Monday, September 5, 2011

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Posting by Frederik Schenk

Spencer-Paper leads to Resignation of the publishing Editor-in-Chief

Some days ago, Prof. Wagner, editor-in-chief of the journal Remote Sensing, took the responsibility for having published the paper of Roy Spencer and resigned from his position:

“After having become aware of the situation, and studying the various pro and contra arguments, I agree with the critics of the paper. Therefore, I would like to take the responsibility for this editorial decision and, as a result, step down as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Remote Sensing.”



Taking Responsibility on Publishing the Controversial Paper “On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance” by Spencer and Braswell, Remote Sens. 2011, 3(8), 1603-1613

Some aspects are quite remarkable here:

1) review process
According to Wagner, the review process was formally correct: Therefore, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process.

Not before having published the paper, the problem with the paper became evident: The problem is that comparable studies published by other authors have already been refuted in open discussions and to some extend also in the literature (cf. [7]), a fact which was ignored by Spencer and Braswell in their paper and, unfortunately, not picked up by the reviewers.

The whole story around this issue shows one more time the importance of the blogosphere as a very powerful review process.

2) media hype about the Spencer paper
See also the link above from Wagner. It seems that a lot of people were just waiting for such a story. The motivation behind this extreme hype is remarkable based on the paper. Also interesting: who strongly distributed the story and who didn’t. There seems to be a big gap between scientific results and the interpretation in public (media).

3) the science
The search for the “missing heat” is an ongoing scientific issue and has to face the full complexity of the climate system and problems to measure (or calculate) everything everywhere. The paper by Spencer is one attempt to answer this question touching aspects of the role of clouds, aerosols and CO2 sensitivity – all also highly political questions indeed where scientific evidence is quite uncertain. The launched (?) media hype about his at least uncertain preliminary results (or the agenda based on it) and claims of (summarized from the blogs) having used very short periods and only selected data to dismiss global warming are ongoing. In addition, he is accused of having systematically ignored other partly refuted studies and cherry-picked other data and results.


What should we conclude or learn from this story?

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hallo,

erst einmal ist der Titel irreführend und in meinen Augen unredlich. Dies führt nur wieder zu einer trennenden Situation. Der böse Spencer, welcher eine formal korrekte Arbeit abgegeben hat, die den R-Prozess ungeschadet durchlief und veröffentlicht wurde, ist nun schuld daran, dass der EiCh zurück(ge)treten ist (musste?!). Na servus, so einfach ist das.

"Refuting in open discussions" bedeutet erst einmal gar nichts. Eine Behauptung die wissenschaftlich untermauert werden muss, und dann der WISSENSCHAFTSGEMEINDE in einem Paper zur Diskussion gestellt werden sollte. Da eine wissenschaftliche Auseinandersetzung bis dato nur teilweise "to some extend" zu einem "ähnlichen" Ergebnis kam - in Bezug auf die "ähnlichen" Studien - gelten die "ähnlichen" Studien nicht als falsifiziert! und haben in meinen Augen alle Berechtigung der Welt, soweit sie formal korrekt sind und die wissenschaftlichen Standards erfüllen, publiziert zu werden.

Das sagt aber noch überhaupt nichts über die aktuelle Studie aus. Dass hier insinuiert wird, dass Spencer und Braswell dies "besseren Wissens" nicht zur Kenntnis nahmen ist bestenfalls eine Behauptung.

Gruß
W.v.B.

Freddy Schenk said...

Hi W.v.B.:
Der Titel ist aber einfach als Tatsache gemeint. Ich hatte mir auch überlegt, ob ich ihn als Frage formulieren soll, also "Why did Wagner resign from his position after having published the SB11 paper?"

Bemerkenswert ist ja v.a., dass die blogosphere hier so einen starken Einfluss hatte. Spencer kann und will ich nicht beurteilen, aber die Reaktion der Medien auf das paper, die Reaktion von Wagner mit seinem Rücktritt, der Aufruhr in den blogs, das ist schon bemerkenswert und kann mit einer einfachen logischen Erklärung wohl nicht so leicht erklärt werden.

Anonymous said...

Hallo Freddy Schenk,

der Titel kann nicht als Tatsache verstanden werden, da - für mich zumindest - eine Tatsache ein bestehender Sachverhalt ist und wir nicht WISSEN ob der Sachverhalt, "Spencer-Paper leads to Resignation of the publishing Editor-in-Chief" besteht. Ich kenne die Gründe nicht und Sie auch nicht.

Ich persönlich kann die Sache erst ernst nehmen, wenn ein EiCh bei der Publikation einer umstrittenen Arbeit von z.B. Rahmstorf. zurücktritt.

Gruß
W.v.B.

Hans von Storch said...

Ich bin nicht sicher, ob ich die Sache richtig verstanden habe: Wagner ist zurückgetreten, obwohl der Reviewprozeß, für den er verantwortlich war als Editor-In-Chief, ordnungsgemäß abgelaufen ist. Er hat inzwischen bemerkt, dass der Artikel nicht gut ist, weil er u.a. unzureichend andere Veröffentlichungen berücksichtigt.

Er bringt u.a. an, dass der Artikel sehr stark von Medien und interessierter politischer Seite verwendet wurden.

Wenn er sagte: Ich habe unzureichende Regeln für den Reviewprozeß aufgestellt (u.a., so dass die bereits geführte Diskussion nicht ordentlich berücksichtigt wurde), ok - das wäre ein Grund zurückzutreten, weil, dann hätte er als Editor-in-Chief was falsch gemacht.

Der Hinweis auf missbräuchliche Verwendung des Artikels im politischen Prozeß ist für mich ein Hinweis, dass für ihn die Aufgabe nicht nur darin besteht, eine Qualitätssicherung bei der Veröffentlichung von wissenschaftlichem Material vor der Publikation durchzuführen, sondern auch als politischer Filter für unliebsame Aussagen zu fungieren.

Günter Heß said...

@Freddy Schenk
The learning is trivial. I think we can learn and conclude that the climate debate is a highly political debate and we need to check the credibility of each climate scientist and the quality of each paper individually, based on our own gut feeling and experience. We cannot rely on peer-review or other sources for judgment. But this is no news for most of us.
Moreover, the peer-review process is capable to withhold papers and information from the public, if editors in chief like Wagner have their say. Therefore the independent internet is needed and highly appreciated.
You can also learn from my comment that I disagree and object to the behavior of scientists like Wagner or Dessler, who conduct a witch hunt according to my opinion. I do think that they are biased and not capable to differentiate between their political opinion and science.
Best regards
Günter Heß

Anonymous said...

@ Freddy Schenk

"Spencer kann und will ich nicht beurteilen, aber die Reaktion der Medien auf das paper,...

Man kann und sollte aber erwähnen, dass Spencers Presseerklärung weit über die Aussagen seines Papers hinausgingen. Nicht das Paper, sondern die Presseerklärung und der darauf folgende Artikel von Taylor (Heartland-Institut) bei Forbes lieferten die Stichworte für den folgenden Medienhype.

Ob über das heute erschienene Paper von Dessler, das eine direkte Antwort auf Spencer/Braswell und Lindzen/Choi (2011) ist, in US-Medien eine ähnliche Resonanz erfahren wird?

Andreas

Anonymous said...

@ Herr von Storch

Beim Peerreviewprozess gibt es noch ein paar interessante Details:
Bei Remote Sensing ist es üblich, dass der Autor fünf Vorschläge für mögliche Peerreviewer einreicht. Wagner schreibt, dass drei Reviewer ausgewählt wurden, die Spencers Modell wohlwollend gegenüberstanden, ob er sie von Spencers Vorschlägen übernommen hatte, ist nicht bekannt.

Ich stimme Wagner zu, dass dies für ein gutes Peerreviewing kein grundsätzlicher Fehler ist, in diesem konkreten Fall haben nach Wagners Ansicht die Peerreviewer aber versäumt, das eingereichte Paper verbessern zu helfen, es hätte zum Bespiel Tenberth/Fasullo (2010) diskutieren müssen (ich sehe Peerreviewing nicht als Bedrohung, sondern als harte Prüfung, an deren Ende ein besseres Paper steht). Ich denke, Wagner wird im Nachhinein mit seiner Auswahl nicht mehr glücklich gewesen sein.

Ob sich Wagner als "politischer Filter" verstehen muss, weiß nicht, hängt wohl davon ab, was man darunter versteht. Ich verstehe es so:

Ist es nicht eher so, dass Remote Sensing als neues Journal, das darum kämpft, in weitere Zitationsdatenbanken aufgenommen zu werden, an diesem politischen Hype Schaden nehmen kann? Es liegt nahe, dass Wagner Sorge hat, dass der Ruf seines Journals Schaden nehmen kann, wenn der Eindruck entsteht, es hätte niedrige Publikationshürden (E&E lässt grüßen).

Wagner schreibt übrigens auch, dass Paper, die dem Mainstream widersprechen, höhere Publikationschancen haben sollten, weil diese Diskussionen anstoßen. Es war der politische Hype, der Wagner erschreckt hat. Es sind also nicht die dem Mainstream entgegenstehenden Inhalte, sondern die Medienkampagnen, die Wagners Nachfolger in Zukunft wohl zögerlicher werden lassen.

Andreas

Freddy Schenk said...

@W.v.B:
Ich kenne die Gründe nicht und Sie auch nicht.

I just know what Wagner wrote in his Editorial linked above. But I agree (as most of the bloggers) with Hans #4, that it is difficult to understand the reason for Wagner's resignation as the formal review process was correct.

If Wagner or other scientists would proof in an official way the SB11 paper to contain errors he should allow Spencer to write a corrigendum, or, if proofed to be totally flawed, take the paper off from the journal. Also, Wagner could have written an Editorial or press release that the results from Spencer do not (fully) support his press release nor the media hype etc.

For me, the resignation looks like a classical own goal which allows many speculations about additional reasons to step down as editor, i.e. that he wanted to filter politically not correct (from the AGW view) results from entering peer-reviewed science. Even if this was not the case for Wagner, it looks like it - this is what finally counts and leads to the own goal.

Additional arguments of Andreas (#7) would be for sure also possible - but it is not the message which reaches the scientific (and sceptic) community.

I think the best thing would have been that Wagner would have had relied on the scientific process that wrong results will be identified, erased and/or corrected (by Spencer or others).

Now, doors are open for conspiracy again.

Anonymous said...

Freddy, you will find that it is not that easy to retract a paper if there is no clear misconduct. In those cases the author should be the one retracting the paper, and this will never happen with Roy Spencer, if his current commentary is to be understood.

I know of no papers that were retracted without consent from any of its authors because of errors, but perhaps you do?

Personally, while I deplore Wagner's resignation, I also do understand his position: he apparently felt he and his journal were taken for a ride by Spencer. Moreover, while he indeed indicates the peer review process was formally correct, he also indicates that the choice of reviewers was likely not appropriate for a paper that was controversial. This is something an Editor-in-Chief could definately take as a personal failure.

But this is all speculation. Perhaps someone should ask Wagner to react to some of the speculation. Perhaps Prof. Von Storch would be the most appropriate to ask? I do not have any authority in the field, so it is not that likely I will receive a response.

Bam

Freddy Schenk said...

OK, assume that even if shown to be totally flawed SB11 cannot be retracted, I still would argue that Wagner (and scientists in general) should rely on the self-cleaning process of science which is this of arguments, physical plausability, empirical and theoretical evidence, testing and rejecting false hypotheses and wrong results etc.

If we do not stich to this procedure, this would mean that trust into scientific publications or the review-process is fundamentally lost. I have the feeling, that Wagner's decision is increasing distrust into this process.

Another problem is - if the paper would be totally flawed but not retracted - that sceptics could always quote the paper to support anit-AGW hypothesis and refer to the fact that SB11 has been published after having successfully passed a formally correct review-process (and is therefore valid science). This could be the main motivation for Wagner to act like he did.

Hans Erren said...

Instead of sending a letter of apology to Trenberth, Wagner should have invited him to write a comment in Remote Sensing.

That's what a biochemist would do.

I remember the fuss about Benveniste's homeopathy in Nature, nobody resigned then.

Anonymous said...

Freddy, your last part seems to be part of the reason. But again, we have to speculate.

Hans Erren, he may well have asked Trenberth. Wagner has invited responses from the scientific community.

I don't understand your reference to Benveniste's story. There the Editors 1) asked Benveniste to get confirmation from other labs, and 2) demanded an independent investigation after publication (both were demands before the paper was accepted). So, the Editors were aware of the controversional nature of the paper, and likely also chose their reviewers with great care. On top of that, and perhaps most important, I did not see any major news outlets with large headlines proclaiming "French Academy of Sciences puts bullet in convential medicine, lauds homeopathy".

Georg said...

Ich denke, der Ruecktritt ist eine Frage auf welchem Niveau das Paper gescheitert ist. Bei Lindzen und Choi habe ich den EIndruck eines Scheiterns auf hohem Niveau. Erst heute habe ich wieder Vortraege zum Thema gesehen. Das Spencer Paper macht fuer meinen Geschmack der maszen viele fishy Annahmen, dass man sich als Editor schon ein klein wenig schaemen kann und empfindliche Seelen denken da schon mal daran, alles hinzuschmeissen.

Kohl haette weitergemacht.

Hans Erren said...

I would be pleasantly surprised if Trenberth submits a comment in Remote Sensing, whereupon Spencer can write a reply.

If you don't agree with a publication, that's the usual procedure.

Anonymous said...

Hans Erren, do you have (recent) experience with scientific publishing?

If so, which field? I am currently trying to have an impact in a side-field where many journals are apparently very hesitant to accept comments to articles. So far, my track record is one journal not even letting the criticized authors respond to my comment (it is possible they did not want to), one journal telling me it did not accept comments, and a third journal telling me a comment would need to have a broad impact before they'd even consider publication.

My experience is not unique, either. There's a "funny" story out there, called "How to publish a scientific comment in 1 2 3 easy steps" by Rick Trebino. Funny to read, until you realise most of it is exactly what happened.

Bam

Hans von Storch said...

Bam, this is an interesting issue. Maybe, we should share our experiences.

We had experiences with science - in two ways: first, we prepared a manuscript demonstrating that a method to empirically derive sea level variations via air temperature would be flawed; the comment was rejected because two other comments had already been published (dealing with different aspects), and because our comment was submitted too late. We submitted the text as regular article to a normal journal, and it was accepted and printed with little delay. Our own article on paleo-reconstruction methodology in science received a critical comment, which was beyond the official time limit of science - and was published (with our reply).

In general we see only few comments published - are few comments submitted, or only few accepted? Is it in general better to submit a stand-alone article to a regular journal?

tallbloke said...

Dessler and Spencer are now working together for the good of science. Werner's input to my blog post on this matter would be very welcome.
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/entente-cordiale-spencer-and-dessler-are-working-together/

Anonymous said...

Hans, I cannot answer your questions with any authority, only relate my experiences.

I know from those experiences (and knowing quite a few Editors at various levels) that comments are often considered a major nuisance; the general view is that most bad papers will not survive the post-publication peer review anyway. Moreover, there are so many papers submitted that a comment + possible reply would take up space that so easily could have been used to publish something really new.

So, journals have "good" reasons to be hesitant in publishing comments.

Scientists also have "good" reasons to be hesitant in submitting comments: you are easily considered the guy who doesn't do any work himself, just criticises others. On top of that, is it really worth the effort? There is indeed a good chance that the post-publication peer review will weed out these bad papers.

A stand-alone article with some reference to the flaws in the bad paper offers significant advantages in that case: it is seen as novel work!

My own comments were mainly because the post-publication peer review is failing miserably in that tiny subarea. And I'll gladly be the one not doing anything novel himself in that area, I would not publish my normal research in these journals anyway.

Bam

Werner Krauss said...

@tallbloke
Me? You're sure that I have something meaningful to add to this discussion? I am not sure...

Anonymous said...

Is there perhaps a comment from me that was transferred to the SPAM-box? It appeared here when I submitted it a few days ago, but now it is gone?

Bam

Hans von Storch said...

No, Bam, there is no comment in the spam filter at this time. Hans

eduardo said...

I see several unclear issues here:

did Spencer submit his article before to another journal before and he felt that it was unjustifiably rejected ?
I pose this question because Remote Sensing does not seem the adequate journal for this paper. As it title says, it mostly publishes articles related to remote sensing methods and results, whereas the Spencer paper is an analysis of satellite data to derive conclusion about the global climate system. I do not think the journal is adequate, but I would believe that he may have felt unduly rejected in other journals. Does anyone know if this has been indeed the case ?

why would Wagner send an apology to Trenberth, unless he thought that he had somehow betrayed the orthodoxy that Trenberth represents ?

why would Trenberth make this apology public when it is quite clear that many would possibly interpret this apology as a concession to external pressures ?


All in all I do not see the need for Wagner's resignation. Even if one may think that the referees were badly chosen, the editor of the paper - as a judge - must be independent in choosing the referees. If we do not like the paper, submit a rebuttal, as Hans Herren in my view correctly points out.

And we should not forget that one single paper is not very conclusive, in either direction. It is the cumulation of independent papers with similar conclusions what in the end constitutes established science.

Anonymous said...

Odd, so a comment of mine disappeared into cyberspace.

Eduardo, perhaps you can be the one to contact Wagner and find out more details and test your hypothesis?

And "submit a rebuttal" is not necessary a solution. Apart from the trouble in getting a comment/rebuttal accepted (see Rick Trebine's experiences to read a real-life horror story; or my own experience of a journal not accepting comments, period), some authors seem not to listen to the criticism, and go for the next journal to get their ideas out. Or, to make it even worse, the journal itself publishes the comment but ignores its implications (as they did in my case, continuing to publish similarly wrong papers). And finally, would such a rebuttal get the same media hype as the original paper? Unlikely.

Bam

eduardo said...

@23

Bam, is comment #18 the one you are missing ?

Actually, the question that seems more important to me is whether Spencer tried to publish this article in other journals before where his article would better fit.

I do not think that an editor should resign because a putative wrong article is published. The article was formally reviewed. What he should have done, in my view, is to implement measures for better peer review in the future in his journal, if he felt that the review process had failed.

I think it is illusory to think that peer review can weed out all bad papers. You can almost always find a journal that publishes a given article. Peer-review is just the first filter for a study, which is vetted by just one, two or three colleagues, and often in just a few hours. Many non-optimal papers have been published and will be published. The real filter is the subsequent longer perspective

Georg said...

@eduardo
I also think that the resignation is kind of strange. Might be Wagner messed something up we dont know like for example having lost the review of Trenberth. That explains why he excuses to Trenberth and why he felt "guilty". Those who like this theory raise your hands!

Anonymous said...

Eduardo, yes, 18. It just never appeared in the side-bar.

I already discussed earlier why I understand his resignation (comment 9). SB11 was not just a bad paper, it was immediately used as a political tool (including by the first author). However, much of what we are doing now is mere speculation, since no one seems to be interested in Wagner's own opinion on the matter.

Georg, I don't agree with your explanation: it does not fit with Wagner's editorial in which he refers to three reviewers providing a "major revision, minor revision, and as is".

Bam

Freddy Schenk said...

Bam #26:
Did some AGW scientists not also use press releases or exaggerations of their results before like Spencer did? I'm not so sure...

Anonymous said...

Freddy, I cannot remember any case where some "AGW scientists" (whatever that is supposed to mean) used a press release to make a claim unsupported by the content of the paper. Maybe you do?

And remember, it has to be a claim that supposedly overturns a large body of science!

Bam

Hans von Storch said...

Bam, would this case qualify?

http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2011/08/australianreport-mental-illness-rise.html

Hans

eduardo said...

@28
Bam,

independently of whether the Spencer paper is right or wrong, Ido not think that the paper itself says something very significant, or contradicts a large body of climate science. It basically says that it is not possible to diagnose the cloud sensitivity from the short climate record. This is not part of a large body of research. There are just a few papers attempting this diagnosis, and the estimates of climate sensitivity of the IPCC are not based on these analysis


Here is the abstract:
Abstract: The sensitivity of the climate system to an imposed radiative imbalance remains
the largest source of uncertainty in projections of future anthropogenic climate change.
Here we present further evidence that this uncertainty from an observational perspective is
largely due to the masking of the radiative feedback signal by internal radiative forcing,
probably due to natural cloud variations. That these internal radiative forcings exist and
likely corrupt feedback diagnosis is demonstrated with lag regression analysis of satellite
and coupled climate model data, interpreted with a simple forcing-feedback model. While
the satellite-based metrics for the period 2000–2010 depart substantially in the direction of
lower climate sensitivity from those similarly computed from coupled climate models, we
find that, with traditional methods, it is not possible to accurately quantify this discrepancy
in terms of the feedbacks which determine climate sensitivity. It is concluded that
atmospheric feedback diagnosis of the climate system remains an unsolved problem, due
primarily to the inability to distinguish between radiative forcing and radiative feedback in
satellite radiative budget observations.

Anonymous said...

Hans, I guess that depends on the definition of "AGW scientists".

Moreover, as far as I can see, the press release does not contradict or promise more than the report itself. It may be bad science, but that's a different story. This is different from the Spencer situation, where we have a bad paper, with a hyped press release and Spencer himself hyping it further, and the ultimate hype in several large media outlets. Also quite telling: whereas SB11 has been showcased on many pseudoskeptic blogs, the report you point to is found nowhere on any "AGW" blogs (at least not the one's I know, and I checked).

Bam

Freddy Schenk said...

AGW scientist: a scientist who believes in Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW).

This is a very simplified difinition for sure. In the context above it was meant as AGW scientists who are actively putting forward their oppinions = spread their message and not only the results.

Hans von Storch said...

I have asked Prof Wagner directly what the reasons for him were for stepping down. My inquiry was in German, his answer as well. I reproduce this answer here with his kind permission:

Mein Rücktritt hatte sicherlich mehrere Gründe. An erster Stelle steht natürlich das fachliche Argument, dass es ja schon vorher nachgewiesen worden ist, dass die von Spencer verwendete Methode mehrere ganz grundlegende Fehler aufweist und es daher die Pflicht jedes Peer-Reviewed Journals gewesen wäre, das aufzudecken. Das ist uns nicht gelungen und hatte, wie im ihrem Fall (Anm. HvS - see: http://coast.hzg.de/staff/storch/CR-problem/cr.2003.htm), wohl mit unserem Peer-Review Verfahren zu tun. Ich denke, dass unser Verfahren sehr gut im regulären Fall funktioniert, aber leider in diesem Fall versagt hat. Auch habe ich bei mir selber eine gewisse Schuld gesehen, weil ich schon länger das Gefühl hatte, dass ich noch mehr Zeit in diese Aufgabe hineinstecken sollte, es aber aufgrund der vielen Anforderungen (Lehre, Forschung, Gremienarbeit, etc.) es einfach nicht geschafft habe. Ich erwarte, dass der Verlag gemeinsam mit dem neuen Editorial Team die Regel für das Gutachterverfahren verbessern wird, so dass so ein eklatanter Fall nicht mehr vorkommen kann. Es wird nun sogar diskutiert, ob ein offener Peer-Review wie zB bei den EGU Journals eingeführt werden könnte, was meiner Meinung nach einen solchen Fall 100% ausschließen würde.

Sie sehen also, unsere beiden Rücktritte haben wahrscheinlich einiges gemeinsam, wobei ich bei mir einen Teil der Verwantwortung gesehen habe, weil ich entweder als Editor-in-Chief noch mehr Zeit für meine Aufgabe hätte verwenden sollen, um auch alle Verfahren selber begleiten zu können, bzw dass ich schon früher eine Diskussion um Verbesserungsmöglichkeiten des Review Prozesses hätte anstoßen sollen.


Many thanks, Prof. Wagner, for your prompt clarification.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Hans.

I guess that settles it? Do we all agree that Professor Wagner, again, makes it clear he resigned because he felt he had made mistakes, and not because he was pressured by "climate capo" Kevin Trenberth (according to Steve McIntyre) ?

Somehow, I am a bit skeptical about that idea of us all agreeing on that.

Bam

Freddy Schenk said...

Thanks Hans!

Nice that Wagner clarified his reason for stepping down. I think it sounds much more reasonable now than it appeared from his editorial letter. In this letter, he didn't clearly say that he stepped down because he did a mistake. In contrast, it looked more like he feels responsible for the (negativ) impact of the published SB11 paper including the media hype or like Hans said, was politically motivated to act as a "filter".

The unlucky combination of the appologies to Trenberth combined with the misleading editorial letter (filtering) opened a lot of doors for conspiracy.

Maybe we should close these doors now and support open/online peer-review processes instead.

Freddy Schenk said...

As we might close or accept the cause Wagner, the point from Eduardo #22 is still important:

did Spencer submit his article to another journal before and he felt that it was unjustifiably rejected? I pose this question because Remote Sensing does not seem the adequate journal for this paper.

Maybe he intentionally chose a journal where he expected to have non-experts in his topic to pass the review process more easily?

This is only a speculation but the point from Edu, that the journal doesn't really fit, seems to be obvious.

Georg said...

I am also disappointed. No dirt under the carpet. Nothing exciting. Just normal humans taking their decision for quite human reasons.
It's all so disappointingly ... true.

TCO said...

Agreed, this has all the flavor of them trying to AVOID a good review (thinking the man is out to get them) and then not getting obvious mistakes found. Similar thing happened with the MMH paper, and I often see this sort of attitude from Steve McI. For that matter all the peeps with EnE papers (e.g. Loehle had one so screwed up he published a do over). It's sad, Eduoard. You are my hero.