Monday, May 16, 2016

Open review vs open access.

Now that Boris Johnson has finally Godwinated the EU referendum debate I don't need to discuss that, and can talk about this instead. Though actually, it's about at the same intellectual level as Johnson's comments. Everyone agrees it's junk, the questions are why this stuff gets written, and how it gets published. I won't speculate here on the why (I already did here), just the how.

It has appeared in a new journal of unknown quality, the AGU (partnering with Wiley) seemingly jumping on the open access pay-to-publish bandwagon. It is worth noting, Bates has not previously published there, he didn't choose it out of familiarity or convenience, but had (apparently) been shopping around since at least 2014 with this idea trying to find a home. Pretty much everything gets published eventually, by the way. It just takes longer if it's either rubbish, or a revolutionary idea that is well ahead of its time.

It's a shame Bates didn't have the guts to try ACP or ESD, where his manuscript would have been shredded by reviewers in short order. It is all too easy for a lazy or overstretched editor at any journal to simply use the author's “suggested reviewers” without also looking for an independent view. At least in the case of the EGU open review process, an incompetent reviewing process is in principle discouraged by the fact that it's out in the open, and there is of course the opportunity for other interested parties to add their views. Score +1 for open review.

21 comments:

Tom C said...

James -

It appears to me that Ray Bates has had a much more illustrious career than, say, you. It is truly weird how persons like you, ATTP, and Stoat feel you are in a position to talk disparagingly about people like him, Lindzen, Dyson etc. It seems you are self-deluded by inclusion in a comfy group of political and cultural fellow-travelers. This is what gives rise to groupthink.

Tom C said...

Further, you claim his discussion of feedbacks was "tedious". Another amazing thing is how your group (as in groupthink) tends to take scientific concepts and forge some kind of distinct definition in regard to climate. You have your own understanding of what statistical significance is, you think you can average a bunch of model results and get something more "accurate", you don't use a term like feedback with any discernible consistency with other branches of science and engineering, you think you can do a PC analysis and pick whatever value fits your conclusion ex post facto.

Maybe his discussion of feedbacks was comprehensive and well-informed, but inconvenient to your purposes.

PeteB said...

"..you think you can average a bunch of model results and get something more "accurate",.."

Haha see http://julesandjames.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/reliability-of-ipcc-ar4-cmip3-ensemble.html

There's a long list of people you could explain that to (stevie m, Lucia, Ben santer, lindzen and choi)

PeteB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom C said...

PeteB - I should have made clear that Annan is not guilty of this particular sin, but many in the field are.

James Annan said...

Pete, thanks.

Tom, come on, surely you can do better than that.

andthentheresphysics said...

What an odd comment by Tom C. I don't recall saying anything disparaging about Ray Bates amd James's post is about his paper, not about him specifically. Also, if James is not in a position to critique the work of Ray Bates, Tom should now head over to any of the typical "skeptic" blogs and remind them to pay deference to anyone who has had a distinguished scientific career.

Tom C said...

You are right James. It was a poor effort on my part. I should have pointed out that you wrote "everyone agrees it's junk" and linked to ATTP, who, I believe is nowhere close to being a climate scientist and not exactly eminent in his field. I guess he is a snarky leftist, which is all that seems to matter. Weird how the highly credentialed keep being refuted by the un-credentialed.

James Annan said...

Tom, just to be clear, do you actually think the paper in question is good?

Tom C said...

I have no idea. My math is good, but I lack the background in the relevant science to make a good judgment. I evaluate credentials, likely motivations, attitudes, analyze rhetorical strategies, and come to a decision whom to trust. In this case I would say that the result he got is plausible, but very likely on the low side. In general, I have come to trust simple well-reasoned models rather than elaborate brute force models.

andthentheresphysics said...

So, if we should all judge things on the basis of the credentials of those who are presenting it, then surely there are many highly credentialed people who have presented work that is completely at odds with the work of Ray Bates.

James Annan said...

Tom, good luck on judging scientific validity on rhetorical strategies. I'd rather toss a coin, at least that way you'd be right half the time rather than being consistently deceived by the same people. No doubt you thought that tobacco was harmless and the ozone hole would go away by itself. Maybe you still do.

I'm guessing you have some excuses to discount the credentials of not only the IPCC but all the world's major scientific academies that endorse it.

MartinM said...

You two are seriously overcomplicating this. "I evaluate credentials, likely motivations, attitudes, analyze rhetorical strategies, and come to a decision whom to trust" is just a fancy way of saying "I go with whomever is saying what I want to believe."

Tom C said...

Re rhetorical strategies - you all realize that Mike Mann writes and talks like a political operative and not like a scientist, right? That is what I am getting at.

No MartinM - it actually means that exact opposite of that, and if you bother to think about it a bit before committing words to print you might realize it.

Tom C said...

So, James, by invoking tobacco, you are implying that Ray Bates is being paid by some group and slanting his research accordingly. Do you actually have a shred of evidence to that effect, or are you just comfortable throwing out accusations? Wouldn't it be a lot easier for a guy with his qualifications to just jump on the bandwagon and start some sort of "Institute" like Shukla did? Maybe his wife and daughter need a job also.

Re IPCC, when they claimed that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 was I obligated to believe it? Did you? Do you think the polar bears are dying?

James Annan said...

No, Tom, I'm not talking about Ray Bates, I'm talking about you. And I think I've done enough of it for now. Bye.

Tom C said...

Empty indeed

Pehr Björnbom said...

It's obvious already from equations (3) and (4) that there are serious errors in this paper. That this could pass peer review is weird.

andthentheresphysics said...

Pehr,
I don't think there is anything fundamentally wrong with equations 3 and 4. They're simplistic approximations, but quite commonly used. In my view the major issue with the paper is how he's determined the feedbacks factors and the fact that his uncertainty analysis is essentially non-existent.

Pehr Björnbom said...

ATTP,
It's not that those equations are wrong but there are imporant things missing on how they have been used in several recent studies for determining ECS. A whole bunch of papers publishing new interesting ECS values using those equations in another, and rather fruitful, way than suggested by the author, are ignored in his article.

andthentheresphysics said...

Pehr,
Okay, yes, I see what you mean. I agree.