Wegman scandal: GMU investigates

Dan Vergano in USA Today reports:

Officials at George Mason University confirmed Thursday that they are investigating plagiarism and misconduct charges made against a noted climate science critic.

“I’m very well aware of the report, but I have been asked by the university not to comment until all the issues have been settled,” Wegman says, by phone. “Some litigation is underway.” Walsch confirms that the university has asked Wegman not to comment.

“Clearly, text was just lifted verbatim from my book and placed in the (Wegman) report,” says Bradley, who is also one of the authors of the 1999 Nature study. In response to earlier concerns raised by the Deep Climate website, Bradley says he wrote a letter in April to GMU, noting the possibility of plagiarism and demanding an investigation of both the 2006 report and a subsequent, federally-funded study published by some of Wegman’s students. “Talk about irony. It just seems surreal (that) these authors could criticize my work when they are lifting my words.”

Deep Climate:

USA Today also has a letter to Bradley sent by Roger Stough, Vice-president for Research and Economic Development, on July 28, 2010. In the letter, Stough promised a resolution of the inquiry phase by September 30, apparently more than six months after the initial complaint was brought by Bradley. The purpose of the inquiry phase is to determine if a full-blown proceeding is warranted. Yet even that intermediate deadline has apparently been missed, though it was already well beyond GMU’s own established timelines.

Eli Rabett:

Many bunnies will miss the significance of this. When a formal research or professional misconduct complaint is received, universities are required to open an inquiry. This is a less formal procedure, usually conducted by administrative personnel with or without academics taking part. it is very confidential. Only when the inquiry finds strong evidence of misconduct is a formal investigation opened.

Steve Scolnik:

Yes, Virginia, while your 17th-century AG was hunting witches in the UVa email archives from 2003, his alma mater George Mason University was sitting on a case of plagiarism and academic misconduct involving the author of the so-called “Wegman Report”, upon which much of his witch hunt was based.

Gareth Renowden

Wegman declined to comment, but has confirmed that litigation is involved. Informed speculation suggests that this may be related to copyright issues — likely to be a problem for anyone who lifts 30% of a report from other people’s work. The story has also been picked up by the Washington Post, and Andy Revkin at Dot Earth has dubbed the affair SkepticGate. This scandal may be about to go mainstream — and not before time.

Richard Littlemore

Word is that that this is also just the first of several investigations in the offing. It’s clear enough from Barton and Whitfield’s own positions that they were hoping Wegman could wreck a few scientific reputations. As every new work seems to reaffirm the science behind the Mann, Bradley, Hughes hockey stick, it appears the reputation most at risk now is Wegman’s own.

Things Break

As an aside- many of the champions of the Wegman Report (e.g Steve McIntyre) took up Wegman’s claim “Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science” as a sort of incantation, chanting it as though it might somehow dispel the fact that reality appears to have a hockey-stick-shaped bias. I am sure that these same people will maintain their integrity and immediately disavow the Wegman Report and its conclusions.

Lou Grinzo

The further the deniers, their tactics, and their funding sources are dragged out of the shadows and into the bright, disinfecting sunlight of public scrutiny, the better it will be for climate science and everyone who depends on the public policy it informs.

Lucia Liljegren doesn’t seem to think very much of the case:

As a note I would like to point out the shocking(!) similarity between one of my sentences and a sentence in USA Today today … I hope USA Today doesn’t sue!!!

Keith Kloor:

Funny, but I’m not seeing any mention of the story over at WUWT or Climate Depot, or Planet Gore.

At WUWT (and after Kloor posted), Tom Fuller

I don’t like the weblog Deep Climate, and I very much respect the report Edward Wegman put out. I understand what the report said and I agree with its conclusions. So I’m hoping this investigation is thorough, quick and that Wegman’s work stands.

But there’s no way we can ignore this and complain about a lack of vigor in finding out what went wrong with CRU, Climategate and the Hockey Stick. This is bad news (for me). But it is news.

Comments

  1. #1 Heraclitus
    October 9, 2010

    I look forwards to seeing how this pans out, however I’d agree with a comment by M over at ClimateProgress

    “… I think the proper thing to do is note the prescence of the investigation and urge restraint until the investigation is completed and all details are available.”

    [comment #20 Mann slams Cuccinelli] (http://climateprogress.org/2010/10/08/michael-mann-cuccinelli-sensenbrenner-issa-anti-science/#comment-300340)

  2. #2 toby
    October 9, 2010

    I agree with Heraclitus … but we should also note Eli Rabett’s comments – this is an investigation, a far more serious beast than an enquiry.

    It also seems that GMU are dragging their heels somewhat – contrast the way Penn State investigated and enquired into Michael Mann, with Mann’s 100% co-operation, and published the results expeditiously – which they were not under any requirement to do. There was never any formal complaint about Mann, but there is at least one against Wegman. The hint is that Wegman is not co-operating and is lawyering up for the coming battle.

    The playout on the Cucinelli vs Mann case before the courts will be interesting. It is one more reason for U of V to argue against Coochy because his filed brief depends heavily on Wegman. Will Cuchinello re-file, or will (as we all hope) the judge just throw the whole thing out??

  3. #3 John Mashey
    October 9, 2010

    To be very precise, there is a difference between inquiry and investigation in formal terms at GMU, but the distinction often gets fuzzed in normal conversation.

    To complete an inquiry requires looking at Deep Cliamte’s side-by-sides for a few minutes and saying “yes, looks enough like plagiarism to recommend an investigation.”

    So far, at least as of a few days ago, GMU had not completed that task or at least had not informed Bradley. of course, it helped that having formed a committee in April, they sadly were unable to meet until the last week of August…

    but if anything, the plagiarism in the SNA stuff and in an article that thanked 3 govt agencies … is worse. Most universities would be on that in days. Do people have any idea what happens if somebody like the US DHHS decides a university’s research supervision is bad? DHHS (health) is GMU’s biggest external research funder….

    I don’t know if USA Today has the emails, but if they come out, the lameness of excuses will make good reading.

  4. I have used WebCite to cache the material pertaining to this affair: 1 (Mashey’s 200+ page analysis), 2, 3, 4, 5 (Deep Climate‘s prior write-ups), 6 (GMU letter to Bradley), 7 (the Wegman ‘report’ itself).

  5. toby:

    Cuccinelli’s civil subpoena also makes ‘arguments’ based on material other than Wegman’s ‘report’, so I imagine both the UVa lawyers and the presiding judge will need to do a bit more work before the case can really be dismissed.

  6. #6 John McManus
    October 9, 2010

    I have seen numerous hockey sticks . One from a couple of weeks ago was even Canadian. Others, McIntyre, McShane & Winter(?), have proudly produced hockey sticks while shouting ” we have not produced a hockey stick”.

    Is there a list of all the hockey sticks anywhere out there? Such a resource could be valuable.

  7. #7 MarkB
    October 9, 2010

    If Wegman is guilty of plagiarism and academic misconduct, as the evidence clearly indicates, then it’s important that the mainstream media covers this, as it reduces the chance of GMU protecting Wegman. No university would risk harming their reputation to protect a criminal. Of course, if Koch is pulling the strings, as some have suggested, all bets are off.

  8. #8 MarkB
    October 9, 2010

    John McManus,

    Here’s a good reference. See the Global and Hemispheric section.

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/recons.html

  9. #9 Former Skeptic
    October 9, 2010

    I am totally amused by the reaction from Fuller and Watts over at Kloors.

    1) Kloor calls Fuller out on his WUWT post, and specifically highlights this:

    “Tom:
    Just to be clear, I thought this part undermined everything else you said:

    “I don’t like the weblog Deep Climate, and I very much respect the report Edward Wegman put out. I understand what the report said and I agree with its conclusions. So I’m hoping this investigation is thorough, quick and that Wegman’s work stands.”

    Fuller’s replies are telling:

    1) “I’m not a beat journalist and have never claimed to be. What I write is commentary and always has been.”

    2) “I do not intend to present myself as an unbiased reporter of fact.”

    Marion Delgado, are you reading this? :-)

    Oh, and Anthony Watt’s tantrum on comment #32 at Kloor’s is hilarious. Worth the price of admission, definitely.

  10. Anthony Watts says to Keith Kloor: Thou hast been blacklisted. Prepare to be backtraced all the way up your ass. Amen.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/09/wordsmithing/

  11. #11 chek
    October 9, 2010

    ‘Copygate’ doesn’t begin to cover it, but I guess that’s Watts’ inept attempt at damage limitation.

    And he’s making Kloor an ‘unperson’ now.
    What a fabulous advert for Butte Republicanism Anthony is.

  12. #12 J Bowers
    October 9, 2010

    I suggest not allowing Watts to define the proceedings.

    Scepticgate.

    So much of the denier argument rests on the Wegman report, and they love to throw it around like confetti. Besides, how did the UEA emails reflect on the whole of climate science (Climategate)?

  13. #13 hankroberts
    October 9, 2010

    http://wrt-howard.syr.edu/Bibs/PlagFamous.htm
    Famous Cases of Plagiarism and Fraud in academia, athletics, government, journalism, politics, etc.

  14. #14 hankroberts
    October 9, 2010

    hat tip to the reference list found at:
    http://www.servinghistory.com/topics/plagiarism::sub::In_Academia_And_Journalism

  15. #15 mike
    October 9, 2010

    J Bower,

    “…how did the UEA emails reflect on the whole of climate science (Climategate)?”

    Thanks for the question JB. The answer is that the e-mails thoroughly discredited “climate science” as practiced by the greenie-weenies among all thinking individuals. But don’t take my word for it. The last UN climate conference was held in China (one can imagine a circuitous travel through Thailand on the part of many of the delegates–especially the Brits and Anglophiles).

    Think about it. China?! You know the wheels are coming off the cap-and-trade hustle when a UN climate conference is held in China. Right? I mean every conference before the China conference was held in a place where the local authorities held enlightened views on the needs of VIP pedophiles and their flunkies.

    What’s with it with you socially conscious Gaia-worshippers. Always catamites and blood-splatter when it comes to the kids.

  16. #16 chek
    October 9, 2010

    [small mike said:](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/10/wegman_scandal_gmu_investigate.php#comment-2848366) “The answer is that the e-mails thoroughly discredited “climate science” as practiced by the greenie-weenies among all thinking easily led and suggestible individuals.

    Fixed that for you, little feller.

  17. #17 jakerman
    October 9, 2010

    Why have a COP in China? They have the biggest population in the world, China just pipped USA as the biggest CO2 emitter, and China is getting its Carbon price ready.

  18. #18 mike
    October 9, 2010

    Chk, Gd t hr frm yh, l’ bdd. lv ll ths dmntvs. knd f mgn y s dlvrng yr lft, dsmssv cmmnts wth lk-dwn-yr-ns snr nd wth rll plmm ccnt. nd th lk, th lk! Sllw, wllw, snkn-chks-vgn, twds wth lthr ptchs, nd, f crs, n sct. Y hv whl clst fll f scts, dn’t y Chk? Wsh y hd mr rfnd dmrr fr yr ct, Chk, snc y dsrv mr pprctv dnc thn m. ‘m jst “lttl” (‘m lrnng, Chk)l’ crd, gltrn, rsh-mrcn Ynk, Chk. Y knw th typ nd thr lmttns. ncdntll, rll dn’t gt t. nglsh grls r grt. Sr th’r ffctn strvd nd sffr trrbl frm sxl nglct. Bt tht nl mks thm mr xctng. Wh dn’t y gys ct dwn n yr trvl t Thlnd nd Ht (mr grn f y d, y knw) nd shp lcll.

  19. #19 Jeremy C
    October 9, 2010

    Mike @ 14….. Now that is a definition of a rant. Calling delegates to a conference he don’t agree with ‘pedophiles’. Wow, that is angry! And it didn’t stop there.

    If thats the sort of reaction in the denialsphere over this then John Mashey, methinks it maybe wise to drop into your local police department and informally ask their advice on security.

  20. #20 mike
    October 9, 2010

    krmn, Thnks fr th srs nd ntllgnt rpl. W’ll s wht th Chns d–nt s, bt wht th d. Y knw, Jkrmn, f y cntn t ffr tmprt nd nggng psts lk yr lst, th grn-wns wn’t hv nythng t d wth y. r y sr y y cn lv wth n mr nvts t Chk’s nd Ww’s swll prts? Cmpltl ff th sbjct, lkng thrgh sm f th psts n ths st, ‘v ntd tht Chk nd Ww r rgrdd s sm srt f frmdbl bll-bys. H gys, th’r nthng. Jst “lttl” ( w t ll t y, Chk) bg mn. Nthng mr.

  21. #21 Jeremy C
    October 9, 2010

    Tim,

    Its Sunday morning your time so you most probably haven’t had time to check the blog but both Mike’s comments are a little OT. Actually his comments are offensive.

  22. #22 mike
    October 9, 2010

    Jrm, swt, dn’t nd th plc t prtct m. ‘m n mrcn. W hv Cnstttn wth Scnd mndmnt. cn tk cr f myslf, thnk y. T qt fms mrcn (wth whs plcs mstl dsgr), “Brng t n!” t’ll gt th bld flwng gn, t gt bck n ctn. h Rh!

  23. #23 mike
    October 9, 2010

    Lt’s s nw, Jrm mplctl thrtns m t th pnt whr h dvss m nd plc prtctn, bt h’s th n ffndd. Y’r n f th tm, Jrm–tht’s bvs.

  24. #24 Jeremy C
    October 9, 2010

    Mike,

    You twit!

    The second part of my post@ 18 is addressed to John Mashey!

    You can’t be American because American’s can read english.

  25. #25 Lotharsson
    October 9, 2010

    > I kind of imagine you as delivering your lofty, dismissive comments with look-down-your-nose sneer and with a really plummy accent.

    Interesting, coming from someone who liberally sprinkles his largely substance-free comments with deeply dismissive invective and insults – that are often predicated on highly and often disturbingly imagined details of others.

    *Plonk*.

  26. #26 mike
    October 9, 2010

    Jeremy,

    I’m offended!

  27. #27 mike
    October 9, 2010

    Lotharsson,

    So my posts are “interesting?” Always try to keep them interesting and it is gratifying to receive your appreciative comments, Lotharsson.

    Just curious, was anyone on this estimable blog “offended” when some of its most colorful members accused American soldiers of being baby killers? If so, I didn’t see any sign of it. Also, never see any cracks about WWII British bomber crews (Dresden, Chek) or British “bad apples” in Iraq/Afghanistan. Not dealing with some sort of nasty anti-American streak on this blog, I hope.

  28. #28 Mark Schaffer
    October 9, 2010

    mike,
    Given the number of killings by American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan it would be a true miracle, and I don’t believe in such, for no babies to have been among the dead. There have already been high profile reports of such so you are delusional on this topic…in addition to your complete and utter ignorance on AGW. Why don’t you ask if you have convinced anyone that AGW, supported by over a hundred years research and thousands of scientists, is false? In the end you are just another right wing jerk with a huge chip on his shoulder.

  29. #29 Stu N
    October 9, 2010

    Shorter Mike: “I’m an American, therefore reality doesn’t matter to me”.

    Mike has GOT to be a Poe. Else he’s a raving loonie who should share a room with a certain G. Bird.

  30. #30 Bernard J.
    October 9, 2010

    Credit where credit’s due: Keith Kloor seems to be actually taking a stance that has some semblance of rationality. Watt’s lambasting of him is puerile childishness, and will probably come back to bite him on his arse.

    Tom Fuller seems to be dancing the cognitive dissonance jig:

    I don’t like the weblog Deep Climate, and I very much respect the report Edward Wegman put out. I understand what the report said and I agree with its conclusions. So I’m hoping this investigation is thorough, quick and that Wegman’s work stands.

    On the one hand, climatology agreed with the initial versions of the hockey stick, even though there were minor statistical inadequacies, because it was robust under scrutiny. Fuller’s response was to claim that all hockey sticks are invalidated by the Wegman report’s claim of gross scientific error, but when the kingpost of his thesis is shown to be riddled with dry rot he does exactly what he claimed that climatology did – shrug and cling to his blankie.

    Only, climatologists had good grounds to accept the hockey stick. Fuller is standing on quicksand, and his respect for Wegman should have evaporated long ago if he has any clue about academic standards.

    As an aside, I don’t understand the significance of the unexplained “I don’t like the weblog Deep Climate…” in his piece – he may well not “like” it, but without justifying why it might be an unreliable source of information, li’l Tommy’s aversion to Deep Climate is as relevant as his dislike of boiled cabbage.

    And in the third corner, with the paint still drying on her new blog, Judith Curry must be starting to wonder if she chose the right colour. I suspect that she will have to dance harder than Tom Fuller if she is to maintain her affection for the hue with which she decorated her wagon.

  31. #31 mike
    October 9, 2010

    Mark,

    Don’t be naive. If all you say were true about AGW, the UN would not be meeting in China.

    Otherwise, I’ve been over this all before, with some of your pals. Wrenching as it is, the collateral deaths of children in war is not the equivalent of deliberately killing children. Is that so very hard for you to understand? Let me answer my own question for you. No it is not hard to understand, but playing “dumb” helps score points, doesn’t it, Mark.

    Think of Dresden and all those dead German kids British bomber crews consigned to a fire-storm death. It’ll help put things in perspective.

    If calling American troops baby killers is the sort of reaction in the greenie-sphere over there, “then John Mashey, methinks it may wise to drop into the local police department and informally ask their advice about security”

  32. #32 mike
    October 9, 2010

    St N H, St! n t mn pyt bttns? Whn y cm dwn bt cld y trnslt yr vsn, fr “shrtr” nd “lttl” (Chk w’r ll lrnng, St, m, sn vryn) l’ m. Kp t smpl, thgh, ‘v nt yt hd m thrd-y pnd.

  33. #33 rhwombat
    October 9, 2010

    Hey little mike. Can you and Father O’Malley go and get a room? I’m sure that one of the Koch (…and that’s got to be a homophone!) brothers will fund it…just as they have funded the rest of your trolling. Are you sure your real name isn’t Bolt? Slainte

  34. #34 mike
    October 9, 2010

    Dear rhwombat,

    Sadly, I’m not on the Koch brothers’ dole. No big oil paychecks, either. Actually, I’m just a lonely guy, at the moment, speaking truth to power and twits, out of sheer altruistic love for humanity. On the other hand, I admit I am kinda hoping my performance on Deltoid will get me noticed and that the “green” will then flow (a little pun I know you’ll appreciate, rhwombat).

    Keep pulling for me guy. I can use the dough!

    P. S. Can I use you for a reference?

  35. #35 TrueSceptic
    October 9, 2010

    14 Mike,

    Sorry, but your spoof was too obvious. Needs work.

  36. #36 mike
    October 9, 2010

    TrueSceptic,

    If it would not disturb too much that unruffled calm of yours, could you give me a hint as to what was “obvious” about my “spoof,” as you call it. You’re a little too oracular for “little” (for you, Chek) ol’ me.

  37. #37 TomG
    October 9, 2010

    Troll

  38. #38 jakerman
    October 9, 2010

    >*Don’t be naive. If all you say were true about AGW, the UN would not be meeting in China.*

    And after making the same assertion mike again fails to support his claim with anything that approaches a rational reason.

  39. #39 mike
    October 9, 2010

    Final post. I see I’m getting selectively blocked, now. Actually surprised I lasted this long. You guys will miss me, I know.

  40. #40 TomG
    October 9, 2010

    Correction…
    Disemvoweled troll.
    There is a God…

  41. #41 Michael
    October 9, 2010

    I’ve been keeping an eye on Climate Etc.

    Now I’m wondering if there is something personal at work. Curry has been having a go at Mann in comments,

    The MBH papers (with the hockey stick) got a lot of publicity. My take on this is that somebody high up in the IPCC liked the hockey stick as an icon, and thought the simplest way to make sure it survived the IPCC assessment process was to make Mann a lead author, an ambitious young scientist lacking experience in assessments who was motivated to promote his own work…Once he landed in the hole the IPCC dug for him, he has kept digging deeper ever since.

    She was snarking that he only got his PhD in ’98.

    In summary, Judith agrees with Tom Fuller and says the plagiarism issue is “not clear cut”.

  42. #42 Lotharsson
    October 9, 2010

    > I don’t understand the significance of the unexplained “I don’t like the weblog Deep Climate…” … without justifying why it might be an unreliable source of information,…

    It makes a lot more sense if one’s “logic” is actually largely ad hom or tribalism. This level of poor thinking certainly isn’t ruled out by his illogical “…claim that all hockey sticks are invalidated by the Wegman report’s claim of gross scientific error…”.

    I’m not sure Fuller really meant his comments to given the appearance of revealing quite so much about how he gets his beliefs about science, but it’s not a good look for someone stridently implying that other people are wrong about it.

  43. #43 mike
    October 9, 2010

    A correction to a previous post to my 7:54 pm post of 9 October.

    Should read:

    If calling American soldiers baby killers is the sort of reaction in the greenie-sphere over there, then American troops in England, methinks it wise to drop into the local police department and ask their advice about security.

  44. #44 Doug
    October 9, 2010

    Is it just me or does Mike make more sense when he is dis-emvowelled?

  45. #45 Eric L
    October 10, 2010

    Plagiarism is a huge crime in academia and I suspect the general public will wonder if this is really a big deal. But what this drives home to me is that as much as Wegman talked about this being “peer reviewed” or how he intended to publish it or how thorough of a review he did, clearly this was a rushed copy-and-paste job that was never intended to be published in a reputable journal and wasn’t inteded to be taken seriously by the scientific community, just by the congressmen it was written for.

  46. #46 Marco
    October 10, 2010

    Michael, is Curry STILL trying to push the hypothesis of Mann becoming lead author because “someone” in the IPCC liked the hockeystick so much?

    Darn, she’s thick. I already told her that the hockeystick is from 1999 (1998 didn’t go back until 1400). I also told her IPCC lead authors were chosen in 1997 (IIRC). That’s TWO years before the hockeystick. Clearly she is enamored by the narrative she herself created, facts don’t matter anymore…

  47. #47 Eli Rabett
    October 10, 2010

    First, IEHO it is wrong to call Wegman and Said criminals. They were dishonest, they plagiarized, they mislead. The entire Wegman group has a huge problem with plagiarism, something Wegman has to assume responsibility for, but they are not criminals.

  48. #48 MapleLeaf
    October 10, 2010

    Could it be that in-fightiong has started amongst the “skeptics”? First, Spencer trying (without success) to explain the greenhouse effect to “skeptics”, then Goddard getting the boot from WUWT, then Kloor being removed from WUWT’s blogroll (oh horror!).

    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/10/08/skepticgate/

    To read some of the comments there is surreal. For example,

    “Deep Climate’ is a disinformation site run by an anonymous troll, whose openly stated objective (http://deepclimate.org/about/) is to smear the reputations of living scientists by linking them to what is probably nonexistent fossil fuel industry funded disinformation campaign”

    Wow.

    And from Lucia
    “I interpret the repeated use of the word “summary” to indicate that all of these bits are intended to be summaries of those papers and not intended as Wegman’s ‘original’ work.”

    Lucia also is of the belief that,

    “My impression is that GMU is looking into plagiarism. Distortion — i.e. saying something different from the original authors– tends to undermine the claim that something was plagiarized. So, it seems to me that concerns about distortion are rather irrelevant to the Wegman case being investigated by WMU which seems to relate to plagiarism”.

    Uh, huh…..and on it goes. Must say it is entertaining to watch them tie themselves in knots over this and try and rationalize/justify Wegman et al’s misconduct.

    Annyhow, I can’t spend much (if anymore) time arguing with the WUWT and CA acolytes. And those defending Wegman et al. really are behaving like acolytes….

  49. #49 Michael
    October 10, 2010

    Marco,

    I’m begining to wonder if it’s some kind of academic fued.

    You know, young upstart gets all the attention, while I’m slaving away here and no one asks me to do TV interviews kinda thing.

    Anyone for a bottle of Curry 2010? – acrid on the tongue with a bitter after-taste.

  50. #50 John Mashey
    October 10, 2010

    Let’s get this straight:

    1) Plagiarism and fabrication are deadly in academe are deadly, if proven, but they are not criminal offenses.

    2) HOWEVER, misleading Congress is a criminal offense, called 18USC1001, and conspiracy to commit felony is one also, 18USC371, and there are more. Those are not proven, and will take a DoJ investigation to do so.

    I have talked to lawyers who have looked at this and say “18USC1001 is not a fantasy in this case”, but nobody gets labeled criminal until convicted as such, and SSWR NEVER labeled them that way.

    Generally, the term *criminal* is mostly sued by others to describe real climate scientists whose results are unwanted.

  51. #51 Brian Angliss
    October 10, 2010

    Tom Fuller posted a new guest piece up at WUWT on this subject. He was kind enough to link to my site with an insult and an erroneous statement. I’m reposting my comment at WUWT in case it fails to make it through moderation for some reason.

    “Actually, Tom, that argument doesn’t hold now, it didn’t hold then.

    It’s an easy argument to counter, actually, and it can be countered two different ways. First, the email itself is not proof of anything – money disappearing in an illegal fashion from one account and appearing in another account proves fraud. The email itself is nothing more than a suggestion, an indicator that fraud might have occurred. To date five separate investigations have found that the CRU emails show no evidence of misconduct with the exception of responding to FOI requests. So my initial arguments about the insufficient context in the CRU emails have been borne out repeatedly.

    Second, an email doesn’t necessarily have anything to say about motive. If the accountant committed fraud under duress, then that might not qualify as a crime at all or might be punished very lightly compared to fraud committed for greed.

    Argument countered.

    BTW, you never addressed your fundamental inconsistency regarding the CRU emails, namely claiming in one place that the emails didn’t change the science, yet claiming that some of the emails cast the science in doubt. You can’t have it both ways, Tom.”

  52. #52 Donald Oats
    October 10, 2010

    We all borrow from others in the creation of new ideas. In the world of academic research, part of the measure of a researcher’s “worth” is the value of their work as an asset for other researchers to use and extend. Einstein spent a lot of sweat and blood trying to understand how gravity and the 4 dimensions of spacetime interact; his geometrization of gravity was a major leap in physics, but it didn’t come from nowhere. Einstein relied very heavily upon the earlier works of Riemann in what is now called “differential geometry”. Riemann in turn bounced ideas and competed with a number of excellent mathematicians of his time, also collaborating and sharing his extensive knowledge.

    My point is that in the academic world the idea is the currency, and the absorption and positive application of a researcher’s idea by others is the measure of worth. Think of a positive citation by another academic as an acknowledgement of the value of the idea, and by abstraction, adds to the academy’s valuation of their researchers.

    Outside of academy ideas are often guarded as by patent, or hidden as by trade secret, and this is quite understandable in business. Providing a public acknowledgement of another’s similar idea could lead to the courts.

    As for daily banter, much of it is borrowed and unattributed. For the average Jo/Joe, ideas are entertainment when at the pub, but certainly won’t pay for the next round. Citing and referencing the intellectual work of others is hardly the practice in day to day discourse – the academy being the exception to the rule.

    The problem for Wegman here is that he is an academic by profession. Furthermore, as someone selected to investigate the academic work of another academic, he can hardly lay claim to a lower scholarly standard as acceptable for his report, for here it is a matter of reciprocal obligation to discover the objective facts and to do so without prejudice.

    I am not that amazed at how the hockeystick melee’ has gone on for so long: the original IPCC and more recent graphs are powerful images in conveying both the rate and the scale of industrial revolution human’s impact upon the air, land and sea. Few other graphs have that visceral impact.

    Problem is, it (ie hockeystick graph) seems to be an accurate depiction of the reality we care about and how we are affecting it. Wegman’s report, as far as my reading of it goes, actually doesn’t damn the conclusions drawn in the original paper, but does make a couple of basic academic criticisms – error bars and the confidence (statistically speaking) in the reconstruction process; and, an argument concerning decentred PCA. To me this is standard academic process at work, for no scientific article is ever the final word upon a subject, especially an article that breaks new ground. As I understand it, error bars were subject to greater scrutiny in follow-up articles on the hockeystick, and the reconstruction process has been tested extensively. The thing about the Wegman report is that it was ultimately for public dispersement via media releases, and was not merely an academic’s criticism of a colleague or competitor’s work.

    Ten+ years have passed since the original MBH article, and many reasonable questions have either been addressed or further fleshed out in the academic publications since. The hockeystick article is now part of history, and other more recent academic publications are of greater relevance now than the original MBH publication is. The academic caravan has moved on…

  53. #53 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    October 10, 2010

    Tom Fuller now starts shouting NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/09/mashey-potatoes-part-1/

    > John Mashey says that Wegman plagiarised material in his report to Congress.

    > This is odd. Wegman is not a climate scientist. He is a statistician.

  54. #54 Lotharsson
    October 10, 2010

    > Could it be that in-fightiong has started amongst the “skeptics”?

    Had to happen eventually to a cohort united by mutually exclusive disbeliefs.

    > My impression is that GMU is looking into plagiarism. Distortion — i.e. saying something different from the original authors– tends to undermine the claim that something was plagiarized. So, it seems to me that concerns about distortion are rather irrelevant to the Wegman case being investigated by WMU which seems to relate to plagiarism.

    Beautiful doublethink. Almost as good as “Wegman found a valid complaint about MBH98, therefore all hockey sticks now and forever are wrong.”

  55. #55 Michael
    October 10, 2010

    I think the denialati are under the mistaken impression that re-writing slightly, ie changing some words and order of phrases, makes it OK.

    Wrong. IMHO, it makes it worse. It demonstates a knowledge of wrong doing and an attempt to hide it.

  56. #56 hankroberts
    October 10, 2010

    dang, host on the markdown petard again. Fixing underscores and using the cloaking tool, that would be:

    hat tip to the “servinghistory” [reference list on plagiarism in academia and journalism](http://www.servinghistory.com/topics/plagiarism::sub::In_Academia_And_Journalism)

  57. #57 Mike G (not the disemvoweled loon)
    October 10, 2010

    @46- No, they seem to be going with the defense that simply adding a footnote to the source you are plagiarizing absolves you of any wrongdoing. According to Jeff Id and the like, Wegman’s biggest transgression was failure to adhere to MLA style.

  58. #58 John Mashey
    October 10, 2010

    Folks, I know my 250-pager is huge, as it had to be … but trust me, if you read the main discussion and then just skim the front of each appendix, you will find a cornucopia of problems.

    The plagiarism thing is just the simplest piece, the easiest one to explain.

    What is truly amazing is the number of people making 100% certain comments about a) SSWR and b) plagiarism, obviously knowing nothing about the latter, and not having read the obvious parts of the former.

    SSWR W.11.1 “Summarization practices” p.189 of current version. It
    cites 6 URLs, including one each from Rice and GMU, and 3 from the US Dept. HHS ORI (Office of Research Integrity) that make it clear, and if that wasn’t enough, the relevant quote from GMU writing center is quoted.

    [Of course, I also read many other academic policies and consulted various academic experts and at least one who's particpated in a legal case, hence my use of the legal term "striking similarity." But everybody says the same thing.]

    Many people have not yet twigged to the trouble that might be caused for a school if it does not handle ORI-related problems well. A start may be found in SSWR, A.7 “Funding, pro bono, or not.”

    BTW: DHHS is GMU’s biggest source of external research funding.

  59. #59 John Mashey
    October 10, 2010

    Oops, as an example of the cornucopia of goodies, let me direct readers to SSWR, pp.47-48, which shows the web of plagiarism in and around the WR. Experienced publishers are amazed, never having seen anything like it.

    First, in WR pp.17-22, we have 5 pages mostly plagiarized from Wikipedia plus 2 famous books, and then re-used in a paper and 2 PhDs. That is explained on pp.118-, including the bizarre “statues” propagation.

    I’m not sure of a nomenclature for this, but I would call it 3 3-deep chains starting graph on p.118.

    Now, back to A.0.
    Bradley only gets to suffer 2 plagiarism chains, see [RAP2000] and [MCS2010], i.e., Donald Rapp’s book, mentioned only in passing, but if you want a nice current summary, Eli Rabett has it here. BUT, this is what started DC on the quest, so deserves attention, and I expect there is more to come.

    The [MCS2010] is McShane-Wyner, and SSWR has an 18-page appendix A.12 on that, including more of the color side-by-sides.

  60. #60 Former Skeptic
    October 10, 2010

    As Tommy Fuller now acknowledges that he no longer has any journalistic standards, it’s best to remind him that newspapers – even right-wing ones – also have standards against plagiarism.

    (h/t to BCL for pointing this out and squashing this meme)

  61. #61 chek
    October 10, 2010

    John, I read the exec summary when you released it, and started on the main doc yesterday.

    The main thing I’ve noticed since then is that contrary to previous experience with various manufactured “-gates”… what an understanding and forgiving and willing to overlook bunch of good souls our denialati brethren are underneath it all when it comes to a real one.

    Whooda thunk it? In other circumstances, I’d bet our hearts would be significantly warming at the freely given charity of it all.

    Kudos to you for your efforts in pinning this affair down.

  62. #62 Jeremy C
    October 10, 2010

    I think I can understand why the denialati are finding it hard to understand what the problems with Wegman’s stuff. They are so used to stuff being twisted to support the denialist viewpoint that in their collective mindset they are genuinely confused/disbelieving that propaganda can have blowback.

  63. #63 Paul UK
    October 10, 2010

    mike:>Let me answer my own question for you.

    Yes well since you are incapable of using the English language in written form, maybe that is for the best.

  64. #64 chek
    October 10, 2010

    Over at Kloor’s, [Fuller seems on the brink of completely losing it:-](http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/10/08/skepticgate/#comment-20514)
    “Black helicopters. Criticising Said’s dissertations, McShane and Wyner and McIntyre and McKitrick for 200 pages, leaving 10 of your cited examples of plagiarism out of the paper and criticizing a statistician because he doesn’t agree with your hysterical sky is falling alarmist diatribes. Black helicopters”.

    If that doesn’t rate a Downfall parody, I don’t know what else does.

  65. #65 Neven
    October 10, 2010

    Oh my, thanks for that, chek. We’re starting to see the real Tom Fuller.

  66. #66 CapitalClimate
    October 10, 2010

    Eric L (#36),
    Looks like you had a slight typo:
    Instead of “congressmen it was written for”, did you mean “congressmen it was written BY”?

  67. #67 TrueSceptic
    October 10, 2010

    56 Neven,

    Have you seen some other type of “Tom Fuller”? If so, please show us where. The only one I’ve seen is the raving denialist nutter version.

  68. #68 Lotharsson
    October 10, 2010

    Arguing that someone (they don’t agree with) is…

    > …criticizing a statistician[/scientist/milkman] **because** he doesn’t agree with your [assessment/beliefs/values/arbitrary criteria]…

    …is a common misdirection tactic [my emphasis]. It’s typically employed when the criticisms themselves are difficult to refute. Sometimes the tactic even relies on the “because” being interpreted as “on the basis of” (despite that being obvious fallacy) rather than “motivated by”.

  69. #69 Michael
    October 10, 2010

    Curry’s now saying it’s no big deal. The plagiarism is on a scale with the CRU emails, ie., no effect on actual conclusions, just on confidence in them.

    But wasn’t she saying that “ClimateGate’ was a big deal??

  70. #70 John Mashey
    October 10, 2010

    Fuller is right … at least SSWR does have black helicopters, spotted first right here at Deltoid.

  71. #71 CapitalClimate
    October 10, 2010

    Michael (#60),
    Apparently irony has been repealed in the former Confederate States of America. What was that the rabid Wegman fans were braying about “Right Conclusion + Wrong Method = Bad Science”?

  72. #72 Bernard J.
    October 10, 2010

    Over on WTFUWT the juvenile Steve Mosher is asking for someone to do a DC/Mashey on Eli’s grad thesis.

    I predict that the work of DC and John M. will have spawned a counter-industry of arbitrary document-checking by the end of the year… if the Denialati can find some willing researchers with sufficient skills and intelligence to do so, of course!

  73. #73 V. infernalis
    October 11, 2010

    Michael, is Curry STILL trying to push the hypothesis of Mann becoming lead author because “someone” in the IPCC liked the hockeystick so much?

    Darn, she’s thick. I already told her that the hockeystick is from 1999 (1998 didn’t go back until 1400). I also told her IPCC lead authors were chosen in 1997 (IIRC). That’s TWO years before the hockeystick. Clearly she is enamored by the narrative she herself created, facts don’t matter anymore…

    Clearly Curry is not just practising “post-normal” science, she’s also practising post-modern “science”, i.e. the facts are what I perceive them to be.

  74. #74 Boslough
    October 11, 2010

    We broke this story last February, and we read the plagiarized passages of Bradley and Wegman on the radio for comparison. I still like our name for the scandal better than Revkin’s. We called it “ClusterPuck”.

    [OpEd](http://tinyurl.com/24gefe8)

    [Podcast](http://tinyurl.com/2fa8mzu)

    The readings are in the second half (takes awhile to download).

    Explanation of [ClusterPuck](http://tinyurl.com/ydjuqxc)

  75. #75 Eric L
    October 11, 2010

    CapitalClimate (@57),

    I don’t know, the WR contains some pretty big words that I don’t think Joe Barton could have written. Then again, maybe he could have copied and pasted them.

  76. #76 Mashed Potato
    October 11, 2010

    “Clearly, text was just lifted verbatim from my book and placed in the (Wegman) report,” says Bradley.

    Both Bradley and John Mashey seem to have some difficulty understanding in what constitutes plagiarism. In common parlance plagiarism involves using other’s work as if it is one’s own, and a necessary condition for this to be true is that the plagiariser does not acknowledge the source of materials he uses under his/her own name.

    Mashey’s 250-page attack on the Wegman Report (W, 2006) critiqued the “hockey-stick” graph claiming the Medieval Warm Period (c1000-1300) was no warmer than the Little Ice Age (c.1400-1720) and was featured on the cover of the IPCC’s TAR (2001).

    Bradley was one of the co-authors of the first hockey stick paper (Mann Bradley Hughes 1998) and has joined Mashey in accusing W of “plagiarism”.

    But in W p.10 we read: “Table 1 based on Bradley (1999) illustrates the wide variety of these natural phenomena that may be used as proxies. Some proxies measure very low frequency (slowly varying) climatic variables and thus are not useful for measuring average annual temperature changes. Table 2 found in Bradley (1999), which was reproduced from Bradley and Eddy (1991)…”.

    Then in Mashey (Section 2.6) we read “W.2.1 introduces serious Biases in plagiarizing Bradley (1999) on tree rings” . However in W.2.1 we find on p.11 “Table 1: Principal Sources of Proxy Data for Paleoclimatic Reconstructions After Bradley (1999)”.

    In W p.12 Table 2 we find “After Bradley and Eddy (1991)”.

    W pp.13-14 has a discussion of use of tree ring proxies to determine historical temperature trends which Deep Climate (aka Mashey?) shows to be quite close but not identical to material in Bradley 1999, but in W. p.14 at the end of the para. in question we find W saying “See Bradley (1999) for a discussion of the fitting and calibration process for dendritic-based temperature reconstruction…”

    In Mashey p.34 we find him still claiming Bradley was plagiarised in W Section 2.1: “Bradley (1999), plagiarism W.2.1” despite no fewer than SIX citations of Bradley by W. in section 2.1.

    The last 50 pages of Mashey still claim plagiarisms by W. in its summaries of the key hockey stick papers including those with Bradley as co-author. Each page of the W summaries cites the paper being summarised. If that is plagiarism, what would not be?

  77. #77 Wow
    October 11, 2010

    > Cuccinelli’s civil subpoena also makes ‘arguments’ based on material other than Wegman’s ‘report’

    However, much mileage can be gained by merely stating that the complaint will need redoing to remove elements based on the Wegman work, else the University will have to defend against all complaints, not just the ones that don’t rely on the Wegman work.

    It is a waste of time for both the University and the courts to allow a complaint with redundant or inadmissible elements in it.

  78. #78 Wow
    October 11, 2010

    > The entire Wegman group has a huge problem with plagiarism, something Wegman has to assume responsibility for, but they are not criminals.

    > Posted by: Eli Rabett | October 10, 2010 1:10 AM

    But plagiarism is copyright, and as ACTA and the media insist, copyright infringement is theft and people who take others’ writings are criminals.

  79. #80 Neven
    October 11, 2010

    ClusterPuck is brilliant, but needs too much explanation. Skepticgate will do just fine.

    Mashed Potato, are you Tom Fuller?

  80. #81 Michael
    October 11, 2010

    You poor confused creature Mr Potato.

    Proper citation includes each and every instance of using others words/ideas.

    Citing a table and then not the entire page of text? – that is still plagiarism.

    The best that can be said for Wegman, is that he sometimes managed not to plagiarise

  81. #82 Marion Delgado
    October 11, 2010

    Former Skeptic:

    I’ll try to dig up the exchange with a blogger (Romm, if memory serves) where Fuller was criticized for massively altering what someone said to him – basically, for not checking his quotes with his source – and he said to a person inquiring that checking with sources before publishing is “not how the journalism game is played.”

    Which is insanely wrong.

    1) “I’m not a beat journalist and have never claimed to be. What I write is commentary and always has been.”

    2) “I do not intend to present myself as an unbiased reporter of fact.”

    So, yeah, more like it.

  82. #83 Marion Delgado
    October 11, 2010

    Bearing in mind that I’ve never equated any xxx.examiner.com with even the C-a-S blog, I agree that Kloor’s stance is a reasonable one.

    I’ll be interested in seeing what Dr. Curry makes of this. Fuller isn’t really on her “bus” so I think she wouldn’t hesitate to toss him under it.

  83. #84 chek
    October 11, 2010

    Clearly a lot of fake sceptics seem to be having some difficulty understanding that plagiarism is not the whole issue with the WR that Mahey brings to light.

    Maybe you should read John Mashey’s paper instead of regurgitating the damage limitation squawkings on denialist websites.

  84. #85 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    October 11, 2010

    Mashed Potato:

    > Mashey’s 250-page attack on the Wegman Report (W, 2006) critiqued the “hockey-stick” graph claiming the Medieval Warm Period (c1000-1300) was no warmer than the Little Ice Age (c.1400-1720) and was featured on the cover of the IPCC’s TAR (2001).

    Do you actually try to understand what you’re writing, or are you just stringing phrases together in the hope that it’ll emerge as something grammatical and vaguely meaningful?

  85. #86 jakerman
    October 11, 2010

    Potatoe,

    See those little quote marks you used. The are used to show your using the words of other people. See the little p. followed by a number that you used. That is all part of it too.

    That is the stuff that missing from the pages and pages of text highlight by Mashey.

    Come back when you both understand what plagiarism means and you don’t contradict yourself with your own actions.

  86. #87 Bernard J.
    October 11, 2010

    Over at WTFUWT there has been a little exchange between [myself](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/09/mashey-potatoes-part-1/#comment-504384) and [Tom Fuller](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/09/mashey-potatoes-part-1/#comment-504392). It hardly warrants even the mention, but I am perversely reposting here [one of my comments](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/09/mashey-potatoes-part-1/#comment-504602), simply for the record, in case it is moderated away.

    My point, should it be lost on the less critical at the Dim Bulb, is that [Fuller is hardly showing himself to be a shining light of professional journalism](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/09/mashey-potatoes-part-1/#comment-504392)…

    ———————————–

    It works a little differently out here,

    Which is why I usually stick to discussions that are based upon at least a minimum standard of science. Nevertheless, I occasionally venture into swamps against my better judgement, in the hope that I might make a simple point or two. It’s up to the porcines to recognise the nacre.

    …so make sure you find an adult to escort you around.

    Gee, I’ll have to go back to Deltoid then and locate one who might assist.

    But seriously, for just a moment Fuller, it serves no-one any good to use a gutter press approach to colouring a piece to which one attributes one’s own name. What’s the reason for your reluctance to acknowledge Mashey’s considerable competence and education in analysical process?

    Tabloid is as tabloid does, I guess.

    [Archived for posterity]

  87. #88 Dave H
    October 11, 2010

    Overly-mashed Potato,

    Instead of applying your own definition and appealing to incredulity, please refer to eg. George Mason University’s guidelines to determine what is and is not plagiarism.

    If it was a quote, the text should have been quoted.

  88. #89 Marco
    October 11, 2010

    Mashed Potato *almost* gets it, but fails right where it matters…

    Yes, Mashed Potato, the Wegman report cites Bradley’s book for several tables and figures, and at the end cites Bradley’s book as a backgrounder. However, it does NOT cite the book as the source for large swathes of text that have been copied almost verbatim. The “almost” is also relevant here, as the changes that were made are small, but on various occasions introduce errors and even outright contradictions with the original text. This is plagiarism combined with bad scholarship.

    Something similar is the case with the summaries: yes, the papers are cited, but the summaries are almost verbatim copies of the abstracts of the paper. But again with some changes that alter and/or distort the original. The summaries are thus presented as Wegman et al’s *own* work, while they are in reality largely copied from the original.

    And again we should note that the plagiarism issue is just one of *many* problems with the Wegman report. Maybe we should take up the next point Mashey has pointed out: a wealth of references…that are not referenced in the text, one of which a reference to a true crackpot journal (think Erich von Däniken and Gavin Menzies-type crackpot). After that we can take on why Wegman did not listen to his self-selected ‘reviewers’. Then the social network analysis (“right method, wrong conclusion”), andsoonandsoforth…

  89. #90 Mashed Potato
    October 11, 2010

    Marco: as ever you are pathetic when you say “Something similar is the case with the summaries: yes, the papers are cited, but the summaries are almost verbatim copies of the abstracts of the paper.” If the summary differed from the cited paper it would be indeed be fraudulent. You are even more stupid than I ever imagined, although I have for long wondered about you.

  90. #91 Mashed Potato
    October 11, 2010

    Dave H: you said: “Instead of applying your own definition and appealing to incredulity, please refer to eg. George Mason University’s guidelines to determine what is and is not plagiarism. If it was a quote, the text should have been quoted.”

    Each reference was duly cited by Wegman. Show one that was not.

  91. #92 Marco
    October 11, 2010

    Mashed Potato: if you write a summary, you are supposed to do that in your own words as it shows others what you actually get out of the article you summarise. You are not supposed to copy the abstract almost verbatim, and make very few ‘minor’ changes (which in some cases are not minor in meaning). Students would flunk (and HAVE flunked) courses if they do that.

    Of course, Wegman et al *could* have cited the abstract verbatim, and indicated they did so by the simple reference. But they decided to make changes in some cases. “Why?” is the only appropriate question, and one I’d love to hear Wegman answer.

  92. #93 Wow
    October 11, 2010

    > if you write a summary, you are supposed to do that in your own words as it shows others what you actually get out of the article you summarise.

    Maybe all Wegman got were those words.

    > But they decided to make changes in some cases. Why?” is the only appropriate question, and one I’d love to hear Wegman answer.

    It would be devastating to his case if he didn’t, obviously.

    Taters:
    > Each reference was duly cited by Wegman. Show one that was not.

    [RTFM](http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/strange-scholarship-v1-02.pdf)

    Or one example here:

    > Social ties link actors to one another. The range and type of social ties can be quite extensive. A tie establishes a linkage between a pair of actors. Linkages are represented by edges of the graph. Examples of linkages include the evaluation of one person by another (such as expressed friendship, liking, respect), transfer of material resources ( such as business transactions, lending or borrowing things), association or affiliation (such as jointly attending the same social event or belonging to the same social club), behavioral interaction (talking together, sending messages), movement between places or statuses [states] {statues} (migration, social or physical mobility), physical connection (a road, river, bridge connecting two points), formal relations such as authority and biological relationships such as kinship or descent.

    and here:

    > The concepts of vertex centrality and network centralization are best understood by considering undirected communication networks. If social relations are channels that transmit information between [people], {actors} central [people] {actors} are those [people] {actors} who have access to information circulating in the network or who may control the circulation of information.

  93. #94 chek
    October 11, 2010

    Fascinating that after an enquiry at GMU that’s dragged on for five months and has now turned into an investigation, that it’s all about nothing at all that can be debunked in minutes by pretend journalists and armchair experts, if we’re to believe potato and general denierverse “logic”.

  94. #95 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    October 11, 2010

    More of Tom Fuller’s tomfullery:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/10/dipping-into-the-sour-mash-part-2/

    > As anybody familiar with publishing knows,[citation needed] the reason a bibliography exists is to show the reader what the author read, precisely because the works may not be cited in the text.

    (tag mine)

  95. #96 Marco
    October 11, 2010

    Frank:
    Surprisingly (sarc), our non-journalist Tom Fuller still misses the mark: “This is the prior work I got my information from” (bibliography) is not the same as “This is the prior work I copied and pasted, although I did make some changes here and there”.

  96. #97 Former Skeptic
    October 11, 2010

    To be clear on my views, this issue is a matter of alleged academic misconduct, not global or national climate policy. If the professor plagiarized, he should be fired.

    — from Roger the Dodger.

    If he gets it, why can’t Judy Curry (“Yes he plagiarized BUT blahblahblah”) , Tom Fuller (“Wegman’s report is sound! black choppers! Blahblahblah!”), JeffiD (Yes he copied huge chunks of text BUT blahblahblah), and the rest of the μWatts crowd follow suit? It’s not that difficult, really.

  97. #98 Tim Lambert
    October 11, 2010

    Nicola L.C. Talbot on [uncited works in a bibliography](http://theoval.cmp.uea.ac.uk/~nlct/latex/thesis/node13.html)

    >When your examiners read through your thesis, they can check off each citation they encounter against your bibliography. When they reached the end of the thesis, they can then look through the bibliography for unchecked entries. One or two will appear the result of carelessness, whereas a large quantity will look like padding and may lead the examiners to suspect a certain amount of duplicity on your part.

    Of course in Wegman, it’s because the bibliography was a copy paste, not just padded to make the report look more impressive.

  98. #99 MapleLeaf
    October 11, 2010

    Tim,

    Is “mashed potato” Fuller? Sounds an awful lot like him.

  99. #100 P. Lewis
    October 11, 2010

    There seems to be a bit of confusion over the terms bibliography and references.

    (1) Reference lists. These contain items that are (or should be) referred to in the text so that a reader can follow them up for whatever reason (e.g. to get more insight, to judge whether they’ve been cited correctly, or whether some rewriting by omission or addition has distorted the intending original meaning). All academic work requires a reference list if it has elements that should be referenced, otherwise the probability of plagiarism is high (see below). All items in a ref list must be cited or removed from the list.

    (2) A bibliography. This contains a list of sources that have influenced the writers’ thoughts in writing about the topic reported. The bibliography sets the context within which the ideas espoused are reported. It may also contain further reading material (though I think this should more properly be in a ‘Further reading’ section).

    This is the form used by all major academic publishing houses and many/most universities (UK at least).

    Quite a lot of people who use LaTeX for submissions tend to use the term bibliography (but AFAICS that’s because they don’t know how to change the default end-matter heading), but this will almost certainly get changed to references, unless of course it is a true bibliography.

Current ye@r *