Tuesday, April 06, 2010

McLean, de Freitas and Carter throw Soon and Baliunas under the bus

One of the joys of talking to idiots, is sooner or later they commit crazy. John McLean is giving lessons over at the Drum, as Eli and Deltoid and a few dozen others are pointing out, and the McKitrick machine is just starting to churn, somewhat belatedly, given how much fun McLean is providing. Of course, every carny needs a few rubes for our snarking pleasure.

Anyhow, the latest nonsense involves publishing long whines, and M and the three amigos don't disappoint. They need a visit to Rick Trebino's school of editorial disassembly, mostly they need to learn that taking yourself seriously is not an excellent career move for clowns.

However, there IS gold in them thar plaints. You know that McLean, de Freitas and Carter are reaching new heights (they must be flying on SOMETHING colorful to commit such spectacular intellectual suicide) when they keep harping about

  • Unprofessional publication of Foster et al.’s critique on the Internet, in AGU journal format, before it had been considered or accepted for publication by AGU.
  • Questionable editorial inaction, in editor-2 not rejecting the Foster et al. critique on grounds of its prior publication and formatting, both in direct
which goes back to the fact that the formatted preprint was posted early on by Kevin Trenberth .

Hmm, where has Eli seen misleadingly formatted manuscripts. Oh Yes, "Environmental Effects of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide". Original by A and Z Robinson, the alpha and omega of the Oregon Institute of Science (none of that please) and Medicine (JPANDS loves em), and Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

That manuscript, of course, lead the US National Academy of Sciences to issue a statement
The NAS Council would like to make it clear that this petition has nothing to do with the National Academy of Sciences and that the manuscript was not published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences or in any other peer-reviewed journal
and when de Freitas (amazing how Chris was for this sort of thing before he was against it:) finally shoe horned it into Climate Research, why half the editorial board resigned

Newer version with Noah R and not Zach and Sallie taking a powder here

Who knew.

Thanks to the copy editors. Mistakes corrected


chris said...

Eli, are you mixing up a couple of papers?

Baliunas wasn't an author on the Oregan Institute of Science fabrication of a PNAS article.

Soon and Baliunas published in Climate Research (eased through by de Freitas and editorial board resignation-inducing) was a seperate paper altogether, and not, as far as we know, misleadingly formatted ahead of time.....

Ian Forrester said...

Eli has it exactly right. Baliunas was listed as an author on the original paper submitted with the OIM petition.

It can be found here:


I think that that version "disappeared" from the OIM website but it is definitely the original version that was set up to look as if it was a paper in PNAS.

Horatio Algeranon said...

Here's to ya, Eli

On the other side of blogs, the Rabett's waiting
With furry eyes and truth no one can steal
He clicks on through the net anticipating
'Cause it makes him feel the way he used to feel

From Denyin' Lies
(with apologies to the Eagles)

chris said...

That's interesting Ian. She's not an author on the version that Eli links to in his top article.

However, whatever version of the faked "PNAS" OISM article, this is quite different to the Soon and Baliunas article on patchwork analysis of MWP "warming" that caused such a kerfuffle when eased into Climate Research by de Freitas.

Anonymous said...

Those who call others "Idiots" should not have a spelling error in the title of the article.

Just saying...

Celery Eater

willard said...

Trebino's story seems credible except for #53. If the offer were to appear, I doubt no sane researcher would not find it irresistible.

chris said...

Incidentally, if Annan et al did mock up a "preprint" of their McLean rebuttal ahead of acceptance, then I think that's pretty naff practice.

Can we confirm that? It's not a hanging offense obviously, but I'd be mortified to do such a thing, and I can't imagine any of my colleagues doing so. Fair enough posting a copy of the manuscript (after all that's all yer own work). But to presume to prejudge acceptance, and then to "mock up" a preprint, tends towards the embarrasing.

Can someone clarify this?

Anonymous said...

thow --> throw ?

McLean, de Freitas and Carter thow Soon and Baliunas under the bus


RP_sqrd said...

Chris, creating a preprint in the format of the journal to which the paper is being submitted has long been bog-standard practice for authors submitting to AIP (American Institute of Physics) journals. I've been doing it since 1998. For one thing, it lets you know right away how long your paper is (an important issue for journals that enforce strict length requirements). For another, it's just nice to have an idea of what the paper will look like in its final form. It's not something that requires careful design - all you do is include the appropriate style files when you run your manuscript file through LaTeX.

chris said...

Thanks for that RP_sqrd; that's useful to know.

Of the journals that we publish in, only those that publish short communications (ACS Journals like J. Am. Chem. Soc.; J. Phys. Chem. etc. ... or Biophys J.) require you to prepare your comunication in a publication-quality "style".

However I certainly wouldn't post such a version on the web in advance of acceptance.

It's not really a big deal, but we'd consider that to be rather presumptious! Once the paper's accepted then no problem...

EliRabett said...

Chris, basically it depends. You mostly see it when the journal wants stuff in publishable form for the submission.

IEHO, this is just a by product of the publishers throwing the copy editors our of work and the arrogance of physicists. TEX is a disease. IEHO of course