Anthony has an instructive post on how he handled a plagiarism incident involving NOAA. Anthony writes:
Readers may recall this post: More dirty pool by NCDC’s Karl, Menne, and Peterson
…where I take NCDC to task for not given proper attribution to the surfacestations.org and volunteer Russ Steele for use of a photo on the cover page of their Exeter report, seen below:
I was a bit taken aback by the cover image (left, from NCDC’s Exter presentation), because it was straight from our surfacestations project (right, click image for gallery), but there was no attribution that I could find.
So yes, I was a little miffed that they’d used it, especially since it has been an ongoing problem with NCDC using my preliminary data (against my wishes) to write a paper.
So I fired off an email to Dr. Matt Menne of NCDC about the issue.
And I got a response a few days later. The email was friendly, apologetic, and offered two solutions. I opted to just have him do the solution that put our standard attribution on it….
So, apology made, attribution added, document updated, and the problem was solved. Simple, I’m satisfied. Of course I could have been a jerk about it and demanded all sorts actions via formal complaints, copyright claims, etc. But I didn’t. It simply didn’t rise to that level.
But I’m betting that I won’t even have to ask about adding Russ Steele’s name in place of “various contributors” He’ll see it here and fix it, or somebody will tell him.
Given all the wailing that has been going on about the Wegman report (Aka “copygate” Steve McIntyre sums it up pretty well here) and attribution to Bradley, and a whole strange set of circumstances, it seems to me that after four years of the Wegman report floating around the web, if Dr. Bradley really had an attribution issue, he could have avoiding the whole stink going on now by simply asking Dr. Wegman to modify the report in a way that satisfies whatever his complaint is.
But that would be too simple, too direct, and too professional. It also wouldn’t get the pound of flesh some of the players like John Mashey and “Deep Climate” want.
It’s a sad state of affairs, really, and only invites escalation of moribund issues beyond the scope of their actual worth.
See Anthony’s full post for illustrations and details.
It’s too bad that the Team (in its narrowest sense) doesn’t have similar courtesy.