IPCC has a policy requiring them to make all expert and government review comments available under the following terms:
All written expert, and government review comments will be made available to reviewers on request during the review process and will be retained in an open archive in a location determined by the IPCC Secretariat on completion of the Report for a period of at least five years. http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles-appendix-a.pdf
All IPCC review comments are submitted digitally in a spreadsheet format. In 2005, I requested copies of reviews on Chapter 6 of the First Order Draft. Instead of merely sending me the digital version, the IPCC secretariat sent me a print version by snail mail.
On January 24, 2007, while the review process was still being carried out, in my capacity as a reviewer, I requested a copy of the reviewer and government comments.
Pursuant to the following IPCC policy,
“All written expert, and government review comments will be made available to reviewers on request during the review process and will be retained in an open archive in a location determined by the IPCC Secretariat on completion of the Report for a period of at least five years. http://www.ipcc.ch/about/app-a.pdf”
I would appreciate a copy of all written expert and government review comments on chapter 6 of the Second Order Draft. Thank you for your attention.
I have no record of any reply although, as noted below, Martin Manning says that he replied on February 5th. I re-iterated my request to Manning as follows:
Dear Dr Manning, I haven’t received any reply to this request. Could you please direct some attention to it. Thanks, Steve McIntyre
On May 18, Manning replied as follows:
I replied on February 5th to your request copied below, advising that we were at that time still setting up the arrangements for providing access to the review comments for the WG I report. These arrangements were completed very recently.
Thus the compiled comments and author responses for both the expert and government reviews are now archived at, and available from, the Environmental Science and Public Policy Archives at Harvard University. Please contact the archive center as follows:
George E. Clark, Curator
Environmental Science and Public Policy Archives
Littauer Library, North Yard
Cambridge, MA 02138
Today I received the following message from George Clark of Harvard:
Thanks for contacting Harvard’s Environmental Science and Public Policy Archives. I am the Archives’ curator. I’ve shifted your email message over to my question tracking queue so that I may keep better track of your request. We are undergoing a move in stages over the summer, so please bear with us as we work out new procedures for materials access. Currently, these materials are available by appointment within the hours of 10am – 4:45pm weekdays at Littauer Library.
At some point, service will switch to the Phillips Reading Room at Widener Library, but in either case, please let me know your desired time to visit (no later than one week prior) so that I can make sure the materials will be ready for you.
I will be away from the office June 21-July 5, so the materials will not be available during that date range.
Two points about this. In my case, I don’t think that they complied with the letter of the policy. I submitted my request while the review process was underway and was entitled to a copy of the comments under the terms then applicable and not merely pursuant to the open archive term of the policy.
But more problematically, it was presumably open to the IPCC Secretariat when they were deciding on an “open archive in a location determined by the IPCC Secretariat” to establish an open digital archive and, if they wanted to, they surely would have. Their selection of a snail archive requiring a personal visit can surely have no other purpose than to comply with the letter of IPCC policy while making access as onerous as possible. Martin Manning and Susan Solomon must be very proud of themselves for this manouevre. Sir Humphrey is proud of them to.
As noted in the comments, I contacted Renate Christ, Secretary of the IPCC, to seek acceptable access to the review comments as follows:
I was a reviewer of the WG1 report. On January 24, 2007, prior to completion of the IPCC review process, I requested a copy of review comments on chapter 6 of the WG1 Second Order Draft. Last week, I was advised by the WG1 TSU that I could access the review comments by personally attending at a library at Harvard University. Traveling to Boston for the purpose of accessing review comments imposes an unreasonable and unnecessary cost. Reviewers submitted comments in digital form and the review comments could readily be provided by the TSU in digital form, which would save onerous costs,
Accordingly, I request a copy of the chapter 6 expert and government review comments to be made available to me in digital form either by email or online. Thank you for your attention.
Thank you very much for your message. I will advise the TSU to facilitate your access to the review comments. Can you however, just for my records tell me when you have initially requested the review comments.
I replied to her request as follows:
Thank you for your prompt response. As noted below, I initially requested the review comments for the Second Order Draft on Jan 24, 2007 as shown below. On an earlier occasion, I had requested review comments for the First Order Draft and was sent a computer printout in hard copy. The review comments are all submitted in digital form. I presume that the review comments were sent to authors in digital form. I request that I receive the review comments in the same format as they were communicated to chapter 6 authors — in digital form if that is how they were communicated.
I notice that the IPCC Secretariat has the authority to determine the archive location. The comments are obviously intended to be public. I suggest that the comments be located online at an appropriate website in addition to any hard copy archive.
On May 22, Martin Manning of TSU replied as follows:
The Secretary of the IPCC, Renate Christ, has forwarded on to me the message below from you to her.
May I point out that the WG I TSU has never said or implied that you would need to travel to Boston to access the written review comments. We checked again yesterday with the curator of the Harvard archives library, George Clark, and he confirmed that he is very willing to copy and send you the comments you require. Could I suggest that you communicate with him via phone or email and clarify your requirements as I am sure these can be met quite quickly and reasonably.
I suppose that WG1 TSU didn’t say that I had to travel to Boston, but the curator asked me to send him my “desired time to visit (no later than one week prior) so that I can make sure the materials will be ready for you,” which initially indicated the need for personal attendance. In further correspondence with George Clark, he said that photocopying of up to 100 pages would be available on the following terms:
I have the material only in print form. I can provide a photocopy of up to 100 pages for research purposes only (not republication) for our interlibrary loan fee of $34 plus 40 cents per page. Copyright of the material resides with its authors.
It may be possible for you to hire a research assistant locally to look over the materials if that would be helpful in selecting materials of most interest. I can recommend someone if you like.
I replied to TSU and Renate Christ that I saw no reason why I should either have to incur these costs or accept a truncated version of the comments as follows:
Clark said that it would be $34 plus 40 cents per page and that he would only permit the copying of 100 pages. If I were not present in person, he said that he would recommend a research librarian that I could hire to select the 100 pages and do the copying. I was entitled to receive the review comments on January 27, 2007 when I requested them. I see no reason why I should incur expense now or why I should I accept a truncated version of the review comments, merely because of your failure to send me the comments when I requested them. Your proposal is unacceptable to me.
Please send me the comments in the same form that you supplied them to the section authors — digital if that’s how you provided them, by mail if that’s if how you provided them.