## Bradley Copies Fritts #2

In my previous post on Fritts and Bradley, I observed that Bradley’s so-called ”seminal” textbook had copied 12 of the first 13 figures in its dendro chapter from Fritts 1976, together with verbatim or near-verbatim caption (with a little more examining, this is now 17 of the first 19 figures in the textbook.) By focusing on the figures in this post, I didn’t mean to suggest that the comparison of running text in the two textbooks did not provide anything worth discussing. On the contrary. There is much of interest in this comparison, some of which I’ll discuss today.

I started with the documentation of the extensive copying of figures for two reasons.

First, the figures are relatively easy to match between the two texts and provide a sort of road map for comparing running text, since both textbooks comment on the figures. I’ll discuss further results on running text today.

Second, I was a little surprised by the sheer extent of Bradley’s re-use of the graphics from Fritts’ text. In saying this, I’m not moralizing or offering an opinion as I’m not familiar with conventions of textbook publishing and do not plan to offer an opinion without examining such conventions. If nothing else, the sheer extent of Bradley’s re-use of Fritts’ material repudiates Deep Climate’s assertion that Bradley’s textbook provided a “seminal” description of tree rings– an assertion that Deep Climate and others should withdraw.

Bradley’s re-use of Fritts’ material is not limited to his re-use of Fritts’ figures and captions. While I haven’t yet commented on the running text, given that much of Bradley’s dendro chapter comments on the 17 figures copied from Fritts 1976, Bradley’s language inevitably tracks Fritts’ to a varying degree. Here is the sort of parallel that one sees:

Bradley 1985, 346. Once the regression coefficients have been calculated, the eigenvectors incorporated in the regression equation are mathematically transformed into a new set of n coefficients corresponding to the original (intercorrelated) set of n variables. These new coefficients are termed weights or elements of the response function and are analogous to the stepwise regression coefficients discussed earlier

Fritts 353. Once the regression coefficients for the selected set of orthogonal variables have been calculated, they may be mathematically transformed into a new set of coefficients which correspond to the original correlated set of variables. These new coefficients (sometimes referred to as weights or elements of the response function) are analogous to the stepwise regression coefficients described in the previous section…

In addition, you can also distinguish two quite distinct sentence and paragraph styles in Bradley 1985, which I’ll illustrate through the following two parts of the first paragraph of section 10.2.1:

In conventional dendroclimatological studies, where ring-width variations are the source of climatic information, trees are sampled in sites where they are under stress; commonly, this involves selection of trees that are growing close to their extreme ecological range. In such situations, climatic variations will greatly influence annual growth increments and the trees are said to be sensitive. In more beneficent situations, perhaps nearer the middle of a species range, or in a site where the tree has access to abundant groundwater, tree growth may not be noticeably influenced by climate, and this will be reflected in the low interannual variability of ring widths (Fig. 10.2). Such tree rings are said to be complacent. There is thus a spectrum of possible sampling situations, ranging from those where trees are extremely sensitive to climate to those where trees are virtually unaffected by interannual climatic variations. Clearly, for useful dendroclimatic reconstructions, samples close to the sensitive end of the spectrum are favored as these would contain the strongest climatic signal.

However, it is now clear that climatic information may also be obtained from trees which are not under obvious climatic stress, providing the climatic signal common to all the samples can be successfully isolated (Lamarche, 1982). For example, ring widths of New England deciduous and coniferous trees have been used to reconstruct the history of drought in the area since ADd1700 (Cook and Jacoby 1977) and, recently, reasonably good paleoclimatic reconstructions have been achieved using Tasmanian mesic forest trees (Lamarche and Pittock 1983). For isotope dendroclimatic studies (Section 10.6), the sensitivity requirement is not critical and it would, in fact, be preferable to use complacent tree rings for analysis (Gray and Thompson, 1978).

There’s an obvious stylistic difference between the two parts of the paragraph. The first part contains no academic references, while, in the second part, all the points are referenced in academic style. (I’m not moralizing about this – I’m just observing a style distinction.

This style distinction is pervasive in the Bradley dendro chapter. Except for a few isolated subparagraphs, Bradley 1985 pages 331 to 353 are in the unannotated style. The only exceptions are the subparagraph shown above at the bottom of page 332, four sentences at the bottom of page 336, a sentence at the top of page 341, one reference at the bottom of page 343 (the other references at the bottom of page 343 derive from Fritts 1976) and the discussion of Cook and Jacoby 1979 at the top of page 351.

The distinction between referenced and unreferenced style corresponds almost exactly with whether or not the material is derived from Fritts 1976. For example, here is a section from Bradley 1985 in unannotated style:

Bradley 1985, 346. In the case of Figure 10.11a, the regression equation with only one variable (amplitudes of eigenvector 1) accounts for 36% (R2100) of the variance of ring-width indices during the period of instrumental records. This first eigenvector represents a climatic condition in which tree growth is associated with below average temperatures in all months leading up to and including those in the growth season, and, above average precipitation in all months. Note that the 95% confidence limits on these weights are small since they are based on only one variable. Figure 10.11b shows the response function weights resulting from an equation utilizing three eigenvector variables; these account for 67% of the tree growth variance. Using this equation, ring width indices are inversely related to temperature in most months, but positively correlated with precipitation, May of the growth year and September of the previous year are the only two months for which temperature is positively and significantly related to growth.

Sure enough, there is a very closely matching subparagraph in Fritts:

Fritts, 366. The regression coefficient is multiplied by the weights of eigenvector 1 to obtain a response function that accounts for 36% of the growth variance (Fig 7.13). This response function can be interpreted as representing the condition of yearly climate which leads to above average growth, characterized by below average temperature for any month and above average precipitation for any month. The vertical line in Fig 7.13 indicate the 0.95 confidence intervals used to test variable significance. … The second response function shown in Fig 7.13 is the result of using stepwise multiple regression analysis on the three most significant regression coefficients. … This response function assumes a more complicated shape and the variance reduced is 67% of the total growth variance. It can be interpreted by the significant elements to indicate that temperatures in May are the only temperature variables that are directly related to growth while temperatures in seven of 14 months are significant and inversely related to growth. Variables for precipitation are significant and directly related to growth in nine of the 14 months. Precipitation for the July prior to growth is the only precipitation variable that is inversely related to growth at this step.

Similar instances abound. Here the parallel is obvious. In other cases, Bradley’s paraphrase is more thorough, but you can track what Mosher calls “high entropy” words through the paraphrase – words like “polynomial” or “eigenvector” or even “discarded”, which, in combination with the figures, provide a quite precise to locating the Fritts text from which the corresponding Bradley text has been derived.

Despite the obvious parallel in the sentences shown above, there is no direct reference to Fritts 1976 associated with these sentences. In fact, Fritts 1976 is mentioned only four times in the 24 pages of running text of Bradley 1985 pages 330 to 353 and only once in the running text Bradley 1999 – although, as noted in my previous post, Fritts 1976 is mentioned in the captions to seven figures in Bradley 1985 (Bradley 1999 – four).

The following three references in Bradley 1985 to Fritts 1976 were removed in Bradley 1999:

Although much work has been carried out since these early pioneering studies, the greatest strides in dendroclimatology have been made in the last 10-15 years, largely as a result of the work of HC Fritts and associates at the laboratory of Tree Ring Research at the University of Arizona, Tucson; much of this work has been documented at length in the excellent book by Fritts (1976). 330.

In practice, additional coefficients are not included unless they reduce the variance of the ring width data by at least a further 5% (Fritts 1976) though this cut-off point is quite arbitrary.

[in section 10.2.4 Calibration] For a more exhaustive treatment of the statistics involved and more examples of how they have been used, the reader is referred to Fritts (1976 chapter 7).

The sole surviving reference to Fritts 1976 in the running text of Bradley 1999 is:

From the point of view of paleoclimatology, it is perhaps useful to consider the tree as a filter or transducer which, through various physiological processes, converts a given climatic input signal into a certain ring width output that is stored and can be studied in detail, even thousands of years later (e.g. Fritts, 1976; Schweingruber, 1988, 1996).

As readers are aware, the text of Wegman section 2.1 Background on Paleoclimate Temperature Reconstruction is derivative from Bradley 1999. (As noted previously, this section does not mention or discuss the papers that Wegman was asked to review, MBH98-99 and the McMc critiques.) It is possible that Bradley’s failure to clearly reference Fritts 1976 resulted in Wegman not being aware of the actual amount of dependence of Bradley 1999 on its predecessor. As compared to the single mention of Fritts 1976 in the running text of Bradley 1999 in an incidental context (down from four mentions in more extended use of Fritts 1976 in the 23 relevant pages in Bradley 1985), Wegman mentioned Bradley 1999 three times in his running text of only a couple of pages.

Table 1 based on Bradley (1999) illustrates the wide variety of these natural phenomena that may be used as proxies. Some proxies measure very low frequency (slowly varying) climatic variables and thus are not useful for measuring average annual temperature changes. Table 2 found in Bradley (1999), which was reproduced from Bradley and Eddy
(1991) summarizes a variety of proxies and also indicates their minimum sampling interval as well as the range of years for which they could reasonably be used for temperature reconstruction.
,,,

See Bradley (1999) for a discussion of the fitting and calibration process for dendritic-based temperature reconstruction

Reader John McManus observes:

Bradley , as you have proved, will never have to worry about being falsely accused of plagiarism.

A point on which other readers may agree, though not necessarily for the same reasons.

His other point – that I’ve “documented [Bradley's] meticulous adherence to scholarly convention” is one that would be undoubtedly be very reassuring to Wegman. If Bradley 1985 (and Bradley 1999) can be taken to represent “community standards”, these standards do not seem to preclude the referencing practices in the Wegman Report that have been criticized both here and elsewhere.

1. Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 4:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

Steve, great stuff as ever. I hope this can be brought to the attention of GMU, whose court will be of the kangaroo variety if it does not pay attention.

• Nathan
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 5:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

This has no bearing on that investigation.

Wouldn’t it have been interesting if Steve had audited Wegman first?

• TAG
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 7:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

For a moment, I thought you were referring to the controversy around Wegman. it has nothing to do with the investigation into global warming

• Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 6:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

No, the place to take it up with is U Mass. I think you’d be laughed at.

GMU isn’t laughing.

Steve: perhaps you could identify a relevant difference between Bradly vs Fritts and Wegman vs Bradley. Having looked carefully, I don’t see any. Institutional laughter is not a meaningful criterion. Obviously UMass would laugh at anyone bothering to complain about the Team after the laughable inquiries to date. But that in and of itself doesn’t prove that there is a valid distinction.

• TAG
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 7:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

GMU isn’t laughing

How do you have any idea as to the internal GMU attitude to this? It could range from being very serious to irritation that a they have to waste time in a pro forma hearing on some vanity spat among academics. You really have no idea.

• Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 10:47 PM | Permalink

They have gone to the second stage of investigation. That’s their choice.

• Hoi Polloi
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 2:54 AM | Permalink

More embarrassment to come for U Mass, obviously they don’t realise what can of worms they’ve opened: “Axiomata Sive Legus Motus”…

• Ron Cram
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 8:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

Nick, why do you think this is not relevant to GMU?

Is US civil courts we have a doctrine of “clean hands” meaning you cannot sue someone if your hands are dirty. For example, you cannot sue someone for breach of contract if you breached first. It will never get to trial.

Why wouldn’t GMU be interested in Bradley’s behavior regarding the same issue?

• Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 10:45 PM | Permalink

Well, it isn’t. Nobody is suing. Bradley has no role here. The question GMU is considering is if members of their staff (or students) put forth plagiarized material. And they’ll look at all the material, not just the narrow CA selection.

But the allegations against Bradley, if put forth, would be laughed at. Changing references between editions?

Steve: puh-leeze. you’re being wilfully obtuse. Bradley made extensive use of Fritts 1976 with no more (actually less) citation than Wegman for Bradley. That’s the issue.

• Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 11:35 PM | Permalink

Steve, what is there then? You have the short para about eigenvalues, where they are describibg the same math procedure, but where there are enough similarities to suggest that Bradley might have had an eye on Fritts’ text (or they both have the same maths book). But it isn’t copied.

There’s no sign of copying in the p346-p366 section. The similarity is that they are both describing the same diagram, from Fritts (with citation and permission). And that expolains the lack of references – the diagram is the reference.

And then the “dropped references”. What else?

• Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 9:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

Steve, despite your misplaced focos on Wegman vs Bradley, there’s no such match. It’s GMU vs Wegman. And they’ll be looking at far more serious stuff than the Bradley issue that you find convenient.

Steve: all I meant in this case was a shorthand for Bradley’s copying vis-a-vis Fritts and Wegman’s copying vis-a-vis Bradley. I didn’t mean a civil suit. In the circumstances, the expression wasn’t very apt. Sorry about any confusion.

• Dominic
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

I have written an academic textbook in finance. When I used other books for background, what I would do was read the relevant section, make some notes, close the book and then rewrite it in my own words using my own “voice” and adding my own thoughts and insights. It looks to me like Bradley forgot to close the book!

If what Wegman did on a non-seminal work (it was never supposed to be seminal) is plagiarism then what Bradley did in a “seminal” work certainly most certainly plagiarism. You cannot claim one and deny the other.

• Crispin in Waterloo
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

Steve, Dominic and Nick
I discussed the implications of unreferenced material in Bradley 1999 and the possibility that it induced Deep Climate to think the work was seminal, at WUWT http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/18/bradley-copies-fritts/#more-26631 so I don’t want to repeat it here. Perhaps you were following along.

The essence is that I presume DC to be intelligent and an expert in relevant fields. If he believes Bradley’s work is seminal it is likely because of the content of the book and its references, not because of malice against Wegman. What observers speculate about Bradley is of no import – the book speaks for itself (res ipsa loquitur) and DC was listening. There is no shame accruing to DC.

Also, regarding Bradley’s deletion of ‘CO2′ from his citation of Fritts: apparently Wegman cited the original correctly (including CO2) and apparently DC accused Wegman of misquoting Bradley (deliberately). This is further evidence that DC thinks Bradley’s book is the original source, speaking for itself. If standard textbook convention had been followed (whatever that is) it seems to me that DC would not be making the latter charge nor elevating Bradley 1999 to seminal status. The only other explanation would be that DC’s current motives are impure, something there is no reason to suspect at all. If a reasonable man read Bradley 1999 they are likely to come to the same conclusion as DC.

Wegman citing Fritts correctly, not Bradley incorrectly seems to be quite proper in that instance.

• Rob
Posted Oct 26, 2010 at 2:29 AM | Permalink

You showed that Wegman cited Fritts correctly on a single word. If you imply with that that Wegman may have used Fritts as a basis and thus may be cleared of plagiarism of Bradley, two questions come to mind :
(1) Why did Wegman not cite Fritts ?
(2) Why did Steve compare text from Bradley’s book to Fritts’s book, rather than compare the 35 pages of text in the Wegman report to Fritts’ text ?

• Crispin in Waterloo
Posted Oct 26, 2010 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

I thought that Wegman was providing a backgrounder on the general science. I have no idea if it is common practice, or a legal demand, to reference everything in a congressional report. Is it? Do such reports read like academic articles? Just wondering.

So far I don’t have a strong opinion because I don’t know what the norm is for such reports. Maybe you do. Perhaps you can clarify it for us foreigners.

I think the reason why Steve compared Bradley’s book to Fritts’ book is that Bradley wrote a textbook based on earlier work. Both are definintely in the academic realm and the norm is that all citations are referenced. A rather weak exculpation offered at WUWT by a commenter is that ‘the sources are in the back’. That doesn’t fly in academia. I see commenters trying to turn, in our minds, Wegman’s report into an academic publication. As I understand it, the purpose of references are for the peer reviewing, to check the sources. It has turned into an ego and attribution thing, but it started so known fact claims could be checked. Obviously whoever reviewed Bradley’s book didn’t do his job.

Bradley’s textbook was not reviewed properly because a substantial amounts of one chapter (at least) is not traceable to its sources. Thus Deep Climate can be given as an example of an expert innocently misled by the text as published, which amounts to a claim for originality, nailed to the tower door.

I don’t think DC has a perfidious motive in claiming that Bradley’s work is ‘seminal’. How would he know? Bradley didn’t indicate in the book who he was copying/paraphrasing/re-phrasing/extending. On that count, with DC’s numerous comments in the public domain already, Fritts has an open and shut case of copyright infringement against Bradley: a reasonable man was induced to believe it was the work of Bradley. I wouldn’t want to defend that case.

This ‘misquote’ regarding the CO2 is hilarious! Come on! That is going to live on in infamy. We are all aware that the Team is trying to ampify the accuracy the tree rings as temperature proxies and that the CO2 deletion is unlikely to have been accidental. Including it would have fed the denialist trolls.

Bradley is seeking to protect the copyright (and income) from his book while not giving credit to Fritts for producing part of it. Say what? Tell it to the judge.

Another blogger points out that a lot of effort has been put into this discussion trying to pull attention away from the truth of Wegman’s report, focussing on attacking his person, rather than his science. This is an observable phenomenon. “Shoot the messenger, his boots are dirty, don’t look at my boots.” Crikey.

The complaint that Wegman incorrectly quoted Bradley when he correctly quoted Bradley’s source is bizarre. Let’s see if congressional reports cite all sources for that is the essence of your agitation.

• Crispin in Waterloo
Posted Oct 26, 2010 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

Oh, wait. Wegman cites Bradley all over the place. So Rob, what exactly is the root of your complaint about attribution? Using the Bradley Standard for citation, Wegman is more than compliant. Using the Academic Textbook Standard, Bradley isn’t, on the very same texts. He can’t go to court unless he has clean hands.

Will you join Steve in condemning Bradley’s copy-work for giving DC (and no doubt others) the impression it is ‘seminal’? The book, after all, continues to speak for itself. It is not only about who cited whom, It is also about the consequences.

Steve: I didn’t “condemn” Bradley’s copying; I reported it. As I observed, at his point, I am insufficiently familiar with standards in the field to express an opinion on Bradley’s conduct. However, it does seem to me that standards in the field are relevant to an assessment of whether Wegman’s use of Bradley’s text rises to misconduct, as Bradley alleged.

2. Mrsean2k
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 5:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

I realise the main purpose if these posts is to examine – in a fairly clinical way – the norms fir attribution in publications of this type.

So what is the precedent for dropping references and attribution that were once thought essential an earlier edition?

There’s certainly a case that quietly dropping attributions will inflate the seminality of a work with the passage of time; but there also seems to be a case that the passage of time places some phrases more firmly in the category of common knowledge – as time passes, you’d expect it to become increasingly “common”

Either way, sauce for the (cooked) goose etc etc

• Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 7:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

So what is the precedent for dropping references

Plenty. It’s a second edition. Things change. Maybe there is more recent material. Maybe there is more to include, so something has to go. Maybe he has added references elsewhere which make these redundant.

If you drop the material, then of course you drop the references.

Obviously the first para had to change – it just isn’t current in 1999.

• DEEBEE
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 7:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

• Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 8:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

“Maybe he has added references elsewhere which make these redundant”

Well, maybe. Maybe not.

But it would seem that at the very least, if you’re going to apply this degree of latitude to Bradley for a work that seems to claimed as “seminal”, you also need to apply it to Wegman, where the purpose, nature of and claims for the document would indicate *greater* latitude if anything.

• Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

Not at all. There’s no issue of Wegman “dropping references”.

There’s a total lack of context here. We don’t know if the second ed had material to reference. It’s not me who’s speculating. There are just differences between Ed 1 and Ed 2. There usually are.

• Dave
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 10:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

Nick, are you trolling, or genuinely can’t see that what you’re saying comes across as completely insane?

“If you drop the material, then of course you drop the references.”

He hasn’t dropped the material. If he had, you’d have a point, but you’re arguing that if something that hadn’t happened had happened, your man would be in the clear. Since it has happened, are you willing to concede either that he’s not, or that you were raising a straw-man?

• Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

How do you know that the material that carried the original reference is still there? Can you point to it?

And suppose they decided that the material was already adequately referenced elsewhere. Can you say that is wrong?

In any case, the first item isn’t even a reference – it’s praise of some recent work by Fritts. By 1999, it wasn’t recent any more.

Steve: “How do I know that material” from Bradley 1985 carried over to Bradley 1999. The usual way – by reading both of them. The copying of Fritts in Bradley 1985 is more extensive than in Bradley 1999 but occurs in both. BTW it seems to me that Bradley is responsible for both Bradley 1985 and Bradley 1999. It’s true that Fritts was no longer rencent in 1999, but sections of Bradley 1999 using Fritts 1976 remained unchanged. While it may have not been necessary to praise Fritts in 1999, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t necessary to cite him.

• Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 11:49 PM | Permalink

Well, with your second quote, was the reference removed, or the whole sentence? The sentence described practice current in 1985 – maybe it isn’t current any more.

On your third, there may have been a practical consideration. I see Fritts (1976) has recently been re-issued by Blackburn. It may not have been in print in 1999.

• Dean
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 7:21 AM | Permalink

Being in print is not a consideration as to whether you reference a title. In fact, it may be MORE important to reference if it’s not in print!

For example, I have a thermodynamic textbook published in 1915. It has the best discussions that I have found anywhere on the differences in the different types of heat engines. I use it all the time and reference it accordingly.

• Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

No, he’s recommending to students that they look to Fritts’ book for more info on the stats. If the book has gone out of print, that’s a less useful recommendation.

• Dean
Posted Oct 22, 2010 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

No, it’s not less useful. It actually may be more useful!

As we all know, textbooks change from edition to edition. What may be in one text may not be in the next. If I base my work on the 2nd edition text and the 3rd edition is significantly different, then it’s critical that people know what I’m basing it on. What caused the change? Is the 2nd edition still valid? Did recent research invalidate the part of the 2nd edition that I am using in my research?

As an example, I have a 1st edition text on propulsion. It has since been updated to a 2nd edition. In the 2nd edition, the authors changed one equation, in my mind, significantly and erroneously by removing the effect of the fuel mass in the thrust equation (claimed it was insignificant and could be ignored, I disagree as this can cause up to a 7% change in the thrust calculated).

If I’m reviewing a paper and they reference the text book, my review will be affected by which equation the author uses. If they reference the second edition, then my review could calmly criticize the source as being controversial. If they use the 1st edition, then I criticize the author for making an unjustifiable assumption and will demand they justify it.

• Posted Oct 22, 2010 at 8:55 AM | Permalink

He’s not referencing a fact or an equation. In 1985 he’s advising students where to go to find more info on the statistics. If that is a book out of print in 1999, it’s not such good advice.

• jak
Posted Oct 22, 2010 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

Nick is again tying himself in knots trying to find explanations when none exist. Fritts (1976) is one of the most quoted books in all of dendrochronology. So even if it were out of print (which is not at all certain), one might think copies may be available somewhere. If only there was a place that kept books for people to borrow or read on site. Oh wait…

According to worldcat.org, 423 libraries in the US alone still hold the 1976 version. In Nick’s defense, there are only 6 in Australia though 2 are at CSIRO facilities, so hopefully nearby for Nick to pick up (you’re welcome).

Next try, Nick?

• TAG
Posted Oct 22, 2010 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

Not only still in print as a hard cover but reissued as a paperback.

This took me a few seconds to find out.

As well, I agree with jak that any university library would be easily able to get a copy of this book either from its own collection or on loan.

• TAG
Posted Oct 22, 2010 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

And if you must buy the 1976 printing

• Dean P
Posted Oct 24, 2010 at 6:04 PM | Permalink

It’s not less than useful if that’s where he got his information…

Referencing is abotu documenting where you got your information. If he got the info he used in 1999 from the Fritts 1976, it needs to be referenced as such. Just because the book may not be available isn’t a reason to not reference it.

• Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 7:59 AM | Permalink

Nick–
If you want to know more precisely what SteveMc means, why don’t you just trot down to the library and get both books? He’s given you the page number and the title of the dead tree version of the Bradley’s 1985 book.

Even you must realize that the course you are taking can only result in other people finding the dead tree versions of both books, posting screen shots of the bits and discussing the resemblance. Then some who don’t want this discussed will complain about why the conversation about these details go on and on and on. Well….’cuz people like you seem to want screen shots on the web!

• EdeF
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 9:09 AM | Permalink

Fritts is on Amazon. I am ordering a copy.

• Steven Mosher
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

a good bundle to get is an OCR pen. Basically it lets you scan in the text.

There is a lot of bradley material and a lot of texts he ‘quotes”

Given the linguistics constraints ( semantics, editorial review, etc) the probablity that other material will be found is high. Its the nature of the beast. Something I have been trying to explain to to Nick.

• Dave
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

Well, Nick, since you profess not to trust Steve, but you don’t want to look yourself right now, can we take a step back and agree that if Steve is correct in his factual statements in this instance, then you would have to concede the point as I wrote above?

• Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

All I’m saying is that Steve has given inadequate information to support the judgments he is inviting us to make.

• Tony Hansen
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

I saw the information Nick.
But I didn’t receive an invitation.

• Rob
Posted Oct 26, 2010 at 2:11 AM | Permalink

Tony,

Sorry you do not see the ‘invitation’ too clearly. What Steve invites you to believe is that Bradley uses Fritts’ text, and that therefor Wegman may be using Fritts as a basis. The problem (which is pointed out by Nick) is that Steve does NOT show if the Wegman report’s text resembles Fritts’ text.
Thus, Steve does NOT show that/if Wegman used Fritts as a reference, and thus the claims of plagiarism for Wegman using Bradley’s text (in modified form, including change of meaning) still stands.

• Posted Oct 26, 2010 at 9:35 AM | Permalink

That’s not what I understood. Steve McI is pointing out that Bradley also uses unattributed text from previous authors, therefore it seems a commonplace occurrence in the field, therefore Bradley has no real complaint.

Steve: your legal terminology seems questionable to me. If unattributed text is commonplace in the field, that may be a defence for Wegman against a misconduct allegation, but a lack of “clean hands” might not bar Bradley making a complaint. “Clean hands” are probably more relevant in a civil action.

• Will Kernkamp
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 12:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

Nick Stokes,

The importance of the dropped material is that a mention of CO2 as affecting growth is dropped while CO2 is on the rise. This rise is a key factor that might hinder tree ring temperature correlation. I am glad Wegman put it back in.

The importance of Wegman’s report is that it correctly criticized poor statistical methods used in climate research. His conclusions have proven unassailable so now we have this Bradley complaint. Not very uplifting to say the least.

Will

• Rob
Posted Oct 26, 2010 at 1:58 AM | Permalink

The issue is not that/if a single word (CO2) was dropped or added from the text or not (in fact, we could have a long discussion on the influence of CO2 on global biomass accumulation). This issue of plagiarism pertains to 35 or the 91 pages of the Wegman report. Without giving credit to the author of that text, and, because of the changes applied, changing the meaning of the text. In other words, plagiarism and misconduct in the Wegman report.

3. Daniel
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 5:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

steve

Is it on purpose that you started with just the figures ?

This part with the text annotated vs unannotated is just brillantly addressing all ‘sceptical’ comments you attracted with your first part !

4. Nathan
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 5:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

“Second, I was a little surprised by the sheer extent of Bradley’s re-use of the graphics from Fritts’ text.”

Why Steve?
This is quite a common practice, especially when you have permission to do so.

In any event you should contact the publishers of Fritts’ book. Looks like a serious case of plagiarism (and as Lucia would declare – perhaps even a case of breach of copyright). This sort of thing should be investigated by the relevant authorities.

5. Noblesse Oblige
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 6:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

To this point I don’t find Bradley’s “heavy lifting” of material particularly shocking. What is shocking is the team’s ongoing profound disregard for any scientific propriety; its members long ago crossed the boundary between science and advocacy — and have adopted all the behaviors that go with it. They continue to wound science.

6. Nathan
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 7:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

“This style distinction is pervasive in the Bradley dendro chapter. Except for a few isolated subparagraphs, Bradley pages 331 to 353 are in the unannotated style.”

Doesn’t the ‘Dendro’ Chapter start on page 397?

What edition are you looking at?

“This style distinction is pervasive in the Bradley dendro chapter. Except for a few isolated subparagraphs, Bradley pages 331 to 353 are in the unannotated style. The only exceptions are the subparagraph shown above at the bottom of page 332, four sentences at the bottom of page 336, a sentence at the top of page 341, one reference at the bottom of page 343 (the other references at the bottom of page 343 derive from Fritts 1976) and the discussion of Cook and Jacoby 1979 at the top of page 351. ”

I looked at pages 331 to 353 and they looked heavily referenced (but in the edition I looked at this was about Speleothems and Non-marine Biological Evidence).

And when I looked in the Dendro chapter (where it looks like every figure is drawn from someone else’s work – still not sure why you think this is odd, have you never read a text book?) I saw heaps of references, not the ‘unannotated style’ that you describe.

Bradley’s work is heavily referenced throughout, there are very few paragraphs that aren’t – and they are mostly the introductory paragraphs to each section.

Steve: I refer on multiple occasions to Bradley 1985 which was also referred to in the prior post. For example, I had said;

Fritts 1976 is mentioned only four times in the 24 pages of running text of Bradley 1985 pages 330 to 353 and only once in the running text Bradley 1999

To further avoid misunderstanding, I’ve added a few more 1985s. The assertions in my post are factual and can be verified. Bradley 1985 is not “heavily referenced” throughout the dendro chapter. Bradley 1999 has curtailed its use of unreferenced Fritts material, but you can verify for yourself that the unreferenced material tracks back to unannotated material in Bradley 1985 and in turn to Fritts 1976. it’s just a fact.

• Nathan
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 5:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

OK,
“Fritts 1976 is mentioned only four times in the 24 pages of running text of Bradley 1985 pages 330 to 353″

This is largely meaningless as most of that section IS heavily referenced to other authors in the 1999 edition. So it raises the question, which bits do you think should have been referenced to Fritts? Could you be more specific”

This is Chapter 10, no? ‘Dendrochronology’. That Chapter is referenced a lot. We could discuss the meaning if the word ‘heavily’ ad nauseum, but it wouldn’t mean anything. And I was talking about the 331 to 353 in the 1999 ed.
In the 1999 edition every figure in that Dendro Chapter is referenced to someone else, almost every paragraph has 2 or 3 references in it. What do you think should be referenced/ The only bit I see a reference lacking is the first example you gave in this post.

And so your complaint is with Bradley 1985, not the updated version Bradley 1999? So maybe… Maybe he’s already corrected himself?

7. geronimo
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 8:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

It would seem to me that an accusation of plagiarism should bring with it some indication of what gain the accused made from the plagiarism itself. i.e. Passed and examination, got a job in front of others, made money from a textbook, or fame from a discovery etc. Wegman had nothing to gain from explaining the principles of dendrology in his preamble to a report, even a Stoker on an old tramp steamer could see that. Nor would Bradley have gained anything, if he had been cited, so the whole thing is yet another shameful chapter in the story of these activist scientists.

The sad thing is that other scientists are standing by and mutely accepting that these playground bullies can get away with their shenaningans, not realising that when the head wakes up to what’s going on the whole school will be in detention not just the perps.

8. AnyColourYouLike
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 9:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

Nick Stokes: “No, the place to take it up with is U Mass. I think you’d be laughed at.”

GMU isn’t laughing.

Steve: “perhaps you could identify a relevant difference between Bradly vs Fritts and Wegman vs Bradley. Having looked carefully, I don’t see any. Institutional laughter is not a meaningful criterion. Obviously UMass would laugh at anyone bothering to complain about the Team after the laughable inquiries to date. But that in and of itself doesn’t prove that there is a valid distinction.”

Nick Stokes: “Steve, despite your misplaced focos on Wegman vs Bradley, there’s no such match. It’s GMU vs Wegman. And they’ll be looking at far more serious stuff than the Bradley issue that you find convenient.”
=================

Nick, this doesn’t really answer Steve’s rebuttal very specifically does it? In fact Halloween is round the corner and you’re starting to sound more like a vaguely threatening bogey man, issuing nebulous dark threats than a scientist.

Come on, get your professional team-hat off, and stop shifting the goalposts. You’re a serious science guy, this kind of evasive arm-waving is beneath you. And it does you no credit to be publically licking your lips before the guillotine, when the evidence is as clear as any maths that The sins of Bradley => The sins of Wegman.

Just leave it Nick.

• AGWeird
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 11:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

As Nathan said:
“[re-use of the graphics] is quite a common practice, especially when you have permission to do so.”

If this actually is true:
The sins of Bradley ≠ The sins of Wegman.

Which also makes most of your ad hominems pretty useless.

Steve:
if Bradley’s extensive use of Fritts 1976 with such negligible citation is “common practice” as you say, then that would definitely be something that George Mason would have to take into consideration. My own sense is that neither Bradley’s nor Wegman’s referencing conform to “common practice”.

• Hoi Polloi
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 3:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

Come on, get your professional team-hat off, and stop shifting the goalposts. You’re a serious science guy, this kind of evasive arm-waving is beneath you. And it does you no credit to be publically licking your lips before the guillotine, when the evidence is as clear as any maths that The sins of Bradley => The sins of Wegman.

This typically for the Team. They think they have a case, defend it relentlessly until it’s too late to reconcile without massive loss of face. Therefore they continue to defend it against all odds and scientific ethics resulting in more loss of face. Normally one would think: stop digging when in a hole.

• Nathan
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 5:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

Steve, you have terrible comprehension

“if Bradley’s extensive use of Fritts 1976 with such negligible citation is “common practice” as you say”

I said that every figure in that Chapter is referenced to someone else. Not all are from Fritts.

What is common practice is using other people’s figures in text books (and referencing them).

The worst he’s done is this: (Fritts, 1971) rather than (Fritts, 1971,1976)

“My own sense is that neither Bradley’s nor Wegman’s referencing conform to “common practice”.”

Why don’t you actually make a complaint rather than engaging in speculation. You are not qualified to give an answer. Nor are you sufficiently objective.

• jak
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

Nathan,

Did you even read Steve’s main post? He gives specific examples where Bradley 1985 paraphrased Fritts without (any) attribution. Or is your argument simply that we should ignore Bradley 1985, because you have Bradley 1999?

• Nathan
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

He gives one example where it’s obvious the reference is missing…
The others are sort of… Well who knows that’s why he should make a complaint.

He won’t though – as this is about mudslinging.

• AnyColourYouLike
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

“As Nathan said:

…..Which also makes most of your ad hominems pretty useless.”
============

Yes, and we all know, from this blog and others, that Nathan is uniquely objective and unbiased on this matter, and therefore the perfect impartial arbiter of what’s true, right?! (Wink!)

He also of course never indulges in ad hom, does he? (Rolls eyes)

(“Why don’t you actually make a complaint rather than engaging in speculation. You are not qualified to give an answer. Nor are you sufficiently objective.”)

• Nathan
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

Do you know what an ad hom is?

• AnyColourYouLike
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

Plagiarised from Wiki just for you sunshine…

Ad Hom: “An attempt to link the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise.”

• Nathan
Posted Oct 22, 2010 at 7:40 PM | Permalink

Don’t be daft.
He can’t conduct his own inquiry, because he’s not in any Boards, or Publishing houses, or Court houses. He’s not the person who decides what is and what isn’t plagiarism. See? That’s a simple fact.

• AnyColourYouLike
Posted Oct 22, 2010 at 9:51 PM | Permalink

“He can’t conduct his own inquiry, because he’s not in any Boards, or Publishing houses, or Court houses. He’s not the person who decides what is and what isn’t plagiarism. See? That’s a simple fact.”

As you’re testing me on my latin phrases, this comment seems a bit of a non sequitur, no? I’m pretty sure Steve is aware he isn’t conducting an official inquiry. He hasn’t said so, and neither have I. But he’s entitled to post some material relevant to the discussion of the matter, and give his opinion. As are Deep Climate, Mashey etc. So not quite sure what your point is Nathan?

9. Dave
Posted Oct 20, 2010 at 10:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

Geronimo>

Absolutely. A definition of plagiarism that applies to literary works is being used to attack Wegman, but the attack only makes sense if you conflate literary plagiarism – where the credit is given for the phraseology – and conceptual plagiarism – where credit is given for the idea. If Wegman has sinned at all, it is only in the former category. As such, it has no bearing whatsoever on the substance of his report.

10. Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 12:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

Excellent research and analysis, as always.

I think that we have reached the point where the standards in journalism, politics, and popular music with respect to ‘borrowing’ are higher than those of climatology. (Nick Stokes, this is simply my view, no need to vehemently agree).

11. Punksta
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 12:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

geronimo

…The sad thing is that other scientists are standing by and mutely accepting that these playground bullies can get away with their shenaningans, not realising that when the head wakes up to what’s going on the whole school will be in detention not just the perps.

This was pretty much the case with Climategate too.
The deeper problem though is that not only did the mainstream largely let Climagategate pass without comment or condemnation, the head was implicated in whitewashing of it – witness the UEA and Penn State ‘investigations’ of their charges.

12. Laurent Cavin
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 3:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

I think all this is an incredible loss of time without any significance whatever. Both opponents and proponents of the mainstream dendochronology interpretation have been petty and procedural (think of an AG attacking Mann) – a loss of time and not a very good image.
Even assuming Wegmann gets a blame (which he won’t) that would stop there. We don’t speak of a published book to withdraw and nobody can withdraw a congressional report once distributed widely on the internet across all continents.

Now it could be I somehow don’t understand the significance of the accident… in that case I welcome explanations.

And of course, anyway everybody is allowed to have his hobby, and I guess at least Steve is refreshing his knowledge of Dendochronology in the process :-).

• Laurent Cavin
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 3:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

I should add to clarify:
Both opponents and proponents of the mainstream dendochronology interpretation have been petty and procedural…

means:
Both within opponents and proponents of the mainstream dendochronology interpretation, A MINORITY OF PEOPLE have been petty and procedural…

I do not mean that all person involved are petty and procedural. But both sides have example of overly procedural and petty attacks not relevant to the important scientific discussion…

13. sleeper
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 5:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

I wonder how the GMU investigation will compare to the Oxburgh and Penn State “investigations.” Should be slightly more interesting than this waste of time.

14. j ferguson
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 7:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

Has anyone asked Fritts about this? Dose Occam cut the less in print? Suppose the new textbook publishers cut a deal with Fritts and the earlier publishers to reuse his material, it being so clear and succinct, pithy even, that covering the same ground anew would not be worth the effort.
Suppose he, and they, said “Sure. Tell your readers where you got the stuff, in the first edition, at least, and send us a bit of cash?”
It seems to me that not knowing that something along these lines did not happen, makes this whole analysis a bit tentative.

Maybe Fritts should have become the Hudson of Dendrochronology – the standard. Hudson being the original author of an engineering handbook first published in 1911 (+/-) which is still in print and contains tables and formulae for engineers working outside their usual haunts, and in my case outside my competence.

For some reason, they decided a new standard was needed and it had to include Fritts. Maybe they should have left the chapter verbatim with his name at the head as author.

If too OT, snip away.

While I’m at it. Do we know that the SNA stuff in the Wegman report which seems lifted from Wiki wan;’t in turn lifted by Wiki from earlier work by Wegman? Can you use your own stuff again without citation?

Skeptical in one thing, skeptical in all.

• Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 8:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

j ferguson

Suppose the new textbook publishers cut a deal with Fritts and the earlier publishers to reuse his material, it being so clear and succinct, pithy even, that covering the same ground anew would not be worth the effort.
Suppose he, and they, said “Sure. Tell your readers where you got the stuff, in the first edition, at least, and send us a bit of cash?”
It seems to me that not knowing that something along these lines did not happen, makes this whole analysis a bit tentative.

Getting permission is not a defense against accusation of plagiarism. Permission is relevant to copyright.

• Nathan
Posted Oct 22, 2010 at 7:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

Lucia

The permission was gained by the Publishers. One would expect they would know what they are doing…

15. Watchman
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 7:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

Steve,

Could I suggest a tool for comparison which might help these posts’ readibility, and which is widely used in history (a subject where comparison of texts is of prime importance).

This is to set out the texts in parallel columns (if the web software supports this presentation) with identical text (including different forms of the same root word) identified by italics or bold text. It makes assessment of the extent of comparability in a passage immediate.

16. EdeF
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 9:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

The secret to the Teams new method of referencing earlier works verbatim without the use of physical references can be simply explained by the use of
“Teleconnections” whereby the tree-ring sections in Bradley invisibly communicate back to the tree-ring sections of Fritts, much the same way that climate thousands or even tens of thousands of miles away teleconnect to bristlecone pines hiding in the White Mtns.

• Tony Hansen
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 4:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

And some are hiding so well they can’t be found.

17. Stacey
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 9:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

The report was issued four years ago and presumably Professor Bradley was provided with a copy.

It would have been remiss for him not to have read the report at the time.

One can only conclude therefore that he was content with the report in its composition if not in its findings.

As my earlier post, why now?

18. Arthur Dent
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 10:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

Perhaps because a popular science book by Mr Montford which is selling very well across Europe and North America has brought the Wegman Report to rather a lot of peoples attention.

19. Steven Mosher
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

Very nice steve.

The example provides some insight into how I used to catch plagiarist students back in the day when there was no electronic search. There was always that class of plagiarist who would use some references. usually the same pattern. a paragraph with many references covering a broad range of material. And then those paragraphs with no references.. these purport to be glue of sort, the author’s synthesis of things or more detailed discussions. Its the best place to find borrowed material that is not cited.

Also, as you note, the more you read the more you become aware of the high entropy AND the low entropy patches. If your really “sensitive” ( like trained in literature) this sticks out.

Funny, the other day somebody asked me about a mail between Jones and Osborn, All they knew was the subject ( peer review) and one person n the mail ( Jones). The high entropy word in that case was “squeaky clean” I remember that mail by remembering ( after reading all the mails) that the phrase “squeaky clean” appears only once in the mails. Same trick with the word “megaphone”.

Also, there is something akin to the chaldni pattern phenomena that goes on in texts. That’s harder to articulate, suffice to say there are patterns that will appear that authors have no control over unless the break the language– and write poems.

20. KuhnKat
Posted Oct 21, 2010 at 12:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

I believe at this point that we can all agree with Steve’s asessment that Bradley’s text was in no way SEMINAL except possibly in trying to ignore CO2 as a major influence on plant and tree ring growth??

• Posted Oct 23, 2010 at 5:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

Well, it looks like it KuhnKat – removing CO2 as a growth factor would certainly represent a considerable shift in conventional thinking if that position was properly supported by experimental evidence.

Without that experimental evidence you’re left to speculate that it was knowingly omitted when Bradley liberally “paraphrased” Fritts, in order to satisfy some driver other than presenting a totally accurate picture.

Perhaps good, solid experimental evidence that CO2 *isn’t* a growth factor is now at last ready – more than a decade in the making for such *seminal* stuff – and this is why Bradley has renewed his interest in the way Wegman constructed his *factually unchallenged* report with such vigour.

We should give a scholar the benefit of the doubt, no? Maybe give him another decade, just to be on the safe side.

21. John Smith
Posted Oct 25, 2010 at 5:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

Check out the Wikipedia page for Wegman and compare it to the one for Bradley.

The Connolley effect in action. It is truly magic the way it works.

22. Posted Dec 30, 2010 at 6:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

23. Barry
Posted May 19, 2011 at 7:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

Any chance we could bring this to court now that the Wegman article has been retracted? It only seems fair that Bradley should suffer the same consequences. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

• Posted May 19, 2011 at 8:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

Retraction of Wegman’s article is exactly parallel to the Wizard of Oz saying: “pay no attention to that man behind the screen”. The content of the Wegman Report remains inviolate. The “hockey stick” is phony and we all know that. DC (that scurrilous lowlife) has succeeded in diverting attention from the widespread propagation of false climate data by the warmists, to silly and trivial worries about trumped-up plagiarism. The more we pay attention to plagiarism, the more we play into the hands of DC (that scurrilous lowlife). Let’s focus on the hockey stick and forget about plagiarism.

• Marion
Posted Aug 12, 2011 at 2:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

The sheer hypocrisy espoused by CAGW proponents never ceases to amaze – here is Mashey’s latest comment on the ‘plagiarism’ issues –

http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/guest-post-bottling-nonsense-mis-using-a-civil-platform/29981#comment-284343479

• Brandon Shollenberger
Posted Aug 17, 2011 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

I just started reading the document linked to in his article, and I must say, I’m annoyed with it. Not only does it have a multitude of errors, it repeats errors from his earlier work which have apparently never received much attention.

Why hasn’t anyone bothered to respond John Mashey’s report in any meaningful way? He’s apparently getting enough publicity to warrant it, and his work is easy to dismantle. Heck, I’m confident even I could do it!

I’m not a blogger, so I have no name to speak of (I have no particular credentials either) nor place to host responses to John Mashey’s nonsense. If not for that, I’d do it myself.

24. MikeN
Posted Dec 8, 2011 at 10:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

Off topic, but perhaps you should analyze Dreams From My Father and Fugitive Days

1. By The Climate Change Debate Thread - Page 299 on Oct 21, 2010 at 3:38 AM

[...] [...]

2. By Top Posts — WordPress.com on Oct 21, 2010 at 7:12 PM

[...] Bradley Copies Fritts #2 In my previous post on Fritts and Bradley, I observed that Bradley’s so-called ”seminal” textbook had copied 12 [...] [...]

3. [...] har plagierat texter från en ännu tidigare bok. Och då utan att ens lämnat referenser. Se här, här och [...]

4. By Climate Audit on Jan 14, 2011 at 10:20 AM

[...] just lifted verbatim from my book and placed in the Wegman Report”. See CA discussion e.g. here here – posts which included criticism of the Wegman Report in respect to its citation of Bradley, [...]