Models Methods Software

Dan Hughes

Independent Verification and Peer Review

Steve McIntyre has discovered and presented yet another problem with a long-term temperature reconstruction: Yamal: A “Divergence” Problem. While Steve has named his blog ClimateAudit, in my opinion his work is in fact Independent Verification.

The old, and rapidly becoming tedious, “Peer Review Publication is Required” nonsense has already appeared in the comments. Ironically, it seems that no one who raises this issue is aware that Steve is in fact discovering problems in peer-reviewed publications.

A very short summary of a major problem area relative to this olde rant follows.

A proper calculation suitable for archival publication requires that the following be applied prior to submittal of a paper.

Independent Verification of:

1. The input data.

2. Correct handling of the data prior to calculations; pre-processing.

3. The equations to be used in the analyses.

4. The coding of those equations.

5. The solution of the equations.

6. Correct handling of the calculated results; post-processing.

If this procedure is not carried out, the paper has not been peer-reviewed and is not fit for archival publication.

Steve McIntyre provides sufficient information to allow application of the procedure to his work; Independent Verification is attained. Peer-reviewed journals do not require that evidence be presented that the procedure has been applied to submitted papers.

On a related issue that frequently comes up in these Peer-Reviewed Publication rants. High-Impact Factors count for nothing if the papers are not of archival quality. Not to mention that the Impact Factor for a Journal says absolutely nothing about the citation history of any individual paper. And the citation history count of an individual paper says nothing about the nature of the citations; praise or condemnation are both available.


September 28, 2009 - Posted by | Calculation Verification, Verification | ,

1 Comment »

  1. wow. Who knew that “peer reviewed” by Real Climate meant “fake the data”.
    It is past time to bring these Chicken Littles to light where all the rats run for cover.

    Comment by zaugg | November 25, 2009 | Reply

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