A couple of months ago, as I mentioned at the time, Ross and I submitted a paper to International Journal of Climatology discussing Santer, Schmidt et al versus Douglass et al. I just checked the status of the submission at the journal website and learned that the submission is subject to a “Special Decision”.
We hadn’t requested a “Special Decision” nor had I realized that such a service was available. I looked through the sketchy information on journal policies and was unable to locate any description of what’s involved in a “Special Decision” as opposed to a regular decision or what criteria are used to allocate articles between regular and “Special Decisions”. Maybe I’ll write the editor and inquire.
As I mentioned before, the submission reported that Santer used data ending in 1999 in their H2 analysis purporting to show that there was no statistically significant difference between the ensemble mean trend and observations regardless of data set but this conclusion was reversed for UAH T2 and T2LT datasets using data up to 2008 (or, for that matter, 2007, which was said by the authors to be available at the time of their submission.) This analysis seemed pretty straightforward to me and not something that was so difficult or arcane as to require a “Special Decision”. I wonder if Santer et al also received a “Special Decision”.
Maybe I should make a “Special Decision” on how to respond to their “Special Decision”.
Such tangled webs in climate science.
Update: I received the following very reasonable explanation of “Special decision”:
Special decision relates to a decision taken to accept or reject a paper without review and [Available for Special Decision] appears automatically on the manuscript central system when the requisite number of reviews have not been received