Section 5.2 Responses

5. It is alleged that there have been improper attempts to influence the peer review system and a violation of IPCC procedures in attempting to prevent the publication of opposing ideas. It is alleged that there has been an attempt to subvert the peer review process and exclude publication of scientific articles that do not support the Jones-Mann position on global climate change. A paper by Soon & Balunias was published in the Journal Climate Research arguing that the 20th century was abnormally warm.An email from Professor Michael Mann on 11th March 2003 contained the following: “I think we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal.”  The  allegation is that journals might be pressured to reject submitted articles that do not support a particular view of climate change. In an email to a fellow researcher in June 2003, Briffa wrote: “Confidentially I now need a hard and if required extensive case for rejecting (an unnamed paper) to support Dave Stahle‟s and really as soon as you can.” In an email to Mann on 8th July 2004, Jones wrote: “The other paper by MM is just garbage. […] I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer- review literature is!” The allegation is of an attempt to prevent ideas being published and the author being prepared to subvert the peer review process for a journal and to undermine the IPCC principle of accounting properly for contradictory views. 


2. Are the first two instances evidence of attempts to subvert the peer review process?

5 Responses to “Section 5.2 Responses”

  1. Jimchip Says:

    This could be moved to the general Section 5, but I left it here.
    [Background means I think they are relevant but none directly responding to a too limited a question]

    For background 1067522573 30 Oct 2003 (Mann to Bradley, Hughes, Jones, Briffa, Osborn, Rutherford):

    “Guys, can you take a look at this. I think that everything I say here is true! But we’ve got to be sure. There are more technical things they did wrong that I want to add, but this is the critical bit–what do you think. Comments? Thanks… mike ________________________________________
    The recent paper by McIntyre and McKitrick (Energy and Environment, 14, 751-771) claims to be an “audit” of the analysis of Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) or “MBH98”. An audit involves a careful examination, using the same data and following the exact procedures used in the report or study being audited. McIntyre and McKitrick (“MM”) have done no such thing, having used neither the data nor the procedures of MBH98. Their analysis is notable only in how deeply they have misrepresented the data, methods, and results of MBH98…”

    More background

    1068238573 07 Nov 2003 (Osborn to Jones, simply quoting Sonja B-C and McIntyre:

    “I have never heard of >such bad behaviour here as appears to have been the case between Sallie and Soon and the rest..the US adversarial system and too many egos?? As you know ,the contact is Tim Osborn and I take the liberty to forward this to him now. You seem to suggest that this is welcome and are making make direct comments on his remarks to me >concerning your paper. We shall get the printed proof, as a single electronic file today, and shall look through it early next week. I am sure you do not want to see your paper again? I think that adding anymore now (the exchanges between you and Mann/Bradley and perhaps now Tim as well) is premature and we shall wait until the next issue. Mann is said to be writing something, but he has not yet contacted me, though I just hang up on that journalist Appell who keeps on ringing. I told him that I will deal only directly with Mann. What cheek, after threatening me with litigation…Just keep me in the loop. Thanks.”


    109061095 Jul 23, 2004 (Jones to Larson):

    “Keep pushing that he should write up what he does (and Ross) in proper journals. E&E and Climate Research are not read by many now. I only look at them when I get alerted and I remain exasperated.”

    More background
    1104855751 04 Jan 2005 (Jones to Osborn and Briffa):

    “I would immediately delete anything you receive from this fraud.
    You’ve probably seen now the paper by Wahl and Ammann which independently exposes McIntyre and McKitrick for what it is–pure crap.

    Of course, we’ve already done this on
    “RealClimate”, but Wahl and Ammann is peer-reviewed and independent of us. I’ve attached it in case you haven’t seen (please don’t pass it along to others yet).”

  2. jimchip Says:

    The search pulls up a lot wrt to 5.1-5.3

  3. jimchip Says:

    Not directly Question five but the blind reviewer comment deserves some attention:

    Mann to Briffa: HI Keith,
    No problem, I know how hectic the past couple months have been for you, so no apologizes
    necessary whatsoever!
    Call me old fashioned, but I still tend to prefer the “blind” reviewer convention, so I’d
    prefer to remain anonymous unless you think that revealing my identity would be help in any
    particular way.

    Whole email:

    From: “Michael E. Mann”
    To: Keith Briffa
    Subject: Re: belated thanks for review and questions
    Date: Fri, 02 May 2003 18:46:41 -0400

    HI Keith,
    No problem, I know how hectic the past couple months have been for you, so no apologizes
    necessary whatsoever!
    Call me old fashioned, but I still tend to prefer the “blind” reviewer convention, so I’d
    prefer to remain anonymous unless you think that revealing my identity would be help in any
    particular way.
    I agree w/ your take on this–a journal like GRL is probably more appropriate, or even
    “Climatic Change” because a number of similar papers have been published there in the past
    (by folks like Nychka, Bloomfield, and others). I’m not sure if Steve Schneider is sick and
    tired of those papers though…
    Please don’t hesitate to let me know if I can be of any additional help w/ this.
    Looking forward to seeing you one of these days,
    At 02:36 PM 5/2/2003 +0100, you wrote:

    in hassling another reviewer , I realised that I did not thank you properly for the
    review you did of the manuscript by Gil-Alana (fractionally integrated techniques used
    to show increased persistence in global temperature record in 20th century). So this is
    by way of thanks and to ask whether you wish me to reveal your name to the reviewer
    (considering you make some very helpful suggestions for further analysis)? I would
    otherwise assume no. As it happens I can not get a response from the other reviewer –
    but rather than prolong the wait for the submitter , I am tempted (on the basis of my
    reading also) to just send your comments and reject the manuscript as it is – I suppose
    they could resubmit a major rework following your suggestions – but I tend to the
    opinion that it would be better suited to another journal anyway – GRL comes to mind.
    What do you think

  4. Jimchip Says:

    1061300885.txt The “Poll” on S&B, From Phil. 5.3, 5.4 related also

    From: Phil Jones
    To: “Michael E. Mann” ,Tom Wigley , Tom Crowley
    Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2003 09:48:05 +0100
    Cc: Keith Briffa , Michael Oppenheimer , Raymond Bradley , Malcolm Hughes , Jonathan Overpeck , Kevin Trenberth ,Ben Santer , Steve Schneider ,Caspar Ammann ,,

    I once met Soon at a meeting organised by the ESA in Tenerife. I think he gave a talk

    but only think, so it wasn’t memorable in any way. As you say they don’t come to the
    regular meetings like EGU/S, AGU, AMS etc. I only went to Tenerife as the organisers paid
    for me to go.
    Citation ratings vary (there are several different scales/indicators as well) a lot
    from year to year for most journals. I’ve never figured out how the counting is done wrt
    the highly cited lists that Tom. W., Kevin and I are on. Do only first authorships count
    example? Even with a common name like mine people still get it wrong and mistakes
    Surprisingly Jim Hansen doesn’t make the above list ([1], but
    he normally drops his E.
    There are few more journals (QSR, Climate Change, IJC, AAR to give a few) where
    paleo papers also appear.

    At 10:43 13/08/2003 -0400, Michael E. Mann wrote:

    I checked this out prior to my senate hearing. Their science citations in the climate
    literature are poor, as one would hope and expect.
    Interestingly, they both drop their second initials when publishing in the climate
    literature so that their names don’t turn in up in ISI if you do a search on their
    publications in the astronomy literature (which use the full initials)–apparently,
    they don’t want their astronomy colleagues to be aware that they’re moonlighting as
    supposed climatologists…
    Their numbers are better in the astronomy literature, though Soon’s numbers even here
    are mediocre.
    Baliunas had some well-cited publications more than a decade ago. This is her work on
    the use of sun-like stars as a model for solar variability, etc., which is well
    referenced in the astrophysics community. However, most of these appear to be her Ph.D.
    work, and appear to have been published w/ her Ph.D adviser.
    Not much evidence however that she has made any useful, independent contribution since
    then. There are some additional papers she’s published on time series analysis of solar
    signals–looks like the kind of stuff you might expect to see from a graduate student
    first-year research project….
    In my opinion, its would be a mistake to evaluate these on their citations numbers in
    astronomy. We should focus on their numbers in the climate literature, which are the
    only ones relevant when discussing the issue of how their work on climate is received by
    their fellow scientists,
    At 08:15 AM 8/13/2003 -0600, Tom Wigley wrote:

    Might be interesting to see how frequently Soon and Baliunas, individually, are cited
    (as astronomers). Are they any good in their own fields?
    Perhaps we could start referring to them as astrologers (excusable as … ‘oops, just a
    Tom Crowley wrote:

    Hi there,
    we need some data on Soon and Baliunas. one of my concerns is that they only publish in
    low impact journals and completely bypass the normal give and take of presentations at
    open scientific meetings (for example, I think I have probably heard 100 presentations
    overall from the people on this mailing list).
    it is therefore very important to inquire for the sake or our exchanges with
    reporters/legislators etc as to how often any of you may have heard Soon or Baliunas
    give a talk in an open meeting, where they could defend their analyses.
    please respond to me as to whether you have heard either of them present something on
    their paleo-analyses (I think I heard Baliunas speak once on her solar-type star work,
    but that doesn’t count).
    I will let you know the results of the poll so that we may all be on the same grounds
    with respect to the data and reporting such information to press inquiries/legislators
    further fyi I list below the journal impact for six geophysical/climate/paleoclimate
    Paleoceanography 3.821
    J. Climate 3.250
    J. Geophysical Res. (Climate) 2.245
    Geophysical Research Letters 2.150
    The Holocene 1.852
    Climate Research 1.016
    Science and Nature are much higher (26-30) but there citation numbers are I believe
    inflated with respect to our field because their citation ranking also includes many
    very widely cited biology publications.
    hope to hear from you soon, Tom

    Professor Michael E. Mann

    Prof. Phil Jones
    Climatic Research Unit

  5. Jimchip Says:


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