PAGES2K and Nature’s Policy against Self-Plagiarism

Nature’s policies on plagiarism state:

Duplicate publication, sometimes called self-plagiarism, occurs when an author reuses substantial parts of his or her own published work without providing the appropriate references.

The description of the Australasian network of PAGES2K (coauthors Gergis, Neukom, Phipps and Lorrey) is almost entirely lifted in verbatim or near-verbatim chunks from Gergis et al, 2012 (withdrawn and under re-review), in apparent violation of Nature’s policy against self-plagiarism.

The Copying of Text

In this section, I will compare paragraphs from PAGES2K to paragraphs from Gergis et al 2012.  The authors of the PAGES2K Australasian section are listed as follows:

Australasia: J.G.[Gergis], A.M.L.[Andrew Lorrey], S.J.P. [Steven Phipps] & R.N.[Neukom] coordinated the study. R.N. & J.G. collated, managed and analysed the proxy data; R.N. & J.G. developed the reconstruction with input from S.J.P.

Gergis, Neukom and Phipps were all coauthors of Gergis et al 2012.

PAGES2K:

Australasia is herein defined as the land and ocean areas of the Indo-Pacific and Southern Oceans bounded by 110°E-180°E, 0°-50°S. Our instrumental target was calculated as the September-February (SONDJF) spatial mean of the HadCRUT3v 5°x5° monthly combined land and ocean temperature grid 9,54 for the Australasian domain over the 1900-2009 period.

G12:

Australasia is defined as the land and ocean areas of the Indo-Pacific and Southern Oceans bounded by 110oE-180oE, 0o-50o S. Our instrumental target was calculated as the September-February (SONDJF) spatial mean of the HadCRUT3v 5o x 5o monthly combined land and ocean temperature grid (Brohan et al., 2006; Rayner et al., 2006) for the Australasian domain over the 1900-2009 period.

PAGES2K:

Our temperature proxy network (Fig. S13) was drawn from a broader Australasian domain: 90°E-140°W, 10°N-80°S (details provided in Neukom and Gergis 46). This proxy network showed optimal response to Australasian temperatures over the SONDJF period, and contains the austral tree-ring growing season during the spring-summer months.

G12:

Our temperature proxy network was drawn from a broader Australasian domain (90oE-140o1 W, 10oN-80o S) containing 62 monthly-annually resolved climate proxies from approximately 50 sites (see details provided in Neukom and Gergis, 2011). This proxy network showed optimal response to Australasian temperatures over the SONDJF period, and contains the austral tree ring growing season during the spring-summer months.

P2K

All data were linearly detrended over the 1921-1990 period and AR(1) autocorrelation was taken into account for the calculation of the degrees of freedom 55.

G12:

For predictor selection, both proxy climate and instrumental data were linearly detrended over the 1921-1990 period to avoid inflating the correlation coefficient due to the presence of the global warming signal present in the observed temperature record. Only records that were significantly (p<0.05) correlated with the detrended instrumental target over the 1921-1990 period were selected for analysis.

P2K

We performed an ensemble ordinary least squares regression principal component reconstruction (PCR) analysis 53,57 using the 1921-1990 period for calibration and verification. Further description of the PCR method is provided by Luterbacher et al.58, and details of the extension of the ensemble approach are described below.

G12:

We performed an ensemble ordinary least squares regression Principal Component Reconstruction (PCR) analysis (Neukom et al., 2010; Gallant and Gergis, 2011; Gergis et al., 2012) using the 1921-1990 period for calibration and verification. Further description of the PCR method is provided by Luterbacher et al. (2002), and details of the extension of the ensemble approach are described below.

P2K

To assess reconstruction uncertainty associated with proxy selection and calibration, a 3000- member ensemble of reconstructions was calculated creating a varying reconstruction setting for each realization by randomly:

  • Removing five predictors from the full predictor matrix. In the early part of the reconstruction (1000-1456 CE) where five or fewer proxies are available, the number of predictors used for each ensemble member varies between one and five.
  • Varying the percentage of total variance of the predictor matrix explained by the retained PCs between 60% and 90% by varying the number of PCs used
  • Selecting a calibration period of 35-50 (non successive) years between 1921-1990 and using the remaining 20-35 years for verification.
  • Scaling the weight of each proxy record in the PC analysis with a factor of 0.67 to 1.5.

G12:

To assess reconstruction uncertainty associated with proxy selection and calibration, a 3000-member ensemble of reconstructions was calculated creating varying reconstruction setting for each realisation by randomly:

  • Removing five predictors from the full predictor matrix. In the early part of the reconstruction (1000-1456) where five or fewer proxies are available, the number of predictors used for each ensemble member varies between one and five.
  • The effect of varying the number of proxies to be removed is illustrated in Figures S2.4 and S2.5.
  • Varying the percentage of total variance of the predictor matrix explained by the retained PCs between 60% and 90% by varying the number of PCs used.Selecting a calibration period of 35-50 (non successive) years between 1921-1990 and using the remaining 20-35 years for verification.
  • Scaling the weight of each proxy record in the PC analysis with a factor of 0.67 to 1.5. The effect of varying the weighting factor is illustrated in Figures S2.6 and S2.7.

P2K:

To avoid variance biases due to the decreasing number of predictors back in time, the reconstructions of each model were scaled to the variance of the instrumental target over the 1921-1990 period. The mean of the 3000-member ensemble was considered our “best estimate” temperature reconstruction. To assess low frequency changes in Australasian temperatures, the ensemble mean was smoothed using a 30-year loess filter, which effectively removes variations with periods shorter than 15 years.

G12:

To avoid variance biases due to the decreasing number of predictors back in time, the reconstructions of each model were scaled to the variance of the instrumental target over the 1921-1990 period. The mean of the 3,000-member ensemble was considered our “best estimate” temperature reconstruction. To assess low frequency changes in Australasian temperatures, the ensemble mean was smoothed using a 30-year loess filter (Figure 3), which effectively removes variations with periods shorter than 15 years.

P2K

The ensemble PCR method allows us to quantify not only the traditional regression residual-based uncertainties referred to as “calibration error”59, but also the spread of the ensemble members generated from the random selection of the reconstruction parameters, described as the “ensemble error”. The reconstruction confidence interval was defined as the combined calibration and ensemble standard error (SE), calculated as SE=sqrt(sigma_res^2 +sigma_ens^2) with sigma_res denoting the standard deviation of the regression residuals and sigma_ens the standard deviation of the ensemble members. Uncertainties of the filtered curves were calculated the same way using the residuals of the filtered data and standard deviation between the filtered ensemble members.

G12

The ensemble PCR method allows us to quantify not only the traditional regression residual-based uncertainties referred to as “calibration error” (e.g. Cook and Kairiukstis, 1990), but also the spread of the ensemble members generated from the random selection of the reconstruction parameters, described as the “ensemble error”. The reconstruction confidence interval was defined as the combined calibration and ensemble standard error (SE), calculated as SE=sqrt(sigma_res^2 +sigma_ens^2) with sigma_res denoting the standard deviation of the regression residuals and sigma_ens the standard deviation of the ensemble members. Uncertainties of the filtered curves were calculated the same way using the residuals of the filtered data and standard deviation between the filtered ensemble members.

P2K

In addition to the 3000 verification tests incorporated into the 1921-1990 overlap period calculations, the ensemble mean was also further independently verified using withheld, early 1901-1920 data (“early verification”).

G12

In addition to the 3000 verification tests incorporated into the 1921-1990 overlap period calculations, the ensemble mean was also further independently verified using withheld, early 1901-1920 data (‘early verification’).

 

Status of Gergis et al 2012
Gergis et al 2012 was accepted by Journal of Climate in May 2012. Its acceptance was announced by the Melbourne University and the University of New South Wales (see link to http://www.science.unsw.edu.au/news/1-000-years-of-climate-data-confirms-australia-s-warming/ here, UNSW subsequently disappearing its announcement).

The article was given prominent press coverage at the time e.g. here.

SCIENTISTS have used natural records including tree rings and ice cores to reconstruct the first picture of Australia’s climate over the past 1000 years – and the news is we’re getting warmer. The study, published in the Journal of Climate, found there were no warmer periods than in the years after 1950 and temperatures have been increasingly decade on decade ever since.

and here

The study published recently in the Journal of Climate will form the Australasian region’s contribution to the 5th IPCC climate change assessment report chapter on past climate.

CA readers are undoubtedly aware of contemporary criticism of the article at Climate Audit (see tag also here). According to the journal, the article was subsequently “withdrawn” by the authors and a “new version of this manuscript has been submitted and is under review.”

In the University of Melbourne’s undated explanation, they stated that the article had been “published” on May 17, 2012, that an “issue was identified”, but did not report or concede that the article had been withdrawn, saying instead that it had been “re-submitted and reviewed again” and, somewhat inconsistently, that the revised manuscript was still “under review”.

An issue was identified in the manuscript “Evidence of unusual late 20th century warming from an Australasian temperature reconstruction spanning the last millennium” by Joelle Gergis, Raphael Neukom, Ailie Gallant and David Karoly, published in the Journal of Climate on 17 May 2012. The manuscript was re-submitted to the Journal of Climate and reviewed again. The authors have repeated the original analysis using three additional methods to assess the influence of different statistical techniques on the original results. The revised manuscript is still under review by the Journal of Climate.

A blog article at The Conversation in October 2012 also stated that the article had been “re-submitted to the Journal of Climate and is being reviewed again”.

Joelle Gergis’ website list of publications (see here) has throughout the past two years maintained the position that the article was “under review” at the Journal of Climate and still lists the article (now dated to 2014) as “under review”.

Discussion
Nature’s policy against self-plagiarism is very clear. It is also unequivocal that PAGES2K’s description of its Australasian network and methodology was lifted more or less verbatim from Gergis et al 2012.

While one can ponder the interesting issues potentially arising from self-plagiarism of retracted or withdrawn papers, I think that the most salient issue in the present case relates to self-plagiarism obligations relative to a paper “under review”, a status consistently asserted for Gergis et al. Obviously, authors regularly cite papers that are “under review” and Nature’s policies (see here and here) specifically permit the citation of papers that have been submitted.  The only way for Gergis, Neukom and Phipps to avoid self-plagiarism under Nature’s policies would have been for them to cite “Gergis et al, withdrawn and under re-review” or perhaps “Gergis et al, under review”  (listing the coauthors in the bibliography).

Perhaps they were reluctant to do so because of concerns that the notoriety of the earlier article might delay the review of the PAGES2K article, already at the IPCC witching hour. Perhaps there was some other reason. But whatever their motive, the end result is surely the same: their wholesale lifting of verbatim and near-verbatim text from “Gergis et al, withdrawn and under re-review” violated the policy against self-plagiarism set out in Nature’s plagiarism policy.


177 Comments

  1. Steven Mosher
    Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

    where is mashey when you need him?
    can we get a color coded version?

    Now with Wegman the defense of “boiler plate” was never really accepted by the other side. It will be interesting to see how folks defend this…

    • Spence_UK
      Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

      Mashey is still working on a report, but he has only written 387 spittle flecked pages so far. Still another 200+ pages to go.

    • clays
      Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

      Mashey’s complaints against Wegman were always a stretch. The Wegman Report language was well within the acceptable practice of patch writing – see here for example http://publiceditor.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/08/12/was-an-accusation-of-plagiarism-really-a-political-attack/

      Steve: the university committee rejected the complaint in respect to the Wegman Report and asked that the administration support Wegman. The adverse finding was in respect to the CSDA article. Mann and others misrepresent this finding as being on the Wegman report, but it wasnt.

    • AJ
      Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 7:21 AM | Permalink

      Mashey… The Johnnie Cochran of climate science.

  2. Craig Loehle
    Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    “But but but I want to have my cake and eat it too! I want to cite it to avoid the problem of properly documenting my data, but want to reuse the text because it really won’t ever be published. You people are so rude to not see my good reasons.” /sarc in case anyone is logically challenged

  3. Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    Nature is going to categorize the paper as “withdrawn, not published”, if it even bothers to respond to the issue. Some CVs will quickly be updated, and more electronic cleaning of university press releases will occur.

    Just a guess…

  4. Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    Perhaps they were reluctant to do so because of concerns that the notoriety of the earlier article might delay the review of the PAGES2K article, already at the IPCC witching hour.

    How settled science is made. Watch and admire – or show yourself to be a loathsome denier.

  5. Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    If they planned a publication strategy out in advance, they might have seen a way around the plagiarism issue, supposing it is okay to reuse such text from a withdrawn paper (as it is no longer published work). It’d involve a clever trick. What they’d do is rewrite the text of the paper prior to re-submitting it then use the original text in an entirely different location. That would result in the text only existing in one piece of (currently) published work.

    The benefit of that plan is it would let them keep claiming the original paper was “under review” (despite it now being different) until they could find a way to publish it elsewhere. That’d mean there was never a time where the text was “gone” in the public eye.

    I don’t think that’s what they did, and I don’t see why we should believe the paper is still “under review,” but it would have been clever. And as long as the version of the paper “under review” isn’t released, nobody can ever prove that isn’t what happened.

    • Patrick M.
      Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

      … or re-submit G12 and add references to P2K for the duplicate text.

      • Patrick M.
        Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

        when I say add references, I mean add references to G12 referring to P2K.

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

      more likely is that they didnt see that copying the banal descriptions amount to anything that
      A) was purporting to be original work
      B) was worth ‘rewriting’
      C) was substantial
      D) merited a citation.

      basically its so pedestrian that re writing it would be more trouble that its worth. Further its largely nothing more than a description of facts.

      as the policy notes sometimes authors re use bits and pieces. While plagarism can be defined by bright line tests ( here they failed to cite properly) in the end one has to apply judgement.

      As with Wegman I argued that the irregularities in that text may have violated a strict reading of the rules, but plagarism guidelines are not created to catch or prevent
      these borderline cases.

      • Craig Loehle
        Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

        Mosh: I agree that such pedestrian descriptions of data are not really plagiarism. However, it was my understanding that the Pages paper relied on already published work (because the journal would not allow them to fully describe all the data they used if it was new, too much data to describe in 1 paper) and the Gergis paper was never published. THAT is what is iffy here. By doing extensive quoting they are getting around the fact that it never really was published. It is the journal that should be upset.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 9:10 PM | Permalink

          I didnt follow the details of either paper very carefully. I guess you could say Im trying to put the best
          light on this.

          Plagarism rules are meant to preserve the record of original thought. This is a core value in academia.
          Who had the idea first. So to prevent stealing from others we require that attribution be clear.
          where did you get this idea? There is of course a fuzzy zone.. how much back ground knowledge do you
          have to cite. The funny opposite extreme in this regard is Pielke. If you read one of his papers you will see him pile on the cites.

          Self Plagarism is a different matter. Here is big concern is padding ones number of publications.

          Basically there are core issues and core values that the codes protect. Both in the wegman case and this one those core values are not exactly threatened. Of course if you want to talk about the exact letter of the code.. houston we have a problem

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

          I am not trying to philosophize on whether Nature should or should not have a policy on self-plagiarism or whether their policy as established makes sense. That’s up to Nature. At this point, I’m trying to ascertain whether Gergis, Neukom and others breached Nature’s policy and, what, if anything, that implies. The policy, once again, states:

          Duplicate publication, sometimes called self-plagiarism, occurs when an author reuses substantial parts of his or her own published work without providing the appropriate references.

          The policy describes plagiarism as follows:

          Plagiarism can be said to have clearly occurred when large chunks of text have been cut-and-pasted. Such manuscripts would not be considered for publication in a Nature journal. But minor plagiarism without dishonest intent is relatively frequent, for example, when an author reuses parts of an introduction from an earlier paper. The Nature journal editors judge any case of which they become aware (either by their own knowledge of and reading about the literature, or when alerted by referees) on its own merits.

          Interestingly, the Wegman incident would appear to fall under their criterion of “minor plagiarism without dishonest intent”.

          For the sake of argument, I’m not so much interested in whether policies on self-plagiarism are a good idea, but whether the lifting of language from Gergis et al – either in its accepted and withdrawn avatar or its under review avatar – falls within the above definition. I can understand why Gergis et al might argue that self-plagiarism from an article under review did not fall under the above definition, but equally I think that Nature would be just as unsympathetic to self-plagiarized material from an article under review elsewhere, as to from one in print elsewhere.

          Under Nature’s policy, if the conditions are triggered, then the following steps follow:

          If a case of plagiarism comes to light after a paper is published in a Nature journal, the journal will conduct a preliminary investigation. If plagiarism is found, the journal will contact the author’s institute and funding agencies. A determination of misconduct will lead the Nature journal to run a statement, bidirectionally linked online to and from the original paper, to note the plagiarism and to provide a reference to the plagiarised material. The paper containing the plagiarism will also be obviously marked on each page of the PDF. Depending on the extent of the plagiarism, the paper may also be formally retracted.

          Implementation of the above policy would not appear to have led to or required retraction of the CSDA article of which Wegman was coauthor.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

          I think this would be a great case for nature to look at to clarify the policy

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Nov 17, 2014 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

          once again we see king climateballer willard ignoring the key issue at hand and mispresenting the wegman case by simply referring to yet another author who doesnt get the provanance correct.

          Here is what I predict.

          Because willard has no honor he will not answer questions for himself.
          Because he has no honor he will not address the questions steve poses.

        • miker613
          Posted Nov 17, 2014 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

          On reflection on Willard’s accusations.

          ‘Wegman has not “apologized to the people whose work he copied without attribution’. Gelman repeats this type of claim numerous times in his posts: that “Wegman and Said” plagiarized, or “copied other people’s work”.
          One of many quotes: “Wegman’s is a fascinating case, in that he’s breaking the rules, destroying his own reputation, and not getting anything out of it personally.”
          Fascinating, indeed. Gosh, why he would do that? McIntyre’s post here (and especially in the post that Mosher linked) stated clearly several times that Wegman did nothing of the sort. Said and/or the other student etc. did whatever he did, and Wegman failed to notice it. Is that under dispute, or do Willard and Gelman acknowledge it? If they don’t dispute it, they are the ones engaging in scurrilous slander. Or just that because he’s an enemy, whatever he does is to be seen in the worst possible light.

          I hold to my original point of view on all of this. If people want to point out the parallels to Wegman, be my guest. But to call any of the people from either story plagiarists is slander. That word has powerful meaning, much more than “denier”, and should not be thrown around lightly. (I understand that some are just quoting Nature’s rules; if so, the distinction should be made clear.)

        • miker613
          Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

          That investigating committee sounds as if they actually investigated the issues that they were gathered in order to investigate. From the investigations of Michael Mann, I had thought that they weren’t supposed to do that.

        • miker613
          Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

          Sorry, the reply above was supposed to reply to https://climateaudit.org/2014/11/14/pages2k-and-natures-policy-against-self-plagiarism/#comment-741162

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

        There’s a major difference between PAGES2K and the CSDA article. The issue in the CSDA article was banal descriptions of what a social network – what you, Mosh, call academic throat clearing. Not their description of methodology. On the other hand, the PAGES2k copying is their methodology, an essential part of the article.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

          ya I think the descriptions of the methodology are the most problematic parts. so I am “pushing” the argument
          I made WRT to wegman a bit here..

          generally however I expect people to make the same kinds of arguments we made WRT wegman.
          put another way they will look the other way on these types of cases for their own but would never be so generous with Wegman.

      • geronimo
        Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 4:55 AM | Permalink

        I agree with Mosh, technically they have self-plagiarised, but I don’t see the harm, just like Wegman who was accused of plagiarism by someone who was cited 31 times in his report.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

          I agree with Mosh, technically they have self-plagiarised, but I don’t see the harm, just like Wegman who was accused of plagiarism by someone who was cited 31 times in his report.

          While you may have seen no harm in the Wegman case, the climate community went after him like junkyard dogs and Wegman was reprimanded for the CSDA article (but not the Wegman Report.) If the climate community now believes that plagiarism of boilerplate is, on reflection, not material, then apologies are owed to Wegman (who did not even personally plagiarize, but failed to detect boilerplate plagiarism by a foreign grad student.)

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

          geronimo.

          I think the case is similar enough to Wegman to merit a complaint being filed with Nature.

          Obviously people can differ in their judgements here as in the Wegman case

          This is why there are proceedures for handling complaints

          It would be most interesting for a case to be raised to test the system that the relevant institutions
          have in place.

          It will also be interesting to see how people who attacked wegman will defend what they see here.

          many fine hairs will be split.. climateball style.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

          Duplicate publication occurred in other PAGES2K sections, but was handled differently by, for example, Wahl and Smerdon, who said:

          Details of the reconstruction, methodology, and associated simulation tests are described in the SOM of Wahl and Smerdon [41]. The 1500-1980 reconstruction is identical to that reported in Wahl and Smerdon 41, and is referred to as WS12. The 1200-1987 reconstruction is new to the PAGES 2k effort.

          In this case, Wahl and Smerdon did not conceal the overlap with the other study, but disclosed it clearly.

          I think that the difference shows that failure to disclose is an important, if not, essential element of concern. The text recycling pointed to the failure of the Gergis coauthors, in their PAGES2K capacity, to disclose the connection of the article to Gergis et al (published, withdrawn and under re-review or whatever), but it is perhaps the failure to disclose that is the issue, as much as the text recycling.

        • Posted Nov 17, 2014 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

          > If the climate community now believes that plagiarism of boilerplate is, on reflection, not material, then apologies are owed to Wegman […]

          More misrepresentation.

          Here are some of the reasons why Andy Gelman criticized the concealed cut-and-pastes in Wegman’s report:

          First, they “have no redeeming social value. Actually, they have a negative value: they steal from others’ writing and introduce errors.” [1]

          Second, Wegman was not an expert in the plagiarized topics, therefore his reviews qualified as “noise” [1].

          Third, Wegman has not “apologized to the people whose work he copied without attribution, or to the people who spent their time tracking all this down, or to the U.S. Congress for misrepresenting his expertise in his official report.” [2]

          No self-plagiarism. Concealed plagiarism that introduces errors. Plagiarism in reviewing a topic on which Wegman was not an expert.

          Misrepresenting the Wegman affair and minimizing Wegman’s responsibility might very well be suboptimal ClimateBall ™ moves.

          [1]: andrewgelman.com/2011/09/19/another-wegman-plagiarism-copying-without-attribution-and-further-discussion-of-why-scientists-cheat/
          [2]: andrewgelman.com/2012/05/16/wikipedia-author-confronts-ed-wegman/

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

          Willard, let me understand your position in respect to Gergis et al:
          1. I take it that you support Nature’s policy on plagiarism, including its policy against self-plagiarism;
          2. you have not disagreed with the observation that Gergis et al appear to have violated Nature’s policy against self-plagiarism.
          3. you believe that plagiarism by Wegman’s student was non-trivial and the responsibility of Wegman as lead author.

          Please explain to me whether you agree that Gergis et al violated Nature’s policy against self-plagiarism. If so, is it also your view that Kaufman as lead author of the PAGES2K ought to be held responsible, in the same way that Wegman was held responsible for plagiarism in the CSDA article by one of his foreign grad students. (The university committee found in Wegman’s favor in connection with the Wegman Report.)

        • miker613
          Posted Nov 17, 2014 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

          Willard, let me get this straight. This is why people constantly post about Wegman that he has been “discredited”: no particular value in part of his writings, not particularly an expert in part of his writings, and didn’t apologize?
          Are you serious?
          No one needs to “minimize” these offenses. They are minimal.

        • Posted Nov 17, 2014 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

          “you have not disagreed with the observation that Gergis et al appear to have violated Nature’s policy against self-plagiarism.”

          It’s not at all clear to me that they have. The Nature policy cited here says:
          “Plagiarism can be said to have clearly occurred when large chunks of text have been cut-and-pasted. Such manuscripts would not be considered for publication in a Nature journal. But minor plagiarism without dishonest intent is relatively frequent, for example, when an author reuses parts of an introduction from an earlier paper. The Nature journal editors judge any case of which they become aware (either by their own knowledge of and reading about the literature, or when alerted by referees) on its own merits.”

          “an author reuses parts of an introduction from an earlier paper” seems very similar to this situation.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Nov 17, 2014 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

          Lets start with Gelman’s misrepresentations.

          He is not an expert on plagiarism and from what I can see is not an expert on texts of any sort.

          1. The wikipedia information that Gelman refers to was lifted by REEVES, wegmans graduate student.

          2. Reports to congress have no style guide WRT to citation. An interesting case
          arises here ( http://judithcurry.com/2014/11/12/challenges-to-understanding-the-role-of-the-ocean-in-climate-science/) where Willis attacks a different scientist for sloppy citation.

          3. Another one of Wegman’s students Sharabati lifted the text from the Wegman report into the preface of his dissertation.

          4. Finally Sharabati lifted from his own dissertation in writing the Said paper.

          A couple of minutes on the lack of a style guide for reports to congress. In the absence of any clear set of rules, you can expect climateballers to spin any sort of ad hoc arguments they see fit. Witness Gelman making ad hoc appeals about wegman mispresenting his expertise and introducing noise. Let’s be clear. Wegman was recognized as an expert is stats. period. Let’s also be clear. He did not
          double check his students work. Kinda like mann not double checking his lawyers
          work. The absence of a clear guide for citation in reports to congress, doesn’t mean anything goes. What it does mean is that we should be on guard for those who
          want to use the opportunity to score climateball points. Here willard is king.

          If we want a really clear case to compare with Gergis the best case is this

          Sharabati re purposed text from the preface of his dissertation into the Said paper.

          Gergis re purposed text from his ‘paper in waiting” into Pages 2K

          What you want to look for are people who want to discuss the similarities and differences in these two cases ( what are the policies of each journal etc).
          What you want to avoid is climateballers. They dont want to discuss this comparison in their own words, taking their own positions showing their own ethical considerations.

        • Nicκ Stoκes
          Posted Nov 17, 2014 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

          Steven Mosher,
          “1. The wikipedia information that Gelman refers to was lifted by REEVES, wegmans graduate student.”

          I’ve no idea why you think that makes it OK. Prof Wegman has been asked by a Congress committee to write a report on Mann’s stats. W doesn’t have enough to say on that, so he changes the subject to social network analysis, where he can prove that cliques of scientists have been writing joint papers.

          Trouble is, he doesn’t know anything about SNA. But his student has been on a one week course. So he gets her to write it. But she doesn’t know much either, so she lifts it from Wikipedia. Wegman doesn’t credit her, but reports to Congress with the authority of GMU Prof Wegman.

          But yes, it was REEVES. Or actually not.

        • Nicκ Stoκes
          Posted Nov 17, 2014 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

          SM to Willard
          “you have not disagreed with the observation that Gergis et al appear to have violated Nature’s policy against self-plagiarism.”

          It’s not at all clear to me that they have. The policy cited here says:
          “Plagiarism can be said to have clearly occurred when large chunks of text have been cut-and-pasted. Such manuscripts would not be considered for publication in a Nature journal. But minor plagiarism without dishonest intent is relatively frequent, for example, when an author reuses parts of an introduction from an earlier paper. The Nature journal editors judge any case of which they become aware (either by their own knowledge of and reading about the literature, or when alerted by referees) on its own merits.”

          “an author reuses parts of an introduction from an earlier paper” seems very similar to this situation

          Steve: the policy says “Plagiarism can be said to have clearly occurred when large chunks of text have been cut-and-pasted.” That is the case here. Nor is the text in question from the “introduction” (though Wegman’s was.) The copied text was the methodological description of the article, not the “introduction”. Further, you conspicuously evaded the issue of the intent of the authors. Gergis et al didn’t forget to cite Gergis et al (withdrawn and under review); they omitted the citation intentionally. The most obvious explanation is that they didn’t want to embroil the review in the controversy over Gergis et al 2012 – but this would not be an “honest intent”. Evaluating whether their intent was dishonest or not would require consideration by the journal. On the other hand, Wegman clearly did not have “dishonest intent” in failing to notice his grad students plagiarism, so I remain puzzled as to why CLimateBallers judge wWegman harshly, while being unoffended by Gergis.

        • Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

          > let me understand your position in respect to Gergis et al

          Turn it over to the lawyers [1]. The request, in the spirit of ClimateBall ™, dodges that my position was rather on the counterfactual according to which apologies may be “owed to Wegman”. The counterfactual also obscures the fact that plagiarism is a recurring theme on this blog [2].

          ***

          > Nor is the text in question from the “introduction” (though Wegman’s was.)

          If by “Wegman’s” we are referring to the Wegman Report, it is false. The sections on tree rings, on ice cores, and on social-network-analysis were not part of the introduction. Nor the figures 5.8 and 5.9. Nor the padded bibliography. See p. 22 of [3] for more information.

          The short of it is that the mischiefs in Wegman’s report go a bit deeper than plagiarism:

          The ethical dimensions of this copying seem clear enough: By taking others’ work without giving credit—even copying from Wikipedia at one point (see the appendix to this essay)— Wegman and his research team were implicitly claiming expertise on subjects in which they were not experts. Wegman continues to deny having plagiarized, even in the face of direct evidence that several of his publications (on topics ranging from network analysis to color vision) include unattributed material previously published by others [4].

          The emphasized bit has yet to be acknowledged. And if Gelman’s opinion does not suffice, Vergano interviewed experts too [5]:

          A November review by three plagiarism experts of the 2006 congressional report for USA TODAY also concluded that portions contained text from Wikipedia and textbooks. The journal study, co-authored by Wegman student Yasmin Said, detailed part of the congressional report’s analysis.

          Interestingly, Wegman’s response comes from Milton Johns, Wegman’s lawyer, whom I leave to auditors to social-network analyze.

          ***

          [1]: neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/692140904
          [2]: climateaudit.org/tag/plagiarism/
          [3]: deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/strange-scholarship-v1-02.pdf
          [4]: americanscientist.org/issues/pub/to-throw-away-data-plagiarism-as-a-statistical-crime/1
          [5]: usatoday30.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2011-05-15-climate-study-plagiarism-Wegman_n.htm

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

          Willard, as usual, your reply is unresponsive and misleading. There was no plagiarism finding against Wegman in connection with the Wegman Report.

          Notwithstanding your obfuscation, the plagiarized material in the CSDA article was limited to the introduction, which was written by a foreign grad student and not by Wegman himself. So my point stands despite your attempts to mislead.

          Since Mann, yourself and others have attempted to confuse the finding in respect with the CSDA article with the diametrically opposite finding in respect to the Wegman Report, I’ve posted some excerpts from the investigation report on the Wegman Report below, findings that you conspicuously failed to mention.

          They observed that the Wegman Report had paraphrased sections of Bradley’s book, but, rather than concealing this dependence, had referred to it:

          excerpt4

          They flatly rejected assertions that the authors of the Wegman Report had asserted expertise outside their specialty as Bradley had asserted, describing the material in dispute as introductory and nothing more than “basic” information.

          excerpt5

          They observed that they searched for “explicit criteria for citation practices” for reports like the Wegman report and found none, observing that referencing standards for such reports were not necessarily identical to that of academic journals, further stating that the analysis of Wegman et al had “displayed competence, honesty and fairness”:

          excerpt6

          As a relevant standard for referencing in the Wegman Report, the committee considered referencing practices in textbooks, using Bradley’s textbook as an example. They found that “in the first edition of his textbook, Professor Bradley employed the same citation technique that he later deemed plagiarism when employed by Professor Wegman”, observing this not to condemn Bradley, but to confirm their conclusion that Wegman had not departed from relevant standards:

          excerpt7

          They also considered and dismissed Mashey’s allegations.

          They concluded:
          excerpt3

          They criticized various breaches of confidentiality by the complainants and made the following recommendation:
          excerpt8

        • AndyL
          Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

          Willard
          The question is one of consistency. Steve Mosher for instance says that he considers both Wegman and Gergis to be “borderline cases” which the rules of plagiarism were not designed to catch.

          You have looked into Wegman at length and concluded that it is in your opinion a serious issue. Are you investigating Gergis with the same care, and if your view of seriousness of the Gergis case is different please explain why.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

          AndyL,
          Stokes, for example, argues that the Gergis’ plagiarism is only of introductory material, where Nature’s policy gives some latitude for “minor” plagiarism. (In fact, it was methodology, not introductory material. ) But the plagiarism in the CSDA article (Said et al), by a grad student coauthor, actually was minor plagiarism of introductory material. But ClimateBallers believe that it was a hugely serious violation of academic standards.

          But we’re still waiting for some objective basis as to why the plagiarism by Gergis et al was more “minor” than the plagiarism by the CSDA authors.

        • Posted Nov 19, 2014 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

          > There was no plagiarism finding against Wegman in connection with the Wegman Report.

          There is no self-plagiarism finding against Gergis in connection with the PAGES2K paper. This predicament has never stopped you from “trying to ascertain” what does not affect your own clique.

          Yet again, you “conspicuously failed” to link to your source. You also “conspicuously” omitted that there were two separate committee investigations [1], and that the one studying plagiarism in the Wegman Report has not tried to ascertain the SNA section, patchwritten into the retracted article in CSDA [2]. You also “conspicuously failed” to notice the same patchwriting pattern in other Wegman publications, for instance in a magazine he himself edits [2]. You also “conspicuously failed” to show your readers how the sections on tree rings [3] and ice core/corals [4] compare when you read them side by side. You also “conspicuously failed” to show the quotes from the three experts Vergano interviewed [5]:

          The plagiarism experts queried by USA TODAY disagree after viewing the Wegman report:

          • “Actually fairly shocking,” says Cornell physicist Paul Ginsparg by e-mail. “My own preliminary appraisal would be ‘guilty as charged.’ ”

          •”If I was a peer reviewer of this report and I was to observe the paragraphs they have taken, then I would be obligated to report them,” says Garner of Virginia Tech, who heads a copying detection effort. “There are a lot of things in the report that rise to the level of inappropriate.”

          •”The plagiarism is fairly obvious when you compare things side-by-side,” says Ohio State’s Robert Coleman, who chairs OSU’s misconduct committee.

          Add to this Andrew Gelman, whom you have yet to challenge directly.

          After all these years, there is still no misconduct finding against Mike. If the auditing clique now believes that committee findings are, on reflection, sufficient to decide it’s “end of story” [6], then apologies are owed to Mike.

          ***

          Definitions of plagiarism is an ongoing concern of this blog: there’s a tag for it. So far very little ascertainment has been given regarding Wegman’s plagiarism. Sure, there was the suboptimal tu quoque regarding Bradley, recycled by the GMU investigation on W’s report. And yes indeed, there have been many speculations to put the blame on red shirts, repeated yet again on this thread.

          Mike’s social network has been an ongoing concern on this blog since the beginnings [7]. Perhaps also in its predecessor, climate2003.org, also mentioned in the Wegman Report, now vanished. How it was decided that SNA fell within Wegman’s mandate remains a mystery that has been conspicuously eluded by the auditors.

          ***

          [1]: content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2012/02/george-mason-university-reprimands-edward-wegmand-/
          [2]: deepclimate.org/2012/02/22/gmu-contradictory-decisions-on-wegman-plagiarism-in-csda-but-not-in-congressional-report/
          [3]: deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/wegman-bradley-tree-rings-v20.pdf
          [4]: deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/10/wegman-bradley-ice-cores-corals-v3.pdf
          [5]: usatoday30.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2010-11-21-climate-report-questioned_N.htm
          [6]: neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/13691877650
          [7]: neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/5874729706

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Nov 19, 2014 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

          Nick Stokes keeps up the false statements

          “I’ve no idea why you think that makes it OK. Prof Wegman has been asked by a Congress committee to write a report on Mann’s stats. W doesn’t have enough to say on that, so he changes the subject to social network analysis, where he can prove that cliques of scientists have been writing joint papers.”

          1. I’ve never said it was OK in anything thing I have ever written
          2. I have explicitly said it is NOT OK. it is not ok to not check your
          students or co authors work. Such as when mann checked the work
          for the WMO cover.
          3. It is not a CHANGE of subject. He is offering an explanation. He is allowed
          to do that.

          “Trouble is, he doesn’t know anything about SNA. But his student has been on a one week course. So he gets her to write it. But she doesn’t know much either, so she lifts it from Wikipedia. Wegman doesn’t credit her, but reports to Congress with the authority of GMU Prof Wegman.

          But yes, it was REEVES. Or actually not.”

          1. No the trouble is he didnt know a lot about SNA.
          2. As I have previously stated the SNA work is an interesting stab at trying to
          explain how mann’s junk made it into the science. that’s about all
          3. Reeves says it was her. dont be a denier as well as a li*r

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 19, 2014 at 4:05 PM | Permalink

          No one should presume that I thought that either of the academic panels conducted the sort of due diligence that could and should have settled these disputes. While ClimateBallers single out Wegman for criticisms, the NAS panel was equally subject to criticism. In my original trip report (see here), I criticized both Wegman and NAS panels on this count. here is a quote:

          Speaking of both the NAS panel and Wegman report, it amazes me how little due diligence is actually done in these sorts of reports. The only due diligence that the NAS panel did was to check the tendency of the PC method to make hockey sticks. Everything else is just a literature review – by slightly less biased people than usual, but still just one more literature review. For example, as I point out, they reject bristlecones as a proxy, but do not assess the impact of this.

          Wegman did more due diligence – they checked the biased PC method and also checked its impact on the North American network. It’s too bad that they didn’t also express opinions on the impact on reconstructions – I agree with Gulledge on that. However, Gulledge should then have been equally mad at the NAS panel who didn’t independently check this either. Wahl and Ammann and Rutherford et al cannot be used as evidence. It’s too bad that Wegman didn’t assess the von Storch and Zorita argument as well. I think that they would have endorsed our reply and it would have been helpful to have some validation.

          At this point, it’s actually amazing how much due diligence has been done our work. Compare the energy spent on trying to prove us wrong compared the non-existence energy spent verifying MBH in the first place.

          This comment was written long before Climategate, which show that Gulledge had been prepared by Wahl (who was concurrently and secretly ghostwriting the Hockey Stick assessment in the IPCC report and Briffa’s IPCC review responses). As I mentioned some time ago, the Climategate emails amply vindicated Wegman’s surmise about lack of independence of peer reviewers and authors. However, I think that Wegman’s importing of Social Network Analysis into his report was typically academic – it was included more because it was a topic that he was then interested in than because it was helpful or relevant to the report itself.

          I would definitely have preferred (as in my trip notes) if the two panels had been more thorough, but unfortunately they weren’t.

        • Posted Nov 19, 2014 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

          Mosh,
          “Reeves says it was her”
          So did I. But what Congress was getting wasn’t REEVES. It was Wiki, and not to forget de Nooy et al, whose text made a big contribution.

          Wegman wanted a ghost-writer. Reeves delegated.

        • TAG
          Posted Nov 19, 2014 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

          There is much back and forth here on the issues of plagiarism and how the definition of plagiarism is dependent on the context of the accused document.

          One thing that puzzles me about this controversy is the question of the relevance of plagiarism to the issue of AGW. If I were to steal a copy of some scientist’s climate change paper and type it out and claim that it as my own, I would immediately be discovered as a plagiarist. How would my unethical actions affect the validity of that scientist’s results?

        • miker613
          Posted Nov 19, 2014 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

          “How would my unethical actions affect the validity of that scientist’s results?” Uh, it wouldn’t? Who said it would? I don’t even think it would affect the validity of your results – though saying that seems to be the goal of those who attack Wegman.

        • Posted Nov 21, 2014 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

          > No one should presume that I thought that either of the academic panels conducted the sort of due diligence that could and should have settled these disputes.

          This red herring is followed by a long quote where it is said that “Everything else is just a literature review”. Considering the quality of the literature review in Wegman’s report, all that remains is an allegedly “checked the biased PC method” whence they simply reran the Auditor’s code without understanding it [1].

          Also note from that same editorial [2]:

          I think that the only thing that would have got Mann completely back on the island would have been if Wegman had been discredited.

          In retrospect, the mention of “arguing the alternative” has been ominous of the ClimateBall ™ strategy, underlined for instance by the “no one should presume” move.

          ***

          > However, I think that Wegman’s importing of Social Network Analysis into his report was typically academic – it was included more because it was a topic that he was then interested in than because it was helpful or relevant to the report itself.

          An informal SNA was present at CA since the blog’s inception [3]. We know from his report that Wegman consulted CA. We also know that Wegman and the Auditor exchanged emails [4]:

          If it makes Ritson feel any better, I’ve sent some emails to Wegman during the past month and haven’t heard back from him either. I’m sure that he’ll catch up to his email and apologize for any delays.

          This was in 2006. The apology is still forthcoming.

          What has not been made public, in contradistinction to lots of other exchanges with the Auditor, is the content of that correspondence.

          ***

          [1] moyhu.blogspot.com/2011/06/effect-of-selection-in-wegman-report.html

          [2] climateaudit.org/2006/07/28/trip-report/

          [3] climateaudit.org/2005/02/05/the-hockey-team-1/

          [4] climateaudit.org/2006/08/31/do-climate-scientists-need-ritalin/

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 21, 2014 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

          I said:

          However, I think that Wegman’s importing of Social Network Analysis into his report was typically academic – it was included more because it was a topic that he was then interested in than because it was helpful or relevant to the report itself.

          Willard says:

          An informal SNA was present at CA since the blog’s inception [

          So what. There are dozens of topics at CA which would not have been relevant to the reports to the congressional committee. Your comment doesn’t refute my point that the social network analysis was an academicizing intrusion for the purposes of the requested report.

        • Posted Nov 22, 2014 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

          > So what. There are dozens of topics at CA which would not have been relevant to the reports to the congressional committee.

          What kind of argument is that. As if we have to show Granger causality between everything on CA and what Wegman “wrote” in “his” report. Here’s a paragraph published on the 2006-02-09 on at 13:06 ADT [1]:

          Nor are Osborn and Briffa independent authors. Both are members of a group of scientists, self-identified as the Hockey Team. They have both recently co-authored a reconstruction with Mann, Bradley and Hughes [Rutherford et al, 2005], and their close associate, Philip Jones, has co-authored still other studies with Mann. Rutherford et al. [2005] is cited, but footnote (13) fails to disclose their co-authorship.

          Auditors ought to search for “independent” and “team” between February 2005 and June 2006 on CA to see lots of paragraphs like that one. There are 120 hits for the word “independent” in the Barton Hearings [2].

          Philosophizing about “academic intrusion”. So what indeed.

          ***

          Speaking of co-authorship, it seems that Wegman and McKitrick signed the same Open Letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations [3]:

          It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables. We therefore need to equip nations to become resilient to the full range of these natural phenomena by promoting economic growth and wealth generation.

          Should we conclude that Wegman and McKitrick are not “independent” regarding AGW. I guess it depends upon how the concept of “clique” is defined. Maybe it’s just a vocabulary thing [4].

          ***

          [1] climateaudit.org/2006/02/09/review-of-osborn-and-briffa-2006/

          [2] gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-109hhrg31362/html/CHRG-109hhrg31362.htm

          [3] folk.uio.no/tomvs/esef/ungensecr07.pdf

          [4] neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/31268600509

        • None
          Posted Nov 22, 2014 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

          Willard:
          “As if we have to show Granger causality between everything on CA and what Wegman “wrote” in “his” report”

          If your claim is that the SNA section was in the Wegman report at the behest of Steve (who says otherwise that he does not think it was really appropriate for it to be present), most would agree you need to show rather more than:
          1) Steve wrote a little about SNA
          2) Steve had email contact with Wegman who was attempting to reconcile MBH98 with MM03/05

          If you are not claiming that it was present due to Steve, what are your complaints concerning ?

          Steve: I didn’t use the term “SNA” in my commentary. My issue was only that the supposedly “independent” studies were not “independent”, something that could be shown with very unelaborate methods. And despite ClimateBaller fantasies, I had very little contact with Wegman or his associates while they were writing the report. As I recall, I talked to Wegman on one occasion on the phone in April. They stumbled while trying to run the GRL code, which wasn’t completely turnkey but required some tailoring of directory nomenclature. They asked me for help but figured it out before I responded.

        • Posted Nov 23, 2014 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

          > I didn’t use the term “SNA” in my commentary.

          Another red herring: we’ll soon have a prospectus. Not only Wegman and his clique cited CA in their report, but here’s what the patchwriter-in-chief himself said, under oath [1]:

          One of the analogies I kind of liked was that the folks that do the hockey stick kind of thing call themselves–I think they call themselves the hockey team […]

          So not only Wegman knows about the “team” meme, but he knows the ClimateBall ™ move the Auditor himself uses to disown his own creation. (A related ClimateBall ™ move is used nowadays against “ClimateBall” itself [2].) The “team” meme signals a social network. To argue that there’s not network analysis on CA because it does not mention the word “SNA” would be more than suboptimal.

          Wegman’s excuse to SNA has changed between the times of the Barton Hearings and the GMU investigation. We remain “puzzled” that no auditor noticed. Is the bloodlust against the “team” too strong?

          ***

          > I had very little contact with Wegman or his associates while they were writing the report. As I recall, I talked to Wegman on one occasion on the phone in April.

          How red is this other herring [3, 4]:

          If it makes Ritson feel any better, I’ve sent some emails to Wegman during the past month and haven’t heard back from him either. I’m sure that he’ll catch up to his email and apologize for any delays.

          Should Wegman’s lack of due diligence be an “implied waiver of any confidentiality” [5]?

          ***

          [1] gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-109hhrg31362/html/CHRG-109hhrg31362.htm

          [2] andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/09/29/the-ghost-of-present-climateball-tm

          [3] climateaudit.org/2006/08/31/do-climate-scientists-need-ritalin/

          [4] climateaudit.org/2006/08/31/do-climate-scientists-need-ritalin/#comment-62309

          [5] climateaudit.org/2011/02/17/n-g-reviewers-may-need-to-be-disingenuous/

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Nov 23, 2014 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

          More damned fibbs from nick

          Mosh,
          “Reeves says it was her”
          So did I.

          so you admit reeves is a co author.. good

          But what Congress was getting wasn’t REEVES.

          Surely they were getting reeves as well as others. the document makes that
          clear and you yourself argue that.

          It was Wiki, and not to forget de Nooy et al, whose text made a big contribution.

          We already said that. Youv’e really lost it now.

          Wegman wanted a ghost-writer. Reeves delegated.

          Ghost writer? where is there any evidence in the testimony given that this is true. stooping to inventing more crap. pathetic

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 23, 2014 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

          Wegman and North were examined for four hours straight by the Congressional committee. Wegman was familiar with the material. If, as Nick Stokes says, they wanted Wegman, they got him. He and Said became familiar with the file and the there is not a shred of evidence that the statistical sections were “ghostwritten” by someone else. As Mosher observes, this is more ClimateBaller disinformation. As is well known, Gerald North was asked if he disagreed with anything in Wegman’s report and he said no.

        • Posted Nov 23, 2014 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

          “Ghost writer? where is there any evidence in the testimony given”

          Wegman writing to Elsevier:
          “When Denise returned from her short course at Carnegie-Mellon, I took her to be the most knowledgeable among us on social network analysis, and I asked her to write up a short description we could include in our summary.”

          “there is not a shred of evidence that the statistical sections were “ghostwritten” by someone else”,/i>
          If it’s conceded that the SNA part is not statistical (then why is it there?). But there is definite evidence of ghost calculation. Despite a claim that
          “We did, however, successfully recapture similar results to those of MM.”
          the “random” outputs shown in Figs 4.1 and 4.4 are identical with those archived at MM2005.

  6. Frank Cook
    Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    I would think that in a discipline where a not exactly unserious suggestion to “redefine what peer-review literature is” seemingly has gotten a free pass, it would be easy enough to redefine the meaning of self-plagiarism without even lifting a finger.

  7. Steven Mosher
    Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

    let’s racehorse

    Plagiarism is when an author attempts to pass off someone else’s work as his or her own. Duplicate publication, sometimes called self-plagiarism, occurs when an author reuses substantial parts of his or her own published work without providing the appropriate references. This can range from getting an identical paper published in multiple journals, to ‘salami-slicing’, where authors add small amounts of new data to a previous paper.
    Plagiarism can be said to have clearly occurred when large chunks of text have been cut-and-pasted. Such manuscripts would not be considered for publication in a Nature journal. But minor plagiarism without dishonest intent is relatively frequent, for example, when an author reuses parts of an introduction from an earlier paper. The Nature journal editors judge any case of which they become aware (either by their own knowledge of and reading about the literature, or when alerted by referees) on its own merits.”

    1. the parts lifted were not “substantial”
    2. its minor without dishonest intent.

    What they will do

    “If a case of plagiarism comes to light after a paper is published in a Nature journal, the journal will conduct a preliminary investigation. If plagiarism is found, the journal will contact the author’s institute and funding agencies. A determination of misconduct will lead the Nature journal to run a statement, bidirectionally linked online to and from the original paper, to note the plagiarism and to provide a reference to the plagiarised material. ”

    They will depend on a “determination of misconduct” by the author’s institute.

    they should have run the document through

    http://www.crossref.org/crosscheck/index.html

    journal of the climate is a member with a few thousand titles

    • Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

      Steven Mosher (2:47 PM):

      let’s racehorse

      I don’t think you are. You’re seeking to be realistic about how Nature will treat the idea of plagiarism in this case and you may be right. But taking into account the IPCC deadline it’s dreadfully shoddy.

  8. Steven Mosher
    Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    arrg.. stuck in moderation

  9. miker613
    Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    Leaving aside the particular policies of that journal, what is wrong with this?
    And why is it relevant whether the Gergis article was published, withdrawn, or under review? If it had been completely withdrawn would we all agree that it does not need to be cited?

    • ianl8888
      Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 4:32 PM | Permalink


      what is wrong with this?

      The IPCC’s fallacious claim that its’ reports only use published, peer-reviewed literature

      • Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 7:04 AM | Permalink

        For the record, and in the interest of “truth in posting”, the IPCC has always permitted the use of “non peer-reviewed” material, with the proviso that such material be appropriately flagged in the Chapter references.

        Once upon a time, the IPCC had even been known to actually follow this rule, albeit exceedingly rarely. In AR4, for example, 5 (or possibly 6, can’t recall the exact number off-hand) of the 5,600+ such references had actually been appropriately flagged, in accordance with the rules at the time.

        But this was prior to the InterAcademy Council (IAC)’s 2010 strong recommendation that the IPCC actually stick to and follow the rules it had established vis a vis the use of non peer reviewed material.

        To make a long story short … During the course of the IPCC’s process of “responding” to the IAC’s recommendations, in its infinite wisdom, the IPCC decided to abolish the existing (but rarely used) flagging requirement. To replace this (for all intents and purposes virtually unused) rule, the IPCC specifically decreed that henceforth newspaper articles and material found on blogs could not be used.

        As a related aside, it is worth noting that it was IPCC Chair, Rajendra Pachauri who, as the “voice” and face of the IPCC, was best known for his citing of this “all peer reviewed” myth as “fact”. Well, at least until he launched a rather rapid metamorphosis of this “rule” – over a period of less than 6 months.

        • ianl8888
          Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

          Indeed

          The “only peer-reviewed articles” fallacy is still promoted by fellow travellers, in the MSM however. The hypocrisy is boundless, of course

    • Follow the Money
      Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

      Mike, interesting points, especially the latter.

      I’ll point out G12 “did” cite a source: “details provided in Neukom and Gergis 46”

      This citation is perhaps intentionally misleading, to obscure the Gergis et al. 2012 origin with a different (and published) authority.

      N and G is a broad Southern Hemisphere-scoped work. I spent too much time trying to find the “details” of Pages2k Aus in N and G not to be a little miffed. But it was good exercise.

  10. mrmethane
    Posted Nov 14, 2014 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    Mosh, “self” plagiarizing – I guess there’s no question of passing someone else’s work off as
    their own. Did you have a cite for that term?

    • BallBounces
      Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

      Posner’s little book on plagiarism is helpful here. Plagiarism occurs when there is an expectation and/or assertion of originality that is absent in the work in question. Not everything needs to be original. For example, one municipality copies and uses portions of another municipality’s plumbing code. It would be nice to provide a tip of the hat to the originating municipality, but we don’t really expect or demand that plumbing codes be original.

      • Jeff Norman
        Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

        BB,

        Except that the IPCC’s Assessment Reports purportedly update policy makers with new information gleamed in the study of climate since the last assessment report, so it’s not like plumbing codes where you would hope for some consistency between jurisdictions. I am not sure if citing previously unpublished results, unpublished because they were not correct, is the best approach to informing policy makers of advances in our understanding climate science (assuming of course that this was in fact your purpose).

  11. Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 1:02 AM | Permalink

    I kinda think I don’t see much in the way of mortal or even venial sin here. As someone who staunchly defended Wegman against the idiocies of Mashey et al, I think that within the strict context of using the quantity of text shown here from a previous paper should be given a pass.

    How long a paper is the new one?

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

      I think that people can reasonably argue over the purpose of the Nature policy against self-plagiarism and indeed over other aspects of plagiarism policy. Even before Wegman, I’ve thought that academics have been excessive in their concern over plagiarism and underconcerned over failure to provide full, true and plain disclosure in academic articles. In legal documents, lawyers regularly recycle text rather than make paraphrases that take the risk of introducing new issues. There’s an interesting comment at Nature here advocating more nuanced handling of plagiarism issues, advocating greater focus on plagiarism of ideas and less on text plagiarism in introductions, especially if there are language issues involved (as with Wegman’s grad student.)

      However, I think that one can make the case that there’s an honesty issue involved in the PAGES2K-Gergis case that differentiates the present case from unreflective re-use of language. By “unreflective re-use”, I can contemplate cases where a scientist uses an essentially similar methodology in different experiments or studies and clearly in such cases, the methodology ought to be described similarly, with zero value being added by academic paraphrase. It also seems pretentious and irrelevant to quote the earlier study, though one would expect that the authors would say that an identical method had been used in the earlier study, which ought to be cited.

      In the present case, it seems to me that Gergis and Neukom, in their capacity as PAGES2K authors, went to considerable pains to NOT cite Gergis et al 2012 (“under review”), which connected directly to the PAGES study, and instead cited Neukom and Gergis, a study that connected only indirectly. Nature’s policies permitted them, as PAGES2K authors, to cite Gergis et al 2012, but they didn’t – presumably because they didn’t want to draw attention to the ongoing controversy. So their re-use of text was not entirely innocent.

      • Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

        Feynman:

        I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.

        For me this would mean citing Gergis et al 2012, making clear where the methods are the same and being open about the problems that led to the earlier paper being retracted. The “self-plagiarism” isn’t itself the problem but it points to these much deeper problems.

        • Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

          I agree that it is troubling that they seem to be burying their earlier work. But given the reception it received and its ultimate (and from what I have read here about it) well-deserved fate, I still am less than surprised that they wouldn’t point at it.

          I think the problem, if any, will come late as they conflate the two studies (as has been known to happen) and the climate community plays the confusion game.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

          Tom,
          also don’t forget that their refusal to credit Jean S and Climate Audit for the identification of their screening error in the first place. They claimed that they had “independently” located the error.

          A CA reader obtained quite detailed FOI records of these events and the chronology is pretty interesting.

          There had been ongoing discussion and controversy about screening at CA. In the context of this discussion, Jean S reported here with R-code that Gergis-Neukom network failed their screening text. Jean S’ comment (16:42 June 5 blog time -5 UTC) was at 23:42 Swiss time (June 6 7:42 AEDT). Up to that point, there is no correspondence from any Gergis coauthors evidencing knowledge of the detrended failure; the correspondence also shows that they were following Climate Audit thread on which Jean S comment was posted (and other threads.)

          Neukom stayed up until 2 am that evening/morning. In the two hours after Jean S’ comment, he appears to have examined the situation, and arrived at the same conclusion. At about 1:40 a.m. Swiss time, he had a skype call with Gergis, telling her the bad news, following up with an email to Gergis at 1:46 a.m. Swiss (9:46 a.m. AEDT). Neukom didn’t refer to Climate Audit in this original discussion. Jean S’ comment was definitely (about 2 hours) prior to Neukom notifying Gergis of the problem. It is certain that Neukom’s fresh concern over the accuracy of their correlation calculations was prompted by the examination of the issue at CA threads and seems highly probable to me that his specific work on these calculations between midnight and 2 am (Swiss) was due to him reading Jean S’ comment at about 23:30 (Swiss). Karoly responded with the hope that correcting the error might improve the analysis. During the Australian day of June 6, Gergis was in contact with coauthors about releasing the screened-out data that I had sought.

          About 24 hours later, (June 7 8 am Australia; midnight Swiss), Neukom and Gergis were again in contact. Neukom discouraged Karoly’s hope that the matter would be easily fixed.

          The following day (June 6 12:01 CA time -5 UTC), I promoted Jean S comment to a head post here. This was June 7 3:01 a.m. in Australia. Karoly read this post later on June 7 (perhaps his evening) and early on June 8 (06:47 Australia; June 7 20:47 Swiss; June 7 13:47 CA time), he wrote to Neukom and Gergis notifying them that the error had been reported at CA, adding “Given that the error is now identified in the blogosphere, we need to notify the journal of the error and put the manuscript on hold”, as though they would have had no such obligation absent the CA post. Karoly did not seem to have noticed that the error had actually been identified at CA nearly a day before the post promoted Jean S’ comment.

          A couple of hours later (Australia June 8 8:24; Swiss June 8 00:24), Gergis wrote to Neukom saying:

          Hi Raphi, we have emails that predate this latest blogpost that indicate we became aware of the issue as we contacted authors for permission to release their records.

          Later, she wrote to various coauthors:

          Following on from my attempt to gain permission to release non publically available
          records released and submitted online with NOAA over the weekend, on Wednesday
          morning· Raphi discovered an error in the Aus2K temperature analysis…

          Meanwhile, Stephen Mcintyre and co have located the error overnight (I was alerted
          through an intimidating email this morning): https://climateaudit.org/2012/06/06/gergis-significance.

          Neither Gergis nor Karoly appear to have realized at this point that the error had been pointed out at CA nearly 24 hours prior to being promoted to a head post and that the error had been pointed out at CA prior to Neukom sending them an email about the error.

          Although Gergis seemed to believe (in good faith) that the email correspondence showed Neukom’s priority in identifying the error – a claim that she and Karoly subsequently insisted on, the email correspondence does not prove Neukom’s priority and, indeed, not only leaves the question open, but the timing, in my opinion, strongly suggests that Neukom was aware of Jean S’ comment and that this comment prompted his fevered examination of the problem in the wee morning hours of June 6.

          In my opinion, Neukom doesn’t seem to have been entirely candid with his coauthors on the affair.

      • Icabod
        Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

        This comment is a little late. However, when requesting mail correspondence via FOI it would be useful to also ask for any Skype chat messages. If I recall correctly there were skype meetings between the authors concerning the mistake.

        When my colleagues and I have Skype meetings, we quite often use the chat facility to initiate the meeting, transfer files etc.

  12. Skiphil
    Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 2:24 AM | Permalink

    Someone should tell Dr. Gergis that proper use of sources, honesty about flawed and withdrawn papers, obedience to journal and scholarly practices and policies, etc. are all required of scientists and scholars.

    All part of “what is called research”…..

    Oh, where have we heard that phrase before?

  13. Skiphil
    Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 2:38 AM | Permalink

    As long as G12 is not actually “published” there would not seem to be a violation of the “Nature” policies — they would be recycling their UN-published text. Perhaps this will be the death knell for the perpetually “under review” G12. If they hurry to give G12 a final quiet merciful death then their stance would be that the relevant text is only formally “published” once.

    Their alternative course would rely upon arguing about the term “substantial parts” in the “Nature” policy, as many comments above discuss at least implicitly. How many words, sentences, facts and details, etc. will constitute “substantial parts” in the judgment of “Nature” editors??

  14. Skiphil
    Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 3:58 AM | Permalink

    Another thought: since it is the PAGES2K paper which is published and the G12 is not, perhaps the issues really bounce back to Journal of Climate to resolve. PAGES2K is now the original work of record, while G12 is the subsequent work because it is not yet in the publication record?!

    i.e., the paper in “Nature” is now the original publication and any problems resulting from duplicate material are for a subsequent journal to decide, such as the Journal of Climate. Can Journal of Climate (or another journal) allow publication of G12, considering what is already in print with “Nature”?

    There may also be a serious copyright issue unless prior permission is given, i.e., many/most journals own the copyright and authors agree to give up copyright as a condition of publication. Using the “Nature” material in another article could now be a violation of copyright, unless “Nature” gives permission??

    Finally, here is a link with info on the AMS/Journal of Climate policies, relevant if my inference above is correct that JofC now faces the “self-plagiarism” question if G12 is truly still “under review” there. AMS does not seem quite as categorical about “self-plagiarism” and refers it mainly to the copyright issue…. but presumably AMS does not want to take on any copyright problems.

    AMS “Author Disclosure and Obligations”

    Author Disclosure and Obligations
    (Adopted by the AMS Council 22 September 2010)

    …..

    5. It is unethical for an author to copy text, figures, or tables (i.e., plagiarize) from other work without attribution. Even self-plagiarism (or autoplagiarism), defined as copying from previous work by the author, could be considered unethical as it may involve copyright infringement (i.e., as a condition of publication in AMS journals, authors are required to transfer intellectual property rights to the AMS—hence, authors no longer “own” previously published work).

    …..

    7. It is unethical for an author to publish manuscripts describing essentially the same research in more than one peer-reviewed paper.

    • Skiphil
      Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 4:03 AM | Permalink

      actually, #7 may be the most definite killer for G12 wrt Journal of Climate, are they paying attention?

      The horns of a dilemma for Gergis, et al:

      Either G12 really has been “under review” all this time with Journal of Climate, or not.

      If yes, then G12 authors are seeking to violate #7 in the AMS list of Author Disclosure and Obligations.

      If no, then Gergis has been…. cough….. not forthright all this time in continuing to list the paper as “under review” through at least several revisions of her publication list, including a chance in co-authors listed for the paper.

      • mpainter
        Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

        If a paper has been “withdrawn” after peer review and initial acceptance, what is the status of that paper?
        This seems to be the basic question. As for the “under review” status, it seems as if the JOC should be the party making such a determination. I do not see how the paper can be “under review”. This seems to be a deliberate mis-statement by Gergis.

    • John Ritson
      Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

      Its a bit like this song.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I'm_My_Own_Grandpa

  15. Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    Skiphill,

    While it is speculation on my part and there are many published authors here who can correct me if I’m wrong, it is extremely likely that the contracts which transfer the IP rights are signed at the time of, or previous to, submission of the paper. That would be the businesslike way.

    So the authors likely assigned copyright of the repeated sections to multiple entities.

    While it is unlikely to be charged or prosecuted, or sued for, if you delve into the legalese in the contracts, you may find that the authors have committed fraud, or maybe we can invent a new term, publishing bigamy.

  16. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    • Jimmy Haigh
      Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 12:31 AM | Permalink

      Brilliant!

  17. Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    I think you will find that Nature does not permit citations to manuscripts in preparation. Hence the authors would have had little option but to reuse text from their earlier manuscript. Since the manuscript was not published, it cannot constitute self-plagiarism. It is scurrilous to suggest it is. Even if the manuscript was published, reusing some of the methods text is acceptable – see for example the COPE guidance on this http://publicationethics.org/text-recycling-guidelines.

    • Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

      Is it scurrilous to suggest that the authors haven’t fully met Richard Feynman’s standards of honesty towards interested laymen, fellow scientists and perhaps, in this case, even their fellow authors?

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

      Richard [Telford],
      your comment is wrong on multiple counts and ignores the direct links to Nature policies in my article.

      First, Nature has policies that clearly permit citation of “submitted” article and even text reference to “in preparation” articles (though that is not relevant here.) I linked to the following in my post: http://www.nature.com/nature/authors/gta/index.html#a5.4 which says :

      Only articles that have been published or submitted to a named publication should be in the reference list; papers in preparation should be mentioned in the text with a list of authors (or initials if any of the authors are co-authors of the present contribution).

      Second, you stated that the article was nothing more than a “manuscript in preparation”. This is totally false. On May 17, 2012, the University of Melbourne issued a press release stating that the article had been “published”:

      The study published today in the Journal of Climate will form the Australasian region’s contribution to the 5th IPCC climate change assessment report chapter on past climate.

      The authors have never retracted the article. In the University of Melbourne’s statement about the status (subsequent to the initial controversy), they re-iterated that it had been “published” on May 17, 2012:

      An issue was identified in the manuscript “Evidence of unusual late 20th century warming from an Australasian temperature reconstruction spanning the last millennium” by Joelle Gergis, Raphael Neukom, Ailie Gallant and David Karoly, published in the Journal of Climate on 17 May 2012.

      The precise status of the undead article is definitely mysterious – a point that has been made here frequently – as the university simultaneously continued to maintain that it had been “published on May 17, 2012” and that it was under re-review.

      If I understand you correctly, you are claiming that the University had falsely claimed (in multiple venues) that the article had been published. But even if you are right about the University making such false statements, the article was definitely not simply “in preparation” as at the time of the PAGES2K article, as the authors had sought re-review from the journal.

      In the present case, the authors clearly should have cited Gergis et al (under re-review or whatever). You are simply wrong in saying that Nature policies prevented this.

      Additionally, as I’ve noted in other comments, it is my position that the Gergis coauthors improperly claimed credited for identifying the original error themselves, rather than properly crediting Jean S and Climate Audit, and that this improper claim was a form of actual plagiarism.

      If there is anything incorrect in my post, I’d be happy to amend it, but, far from pointing out an error, your own comment was in error.

      Rather than your reference to COPE guidelines immunizing the authors, it actually points to further problem. The guidelines say:

      Duplication of data is likely to always be considered serious (and should be dealt with according to the COPE guidelines for duplicate publications [1,2].

      In addition to the almost verbatim copying of text, the dataset is only trivially different than the dataset in Gergis et al 2012, raising further issues. It is even possible that the dataset is identical to the re-submitted version.

    • Howard
      Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 8:25 PM | Permalink

      Richard: Who cares. The apparent “self-plagiarism” is of what we consider in the engineering and applied sciences as BOILERPLATE. Hell Hath NO Fury like an Auditor Ignored.

      Steve: and yet the climate community persecuted Wegman about boilerplate. DId you stand up for Wegman? Do you think that Mann, Bradley and Mashey owe Wegman an abject apology?

      • Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 2:42 AM | Permalink

        Two Richards. Two ‘apparent plagiarisms’. Wegman’s was boilerplate. This is different. But on one thing I’m sure we agree: easier to ignore the auditor than have to deal with something so cogent.

      • Howard
        Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

        Steve: and yet the climate community persecuted Wegman about boilerplate. DId you stand up for Wegman? Do you think that Mann, Bradley and Mashey owe Wegman an abject apology?

        What you are saying is that many climate scientists and their enablers have been consistently vituperative against any and all questioning of their consensus, therefore, it is reasonable and appropriate to be petty and bureaucratic in response. In this instance of pathological logic, Gergis, Neukom, Phipps and Lorrey must pay for the actions of Mann, Bradley and Mashey.

        Your technical analysis has been and continues to be invaluable. When this blog becomes a voice for pettifogging, it ends up slandering the good work with guilt by association. Cliches exist because they tend to be true: “when you roll in the mud with pigs, you just get muddy and the pigs like it”

        That said, it’s your blog. I’m just the guy mentioning the dog poop you are tracking around.

        • Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

          You didn’t answer the question of whether you ever mentioned their dog poop.

        • Howard
          Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

          Thank you for asking Richard Drake. I didn’t answer because I don’t respect questions intentionally designed to divert attention away from the main point. This is a debate tactic employed when logic and data do not support ones argument. This is a typical hockey team trick used to justify their cruddy science.

          What’s more interesting is that by mentioning my non-responsive post, you have transcended from cheerleader to sycophant. Here in the Stares, the kids would say “it must suck to be you”. I know that’s going too far, but I can’t resist your sort who always ask to have your nose rubbed in it.

          Cheers

        • Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

          So that’s a no then.

        • miker613
          Posted Nov 17, 2014 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

          “I didn’t answer because I don’t respect questions intentionally designed to divert attention away from the main point.” Just because you’d like something to be accepted as the main point doesn’t mean that others need to agree with you. One way to lose a debate is to refuse to discuss the point that everyone else is discussing.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Nov 19, 2014 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

          Howard

          ‘Thank you for asking Richard Drake. I didn’t answer because I don’t respect questions intentionally designed to divert attention away from the main point. ”

          “What you are saying is that many climate scientists and their enablers have been consistently vituperative against any and all questioning of their consensus, therefore, it is reasonable and appropriate to be petty and bureaucratic in response. ”

          interesting.

          what is the main point?

          Is there self plagairism?

          you answered that

          ‘Richard: Who cares. The apparent “self-plagiarism” is of what we consider in the engineering and applied sciences as BOILERPLATE. Hell Hath NO Fury like an Auditor Ignored.”

          And then YOU raised a question of intentions.

          Having raised a question that diverts our attention FROM the self plagairism TO steve’s intentions ( he is furious because he has been ignored) you then refuse to answer questions relevant to that. Specifically, perhaps it is not being ignored that upsets steve, perhaps it is the un equal treatment between Wegmana nd this case.

          To recap. You answer the main question. Then you diverted attention to steve’s intentions. Then you complained when people questioned your position.

          get it?

          Steve: “perhaps it is the un equal treatment between Wegmana nd this case”. Yes, I remain interested in an objective definition of “minor”, which is expansive enough to include Gergis but which does not also include the CSDA article.

        • Howard
          Posted Nov 19, 2014 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

          Steven Mosher:

          Thanks for that. I don’t care one bit about the minutia of these Climateball hen-pecking. My point, which is the only point I am interested in, is that this petty, amateur lawyering makes the good parts of Climate Audit stink. IMO, this detracts from the great technical work done by SM and his team of Stat and Number guys.

          Tell me why this opinion is wrong.

          I’m just providing a non-cheerleading perspective that you can take or leave. I completely *get it* that you big number crunching dudes get off on semantic one-up-man-ship. However, in this instance, it is unseemly, unnecessary and counterproductive.

          Thanks for bringing up my Cliff-Notes freshman psychological opinion that SM’s *fury* is a response to the manner in which the Consensus ignores him. I can’t think of another reason why someone of such education and accomplishment would want to spend so much time rolling around in the muck with a crew of tag-teaming two-faced pencil-whippers over trivia.

          Vanity over Trivia. Get it?

          Steve: As I said previously, I feel that Wegman was very unjustly treated on plagiarism by one of his grad students. To my knowledge, there has been no other occasion in American academic history in which an author was reprimanded for plagiarism by another coauthor. That this should occasion so little commentary surely ought to have attracted more commentary, rather than less. In addition, posts here vary in time taken to prepare; detailed statistical analyses take a great deal of time, while topical posts take much less.

        • Posted Nov 19, 2014 at 8:44 PM | Permalink

          It’s not trivia. If it is, Al Capone was put away for trivia.

        • Posted Nov 19, 2014 at 10:45 PM | Permalink

          “author was reprimanded for plagiarism by another coauthor”

          Denise Reeves was not named as a co-author of either the report or the CSDA paper.

          Steve: more tiresome move-the-pea by Stokes. The plagiarism in the CSDA paper was by Sharabati, a named coauthor. As Stokes well knows, there was no reprimand in respect to the Wegman report.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Nov 19, 2014 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

          howard

          “Thanks for that. I don’t care one bit about the minutia of these Climateball hen-pecking. My point, which is the only point I am interested in, is that this petty, amateur lawyering makes the good parts of Climate Audit stink. IMO, this detracts from the great technical work done by SM and his team of Stat and Number guys.”

          1. you obviously do care as you have made several comments. if you truly didnt care you’d just move on.
          2. it’s not petty amateur lawyering. there is no legal issue here. and wegmans case wasnt petty to him.
          3. It’s utterly un related to the math parts of climate audit. if you
          don’t enjoy discussing the details of academic ethics, then move on.Discussions of
          publishing ethics don’t change the maths. They are two distinct topics. If you don’t like this
          topic, close your browser.

          Tell me why this opinion is wrong.

          1. Its wrong because the opinions people have about publishing ethics are unrelated to the sums they do.

          I’m just providing a non-cheerleading perspective that you can take or leave. I completely *get it* that you big number crunching dudes get off on semantic one-up-man-ship. However, in this instance, it is unseemly, unnecessary and counterproductive.

          had you read anything i wrote you’d see that I agree that this incident is largely copying boilerplate
          Despite that I think it’s interesting to discuss. Again, if you find such minutia and quibbling off putting, then
          close your browser. It’s pretty simple. Take Jeffids for example. When he discussed maths I read. When
          he discusses politics, I dont read. I would never make the bone headed conclusion that his position
          on politics had anything to do with his maths. Same with Lucia discussing.. say writing her novel.
          People actually get to have diverse interests. Steve gets to enjoy math AND enjoy discussing the ethics
          of publishing and giving credit properly. he gets to like both chocolate and vanilla. he actually gets to.
          And you get to move on if you dont like it.

          Thanks for bringing up my Cliff-Notes freshman psychological opinion that SM’s *fury* is a response to the manner in which the Consensus ignores him. I can’t think of another reason why someone of such education and accomplishment would want to spend so much time rolling around in the muck with a crew of tag-teaming two-faced pencil-whippers over trivia.

          Vanity over Trivia. Get it?

          First you attribute it to “being ignored”. Next, you argue you can think of no other reason. Then you argue
          that its another reason: vanity. I’ll suggest that you skip the freshman approaches. If you want to know why steve is interested, here is a Novel approach: ask him. I see from other comments that he has already indicated why
          it interests him.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Nov 19, 2014 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

          Nick

          “Denise Reeves was not named as a co-author of either the report or the CSDA paper.”

          as I have pointed out to you before the rules for listing a person as a co-author varying considerably.
          Simply compare the rulz at a variety of journals. For submissions to congress there is no guideline
          for authors. This means that with respect to co authors and rulz for citation and rulz for formats, word
          length ect, the decisions are left up to the discretion of the person who actually submits the report.
          The fact she was left off tells you that she was left off. her testimony tells you she was responsible
          for lifting the text. since there are no rulz, I’m left saying that she copied the text and he didnt catch it.
          That’s the simple fact. I judge this to be a failure on his part. I also judge that it doesnt go to the
          core values we have rulz to protect. I make the same judgment in the Gergis case. its a failure on his part,
          but it doesnt go to core values. The difference is we have a clear rule in the gergis case.
          Finally, I can report that in climate science it just so happens that sometimes you can write text or rewrite text and never be named as a co author.

        • Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 1:19 AM | Permalink

          “as I have pointed out to you before the rules for listing a person as a co-author varying considerably”
          Steven, as often I’m just trying to get simple facts right.

          It is asserted here that she was a coauthor.
          She wasn’t.

          Steve: in the interest of getting facts right, I did not say that “Reeves” was a coauthor of the CSDA article. The CSDA plagiarism was by Sharabati, a named coauthor of the CSDA article. My original comment was 100% accurate and “in the interest of getting facts right” I would appreciate explicit acknowledgement from you of this.

        • Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 4:16 AM | Permalink

          What Nick Stokes said:

          Steven, as often I’m just trying to get simple facts right.

          It is asserted here that she was a coauthor.
          She wasn’t.

          What Steve Mc had said:

          As I said previously, I feel that Wegman was very unjustly treated on plagiarism by one of his grad students. To my knowledge, there has been no other occasion in American academic history in which an author was reprimanded for plagiarism by another coauthor. That this should occasion so little commentary surely ought to have attracted more commentary, rather than less.

          She wasn’t named as a coauthor. Mosh’s point is that it is fair for Steve to call her a coauthor. Does that sort out the matter to everyone’s satisfaction?

          Not for me it doesn’t. Because, Nick, you haven’t told us if you know of another ‘occasion in American academic history in which an author was reprimanded for plagiarism by’ someone fairly called a coauthor. And that surely is the much larger point here. Steve is concerned not with trivia but with injustice.

          Steve: this issue has become confused because people weren’t watching Nick Stokes move the pea. As I mentioned in some inline comments just now (9 am Eastern), the CSDA coauthor in question was Sharabati, not Reeves. There was only a reprimand in connection with the CSDA article, not the Wegman Report. People should not have risen to Stokes’ move-the-pea to Denise Reeves.

        • John Bills
          Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 4:38 AM | Permalink

          Nick Stokes: “as often I’m just trying to get simple facts right”
          Why don’t you do that at RC or SKS [selfsnip]?

        • Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 5:03 AM | Permalink

          “Mosh’s point is that it is fair for Steve to call her a coauthor. Does that sort out the matter to everyone’s satisfaction?”

          Well, I’ll quote Andrew Gelman on that re the CSDA paper:

          “But Reeves would not seem to be the person accused by Said and Wegman of plagiarism, as she was not a coauthor of the retracted paper. (It would be pretty odd to make a plagiarism accusation against someone who was not a coauthor, as the accusation would imply that a non-author wrote some of the paper, which is a no-no in itself.)”

          Reeves herself did not think she was an author. It seems she did not write her overview with the expectation that her text would be simply copied into the report:

          “I was Dr. Wegman’s graduate student when I provided him with the overview of social network analysis, at his request. My draft overview was later incorporated by Dr. Wegman and his coauthors into the 2006 report. I was not an author of the report.”

          Steve: I didn;’t call Denise Reeves a coauthor of the CSDA paper. Sharabati was the CSDA coauthor in question who was responsible for including the plagiarized text.

        • Sven
          Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 5:46 AM | Permalink

          The message from the Wegman saga, as we’ve also seen time and again in other instances, is clear – when ever you cross the Great Mann, be who ever you are, we’ll destroy you. It’s DISGUSTING. And so are Willard and Nick.

        • Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 6:27 AM | Permalink

          Nick Stokes (5:03 AM):

          Reeves herself did not think she was an author. It seems she did not write her overview with the expectation that her text would be simply copied into the report

          Once accusations of plagiarism are flying about who wouldn’t take this line, in Reeve’s shoes. Be that as it may, it remains fair for Steve to use the term coauthor in this sentence:

          To my knowledge, there has been no other occasion in American academic history in which an author was reprimanded for plagiarism by another coauthor.

          Can you point us to another such occasion Nick?

        • Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

          “Can you point us to another such occasion Nick?”

          I doubt that having ghostwriters on research papers is a common practice in US academia. As Prof Gelman says, it is deprecated almost as much as plagiarism. But the thing about ghostwriters possibly being responsible for plagiarism is that you can’t tell. They aren’t (usually) going to be declared.

          Steve: overnight, Nick has hijacked these comments with move-the-pea disinformation. Sharabati was the CSDA coauthor directly responsible for inclusion of the plagiarized text in the CSDA article. He was a named coauthor and not a “ghostwriter”. Wegman’s reprimand in connection with the CSDA article was because of plagiarism in Sharabati’s section. As I said above, I am unaware of any other incident in American academic history in which one coauthor (wegman) has been reprimanded for plagiarism by another coauthor (Sharabati).

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

          I have inserted inline comments by and responding to move-the-pea disinformation from Nick Stokes. I had said that I was unaware of any other incident in American academic history (other than the reprimand in connection with the CSDA incident) in which one coauthor of an academic article has been reprimanded for plagiarism by another coauthor. The coauthor in question was obviously Sharabati.

          Instead, Stokes moved the pea to discuss Denise Reeves, who was not a contributor to or coauthor of the CSDA article, but who, like John Rigsby, had contributed to the Wegman report and had been acknowledged in it. In respect to the Wegman report, as I mentioned above and as Stokes well knows, Wegman’s referencing practices in the report were found to be within relevant standards for a report and, far from a reprimand, the Investigation Committee recommended that the university take steps to protect Wegman’s reputation.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

          Nick Stokes wrote:

          “Can you point us to another such occasion Nick?”

          I doubt that having ghostwriters on research papers is a common practice in US academia. As Prof Gelman says, it is deprecated almost as much as plagiarism. But the thing about ghostwriters possibly being responsible for plagiarism is that you can’t tell. They aren’t (usually) going to be declared.

          Again, more move-the-pea deception by Stokes. Sharabati was a named coauthor of the CSDA, not a ghostwriter. The question stands: can Stokes name another incident in American academic history, other than the CSDA incident, which one coauthor (Wegman) was reprimanded for not spotting plagiarism by another coauthor (Sharabati)?

          It would be nice, if, for once, Stokes were responsive to a question as asked. My prediction is that he will be unable to provide an example, but will not concede the point and will point to something else.

        • Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

          Very sorry I fell for that one Steve. Sharabati was the coauthor you were referring to. Got that. Which makes it the more amazing Nick hasn’t answered what I’ll call the injustice question.

        • Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

          Steve,
          “I would appreciate explicit acknowledgement from you of this.”
          Well, the change of grad student wasn’t clear. Not to me, or to Mosh, or to Richard Drake. But yes, Sharabati was a named co-author.

          “People should not have risen to Stokes’ move-the-pea to Denise Reeves.”
          I did not introduce the lady. I was responding to Mosh:
          “The wikipedia information that Gelman refers to was lifted by REEVES, wegmans graduate student.”

          “As I said above, I am unaware of any other incident in American academic history in which one coauthor (wegman) has been reprimanded for plagiarism by another coauthor (Sharabati).”

          I am certainly unaware of an incident where a grad student has been blamed for, in Mosh’s terms:
          “1. The wikipedia information that Gelman refers to was lifted by REEVES, wegmans graduate student.
          2…
          3. Another one of Wegman’s students Sharabati lifted the text from the Wegman report into the preface of his dissertation.
          4. Finally Sharabati lifted from his own dissertation in writing the Said paper.”

          So it’s all Sharabati’s fault because he copied from…the Wegman report. Yes, that is unprecedented.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 3:09 PM | Permalink

          Once again, Nick you are trying to move the pea. You said the following:

          “People should not have risen to Stokes’ move-the-pea to Denise Reeves.”
          I did not introduce the lady. I was responding to Mosh:

          Your quotation was from my comment, not Mosher’s. You quoted the following words:

          reprimanded for plagiarism by another coauthor

          I had never mentioned Reeves, but a “foreign grad student” – who, in the context, could only be Sharabati.

          I had referred to here the “foreign grad student” who had been a coauthor of the CSDA article. This was obviously not Reeves. I said:

          If the climate community now believes that plagiarism of boilerplate is, on reflection, not material, then apologies are owed to Wegman (who did not even personally plagiarize, but failed to detect boilerplate plagiarism by a foreign grad student.)

          In an inline comment in the next comment here, I added:

          As I said previously, I feel that Wegman was very unjustly treated on plagiarism by one of his grad students. To my knowledge, there has been no other occasion in American academic history in which an author was reprimanded for plagiarism by another coauthor

          Again, Nick continually misdirects and misrepresents. I did not “change” the grad student. Denise Reeves was obviously not a “foreign grad student”.

          But returning to the CSDA article, Nick, you purported to excuse Gergis’ self-plagiarism by citing Nature’s allowance for “minor” plagiarism in introductory material. I challenge you to provide objective criteria under which the lifting of text by Gergis can be classified as “minor”, while that of Sharabati is not “minor”.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

          Nick

          Once again you mispresent the issue

          “Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 1:19 AM | Permalink
          “as I have pointed out to you before the rules for listing a person as a co-author varying considerably”
          Steven, as often I’m just trying to get simple facts right.

          It is asserted here that she was a coauthor.
          She wasn’t.

          #########################################

          The facts that you and Gelman cannot get straight and that mashey bungled are as follows.

          1. Reeves Lifted the text from Wikipedia.
          2. This text was inserted into the wegman report to congress
          3. The report was investigated and no plagarism was found.
          4. Sherabati lifted the material from the wegman report into the preface of his
          disertation.
          5. later he re purposed that content in the Said paper.

          Now, the Wegman report does not list her as a co author. BUT THAT IS NOT THE QUESTION.
          We all know that you can be responsible for text in a paper without being NAMED as a co author. Different journals have different guidelines for NAMING someone as a co author.
          Typically when I have worked on papers the authors ask me do I think Im a co author.
          Well I wrote the words, but in most cases I ask for a mere acknowledgement unless the journal has specific rules to the contrary.

          ” This report was authored by Edward J. Wegman, George Mason University, David W. Scott, Rice University, and Yasmin H. Said, The Johns Hopkins University. We would also like to acknowledge the contributions of John T. Rigsby, III, Naval Surface Warfare Center, and Denise M. Reeves, MITRE Corporation. ”

          For reports to congress THERE ARE NO RULES FOR NAMING CO-AUTHORS. the simple fact is that Wegman choose to give the author of the plagarized boilerplate an acknowledgement rather than a co authorship.
          She authored the plagarized section and in his mind that section was so unimportant
          that it didnt merit co authorship. Crap, I’ve had to author the references section for papers and would never dream to ask for co authorship merely because I wrote words that appeared in the document. yet I wrote those words.

          So Reeves was responsible for lifting those words. Wegman and the reviewers were responsible for not catching the problem. That mistake was repeated in the Said paper. Where Sherabati re lifted them into the Said paper.

          FWIW at least North understands that the procedures for this report were different.

          ” The Wegman report was sent out to several readers just before its release. This was quite a different procedure from the NRC one. But we must not be too harsh here since the NRC has a time honored framework and a very competent staff for this kind of vetting and this was not available to Dr. Wegman. This is why requests for future Congressional reports on science are best sent to the National Academies. Moreover, it might not be best for the Congress to interfere or micromanage how these studies are conducted. This is of course assuming Congress really wants to obtain the best possible assessment.”

          Steve: as I’ve mentioned several time, the Science Committee was extremely angry with Cicerone and NAS for changing the questions and not responding to the questions that they were asked. At the NAS workshop, the Science Committee staffer pleaded with North to answer their questions on the smaller disputes in hand, rather than academicizing. North and NAS didn’t do so. As a result, the Congressional committee refused to pay NAS for the study and NAS had to eat its own costs. (Cicerone, pers. comm.)

          The response of the GMU investigation committee to Bradley was very apt: they observed that Wegman’s referencing practices in the report were indistinguishable from Bradley’s pillaging of text from Fritts. The GMU investigation committee seemed to be aware of the CA analysis of Bradley’s text recycling of Fritts.

        • dfhunter
          Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

          bit OT but had to look up “scurrilous” & “vituperative” as a reminder.

          for “scurrilous” web examples –
          “There is a world of difference between healthy criticism and vicious, scurrilous attacks.”

          for “vituperative” web examples –
          “If you want to have some fun, read the vituperative comments on that post.”
          “She wears underinflated big hair in a color that might be called vituperative blond.”
          “Strictly a nonce coinage, but it fit the moment’s vituperative need.”

          may use “scurrilous” when the boss turns down my pay rise 🙂

        • Posted Nov 21, 2014 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

          Classy.

        • Posted Nov 22, 2014 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

          That was to a comment now removed, a host action with which I heartily agree. The same nym earlier refused to tell us whether it had ever complained about the treatment of Wegman. Such deliberate gaps in history can be a pointer to later mischief. The way the zamboni functions on CA makes that kind of malarkey much less likely.

      • Steven Mosher
        Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

        how if you want to see what some of us said about wegman..

        you can start here

        https://climateaudit.org/2011/05/29/mosher-on-the-provenance-of-said-et-al-2008/

        note how mashey screws up

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

          for even more grins witness willard and nick– king climate ballers– beclown themselves in those threads

        • MikeN
          Posted Nov 21, 2014 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

          I’d be surprised if there were no such examples, though I can’t think of any offhand. There have been instances of celebrity authors being accused of plagiarism, suspected to have been done by unnamed ghostwriters or interns. However, in many cases the celebrity was so high there was no real punishment. I would say more, but it might cause Steve to be sued in court for defamation.

      • Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

        “I challenge you to provide objective criteria under which the lifting of text by Gergis can be classified as “minor”, while that of Sharabati is not “minor”.”

        Well, several commenters have tried to point to the elephant in the room. Gergis is “lifting” her own text. “Self-plagiarism” is a pretentious term which even Nature does not take full ownership of – in saner circumstances, it’s called “repeating yourself”. Sometimes a vice, but here not. I challenge you to say what useful purpose would be served by Gergis choosing new wording.

        You say that Sharabati should bear the responsibility because he introduced text from the Wegman report. That is not the accusation. The problem is that that text originated from other, uncredited writers. The CDSA retracttion notice said:
        “This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief and co-Editors, as it contain portions of other authors’ writings on the same topic in other publications, without sufficient attribution to these earlier works being given. The principal authors of the paper acknowledged that text from background sources was mistakenly used in the Introduction without proper reference to the original source. Specifically, the first page and a half of the article (pp. 2177–2178) contain together excerpts from Wikipedia (first paragraph), Wasserman and Faust’s “Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications” (pp. 17–20) ISBN 10: 0-521-38707-8; ISBN 13: 978-0-521-38707-1. Publication Date: 1994, and W. de Nooy, A. Mrvar and V. Bategelj’s “Exploratory Social Network Analysis with Pajek”” (pp. 31, 36, 123, and 133) ISBN 10: 0-521-60262-9; ISBN 13: 978-0-521-60262-4. Publication Date: 2005.”

        They aren’t judging Sharabati copying from the Wegman report. They base it on what was in that report.

        The material in the Wegman report is far from boilerplate. Here’s just one shortened example from the five pages in SNA:
        “The accessibility of information is linked to the concept of distance. If you are closer to the other people in the network, the paths that information has to follow to reach you are shorter, so it is easier for you to acquire information. If we take into account direct neighbors only, the number of neighbors (the degree of a vertex in a simple undirected network) is a simple measure of centrality.”

        That to Congress would be the words of an expert making an argument from SNA. And it is, but the expert is De Nooy (verbatim), not Wegman. That text is also in the CSDA paper.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

          Nick, your continued fabrications are very tiresome. You stated:

          You say that Sharabati should bear the responsibility because he introduced text from the Wegman report. That is not the accusation. The problem is that that text originated from other, uncredited writers.

          Maybe you should try using direct quotations more often. I asked if you could provide any example from American academic history in which one author was reprimanded for plagiarism by another coauthor. I made no statement along the lines that “Sharabati should bear the responsibility because he introduced text from the Wegman report”. Show me the quote. I didn’t say that. Please stop fabricating quotation claims. Just because John Cook does this doesn’t mean that it is acceptable practice.

        • Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

          Steve,
          “I made no statement along the lines that “Sharabati should bear the responsibility because he introduced text from the Wegman report”. Show me the quote.”

          You said:
          “As I said previously, I feel that Wegman was very unjustly treated on plagiarism by one of his grad students. To my knowledge, there has been no other occasion in American academic history in which an author was reprimanded for plagiarism by another coauthor.”
          And you have identified the co-author as Sharabati. Mosh says that what Sharabati did was to copy text from Wegman’s report into his thesis and then into the CDSA paper. You promoted that original account to a post. Is there now another theory about what Sharabati did?

          In terms of quoting, do you have a quote for:
          “they observed that Wegman’s referencing practices in the report were indistinguishable from Bradley’s pillaging of text from Fritts.”


          Steve: Nick, your answer is totally unresponsive. Again, you asserted that I had said that “Sharabati should bear the responsibility because he introduced text from the Wegman report”, when I had challenged you or anyone else to find a precedent for Wegman being reprimanded for the conduct of a coauthor.

          You refer to Mosher’s discussion of the context of Sharabati’s plagiarism, but Mosher and I are different people. The precise lineage of Sharabati’s plagiarism is not relevant to my challenge to you to provide a precedent – a challenge you that you are conspicuously evading, as usual. Again, are you aware of another example in American academic history in which one coauthor has been reprimanded for the plagiarism by another coauthor? Simple question. Yes or no.

          The Investigation said “Professor Wegman et al met the same standards of citation that Professor Bradley practiced in writing his textbook.” Direct quote.

          They also said “Professor Bradley paraphrased a significant portion of Harold Fritts’ Tree rings and CLimate (1976), did not acknowledge the paraphrasing in a footnote or reference.”

        • Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

          “Again, are you aware of another example in American academic history in which one coauthor has been reprimanded for the plagiarism by another coauthor? Simple question. Yes or no.”

          In what I’ve seen, such investigations do not attempt to divide responsibility among the authors. The responsibility is shared. Nor did CDSA. The attribution here of responsibility to Sharabati is yours. And it seems I’m not allowed to say that is on the basis of facts stated in this CA post. So what is the basis for saying there was plagiarism by Sharabati? What did he plagiarize? CDSA just said there was plagiarized material (listed) in the paper.

          As to why GMU censured Wegman, it was because he was their professor, in charge of the whole process (and corresponding author for the paper “ewegman at gmail dot com”). Also their mentor for the students.

          Steve: Nick, the question is simple: I asked you to provide a SINGLE precedent in which an author was reprimanded for plagiarism of a coauthor. You say that the responsibility is “shared”. So it should be easy for you to find an example. So give me ONE example.

        • Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 6:51 PM | Permalink

          Steve,
          “You say that the responsibility is “shared”. So it should be easy for you to find an example.”
          On the contrary. If the people enquiring treat the authors collectively, how can I say that one author was fingered because of another? There’s no finding to that effect.

          As here. CSDA didn’t say that Sharabati plagiarized. Mosh did, and said how, but you’ve disowned that. But not answered the simple question – what then did Sharabati plagiarize? How do we know?

          Steve: Nick, you are piling fabrication on fabrication. it is tiresome. I asked you for an example where an author was reprimanded for plagiarism by a coauthor. Mosher’s exegesis of Sharabati’s text is a separate question: I did not “disown” it or comment on it one way or another. Your assertion that I “disowned” it is a fabrication. I didn’t comment on it one way or another. I tried to elicit an answer to my original request rather than be drawn off into a side question. So once again, you are unable to provide a SINGLE example where an author was reprimanded for plagiarism by a coauthor. That was my observation and despite all your words and distractions, you cannot provide a single example. Typical.

        • Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

          Steve,
          ” So once again, you are unable to provide a SINGLE example where an author was reprimanded for plagiarism by a coauthor.”
          You haven’t provided an example either. Without Mosh, you now have no account of what Sharabati was supposed to have done.

          The CSDA simply said that there was plagiarised material in the paper, and they couldn’t continue to publish it. GMU censured Wegman in his role of team leader:
          “Concerning the Computational Statistics article, the relevant committee did find that plagiarism occurred in contextual sections of the article, as a result of poor judgment for which Professor Wegman, as team leader, must bear responsibility.”

          I cannot see anywhere a finding that corresponds to “an author was reprimanded for plagiarism by a coauthor”

          Steve: Nick, sometimes you seem to have a mental disorder. You acknowledge that GMU “censured” Wegman. Are you saying that the “censure” did not constitute a “reprimand”? That seems like a pretty stupid argument. You acknowledge that Wegman had to “bear responsibility” for the plagiarism of a coauthor. I see no relevant distinction. Once again, I challenge you to provide a U.S. precedent in which one coauthor was reprimanded (“bore responsibility”) for the plagiarism of another coauthor. I’ve looked and can’t find one.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 21, 2014 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

          In a CA post here, I compared the aftermath of the very serious Hwang cloning fraud with the bloodlust of ClimateBallers for Wegman. I observed:

          So what happened to Gerald Schatten? Despite the seriousness of the Hwang affair, between nothing and negligible. And it was over quickly. In contrast, despite the relative triviality of copying boilerplate without proper attribution and the fact that it was done by a junior coauthor/contributor, the Wegman inquiry has been going on for months and climate activists want blood – not from Walid Sharabati or Denise Reeves, but from Wegman.

          I challenged Stokes (or anyone else) to provide an example where one author was reprimanded for plagiarism by another coauthor. Stokes has been unable to provide a single example. Stokes now bizarrely seems to be claiming that Wegman was only “censured” and not “reprimanded” for the plagiarism by Shafrabati:

          I cannot see anywhere a finding that corresponds to “an author was reprimanded for plagiarism by a coauthor”

          As too often, Stokes asserts things that he doesn’t know as facts. He says: “Without Mosh, you now have no account of what Sharabati was supposed to have done.” I am in possession of numerous case documents, not all of which are public, and am not dependent on Mosher for my knowledge of the case. Sharabati’s authorship of the section in dispute is not in controversy.

        • Posted Nov 21, 2014 at 2:22 AM | Permalink

          You haven’t provided an example either.

          Wegman stepped out of line and was punished for it. How out of line the punishment was, compared to all previous practice, we look forward to discovering.

        • Posted Nov 21, 2014 at 3:22 AM | Permalink

          “How out of line the punishment was, compared to all previous practice, we look forward to discovering.”
          Then why not find out. You have the same access to information that I do.

        • Posted Nov 21, 2014 at 3:58 AM | Permalink

          The set of all academic reprimands may be large. Crowdsourcing isn’t stupid to think about in such a situation, nor is the reliability and gut-feel of the host. I expect to learn more. It always seemed like a preposterous trumped-up charge against Dr Wegman.

        • Posted Nov 21, 2014 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

          Steve McIntyre (9:07 AM):

          In a CA post here, I compared the aftermath of the very serious Hwang cloning fraud with the bloodlust of ClimateBallers for Wegman.

          The vindictiveness, as well as unfairness, is a marker of something far from healthy, social network wise. I speak as a non-expert. But expert enough.

        • Posted Nov 21, 2014 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

          “You acknowledge that Wegman had to “bear responsibility” for the plagiarism of a coauthor.”
          No. They said he had to “bear responsibility” as team leader. He was the supervisor of these students. he would be in strife even without being an author.

          But I said you had now no account of what Sharabati did. So your demand that I show a similar case makes no sense. What is the actual accusation against Sharabati? What did he plagiarize? No use claiming secret information. The specifics of the plagiarized material are public. Much of the text in question was also in the earlier Wegman report, of which Sharabati was certainly not a co-author.

          “the bloodlust of ClimateBallers for Wegman”
          Noone has rifled through his stolen emails.

          Steve: Nick, as too often, you are being wilfully obtuse. The question is simple: show a precedent where one author has been reprimanded for plagiarism by a coauthor. I am not asking you to implement the exact fact sequence of the CSDA article – I will entertain any example. As I explained earlier, it is my understanding that Sharabati, a foreign grad student, was the author of the section of the CSDA article in dispute. You do need to agree on this point for the purposes of providing a precedent. If you had been able to provide a precedent, I am sure that you would have provided it by now. In any case, you have now repeatedly refused to provide a precedent in which one author was reprimanded for the plagiarism of another coauthor. Given your failure, I think that it is now reasonable to say, that you have been actively discussing the issue for several days and during that time have been unable to locate any precedent in which one author has been reprimanded for the plagiarism of another.

        • Posted Nov 21, 2014 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

          > You say that the responsibility is “shared”. So it should be easy for you to find an example.

          This request conflates academic authorship and authoring. Climenko Professor of Law Charles J. Ogletree Jr. had the senses to apologize for “serious errors” in his book All Deliberate Speed:

          “I made a serious mistake during the editorial process of completing this book, and delegated too much responsibility to others during the final editing process,” he said. “I was negligent in not overseeing more carefully the final product that carries my name.” [1]

          This fulfils the Auditor’s bogus request. There is also this other story, which echoes a worse aspect of the Wegman affair than plagiarism:

          The June 28 National Review article by Robert VerBruggen (article here), which we’ve mentioned several times on this blog (principally here and here), basically put the nail in the coffin on Professor Laurence Tribe’s efforts to deny what we and Dean Velvel have long contended based on sources who have contacted us with personal knowledge of Tribe’s practices, who unfortunately we have not been at liberty to name: that Tribe has for years run a ghostwriting mill in which his books and articles (including his career-making constitutional law treatise) have been drafted for him by his current and former students, with Tribe serving mostly as a compiler of material written by others, not as an actual “author” of the works bearing his name. [2]

          Yes, Virginia, there are worse mischiefs than plagiarism. Wegman put his name on the articles. A report now bears his name. It would be quite cheeky of him or the auditors to blame red shirts Wegman used over the years.

          All this for a lousy counterfactual [3].

          Steve: it is helpful to see other examples – that’s why I asked for precedents. But neither the Ogletree nor Tribe incidents seem to be precedents. You provided no evidence that either Ogletree or Tribe were “reprimanded”. Nor was anything retracted. In a quick browse, it seems that there was considerable frustration among critics that neither was reprimanded. Do you know if either was reprimanded.

          Secondly, in the CSDA article (where there was a plagiarism finding), Sharabati was included as a coauthor of the CSDA, whereas Ogletree and Tribe were each listed as sole authors. So your charge or implication that Wegman was (grandiosely) seeking to arrogate credit that belonged to juniors is completely fabricated and your analogy to Ogletree and Tribe unfounded on this point. In respect to the CSDA article, your charge of ghostwriting is ludicrous.

          Both Reeves and Rigsby were acknowledged for contributions to the report by Wegman et al., but were not listed as coauthors. I can understand why they were not listed as coauthors, but that seems a different issue.

        • Posted Nov 21, 2014 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

          References for the above comment:

          [1] thecrimson.com/article/2004/9/13/ogletree-faces-discipline-for-copying-text/

          [2] authorskeptics.blogspot.com/2010/08/proof-that-laurence-tribe-used.html

          [3] climateaudit.org/2014/11/14/pages2k-and-natures-policy-against-self-plagiarism/#comment-740938

        • Posted Nov 21, 2014 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

          “As I explained earlier, it is my understanding that Sharabati, a foreign grad student, was the author of the section of the CSDA article in dispute.”

          Well, the problem was that the original authors were people unconnected with GMU. The issue is, how did the text come to be there. If Mosh’s plausible explanation is right, then Sharabati simply moved text around within the Wegman environment. He probably typed in the text. He didn’t copy it from Wiki, de Nooy etc. He copied it from the Wegman report (via his thesis). That internal transfer was not the issue for CSDA etc. That’s relevant to any search for analogues.

        • Posted Nov 21, 2014 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

          “You provided no evidence that either Ogletree or Tribe were “reprimanded”.”

          Well, OK, here is an example, with errant student, professor suspended etc. And recent and quite close to home.

          Steve: This seems to be a reasonable example in which liability was assigned to the senior author for plagiarism of a junior author. The incident was subsequent to the Wegman decision and would not have been a precedent at the time and would not have turned up in my search at the time, but seems a fair comparison. Willard’s examples of Tribe and Ogletree would seem to be more typical – where nothing happened. I note that the example is from Canada and not from the U.S., but I presume that traditions in the two jurisdictions are comparable. The actual plagiarism in the Li case, based on the description, seems much more serious than the plagiarism in the CSDA paper.

        • Posted Nov 22, 2014 at 12:39 AM | Permalink

          Steve,
          “seems much more serious than the plagiarism in the CSDA paper”
          Possibly, though the quantity seems similar. The penalty, though was much higher. Four months suspension without salary.

        • Posted Nov 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

          > You provided no evidence that either Ogletree or Tribe were “reprimanded”.

          There’s no need to do so to hold that authors are responsible for the plagiarism contained in their papers. The examples suffice to show that both Ogletree and Tribe took responsibility for the plagiarism in their work. They did not blame red shirts for what they were supposed to oversee.

          Wegman’s “red shirt defense” is worse than the Gremlins defense [1]: not only is he claiming innocence because he was not doing his job, but he’s blaming real persons, over whom he had ascendancy.

          ***

          > [I]t is helpful to see other examples

          One more to make sure our room service is top notch. In Nick’s link, there’s this other one [2]:

          Almost a week after admitting to having plagiarized large parts of a graduation speech, Philip Baker has resigned from his position as dean of the University of Alberta’s medical school, effective immediately, the university president announced Friday.

          Baker did not need any reprimand. (As if a “reprimand” meant much for the price of tea.) He did not waste any red shirt while doing so. He did not ask if there was a precedent, nor did he wondered where he could find official conventions for plagiarism in speeches.

          ***

          > So your charge or implication that Wegman was (grandiosely) seeking to arrogate credit that belonged to juniors […]

          That’s how he treated Denise Reeves, at the very least. And there’s little evidence Wegman did anything tangible in his report, which means he just “winged” it. But not only Wegman is using the red shirt defense, he’s “arguing the alternative” [3]:

          In litigation, people often argue alternatives, but there’s a risk in it. For example, it’s a risky strategy to argue: I didn’t kill him, but, in the alternative, if I did (which I deny), it was self-defence. If you want to argue self-defence, you have concede the act and argue the justification.

          So thus far, if memory serves well, we went from Wegman is owed an apology to: let’s not talk about the Wegman report; but Bradley; but it was not Wegman; life’s unfair; I dare you produce one similar example, and now we have:

          The incident was subsequent to the Wegman decision […] [T]he example is from Canada and not from the U.S. […] The actual plagiarism […] seems much more serious than the plagiarism in the CSDA paper [4].

          A racehorse of alternatives, notwithstanding gems like “you seem to have a mental disorder” [5].

          ***

          But the most beautiful aspect of it all has not escaped the statistical community, e.g.:

          Beyond the details, the case is completely bizarre, as noted by John Timmer. In the now-retracted CSDA article, “certain styles of research were suggested to be prone to ‘groupthink, reduced creativity and the possibility of less-rigorous reviewing processes.’ . . . the paper was accepted five days after submission by an editor who was a personal friend of Wegman’s, an irony given that the study was about the nefarious influence of social networks.” [6]

          Perhaps Wegman’s clique wanted to provide another data point to their results.

          ***

          [1] andrewgelman.com/2014/05/27/whole-fleet-gremlins-looking-carefully-richard-tols-twice-corrected-paper-economic-effects-climate-change/

          [2] news.nationalpost.com/2011/06/17/university-of-alberta-medical-school-dean-resigns-after-plagiarizing-speech/

          [3] climateaudit.org/2006/07/28/trip-report/

          [4] climateaudit.org/2014/11/14/pages2k-and-natures-policy-against-self-plagiarism/#comment-741478

          [5] neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/103212836219

          [6] statisticsforum.wordpress.com/2011/05/17/statistics-in-the-news-but-not-in-a-good-way/

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 22, 2014 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

          Your assertion that Ogletree did not blame “red shirts” is untrue on a plain reading of Ogletree’w statement here.

          During the final stages of the preparation of my book, material from Professor Jack Balkin’s book, What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said (NYU Press, 2001), was inserted in a draft section of the book by one of my assistants for the purpose of being reviewed, researched, and summarized by another research assistant with proper attribution to Professor Balkin. The material was inserted with attribution to Professor Balkin, although the extent of the quoted material was not entirely clear because a closing quotation mark was dropped. Unfortunately, the second assistant, under the pressure of meeting a deadline, inadvertently deleted this attribution and edited the text as though it had been written by me. The second assistant then sent a revised draft to the publisher, compiled from sections of a number of my previous drafts, which included the material from Professor Balkin’s book, without identification or attribution. When I reviewed the revised draft I did not realize that this material was authored by Professor Balkin…

          [I] delegated too much responsibility to others during the final editing process. I was negligent in not overseeing more carefully the final product that carries my name.

          I do not see any relevant distinction between Ogletree blaming his research assistants and Wegman blaming his grad student. I’m sure that Wegman would have been more than happy if he had permitted to end the matter with a statement along those lines. It seems indiputable that Wegman was treated much more harshly than Ogletree and/or Tribe.

          I haven’t parsed the Baker case, but it appears that Baker himself was personally responsible for the plagiarism – thus it is not comparable to a case where one author is held responsible for plagiarism by a coauthor.

          While you are quick to condemn someone assigning blame to a “red shirt”, I recall a contemporary comment by Crowley ( I think) in which he recalled articles coauthored with foreign grad students where he had not thought to plagiarism-check their work and attributed emerging unscathed more to good luck than to good management, sympathizing with Wegman’s predicament.

          Update: comments by Crowley and North were obtained by John Nielsen-GAmmon here and provide a sharp contrast in attitude to the bloodlust of the ClimateBallers. Crowley sagely predicted “Now you will see the ugly side of the pro-warming faction”.

        • Posted Nov 23, 2014 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

          > Your assertion that Ogletree did not blame “red shirts” is untrue […]

          A misleading paraphrase to say the least, for here’s what I said [1]:

          [B]oth Ogletree and Tribe took responsibility for the plagiarism in their work. They did not blame red shirts for what they were supposed to oversee.

          I know that Ogletree injected a lame excuse in his apology: I quoted it myself [1]. But that does not mean Ogletree blames his ghostwriters for what he himself should have done. Let’s repeat what he avows: “I was negligent in not overseeing more carefully the final product that carries my name.“. Compare with Wegman lawyer’s statement [2]:

          “Neither Dr. Wegman nor Dr. Said has ever engaged in plagiarism,” says their attorney, Milton Johns, by e-mail. In a March 16 e-mail to the journal, Wegman blamed a student who “had basically copied and pasted” from others’ work into the 2006 congressional report, and said the text was lifted without acknowledgment and used in the journal study.

          The red shirt defense only makes matters worse. Wegman should take responsibility for what he underwrote, the main point of the “reprimand letter” anyway. To argue otherwise is unwinnable. To argue the alternative that he did not plagiarize himself is a red herring, and evades that “but Denise” does not explain many other instances of patch writing elsewhere.

          Wegman winged his report by faking a literature review, by running a code for which he showed no understanding, and by armwaving an argument hammered in at the time on CA. The scope of his mandate is obscure, and his recommendations are trivial. In his testimony “under oath,” Wegman said something about wrong methods.

          That SNA gambit is more than suboptimal, since the auditing clan contains just a few actors.

          ***

          > I’m sure that Wegman would have been more than happy if he had permitted to end the matter with a statement along those lines. It seems indiputable that Wegman was treated much more harshly than Ogletree and/or Tribe.

          This reveals Harvard’s suboptimal treatment of this affair more than anything else [3]. So Wegman got a reprimand letter: boo hoo [4]. Considering CSDA’s retraction, GMU could not plausibly do less. The GMU reused the “but Bradley” we’ve seen on CA at the time, and again today.

          If auditors think that an investigation pronouncement signals the “end of story,” then apologies are owed to Mike. Apologies are also owed to the Kyoto Flames [10] if “singling out for criticisms” is condemned [5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. While this very blog targets contrarian flavors of the month, they always had a special place since ca 2005. Which means CA will be 10 years in a few days.

          An early Happy birthday to CA!

          W

          ***

          [1] climateaudit.org/2014/11/14/pages2k-and-natures-policy-against-self-plagiarism/#comment-741464

          [2] usatoday30.usatoday.com/weather/climate/globalwarming/2011-05-15-climate-study-plagiarism-Wegman_n.htm

          [3] authorskeptics.blogspot.com/2004/09/professor-charles-ogletree.html

          [4] neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/522052748

          [5] climateaudit.org/2014/11/14/pages2k-and-natures-policy-against-self-plagiarism/#comment-741266

          [6] climateaudit.org/2014/11/14/pages2k-and-natures-policy-against-self-plagiarism/#comment-741167

          [7] climateaudit.org/2014/11/14/pages2k-and-natures-policy-against-self-plagiarism/#comment-741067

          [8] climateaudit.org/2014/11/14/pages2k-and-natures-policy-against-self-plagiarism/#comment-741443

          [9] climateaudit.org/2014/11/14/pages2k-and-natures-policy-against-self-plagiarism/#comment-741459

          [10] neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/thekyotoflames

          Steve: as you know, Climate Audit started in January 2005 in response to Real Climate. So it’s a couple of months until its 10th anniversary. At startup , some posts from a prior website were transferred.

      • Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 4:30 PM | Permalink

        “The response of the GMU investigation committee to Bradley was very apt: they observed that Wegman’s referencing practices in the report were indistinguishable from Bradley’s pillaging of text from Fritts.”

        Did they really say that? Indistinguishable?

        There is a very clear distinction, and it’s shown in what you quoted. Every section of Bradley’s is tagged:
        “(from Fritts, 1971)”

        Steve: Nick, your assertion about Bradley’s textbook is complete BS. GMU recognized that Bradley sometimes referenced the source from which he was paraphrasing or copying, but Wegman also referred to Bradley (as the committee pointed out.) Among other things, they stated:

        We also found that in the first edition of his textbook, Professor Bradley employed the same citation technique that he later deemed plagiarism when employed by Professor Wegman. Professor Bradley paraphrased a significant portion of Harold Fritts’ Tree rings and CLimate (1976), did not acknowledge the paraphrasing in a footnote or reference. Several diagrams were copied directly froma 1 1971 paper by Fritts, Dendroclimatologu and Dendroecology… Although much of the material in pp 400-403 is attributed to this reference, there are no citations in the text itself; rather the 1971 Fritts reference is cited only in the figure titles. We cite this example not to criticize Professor Bradely but to demonstrate that the citation standards for textbooks differ form the standards of academic journals. Professor Wegman et al met the same standards of citation that Professor Bradley practiced in writing his textbook. This confirms our conclusion that Professor Wegman did not depart from the academic standards of the relevant research community.

        And, as noted at CA previously here here , in some cases, Bradley copied text directly from Fritts without quotation marks.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

          Nick’s claim that “every section” of Bradley’s textbook was properly cited to Fritts is total and complete BS. In some cases, Bradley said that the text and figures were “after Fritts 1971” but as I pointed out before, the text in some cases was not “after Fritts 1971”, but copied almost verbatim from Fritts 1976 and other publications. In other cases, Bradley used material from Fritts without attribution. Here is an example that I mentioned at the time:

          Here is a section from Bradley 1985:

          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.

          Here is the 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.

          Pretty cheeky for Bradley to complain about plagiarism.

        • Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

          “Bradley 1985, 346. In the case of Figure 10.11a,…”

          Yes. And if you look at the caption of the figure that he is describing, it says (quoting your post):
          “Bradley Figure 10.11: Response functions obtained from a stepwise regression analysis using amplitudes of eigenvectors to estimate a ring-width chronology representing six Pinus ponderosa sites along the lower slopes of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado. Steps with 1, 3 and 12 predictor variables are shown. Percentage variance reduced can be calculated by multiplying the R2 value by 100. The regression coefficients for amplitudes are converted to response functions though when response functions are complex as in this example, a linear combination of many eigenvectors is needed to obtain the best fitting relationship (after Fritts 1976).”

        • John M
          Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

          Yes, the figure caption does say that, as is mentioned multiple times in the comments of this thread and in the George Mason investigation

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

          I re0read Nick’s racehorsing in the previous thread https://climateaudit.org/2010/10/20/bradley-copies-fritts-2/ . In respect to the above paragraphs, Nick observed that Bradley “might” have had an eye on Fritts’ text but denied that it was “copied”:

          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

          Nick also dismissed the notion that the GMU investigation would consider Bradley’s loose referencing practices in assessing the Wegman report. He was definitely wrong about that. It looks like they were persuaded by the evidence presented at CA, despite Nick’s racehorsing.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

          One of the ironies in re-reading the earlier thread was that it was in part responding to false claims by Deep Climate by Bradley’s text had been a “seminal” work in dendroclimatology. However, as shown in my two earlier posts, Bradley’s text was not “seminal”, it was derivative from Fritts.

          Clearly, Bradley’s infrequent citations to Fritts in the running text were not sufficient to alert Deep Climate to the fact that Bradley’s work was not “seminal”. Several commenters pointed out the irony, given Bradley’s complaint.

    • TerryMN
      Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

      Since the manuscript was not published, it cannot constitute self-plagiarism. It is scurrilous to suggest it is.

      Is it at all scurrilous to say it wasn’t published when the Uni said via press release and the authors CVs still say that it was?

      • Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

        Almost time for a song.

        It’s sad, so sad
        It’s a scurrilous situation
        And it’s getting more and more undead

        It’s sad, so sad
        Why can’t we agree what constitutes self-plagiarism
        According to the Nature book of rules
        ‘Wegman may have had a point after all’ seems to be the hardest word

        I may need help from kim with the scansion.

  18. MikeN
    Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    Off topic, but there is a new paper from Salzer and Hughes. Appears to contradict the previous rehabilitation of bristlecones that paleodendros are clinging to, and instead rejects most uses. First noticed it at Mark Steyn’s blog.

    Steve: I’ve been looking at this as well. For bristlecones to work out-of-sample, ring widths needed to be off the charts in the past, but they aren’t. Salzer and Hughes conspicuously did not compare their present chronologies to the ones used by Mann. I’ve looked at this and will discuss. Salzer hasn’t archived the new data. I’ve asked him to do so and he says that he will sometime. He’s archived data in the past and I expect him to do so.

    • MikeN
      Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

      http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/9/11/114007/pdf/1748-9326_9_11_114007.pdf

      • John Bills
        Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

        http://www.researchgate.net/publication/264243459_Species_distributions_shift_downward_across_western_North_America

      • AntonyIndia
        Posted Nov 15, 2014 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

        This study is based on only 8 trees with are also split in North and South slope groups, plus relies on the “present tree line” as a base. Anyway, more detailed studies into Dendroclimatology are positive as they can show the (lack of) value of (ancient) trees as thermometers. One of their finding is this: “South-facing trees have declined since the mid-1990s”. My comment is than that the same thing might have happened during the MWP or other warm periods before.

    • joe
      Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

      8-10 years ago, I was able to locate a temp anomoly chart by year for one of the bristlecone data sets. The 1930’s showed to be slightly cooler and the 1920’s showed to be slightly warmer. Granted this was for only one of the data sets, but the discrepancy between the proxie and the known instrument record and the relience on the validity of the proxie data is one of the items that put me in the skeptics camp.

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

      The interesting thing is that the paper appears to call for bring proxies up to date with better attention
      to the sampling procedure.

      more samples; better metadata and attention to site detail.

      • Steven Mosher
        Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

        Ive heard these pleas somewhere before…..
        did a denialist write this paper

  19. Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Apologies are unlikely in Plagiarball.

  20. tty
    Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    Actually this kind of self-plagiarism is simply proof of laziness. I was once (co-)author of a series of papers that analyzed a particular dataset, using a number of different statistical techniques to obtain information on a several different aspects of the data.
    Of course the description of the dataset itself could most easily simply have been cut-and-pasted each time. However being aware that many journals do have rules about self-plagiarism I carefully re-wrote it each time. Each description contained very nearly the same information, but there was no piece of text more than a few words long that was identical with any other paper.
    The English language with its immense vocabulary and considerable syntactical freedom actually makes this fairly easy.

    Steve: I would prefer that people comment on the topic in terms of Nature’s policies, rather than on the purpose or practicality of academic paraphrase. As I’ve mentioned on many occasions, text recycling in legal documents is very very common and efforts to paraphrase established terminology has little purpose in legal documents.

    • MikeN
      Posted Nov 16, 2014 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

      This brings to mind a complaint against electronic medical records, that it tends to get people to just cut and paste standard reports, with complicating procedures ending up having the same word for word results.

  21. Nicholas
    Posted Nov 17, 2014 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    I’ve been pondering the reasoning behind such a policy and whether PAGES2K runs afoul of the intent as well as the letter of this policy.

    Presumably the reason “self-plagiarism” is considered bad is that it’s thought that each published paper should represent original work. If you could do some research, then publish a paper on it, then make a few changes here and there and publish another paper and so on, it would tend to dilute the significance of having published a paper (never mind that multi-authorship already does this, especially when sometimes co-authors are barely involved in doing research or preparing the paper at all). It might also generate a lot of “noise” in the journals, where you keep getting deja vu reading supposedly new papers.

    So does PAGES2K run afoul of this? Possibly, if Gergis et al 2012 ever ends up getting published. Which we all know is pretty unlikely to happen now. There would be a certain amount of redundancy (and possibly also conflict, depending on the differences in proxy networks used) between the two papers.

    But I think the real point Mr. McIntyre is trying to make here is that if Gergis et al were honest about the state of their 2012 paper – that it was withdrawn due to fundamental flaws and is unlikely to ever be published – this self-plagiarism problem would go away. However it would create a new problem as it would cast further doubt on the analysis in the Australasian portion of the PAGES2K article. So they’ve painted themselves into a bit of a catch-22 situation.

    • admkoz
      Posted Nov 17, 2014 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

      And, regardless of whether they do that or not, presumably the fundamental flaws do not go away by cutting and pasting it into a new paper.

  22. Brandon Shollenberger
    Posted Nov 17, 2014 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    I came across a somewhat related issue just today. I was reading a book, and when I tried to verify a quote, I came across another book which had lifted entire paragraphs, or even pages, from the other. The same person authored both books (but he had a co-author on the first book) so it’s not plagiarism per se, but it seems strange to me. I contacted the editors of the books (both were published by the same company) to see what their policy on this sort of thing is.

    The books are classified as non-fiction so I’m not sure how much originality is expected, but if I bought a 140 page book (excluding the reference section) for $40 or more, I’d be upset to find entire pages were copied.

  23. miker613
    Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    (I’m giving up on finding my place in threads.)
    I thought this claim by Willard was remarkable:

    “go a bit deeper than plagiarism:…The ethical dimensions…Wegman and his research team were implicitly claiming expertise on subjects in which they were not experts.”

    Deeper than plagiarism? To me it seems obvious that actual plagiarism is far far worse than “implicitly claiming expertise”, which in this case appears to mean including some stuff in a paper which the person actually did (the SNA analysis), but which is not his central area of expertise. Seems like pretty much everyone is guilty of that, if it entails guilt.
    I really don’t see what’s wrong with it. Competent readers in the field will be able to judge if a piece of work shows expertise or not, and ignore that which doesn’t. Indeed, they need to do that all the time, in every article that they read. Lot of junk out there.

    As for testifying before Congress, which has no real expertise, I guess they have to find their own ways of deciding whom to believe, like any inexpert jury listening to expert testimony. Again, par for the course.

    • miker613
      Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

      I feel like there’s something of a shell game going on here. What Wegman did can’t be called _actual_ plagiarism, since it was done by his student, so instead a new crime is invented, “deeper than plagiarism”, i.e., the fundamental evil of plagiarism, like, well, deep down: implicitly claiming expertise. Now that he is guilty of that, he is certainly guilty of plagiarism since this is like even worse.

      All this is shortened into the glib repetition that “Wegman and student plagiarized”. This allows this accusation to piggy-back on what we all know, that plagiarism is a serious crime.

      • Steven Mosher
        Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

        yes.. there is a game its called climateball. willard is king.

        they invent stuff out of whole cloth

        “go a bit deeper than plagiarism:…The ethical dimensions…Wegman and his research team were implicitly claiming expertise on subjects in which they were not experts.”

        implicitly claiming expertise? and just how do we judge when people implicit claim expertise.

        As a statistician suppose I work on on weather data. Am I implicitly claiming expertise in the weather?

        if I add 2 apples and 3 banannas and come up with 5 pieces of fruit am I implicitly claiming expertise in
        farming?

        Now in his other games willard would never let any one get away with this kind of appeal to intentions.
        Wegman doesnt purport to be a expert on anything but statistics. he was consulted for that reason.
        If you asked him if he were an expert in anything else he would say no. So, they have to invent an non refutable charge to deepen the crime.

        Let me put it this way: faced with fair people who detail this: 1) his student did it. 2. he should be held responsible.. faced with that they have to they must invent something to demonize him.

        for grins watch how they would wail if we claimed that mann implicitly claimed expertise in statistics.

        • Jeff Norman
          Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

          Your argument completely fails because a banana is a herb. Therefore Wegman is a plagiarist

        • Jeff Norman
          Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 11:32 PM | Permalink

          Sorry, my “climateball” tag didn’t publish. It is my intention to completely sideline the discussion to fruits and herbs.

  24. Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    To me it’s only good that those methodological details are listed in the Supplementary Material to the article. I fail to see anything wrong in that, and I do not believe that there’s any violation of the rules of Nature in that. This is particularly clear, when the earlier manuscript has not been published so far.

    • TerryMN
      Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

      But it was published, Pekka. It hasn’t withdrawn, so it was never “un-published.” Not sure what you’re getting at here.

    • miker613
      Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

      Everyone agrees that it is good that the details are included. The only issue is whether it should somehow cite the earlier article, and whether Nature’s rules perhaps require that. I basically agree with you; the only point I can see to all this is as a way to point out inconsistency with how Wegman was treated.

      • miker613
        Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

        This was in reply to Pekka. Not my day, it seems…

  25. Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 6:57 PM | Permalink

    I appreciate many of the points made by all: pro, con, and tangential. The thing that bothers me most about the issue at hand and subsequent discussion here is the use of the word ‘plagiarism’ for what is under discussion, be it in Nature’s editorial policy or not. Maybe I will try to philosophize a little or rather ‘philologize’.

    The word ‘plagiarism’ comes from the Latin ‘plagiarius’ meaning ‘kidnapper’, a very Sith concept. I object to the use of the term ‘self-plagarism’ because I believe it tends to trivialize real plagiarism, the stealing of someone else’s intellectual children, a very serious offense in the intellectual world.

    It seems to me that the issue of re-cycling one’s own text or ideas from previously published works – without appropriate citation – may be a lot of things: meatball science, salami science, frankenscience, or even just plain junk science, but it seems to me that there is a pretty big gulf between this recycling and the misrepresentation of someone else’s ideas, even if unintentionally, as one’s own.

    Mosher makes an excellent point in his second comment which seems to get at the core of the distinction between the two:

    Plagarism rules are meant to preserve the record of original thought. This is a core value in academia. Who had the idea first. So to prevent stealing from others we require that attribution be clear…

    Self Plagarism is a different matter. Here is big concern is padding ones number of publications.

    This second clause seems to require its own word; “recycling” actually seems to describe what is going on in practice and not theft. This concept seems to belong more in the domain of editorial practice rather than academic or professional misconduct.

    To borrow from Mosher’s second comment again:

    A) was purporting to be original work
    B) was worth ‘rewriting’
    C) was substantial
    D) merited a citation.

    If, for example, one were to apply these standards of ‘self-plagarism’ to the hockey stick debate how many of the endlessly rehashed, reconstituted, or recycled paleo-climate reconstructions published in the last sixteen years would fail – or pass – these standards? It may not be kosher science, but it probably isn’t plagiarism either. Put another way, how many of those same papers would fail the ‘Gelman test’ as so carefully cited by Willard:

    First, they “have no redeeming social value. Actually, they have a negative value: they steal from others’ writing and introduce errors.” ~ andrewgelman.com/2011/09/19/another-wegman-plagiarism-copying-without-attribution-and-further-discussion-of-why-scientists-cheat/

    and simply be found guilty of adding more noise to an already muddy field?

    Brandon, in his second comment, makes another good point which is that people find value in originality and that past a certain point find it disingenuous, to say the least, to be sold a rehash of, literally, the same old words under a new title.

    W^3

    • ianl8888
      Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

      Or simply finding a disingenuous way of publishing an article (or its’ core) that had been found previously to be unpublishable

      … which is what I believe happened here

      • Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

        Which is a different crime than plagiarism.

      • miker613
        Posted Nov 19, 2014 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

        Lots of us have found ways to publish stuff that was rejected for whichever reason; this isn’t that different. The weird thing here is that as (Michael Mann?) suggested, each of the parts of PAGES really needs its own peer review; by mushing them all together somewhere that’s supposed to make it better and the reviewers don’t need to/can’t possibly be expected to audit all the separate parts.

        But point of information: the part of Gergis et al that was recalled, as I understand it, was the statistical analysis where (a) they didn’t follow their claimed procedure, and (b) if they had it wouldn’t have worked. Is that also the case in PAGES/Gergis part? Or is the data and metadata all that is being “self-plagiarized” here?

        Steve: I’ve been looking at what Gergis2K actually did. It appears to be data torture in the sense that they’ve tried to preserve the Gergis network through a data mining procedure that no one would have proposed in the first place. I’m trying to figure it out.

      • Posted Nov 19, 2014 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

        Mike,

        That’s an interesting point Mann made about each part of PAGES needing peer review, and one that in principle I must support; however, from my vantage point, someplace out in the Oort Cloud of the debate, I see exactly this taking place – right here.

        The normal boundaries of academic science are breaking down – YEAH! – most people here would probably agree that it doesn’t work that well anymore, and probably never worked as well as we have been told – or sold. The tough part is to do this intelligently, and by and large I see that going on here. Science, more and more, is becoming an open-source massively collaborative project. Science can no longer hide its dirty laundry, nor can it afford to try; which is not to say that academic science will have no role in the future, it just that they will no longer be the sole, unaccountable arbitrator of what science is.

        Climate Audit is one of the places where Humanity is figuring out how this is going to work. My role here seems to be to point this fact out to people.

        Some people in academia, ones like Michael Mann, don’t think they *have* peers outside of academia, or outside their field. They are of course wrong, and their failure to come to terms with this will cause evolution to make them and most of their work irrelevant. We already this this taking place in case of Michael Mann – that’s got to hurt.

        Evolution always wins.

        W^3

  26. Skiphil
    Posted Nov 18, 2014 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    That U. Melbourne PR contains multiple falsehoods now regarding Gergis et al. (2012). Since Phipps has been dropped from the author list the PR now mis-describes the original “published” version from May 2012 by listing only the four current authors, without Phipps. Might seem trivial except that it points again to the problem with describing the May 2012 article as “published” — is Phipps part of the “published” article or not? He has dropped the item from his list of publications and U. Melbourne does not list him, yet the article was supposedly “published” in May 2012. More significantly, the PR claims that an “independent” group of scientists in PAGES2K has affirmed the Gergis et al. results, when of course that “independent” group is led by Gergis and Neukom.

    current U. Melbourne PR for Gergis et al.(2012)

    [emphasis added]

    An issue was identified in the manuscript “Evidence of unusual late 20th century warming from an Australasian temperature reconstruction spanning the last millennium” by Joelle Gergis, Raphael Neukom, Ailie Gallant and David Karoly, published in the Journal of Climate on 17 May 2012….

    The original results have been reproduced by an independent team of scientists using three different analysis methods and the results were published in Nature Geosciences in April 2013 as part of an international study coordinated by the Past Global Changes (PAGES) Regional 2k initiative.

  27. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Nov 22, 2014 at 6:31 AM | Permalink

    I do not understand why people continue to discus with Stokes. The infamous discussion quote “Wrestling With Pigs” was never more germane than here…

    • Posted Nov 22, 2014 at 7:11 AM | Permalink

      Can’t agree. Nick has just provided an example of exactly the kind Steve was asking for. However annoying that may be for those who like their world black and white, it advances the pursuit of truth here. One example, some years after Wegman, by no means settles what I called the ‘injustice question’ about the statistician’s reprimand. But Nick is adding to our knowledge-base, as Steve at once acknowledged.

  28. barn E rubble
    Posted Nov 22, 2014 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    Relevant to the current discussion:
    http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/41372/title/Study–Scientists-Witness-Plagiarism-Often/

    Here’s the money quote:

    “The correlation between reported rates of plagiarism and fabrication-falsification of data suggests that the overall level of reported scientific misconduct could be, to some extent, characteristic of a particular population of scientists—i.e. of a country or of a particular field,” Fanelli and Pupovac wrote. They added that it’s also possible that the results “reflect the level at which respondents are aware and knowledgeable about scientific misconduct, and are therefore likely to recognize it and report it.”

    In hindsight of Climategate you’re left wondering if, ‘it’s also possible that the results “reflect the level at which (those involved) are aware and knowledgeable about scientific misconduct, and are therefore likely to recognize it and report it.”

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