Monday, May 16, 2011

Prominent climate denialist paper retracted due to plagiarism

 Abstract of the infamous climate denialist paper by Said and Wegmen, 2007. The paper has since been retracted by the journal, Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, for plagiarism.

By DeepClimate
15 May 2011

It’s been a long time coming, but there has now been an official finding in at least one of the complaints concerning the dubious scholarship of GMU professors Edward Wegman and Yasmin Said. According to Dan Vergano of USA Today, the journal Computational Statistics and Data Analysis  (CSDA) has officially confirmed that Said, Wegman et al 2008, a follow up to the infamous Wegman et al report to Congress, will finally be retracted following complaints of plagiarism and inadequate peer review.

The CSDA paper, Social Networks of Author–Coauthor Relationships, was a follow up to the 2006 report to congress by Wegman, Said and Rice University professor David Scott. Both the Wegman report and Said et al claimed that the “entrepreunerial” style of co-authorship in paleoclimatology demonstrated lax peer review in the field, while the “mentor” style of an established professor collaborating with former students would be less problematic. All three of Wegman’s 2008 co-authors – Said, Walid Sharabati and John Rigsby – were former or current students

I first discovered apparent plagiarism in the Wegman report in December 2009. I later documented massive cut-and-paste in the social network analysis background sections of both the report and the CSDA paper in April 2010. At the time, I pointed out that both Wegman and Said had acknowledged federal funding from research offices associated with the Department of Defence and the National Institute of Health.

And I also noted that the paper had sailed through from submission to acceptance in a mere six days, suggesting that it had not been properly peer reviewed at all. That astonishing fact and the deeply flawed analysis belied the paper’s central premise; indeed, as John Mashey has noted, this is a prime example of self-refuting paper. …

Retraction of Said, Wegman et al 2008, part 1

By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY
15 May 2011

Evidence of plagiarism and complaints about the peer-review process have led a statistics journal to retract a federally funded study that condemned scientific support for global warming.

The study, which appeared in 2008 in the journal Computational Statistics and Data Analysis, was headed by statistician Edward Wegman of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Its analysis was an outgrowth of a controversial congressional report that Wegman headed in 2006. The "Wegman Report" suggested climate scientists colluded in their studies and questioned whether global warming was real. The report has since become a touchstone among climate change naysayers.

The journal publisher's legal team "has decided to retract the study," said CSDA journal editor Stanley Azen of the University of Southern California, following complaints of plagiarism. 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. …

The congressional report, requested by global warming skeptic Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, and the study concluded that climate scientists favorably publish one another's work because of too-close collaboration. They suggested this led to the consensus that the Earth is warming. …

Computer scientist Ted Kirkpatrick of Canada's Simon Fraser University, filed a complaint with the journal after reading the climate science website Deep Climate, which first noted plagiarism in the Wegman Report in 2009. "There is something beyond ironic about a study of the conduct of science having ethics problems," Kirkpatrick says. …

Climate study gets pulled after charges of plagiarism

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