Pattern Recognition in Physics

A physics journal that I barely knew existed, called Pattern Recognition in Physics, has survived two volumes (one being a special issue) before being cancelled by the publisher. This has already been discussed by Eli, over at Stoat, and by James Annan. Given that the letter terminating the publication actually says

The journal idea was brought to Copernicus’ attention and was taken rather critically in the beginning, since the designated Editors-in-Chief were mentioned in the context of the debates of climate skeptics.

Eli’s question about how this started in the first place, is probably the one to be asking (assuming anyone is actually that interested in understanding what’s happened). The main reason for the termination of the publication seems to be because the editors of the special issue concluded that

“doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project”

which, in my opinion, is a rather embarrassing thing for the editors of a physics journal to be saying. It’s hard to see how anyone who understands basic physics could come to such a conclusion. The letter also says

In addition, the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing and not in accordance with our publication ethics we expect to be followed by the editors,

which is rather damning. I’ve heard some argue that the field is small and so finding suitable reviewers was difficult. Really? Surely, if this is meant to be a general journal about physics, you could find plenty of people capable of reviewing the papers. Even a special edition that focused on climate science should have had plenty of potential reviewers. Presumably those who argue that the field is small, are actually suggesting that the number of people who likely agree with what the papers say is small – which is not quite the same thing.

Personally, I don’t quite understand the motivation behind a journal about Pattern Recognition in Physics. Firstly, it’s not obvious why pattern recognition is particularly relevant to physics. Physics has a large number of fundamental laws that can be applied in order to understand physical systems. Pattern recognition may play a role, but an entire journal? Also, in cases where it might be relevant, there are plenty of physics journals where one could submit a paper. I guess there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with a new journal (although there are lots, so another doesn’t seem that necessary) but the title makes me think that the subtitle should have been Trying hard not to assume correlation means causation.

Those who published papers in this journal, and who are now making claims of censorship, have a number of sensible options. If they really believe that their work has merit and would stand up to scrutiny, they can submit their papers to a different journal, or they can create a new journal that doesn’t rely on an existing publishing house. It’s not difficult and if the work really has merit, it will be noticed. On the other hand, if they don’t actually have confidence in their work, they can make a big fuss and claim there it’s a conspiracy to prevent their work from being published.

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66 Responses to Pattern Recognition in Physics

  1. I’m guessing that my idea for the journal, “Fecundity of non-native mammalian pests” is a bit narrow now. ;P

  2. I suspect you’d have to review your own papers, which would almost certainly be regarded as nepotistic :-)

  3. Marco says:

    First, the first issue wasn’t really a Special Issue as such, but included the Special Issue. There were some unrelated papers in the first issue. The second issue did not get beyond two papers.

    Second, they cannot resubmit to another journal, because the paper has been published already and is not retracted. That is, there is no censorship. They just can’t make it into another Journal of the American Physicians and Surgeons. Maybe a pity, I’d love to see a few people attempt a Sokal-like hoax on them.

    Third, if the publisher has evidence of improper peer review he should have retracted those papers. Closing the journal because of the (implied) dishonesty of the Editors is fine, but don’t imply impropriety and then leave the articles stand!

    Fourth, the field of climate cranks with even modest credentials is rather small, so it would indeed be difficult to find reviewers.

    What I find most remarkable is that Albert Parker still has a job. He’s been caught in obvious scientific misconduct, publishing under two different names on the same topic (Parker & Boretti), in one case sending two separate comments to a journal (one by Parker and one by Boretti) and he even uploaded a ‘follow-up’ paper under the name Boretti to an article written by himself under the name Parker on arxiv (here: http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1303/1303.6348.pdf), without making it clear he is Parker.

  4. Marco,

    they cannot resubmit to another journal, because the paper has been published already and is not retracted. That is, there is no censorship.

    I agree, there’s no censorship. Also, I was just meaning that they could have submitted their work to another journal and could submit future work to another journal.

    Third, if the publisher has evidence of improper peer review he should have retracted those papers. Closing the journal because of the (implied) dishonesty of the Editors is fine, but don’t imply impropriety and then leave the articles stand!

    Yes, this is an interesting issue and Oliver Bothe – I think – was making a similar case on Twitter. If the articles were improperly reviewed they should have been retracted. Using that as an argument to close the whole journal could end up being a poor argument to have made.

    Fourth, the field of climate cranks with even modest credentials is rather small, so it would indeed be difficult to find reviewers.

    Yes, but that’s kind of the argument I was making. Ideally, just because there is disagreement in a field doesn’t mean that journal editors should only send papers to reviewers who would likely agree with the paper’s conclusions. Even when there are disagreements, other reviewers should be able to critique a paper. So, there were other reviewers available but the editors chose not to send the papers to them.

    I didn’t know about Albert Parker. Interesting.

  5. OPatrick says:

    Presumably a publisher ceasing publication of a journal is something they can do without having to explain themselves to anyone. Retracting a paper on the other hand requires evidence and needs to be justified. Is there any reason to think that the publishers won’t now be investigating to see if the papers that have been published should be retracted? I’m assuming this isn’t a decision they would make on the spur of the moment.

  6. OPatrick,

    Presumably a publisher ceasing publication of a journal is something they can do without having to explain themselves to anyone.

    I suspect that that is correct. Presumably they wanted a reason so as to avoid claims of underhanded behaviour. However, the reason they’ve given may – to some – seem insufficient to justify closing the journal. That’s why I’m with Eli on this one. Why did they go ahead with this in the first place, given their initial concerns?

  7. It is possible to publish in other journals and it does happen more frequently than many think. I have come across papers that have been rewritten but with the same data and the author order changed. It’s a technicality in that it isn’t the same paper being submitted.

  8. Tom Curtis says:

    I have looked in vain for more details as to why the peer review was considered nepotistic, so eventually went through the articles of the “special edition” myself. Of the actual articles, as opposed to the introduction to the special edition, and the “petition” at the end:

    1) Morner, and Salvador each wrote 1; Wilson wrote 1, and co-authored another with Scaffeta; and Jelbring, Solheim, and Tattersal each wrote 2.

    2) Jelbring reviewed 4; and Solheim and Yndestad (whose name appears on the petition) each reviewed 1. There are an additional unknown number of “anonymous reviewers”, being at least two in number, and no more than fourteen. As such their number can easily be supplied from other signers of the “petition”. Personally, I believe that in this case, the names of anonymous reviewers should be secured by the publishers, and any of those who are also signers of the petitions should be named and shamed.

    3) Morner edited all articles except for his own, which was edited by the self plagiarizer.

    I’m not sure “nepotistic” is the correct term. Rather, the peer review gives every appearance of being incestuous. If anybody has more details on this, I am interested.

    List of papers in order:
    Author: Morner , Editor: Ouadfeul, Reviewer: Solheim plus 1
    Author: Salvador, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: Jelbring plus 1
    Author: Scaffeta and Wilson, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: plus 2
    Author: Jelbring, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: plus 2
    Author: Wilson, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: plus 2
    Author: Solheim, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: Yndestad and Jelbring
    Author: Jelbring, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: plus 2
    Author: Solheim, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: Jelbring plus 1
    Author: Tattersal, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: Jelbring plus 1
    Author: Tattersal, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: plus 2

  9. Tom,
    Given the typical way in which some justify their behaviour, I can just see the argument being made that they can’t close the journal because the publishers claimed the reviewing was nepotistic when in fact it was incestuous :-)

  10. Marco says:

    Will we see any cries of “pal review” from the pseudoskepticsphere? I doubt it; in fact they will continue to claim censorship.

    Tom, I had a similar idea when looking through the people who reviewed, finding plenty of “anonymous”, and then see several additional names on that “conclusion” paper. It would be good if the publisher could identify those anonymous reviewers.

    I think the most proper terms here are “conflict of interest” combined with “reviewer bias”. For most journals enough to retract, but we also know what happened in the case of Climate Research and de Freitas getting arranging apparent pal review.

  11. jsam says:

    For less than the annual cost of the GWPF you could start your own publishing house. The “nepotists” were pirates merely flying a flag of convenience, using a naive Copernicus. Let them start their own journal; they can fly the Jolly Roger with pride.

    Is “nepotists” the right word? Probably not. But is there a good collective noun for those who lick each others testicles and complain when told it’s embarrassing?

  12. jsam says:

    Oh, and of course, they could then lay claim to “peer review”. There is a conspiracy. Theirs.

  13. Rachel says:

    But is there a good collective noun for those who lick each others testicles and complain when told it’s embarrassing?

    That’s unfair, jsam. I imagine it’s very hard to lick one’s testicles oneself. Not that I would know, of course. I just suspect.

  14. BBD says:

    You’d need to be a dog. They have it down to a fine art.

  15. BBD says:

    Did someone mention dogs? Puts me in mind of dog astrology ;-)

    Paging John Mashey…

  16. jsam says:

    Ah, my apologies, Rachel. I may have given too much away.

  17. AnOilMan says:

    Peer review is a two way street and it exemplifies the best of what consensus means.

    1) If the science is good and the journal vets good work, then the best work and the best accolades come to it. This cycle reinforces. Go to 1.
    2) If the journal is bad but the science is good then they can always go to another journal which will enjoy a positive cycle, go to 1.
    3) If the journal is bad and or the work is bad, then the journal will not grow. The journal disintegrates. End program.

    I’m reminded of why we have peer review;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sokal_affair

    Then there is the idea that we are sharing ideas such that we may all learn from it;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sch%C3%B6n_scandal

    This really just highlights that doing new ground breaking work is encouraged, but lying is not. This is why the denial community can find fake experts to speak for them. If its outside their field of research there is no loss, and nothing that can be done about it.

    … and a comedy bit for this dismal crowd; (peer review comment 2 seems appropriate)
    http://fundermental.blogspot.ca/2011/05/peer-review-changing-lightbulb.html

    Of course in the denial community they form a blog and whine for 6 months about someone not doing everything they were instructed to do during the review. (McIntyre vs Briffa … Its really funny when you hear what McIntyre was telling him to do. Use less data and only from the few problem sites.)

  18. jsam says:

    Spol omnologos and tol on retraction watch. Excuses aplenty. Enjoyed tallblokes squawks too.

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  20. John Mashey says:

    ATTP: Having studied this bizarre corner of the publishing world, this goes on all the time … although you may not be used to it in physics, where I haven’t seen where people who are sure electrons don’t exist trying to create journals so they can publish their work.

    I’d add this case. to my discussion originally from Rabett Run, repeated here:

    My usual taxonomy is:

    1) Bad paper gets through credible journal. Mistakes happen, but this is usually hard.
    This may lead to retractions.

    2) Paper gets through out-of-field journal. Mistakes happen, including omission of “not for this journal”. Sometimes this arises from insufficiently-strong (but not actively malevolent) editorial procedures, such as relying too much on author-suggested reviewers.
    This can lead to shakeups, such as when Wolfgang Wagner honorably resigned to show screw-up taken seriously. If people can find a weak journal, they may flock.

    3) Rogue editor gets into otherwise-reasonable journal, has too much individual control, gets away with it for a while, then oversteps,as in Skeptics Prefer Pal Review Over Peer Review: Chris de Freitas, Pat Michaels And Their Pals, 1997-2003. That ended up causing multiple resignations by editors protesting. Of course, that was the real story behind one of the Climategate emails that certain people love to quote (out of context), and in fact, the problem was more pervasive than Phil and Kevin may have realized at the time, but as good scientists should, they were trying to keep junk from getting the credibility of peer-reviewed literature.

    4) Journal created as an outlet for weak work, sometimes by/for the editors and friends.
    E&E would fit this, but that illustrates the problem: after a while, people stop paying any attention. PRP is an even more extreme case, where the editors/friends use it as a clown-car vehicle of their own … but of course, that can be all too obvious, except to the drivers. To get away with this, one needs to be careful and not overdo it, and have more reasonable articles for protection.

    Also here might be placed my favorite dog astrology journal, see The Journal of Scientific Exploration is a Dog. In that, HWQDAJ = He Who Quotes Dog Astrology Journal = Andrew Montford, from this discussion on Wikipedia talk page*

    HWQDAJ also applied to a certain “auditor” and a recently emeritus MIT professor, writing in Euresis.

    The key Deming article of “we have to get rid of the MWP” fame, actually appeared first at Fred Singer’s SEPP website, 3 months before official publication, a curious publishing practice. Many others have quoted this, perhaps not quite understanding the journal, which was greatly influenced, with many articles, by the PEAR people. So, in some sense, that started in a similar way, but with a bigger mix of articles and topics and with less visibility than this fiasco.

    ====
    * Review of Hockey-Stick Illusion was getting 20+ comments/day in Talk pages. I posted that, and for a day there was stunned silence. Then followed several days in which various people wouldn’t comment on it, but kept trying to remove it, generally a no-no in Wikipedia Talk pages. The noble Stoat kept reverting it back in, and eventually they quit trying and then it finally got archived away … but it is still there.

    ===
    Finally, it is not just the reviewers that Tom Curtis has thoughtfully summarized, but the patterns of citations if one actually looks at the papers, i.e., much self-referential and cross-referential cites among this set of authors. That can be OK … or it can mean fringe, at best.

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  22. chris says:

    This is encouraging. Perhaps one needs be reminded occasionally what science is, what it is for, how scientific evidence is disseminated and what are and are not ethical practices in scientific publishing.

    It’s rather apparent that the efforts to subvert the publishing process by the Editors and their friends shows an astonishing disregard for all of the above. Good for Copernicus for addressing this robustly.

  23. dana1981 says:

    It sounds like Copernicus had concerns about the journal from the get-go, with Morner being in as hardcore denial as deniers get (denying that sea level is rising is insane). But it seems as though the two chief editors convinced the folks at Copernicus that their journal would be about pattern recognition in all physical science fields, and wouldn’t be an AGW denial journal. So Copernicus gave them a shot, then they immediately started publishing AGW denial papers, so Copernicus shut them down.

    Not a wise move to give Morner a journal to begin with, but once they made that mistake, Copernicus’ reaction seems reasonable to me.

    As for Tallbloke’s claim that there aren’t many experts in their field, that’s nonsense. I could give him a long list of scientists guilty of curve fitting.

    Amazingly even Watts has said that several of the papers published in this edition are just curve fitting papers. When Anthony Watts recognizes that your papers are crap, that’s really saying something.

  24. Dana,

    Amazingly even Watts has said that several of the papers published in this edition are just curve fitting papers. When Anthony Watts recognizes that your papers are crap, that’s really saying something.

    Yes, that worried me slightly when I first read it, but I guess sometimes Anthony get’s it right :-) I notice that tallbloke and others are not that impressed with Anthony’s response to the closing of the Journal.

  25. Michael Brown says:

    There is an amazing exchange between Benestad and Scafetta in Pattern Recognition in Physics which suggests some major problems with peer review at that journal. The peer review at the journal clearly didn’t stop a series of blatantly false statements from being published. The three relevant articles are linked from http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/1/issue1.html.

    Given this exchange and Jeffrey Beall’s post on the journal from last year, one has to wonder if the publisher was aware of problems at the journal well before the “Special” issue.

    (Interestingly, Benestad’s comment was “Edited by: R. Donner. Reviewed by: S. M. Barbosa and one anonymous referee.)

  26. Michael,
    Yes, I saw your tweet and tried to read those but didn’t manage to find the links. Probably wasn’t trying hard enough. I’ll have another look.

  27. Okay, I was being very stupid. The links are prominent. Not sure why I couldn’t find them last time.

  28. John Mashey says:

    1) Good pattern recognition in science helps identify effects that have underlying causes and mechanisms, but those have to be identified sooner or later, lest one fall in the “data mining fallacy.” Starting with a conclusion, doing a lot of statistical analysis, and then positing unknown mechanisms for years … doesn’t do it.

    2) “the field is small” this particular field is sometimes called climastrology.
    That may be related to a seminal paper An Empirical Study of Some Astrological Factors in Relation to Dog Behaviour Differences by Statistical Analysis and Compared with Human Characteristics – the abstract may be adequate for assessment, but one can find many tables of statistics and graphs.

  29. John,
    I noticed BBD’s earlier comment, but didn’t have a chance to follow his link. That’s a fantastic paper.

  30. BBD says:

    Thanks for the link, John!

    I knew you were the go-to guy on that fascinating topic ;-)

    This all horribly amusing. Perhaps that makes me a bad man, but I can live with that.

  31. John Mashey says:

    Whenever in need of amusement, pick an article or two at random from JSE past articles, almost all free!. Dog astrology jumped to the lead, surpassing my previous favorite Unexplained Weight Gain Transients at the Moment of Death”.:

    ‘Abstract—Twelve animals (one ram, seven ewes, three lambs and one goat) were studied. At the moment of death an unexplained weight gain transient of 18 to 780 grams for 1 to 6 seconds was observed with seven adult sheep but not with the lambs or goat. The transients occurred in a quiet time at the moment of death when all breathing and movement had ceased. These transient
    ains are anomalous in that there is no compensating weight loss as required by Newton’s Third Law. There was no permanent weight change at death. Dynamic weight measurements may present a fruitful area of investigation.’

  32. Michael Brown says:

    No worries. Only so much information can be communicated via tweets.

  33. Eli Rabett says:

    Eli thinks the rather incestuous choice of reviewers simply shows, that rather than being testicle lickers PRP was a simply circle of jerks, but he does have a question, were any copies of this thing printed? and if so who paid for the print run and what was the list of subscribers? If Copernicus sells bundles to libraries, did they bundle this thing??? and were there any takers

  34. John Mashey says:

    Sorry, that was transient *gains* as the sheep were suffocated to see what would happen,

    BBD: “go-to guy”
    Actually, while I have long experience in looking at such, I must thank Eli Rabett for bringing JSE to the world’s attention, long ago, in Ask for it under the counter in a plain brown wrapper back in 2008, although many links are now dead.

  35. Eli,
    Good question. I can’t find it listed at my university’s library. Be interesting to know if there were any takers.

  36. obothe says:

    Re Eli’s questions. It’s not a full answer but…

    ‘Archiving of Printed Issues: Besides the e-archiving of the electronic article files we print all issues and archive them in copyright libraries in Germany, UK and the USA.’

    ‘Print-on-demand: We offer printed issues for all our journals, as volume subscriptions as well as for single issue orders. Due to the print-on-demand technology we produce the copies very fast and with a minimum print run of one copy.’

    http://publications.copernicus.org/services/open_access_publishing.html

  37. Thanks Oliver. Did you have any discussion with tallbloke etc. about the implications that you were somehow involved in the demise of the journal, or did you just decide to let that go?

  38. obothe says:

    I prepared a blog post, decided against publishing it for the moment, went for dinner and then James published his involvement (if I understand his post correctly) so I didn’t see any reason to comment.

  39. Oliver,
    Maybe that was wise. Possibly I should prepare things and then decide against publishing them every now and again :-)

  40. Michael Brown says:

    Someone may want to archive all the papers, just to be careful. Too often interesting content disappears during the climate debate.

  41. Michael,
    Yes, I guess there is a chance that the journal will look at this more closely and will decide that some papers should be retracted.

  42. Reich.Eschhaus says:

    Note the comment section at WUWT (sorry for having to link it):

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/17/the-planetary-tidal-influence-on-climate-fiasco-strong-armed-science-tactics-are-overkill-due-process-would-work-better/#comments

    The WUWTers are battling it out with the Tallbloke/Scafetti gang. Not so long ago there was the battle against the slayers. Is the “skeptic’ side slowly falling apart?

  43. Bobby says:

    If I find this whole business funny, am I not being civil?

    To be specific…things like nepotism with referees, watching Tol jump to the defense of this journal without any ability to criticize (compare the sudden shyness with a recent Antarctic story), complete factual inaccuracies in the articles, the “field is small”…sorry, I can’t type anymore. It’s just too funny.

  44. As the comments seem to have wound down, I would like to return to the issue of a collective noun for testicle lickers as discussed by jsam and Rachel…

    “But is there a good collective noun for those who lick each others testicles and complain when told it’s embarrassing?

    That’s unfair, jsam. I imagine it’s very hard to lick one’s testicles oneself. Not that I would know, of course. I just suspect.”

    I can see the confusion here and so two collective nouns are needed. One for a group licking each others testicles and one for a group licking their own (metaphorically perhaps). I don’t have one for the first group but I think a “triumphant of testicle lickers” would do for the second.

  45. John Mashey says:

    Some of this terminology is getting pretty silly.
    Cronyism would have been a better term than nepotism, but the behavior here is akin to that in Pal Review, except that de Freitas wasn’t the Editor-in-Chief, and they were a lot more subtle, until they overreached with Soon & Baliunas. What’s still unknown was the sets of reviewers for the various papers, and a common tactic was to have an innocuous topic, but slip in some zingy overstatements in the conclusion, and then be able to quote that. Of course, there is always C.V. inflation to be gotten. Half of Pat Michaels’ papers during that period went through that journal, one where he had never published before, in common with the other pals.
    Soon and de Freitas were each reviewing each others’ papers about then, albeit in different journals.

  46. Eli Rabett says:

    Well in the UK, perhaps a wanker of testicle lickers? As for the review policy, a daisy chain of reviewers seems to fit well?

  47. Eli Rabett says:

    Oliver, thanks for that. The deniers are, of course, well established in the right wing welfare circuit (see, Monckton for example) so perhaps they ordered a boat load to be handed out at various lodge meetings?

  48. It is a great shame that the editors of PRP chose not to adopt the open review scheme used at some other Copernicus journals, for example Climate of the Past. Here, the initial submissions are published on-line, and then the reviews are published, anonymously by default, and other people can submit uninvited reviews. Had PRP adopted this scheme, inadequacies in the reviewing process would have visible to all. Perhaps the editors realised this.

  49. Bernard J. says:

    Some are speculating (as I did a few days ago) on why Copernicus hasn’t retracted the papers themselves. As I read on another site it appears to be because Copernicus is separate from the editorial board, and hence it’s not so much Copernicus’ responsibility as it is the editors’. The cessation of publication is therefore an appropriate publisher/printer response, and it actually has the effect of placing a rather heavy onus directly on the editorial board at the centre of the affair…

    On the matter of what to call the editor-authors, I’ve been running with the portmanou ‘nepoteur‘ to describe both their cronyism and their bumbling and inevitable self-sabotage.

    I’m still thinking about something that describes apparently serious academics who try to defend PRiP and the nepoteurs in the face of the blindingly obvious inappropriate behaviour that they have exhibit. ‘Toe-bells’ is one slightly lateral option…

  50. jsam says:

    I am reminded that the British collective noun for a bunch of bankers is a “wunch”.

    There must be something in that to help with the collective noun for mutual testicle lickers such as the editorial board of Pattern Recognition in Physics. A detesicle?

  51. John Mashey says:

    Over at Tamino’s, Thomas wrote:
    “Hans Jelbring who wrote two papers is an old PhD student of Mörner, one of the earlier “dragonslayers” who think the entire greenhouse effect is a myth and the warming being just due to atmospheric pressure.”

    That is certainly consistent, given this @ Tallbloke’s, which tells us:
    ‘Hans Jelbring, BSc, meteorologist, Stockholm University, Civil engineer, electronics, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, PhD, institution of Paleogeophysics & geodynamics, Stockholm University.’ which was run by Morner until he retired in 2005. He reformed it in 2010 as an independent entity, whose members include Jelbring and 6 more besides Morner, and this lists PhD projects:
    ‘9) Jelbring, H., 1999: Wind controlled climate.’ Obviously, these were while this unit 2was part of the Unviersity, before spun out.

    In any case, given some close connection there, let us replay Tom Curtis’ list:

    Author: Morner , Editor: Ouadfeul, Reviewer: Solheim plus 1
    Author: Salvador, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: Jelbring plus 1
    Author: Scaffeta and Wilson, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: plus 2
    Author: Jelbring, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: plus 2
    Author: Wilson, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: plus 2
    Author: Solheim, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: Yndestad and Jelbring
    Author: Jelbring, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: plus 2
    Author: Solheim, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: Jelbring plus 1
    Author: Tattersal, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: Jelbring plus 1
    Author: Tattersal, Editor: Morner, Reviewer: plus 2

    So, Jelbring wrote 2 papers and reviewed 4 others, and this is H. Yndestad.

    Salvado’rs Ack says:
    ‘The author wants to express his thanks to Ian Wilson for the Tidal Torque theory and frequencies, Paul Vaughan for laying out in detail the relationship between frequencies,
    Tim Channon for a very timely comment, and Roger Tattersall for pointing out the Uranus one-quarter frequency and helpful articles.’

    Wilson’s Ack says:
    ‘Acknowledgements. The author would like to thank J. P. Desmoulins, Ulric Lyons, Ching-Cheh Hung, Ray Tomes, P. A. Semi, Roy Martin, Roger Tattersall, Paul Vaughan and
    R. J. Salvador for their contributions to the development of the VEJ tidal-torquing model and Ken McCracken for his support and encouragement of this research.

    Tattersall Ack’s both say:
    ‘Acknowledgements. The author wishes to thank the following people for their generous assistance in the production of this unfunded work: Stuart Graham, Ian Wilson, Roy Martin, Wayne Jackson, Graham Stevens, Roger Andrews, and many other people
    offering insight and comment at “Tallbloke’s Talkshop”.’

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  53. Reich.Eschhaus says:

    “Some are speculating (as I did a few days ago) on why Copernicus hasn’t retracted the papers themselves.”

    You would need a motivation for each paper that you retract.

  54. John Mashey says:

    FInally, auhors in bold
    General conclusions regarding the planetary–solar–terrestrial interaction
    N.-A. Mörner, R. Tattersall, J.-E. Solheim, I. Charvatova, N. Scafetta,H. Jelbring, I. R. Wilson, R. Salvador, R. C. Willson, P. Hejda, W. Soon, V. M. Velasco Herrera, O. Humlum. D. Archibald, H. Yndestad, D. Easterbrook, J. Casey, G. Gregori, and G. Henriksson

    The overall statement might make sense for the 3 editors, and maybe the additional authors, but then to add a bunch of others? One may wonder if any of the anonymous reviewers come from this group … but it did provide a few interesting names new to me.

    Principia Science International home of the Slayers and sponsor of Salby’s UK tour, includes as members: or (*) Consultant/Friend
    *N.-A. Mörner
    Ole Humlum

    and they “publish” their material, including several refutations of the Greenhouse Effect, so that may be an outlet for climastrology as well. (see Publications and PROM-Peer Review in Open Media) They covered the demise of PRP.

  55. AnOilMan says:

    That is a den of nut jobs….

  56. I would argue that pattern recognition is something else as searching for empirical relationships by hand. The special issue suggests the later, but the description of the journal sounds more like real pattern recognition.

    I see as main reason to close the journal that the papers were not on the previously agreed upon topic.

  57. Rachel says:

    John Mashey,
    There’s an URL missing in your comment here. I can fix it but I’m not sure where to point the link.

  58. John Mashey says:

    Rachel, thanks, I don’t know what happened. It as supposed to read:
    Over at Tamino’s, Thomas wrote::
    “Hans Jelbring who wrote two papers is an old PhD student of Mörner, one of the earlier “dragonslayers” who think the entire greenhouse effect is a myth and the warming being just due to atmospheric pressure.”.

    And indeed further rummaging supported that.

  59. Rachel says:

    Great, thanks. Sorted.

  60. Dikran Marsupial says:

    There has been a question as to why Copernicus hasn’t retracted the papers, well this is probably because papers don’t get retracted simply for being wrong, they are generally retracted due to research misconduct on the part of the authors, such as plagiarism, making up results, etc. If the peer-review process was flawed, it would be unfair on the authors to retract all of the papers – some of them might be right. If only some are to be retracted, how do you decide which? If journals retracted every paper where a significant flaws escaped peer review they would be a bout half the thickness they are now! ;o)

    In this case, as far as I can see, there was no misconduct on the part of the authors or reviewers, many of whom it would appear inexperienced and perhaps didn’t realise that they were doing anything wrong in reviewing the papers. It is the editors responsibility.

  61. Steve Bloom says:

    Interesting connection, John. That’s rather closer to the more common use of nepotism.

    DM, just to add that absent any editors it would be inappropriate for the (non-expert in the field, ignoring that the field at issue is basically imaginary) publishers to implement a retraction. But even had the journal continued with new editors who could have retracted, IMO it still would have been preferable to preserve the record of what happened.

    The big unanswered question here is how the publishers could have been such saps.

  62. Dikram,
    Exactly, you don’t retract papers because they turned out to be wrong or because the editors fouled up the reviewing.

    Steve,

    The big unanswered question here is how the publishers could have been such saps.

    Yup, that would appear to be the question.

  63. See WUWT for “claim” that Monkton will publish reincarnated Pattern Recognition in Physics.

  64. Kit,
    Fantastic, that’ll add much need credibility :-)

  65. John Mashey says:

    Ahh, yes do read The Thermageddon Cult strikes again by Monckton @ WND … and the comments.
    Scroll down to see the mockup of the cover of the next issue, which indeed reveals a pattern of some sort. Connolley is just having too much fun.

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