slightest notice of the presence or not of cars on the road.

      • All climate change is regional in character and has strong chaotic behavior. That includes warming, cooling, storminess, drought, etc. Averaging and cherry picking temperature proxies and records is the least effective method of detecting weather pattern regime shifts such as the medieval warm period. To wit, I am impressed with the diverse outcomes of regional focused papers that describe probable conditions of the Eemian period. That warming period displayed itself in many interesting ways on a regional basis, some of which is surprising.
        It is not argued that the medieval warm period did not occur. It is not argued that some proxies show higher temperatures than today, on a regional basis. It is also proposed that if it was warmer in one regional area, it was likely and reasonably colder in another. The jet streams do that you know. That is not contradictory evidence. In fact it may end up being confirming evidence as more is learned about the regime shift that was likely in place to bring about such a period.
        So in summary, your paper does nothing toward elimination the medieval period. It only served to examine Mann’s statistical methods. That is not an examination of whether or not there was a medieval warm period of significance. Replication or examination of methods is not a measure of medieval warming period robustness. The totality of regional responses is. Which is why the MWP remains identified as a significant event among climate scientists even after the date of the paper you link to.

  60. So Nature will no longer accept papers that had pixie dust sprinkled on the keyboard that produced the paper?
    That’s good. Should have happened sooner.

  61. Any paper that states in the beginning or ending that climate change is a problem without further evidence on how and why, should be examined.
    Climate and its changes is so vast an area, that you have to specify what you mean if it should have any relevance. You could just as well have said weather change is a problem. And who says it is a problem?

  62. Except that what they are doing is closing the door and making opposing research to their infinitely impossible to overturn. They are moving the goalposts and raising the requirements to publish while for years like setting the precedence in case law.

  63. Statement of reproducibility from some future clime modeling paper: “We ran the model twice, and got the same result. Then our friends ran it and got the same results.”

  64. As a graduate student in biochemistry in the late 60’s, I recall my graduate adviser remarking that, in a peer review journal, one has to rely on the Materials, Methods and Results sections as correct. One might disagree with some of the conclusions drawn from the results or, even better, have that “Aha!” moment when the discussion triggers an idea, but one could always, at the very least, trust the results as valid.
    Now I find it appalling that a journal like Nature has to “begin requiring reproducibility in submitted papers”!
    In the words of my grandson. WTF?
    I have been out of active research for some 20 years now and have missed it, but if this is what it has come to, I can’t say I’m sorry to have missed the perversion of what I once loved.

    • Remember, in climate science you work backward. First you determine the results (CAGW), then you find a method that you know how to use, and lastly you create the material (global temp data) so that everything works out. You really don’t need any actual accurate temperature data to start with.

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