Section 6.1

6. The scrutiny and re-analysis of data by other scientists is a vital process if hypotheses are to rigorously tested and improved. It is alleged that there has been a failure to make important data available or the procedures used to adjust and analyse that data, thereby subverting a crucial scientific process.   It is alleged that there has been a systematic policy of denying access to data thathas been used in publications, referring to an email from Jones to Mann on 2nd February 2005 which contains the following:  “And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days?—our does! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it. We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind”. 


 1 Do you agree that releasing data for others to use and to test hypotheses is an important principle?

5 Responses to “Section 6.1”

  1. Jimchip Says:

    1068652882 12 Nov 2003 (Osborn to Briffa):

    The whole McIntyre quote should be read. “you will have seen Stephen McIntyre’s request to us. We need to talk about it, though my initial feeling is that we should turn it down (with carefully worded/explained reason) as another interrim stage and prefer to make our input at the peer-review stage.

    In the meantime, here is an email (copied below) to Mike Mann from McIntyre, requesting data and programs (and making other criticisms). I do wish Mike had not rushed around sending out preliminary and incorrect early responses – the waters are really muddied now. He would have done better to have taken things slowly and worked out a final response before publicising this stuff. Excel files, other files being created early or now deleted is really confusing things!”

    1109021312 Feb 21, 2005 (Jones to Mann): Even Jerry Pournelle is involved…


    “PS I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act !”

    1057944829 Jul 11 2003 (Osborn to Crowley): see also 6.3

    “Phil, would it be possible to obtain the Yamal, Tornetrask, and w. U.S. series you illustrate in the eos article? I too am putting together a slightly different long composite and would like to include these records. would it also be possible to obtain the 2000 year northern hemisphere series? is that 30-90N summer? whatever, we have extended our forcing time series back to before 1 AD and would like to compare with some longer data. thanks and regards, Tom ”

    1091798809 Aug 6, 2004 (Jones to Janice Lough):

    Most of the data series in most of the plots have just appeared on the CRU web site. Go to data then to paleoclimate. Did this to stop getting hassled by the skeptics for the data series.”

  2. Jimchip Says:

    1144930111 09 Mar 2006 Phil to Eystein Jensen:

    One issue we could discuss is data availability. Keith says
    >> you’re going to make all your series (in the plots available). This
    >> should be across all chapters if done. This is a load of work, but
    >> they’ll just say it isn’t enough. So, impossible to win, or even get a
    >> draw.

    >>>> I’m the greatest hoarder of climate information!
    >>>> It’s the pages on Mike that are no longer funny.
    >>>> Cheers
    >>>> Phil

  3. jimchip Says:

    The Massachusetts General Hospital, a Harvard teaching affiliate, has just released the latest in a series of publications discussing data withholding, concluding that:

    “Data withholding clearly has important negative effects on the integrity of the scientific education system in the U.S.”

    In some of the medical areas, there are at least occasionally patent or commercial issues. No such excuses exist in climate science.

    In 2000, they reported the following:

    Secrecy in academic science: young, productive researchers most likely to be denied data

    Although open sharing of the results of research is an underlying principle of modern science, the reality is that researchers sometimes withhold the results of their work either by delaying publication in scientific journals or by refusing requests from other researchers for access to data or materials. In the February 2000 issue of Research Policy, researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Institute for Health Policy and Harvard Medical School report a survey of scientists around the country on the topic of data withholding…

  4. jimchip Says:

    1051190249.txt Wigley What does “illegally” mean?

    As far as I know it has not been peer reviewed.
    Furthermore, unless he has illegally got hold of the TAR version of the
    model, what he has done can only be an emulation of the SAR version.

    Whole email:
    From: Tom Wigley
    To: Timothy Carter
    Subject: Re: Java climate model
    Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 09:17:29 -0600
    Cc: Mike Hulme , Phil Jones


    I know about what Matthews has done. He did so without contacting Sarah
    or me. He uses a statistical emulation method that can never account for
    the full range of uncertainties. I would not trust it outside the
    calibration zone — so I doubt that it can work well for (e.g.)
    stabilization cases. As far as I know it has not been peer reviewed.
    Furthermore, unless he has illegally got hold of the TAR version of the
    model, what he has done can only be an emulation of the SAR version.

    Personally, I regard this as junk science (i.e., not science at all).

    Matthews is doing the community a considerable disservice.


    PS Re CR, I do not know the best way to handle the specifics of the
    editoring. Hans von Storch is partly to blame — he encourages the
    publication of crap science ‘in order to stimulate debate’. One approach
    is to go direct to the publishers and point out the fact that their
    journal is perceived as being a medium for disseminating misinformation
    under the guise of refereed work. I use the word ‘perceived’ here, since
    whether it is true or not is not what the publishers care about — it is
    how the journal is seen by the community that counts.

    I think we could get a large group of highly credentialed scientists to
    sign such a letter — 50+ people.

    Note that I am copying this view only to Mike Hulme and Phil Jones.
    Mike’s idea to get editorial board members to resign will probably not
    work — must get rid of von Storch too, otherwise holes will eventually
    fill up with people like Legates, Balling, Lindzen, Michaels, Singer,
    etc. I have heard that the publishers are not happy with von Storch, so
    the above approach might remove that hurdle too.



    Timothy Carter wrote:
    > Dear Tom,
    > Since you were online yesterday contributing to the “Climate Research”
    > discussion, I figured that you might be in town to give your views on the
    > Java Climate Model which, I understand, is based in large part on MAGICC:
    > and seems to be getting considerable exposure amongst the policy community
    > now that Ben Matthews (was he a student of yours at UEA?) has made this
    > available online.
    > I wondered if this has been subjected to “peer review” by the people whose
    > models it is based on or anyone else, since I have Ministry people here in
    > Finland asking me if this type of tool is something they should think of
    > using during the negotiating process!
    > It’s certainly a smart piece of software, though it seems to have
    > irritating bugs, like returning to the default state when any little thing
    > is adjusted. What is critically important, though, is that it can do what
    > it is advertising. If it can’t, then the careful work done offline by
    > people such as yourself, could be undermined.
    > Any thoughts?
    > Best regards from a sunny though cool Helsinki.
    > Tim
    > P.S. On the CR issue, I agree that a rebuttal seems to be the only method
    > of addressing the problem (I communicated this to Mike yesterday morning),
    > and I wonder if a review of the refereeing policy is in order. The only way
    > I can think of would be for all papers to go through two Editors rather
    > than one, the former to have overall responsibility, the latter to provide
    > a second opinion on a paper and reviewers’ comments prior to publication. A
    > General Editor would be needed to adjudicate in the event of disagreement.
    > Of course, this could then slow down the review process enormously.
    > However, without an editorial board to vote someone off, how can suspect
    > Editors be removed except by the Publisher (in this case, Inter-Research).

  5. jimchip Says:

    Phil to Warrick Hughes quoted at CA: ““We have 25 years invested in this. Why should we make our data available to you, when your objective is to find something wrong with it?””

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