As noted a couple of days ago, I received a response from Science in respect to my request for data from Osborn and Briffa . They asked that the response be confidential, but pointed me to a file archived at WDCP on Feb. 9, 2006, which proved to contain, not original data, but smoothed versions of the 14 series used in the article.
In addition, they sent me time series for 13 of 14 sites in Esper et al , but they did not remedy the missing measurement data for either article. I should mention that WDCP (www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo) contains measurement data sets for hundreds of tree ring sites – so it is not heavy lifting for these authors to archive tree ring measurements as used.
Anyway here’s my reply to Science:
Dear Dr Hanson,
Thank you for your prompt response to my letter in respect to Osborn and Briffa , Esper et al  and Thompson et al [1989; 1997]. I appreciate your efforts in this and realize that you are frustrated at being criticized. However, if you reflect on the matter, I’m sure that you will agree that the problem stems entirely from the original authors failing to comply with Science’s data archiving policy.
It will come as no surprise to you that I do not believe that the additional data, useful as it is, comes anywhere near discharging Science’s obligations under its data policies for reasons that I will set out in detail below. I will discuss the shortfalls in connection with what I understand to be one of Science’s governing policies http://www.sciencemag.org/feature/contribinfo/prep/gen_info.dtl#datadep) :
Science supports the efforts of databases that aggregate published data for the use of the scientific community. Therefore, before publication, large data sets … must be deposited in an approved database and an accession number provided for inclusion in the published paper.
Since the issue pertains to how Science discharges its policies, it is my position that you, rather than the original authors, are the appropriate arbiter of that. (Additionally, the authors have refused all requests in the past and I see no reason why their behavior would now differ.)
Status of Each Request
1. Digital versions of all 14 series as used in their final compilations;
I have inspected the archive at ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/paleo/contributions_by_author/osborn2006/osborn2006.txt, to which you directed me. This consists of smoothed (and re-scaled) versions of the 14 series and is relevant to the request, but does not satisfy it. The authors specifically discuss correlations of these series to temperature, which requires consideration of the pre-smoothed series. Accordingly, I re-iterate my original request for digital versions of the 14 series.
2. For each of the tree ring sites analysed (both the 11 retained and Esper site not used, including Gotland, Jaemtland, Mackenzie Mts and Zhaschiviersk), an exact data citation to a public archive (e.g. WDCP) for the data set used; or, in the alternative, an archive of the data set at the Science website. In cases, where the publicly archive dataset for a site is related to but different from the version used by Osborn and Briffa, please archive the data set as used.
I was able to reasonably reconcile the smoothed series to original sources in public archives and accordingly have no issue with data provenance for the following Osborn and Briffa series: the Mann PC1 (#1); #5 Chesapeake; – #6 – Fisher’s Greenland O18 stack; #7 – Netherlands documentary; #14 – Yang’s China composite (although there are problems in the Thompson series used in this composite). For other users less familiar with nuances of series versions, I recommend that the SI be modified to provide accurate data citations for these 5 series.
The problems mostly pertain to tree ring data, which make up the other 9 series. In three cases, Osborn and Briffa provided data citations for sites in public archives (#4 – Quebec- cana169; #8 – Tirol — germ21; #11 – Mangazeja — russ067, russ068). In each of these 3 cases, the Esper version reconciles to the Osborn version (up to re-scaling). However, they do not reconcile to the original data sets.
a) the dataset germ21, cited by Osborn-Briffa for series #8- Tirol, has values from 1466 to 1837, while the archived version goes from 1324 to 1975. Obviously the data set has not been cited accurately or is incomplete.
b) the series cana169 goes from 1352 to 1989, while the Osborn version (#4 — Quebec) goes from 1352 to 1947. Again, it appears that the data set has not been cited accurately or is incomplete. Additionally, while I have been able to substantially replicate the features of other RCS chronologies, my efforts to reproduce the archived result from cana169 lead to a series with a significantly different shape.
c) one of the two cited data sets (russ067) does not contain measurements at WDCP. However, the versions “mangazla” and “mangazpc” in the Schweingruber section of WDCP appear to have the data for russ067 and russ068. However, these data sets only yield values from 1246 to 1969, while the archived Osborn version (#11 — Mangazeja) goes from 1246 to 1990. Some additional data must exist somewhere, but has not been archived at WDCP to date.
Two sites (#9 — Tornetrask; #13 — Mongolia) have WDCP measurement archives (swed019; mong003 respectively), but there are inconsistencies between the data as archived and the length of the Osborn and Briffa versions.
d) the WDCP archive for Tornetrask ends in 1990, which is inconsistent with the Osborn version which ends in 1993. This indicates that the data sets are not the same.
e) similarly, the WDCP archive for Sol Dav, Mongolia begins in 900, while the Osborn version begins in 800.
For the following 5 sites, no archive of the measurements exists at all — a direct breach of Science’s archiving policy:
f) Jasper/Icefields, Boreal, Upper Wright, Taimyr, Yamal,
Accordingly, I re-iterate my request that the measurement data consistent with the archived site chronologies be archived for each of the above items 2(a)- 2(f), as well as corresponding information for the following 4 sites considered in Osborn and Briffa:
g) Gotland, Jaemtland, Mackenzie; Zhaschiviersk
3. Digital versions of the specific gridcell temperature series used in each of the reported temperature correlations together with version date.
As noted in my previous request, D’Arrigo et al  have reported directly opposite findings in respect to the correlation between their RCS chronology and gridcell temperature for: Jaemtland and the two foxtail series. I have specifically been unable to verify their claim in respect to bristlecones. Accordingly, I re-iterate the request for the digital versions of the temperature data used in these calculations. (In connection with a similar request, Nature required Mann et al. to archive the exact temperature data used in MBH98.)
4. Exact data citations to a public archive for all datasets used, or, if such do not exist, an archive of the data set at the Science website.
While most Osborn versions match Esper versions up to re-scaling, they differ in three cases, and a separate Esper version is required in two of them:
a) the Esper version for the Jasper data is different than the Osborn and Briffa version (as noted in Osborn and Briffa) and both data sets need to be made available;
b) similarly, there are differences between the version of the Tornetrask series archived by Esper and the one archived by Osborn, again requiring examination of both data sets;
c) the Polar Urals version of Esper differs from the Yamal version of Briffa. It is possible that the Esper version used a combination of data sets russ021 and russ176 (if so, would you please confirm this.)
5. A clear and operational definition distinguishing “linear” and “nonlinear” trees, preferably with source code showing any differences in methodology.
While the provision of site chronologies for 13 Esper sites is appreciated, one site (Mongolia) was unaccountably omitted. The corresponding information is requested.
While the provision of the site chronologies was interesting and appreciated, according to my reading of Esper et al , these site chronologies were not used in the calculations in the article, which distinguished between “linear” and “nonlinear”. No operational definition is provided. combined with the unavailability of the bulk of the data, the calculations of “linear” and “nonlinear” chronologies cannot be replicated even from the recent information regarding Esper et al  and this remains unresolved.
6. Thompson provides a complete archive of both Dunde and Guliya ice cores, including both isotope and chemical data.
While I appreciate that Thompson has provided sample information on (only) 2 Kilimanjaro cores, he did not provide the requested accompanying chemical information necessary for their interpretation. The Kilimanjaro data is obviously of little help with the Dunde and Guliya data.
The U.S. Global Change Research Program required archiving of data commencing in 1991 and the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology has been in existence since then and has been online since 1994. Accordingly there was an adequate facility for the archiving of the Guliya core when it was published in 1997.
I realize that the Dunde core was published in 1989, at a time when your present archiving policies were not in effect. However, Thompson has published versions of this series in other journals which are inconsistent with the version published in Science. I cannot imagine that you are content with such a situation. Even if you did not have policies at the time, I am sure that you can give a very firm request to Thompson and I find it difficult to believe that Thompson would refuse a direct request from Science to provide this data. If he has refused a direct request, then that too is relevant information, upon which I would appreciate confirmation.
Again, I apologize for putting you in the middle of this. However, some of this has been going on far too long with minimal results, leaving no alternative. I assure you that I will be equally public in commending you if and when you resolve matters. In my opinion, you should simply do the following:
(1) send a copy of your data archiving policy to each of the authors: Osborn-Briffa; Esper et al. and Thompson;
(2) tell Osborn-Briffa and Esper et al. that you expect them to comply with the policy which was in effect at the time of publication or else you will retract the article.
(3) tell Thompson that, if he wants to publish at Science in the future, he should immediately clean up his archive for the earlier articles.
Obviously there has been some inadequate housekeeping in the past. I can understand this and my concern is not with the past. My concern is with the present. You have an opportunity to remedy the situation now and no one will criticize Science for ensuring that paleoclimate authors meet Science’s data archiving policies. On the other hand, you will be justly criticized both by me and others if you don’t do so.