date: Mon Aug 22 16:31:56 2005
from: Phil Jones <p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
to: "Michael E. Mann" <mannatXYZxyzeo.psu.edu>
You might like this one for your files! Amazing how people can
read the wrong thing into co-authorship!
I seem to have chosen a good week to have been away
after the IPCC deadline of Aug 12.
My email was full of loads of these sorts of emails, from
It also seems that Roger Pielke Sr has resigned from the CCSP
report and even John Christy has asked to come off the skeptic
email list - along with several others. Roger said the NYT article
was the last straw.
Congratulations on the upcoming December event ! I can't make
the AGU either, but my reason isn't so good!
Don't forget to get Scott to send the data soon.
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2005 19:02:07 EDT
Subject: Re: [Climate Sceptics] Validation of Santer et al, Part I: Formal
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You report that Ben Santer has said the first draft of the paper by Santer et al. was
circulated to a limited distribution of potential co-authors about 3-4 weeks before the
final version was submitted for publication (see below). Whatever the truth of that and
whatever the reason was in this case, the usual reasons for seeking coauthors after the
work is done should be noted.
The seeking of additional coauthors prior to publication is always an indication that
the originators of the paper doubt its worth: why else would they 'share the credit'?
And the usual reason for this deplorable practice is to subvert the peer review
process. When many (often prominent) coauthors are gathered then it becomes difficult
to find reviewers who will be unconnected with any of the coauthors. And few peer
reviewers wish to take the risk of suggesting rejection of a paper that is coauthored by
colleagues (who may find out).
Hence, a large number of coauthors can be taken as a warning that the providers of a
paper have doubts concerning the quality of the paper. Indeed, as a generalisation, the
quality of a research paper is usually inversely related to the number of its coauthors.
Some journals have been attempting to reduce the seeking of additional coauthors by
trying to limit the number of authors. But, sadly, this corruption has become so
endemic in climate science that the journals often fail (as a scan through recent
editions of Nature and Science demonstrates).
All the best
In a message dated 18/08/2005 18:05:04 GMT Standard Time, timo.hamerantaatXYZxyzinet.fi
Now, it was some kind of a news to me when Ben Santer Aug 11 explained:
"The first draft of the Santer et al. paper was circulated to a limited
distribution of potential co-authors on April 20th, 2005."
The paper was then revisited with Carl Mears and Frank Wentz April 26 - May 13.
As far as I can see, this circulation of the draft April 20th, 2005 means that any
actual field research or replication of the results or a proper review by the
potential co-authors, besides Carl Mears and Frank Wentz, and any mutual
communication about possible discrepancies between all the authors were practically
impossible when the paper was submitted to Science May 13, 2005.
It seems evident that those other co-authors could have had only certain additions
and corrections to the text, if any. These invited co-authors have done at best the
job which normally belongs to the acknowledged colleagues, and after submission to
editors and peer-reviewers.
Those invited co-authors should rather be called co-signers only. I do admit that
the line between actual research workers and commentators is sometimes flickering,
but in this case not.
Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email p.jonesatXYZxyz.ac.uk