Thursday, November 12, 2009

RealClimate: Muddying the peer-reviewed literature

November 11th, 2009
We’ve often discussed the how’s and why’s of correcting incorrect information that is occasionally found in the peer-reviewed literature. There are multiple recent instances of heavily-promoted papers that contained fundamental flaws that were addressed both on blogs and in submitted comments or follow-up papers (e.g. McLean et al, Douglass et al., Schwartz). Each of those wasted a huge amount of everyone’s time, though there is usually some (small) payoff in terms of a clearer statement of the problems and lessons for subsequent work. However, in each of those cases, the papers were already “in press” by the time other people were aware of the problems.
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  1. Just posted this up at RC,

    My last comment here:

    Our paper depends upon a warming trend accompanied by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. It is perfectly consistent with anthropogenic greenhouse warming (in fact it depends on it), and may suggest a mechanism for better reconciling divergent temperature trends at the surface and lower troposphere (See Urs Neu above at #43). The details will be worked out in the literature and our work is certainly not the last word. That is how the peer review process works. I hope that Gavin does submit a comment as that is how science works.

    Given the above, it is strange to see the paper characterized here at Real Climate as a "denier" paper with "fatal flaws", and this goes uncorrected by Gavin. What is it that we are denying? Gavin, do you see our paper as a "denier" paper? Or does it have "fatal flaws"? If not, why don't you correct those comments here on your blog?

    Also, the invitation to Gavin to collaborate on a subsequent piece remains open, however, so far he has declined the invitation. Surely that would be a good opportunity to work together rather than through blogs, which this post shows are not a particularly good way to advance understandings.

    Finally, Gavin, what is the deal with putting no-follow links to my site? Care to explain your reasoning there? ;-)

    Thanks all for the comments.

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