WTF Frontiers in Psychology Journal? Scientists publish a peer reviewed paper in your journal, a bunch of cranks complain about it, and successfully bully you into taking the paper off your web site? Do you seriously want the rest of the scientific world to take you seriously, ever, from now on? I’m thinking that’s not going to happen. We await a full and unmitigated apology to Stephan Lewandowsky, JohnCook, Klaus Oberauer and Michael Marriott, the authors of Recursive fury: conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation
In the mean time, since you felt the need to dispose of any semblance of ethical and professional behavior and remove the paper from your web site, here is a copy of it for anyone who wants it. That should be available until further action is taken to silence these scientists.
Also, I won’t be writing about any papers published in this journal in the future until the above described apology is produced.
Here’s the background for those of you who don’t know it, from Stephan Lewandowsky’s blog post about it:
[Recursive Fury] reported a narrative analysis of the blogosphere’s response to publication of [an earlier paper,] LOG12. The blogosphere’s response bore a striking resemblance to the very topic of LOG12: our finding that rejection of climate science is associated with conspiratorial thinking triggered elements of conspiratorial discourse among those who sought to deny that denial of climate science involves a measure of conspiratorial thinking…
Recursive Fury attracted some media attention…as well as critique. It should come as little surprise that this critique did not involve a scholarly response, such as submission of a rejoinder for peer review, but that it entailed a barrage of complaints to the University of Western Australia (UWA), where I was based at the time, and the journal Frontiers.
While not retracting the paper, Frontiers removed the article from its website in March 2013. The journal then commenced an arduous process of investigation which has now come to a conclusion.
Frontiers will post (or has posted) the following statement on its website today:
“In the light of a small number of complaints received following publication of the original research article cited above, Frontiers carried out a detailed investigation of the academic, ethical and legal aspects of the work. This investigation did not identify any issues with the academic and ethical aspects of the study. It did, however, determine that the legal context is insufficiently clear and therefore Frontiers wishes to retract the published article. The authors understand this decision, while they stand by their article and regret the limitations on academic freedom which can be caused by legal factors.”
In other words, the article is fine but Frontiers does not want to take the legal risk that its restoration on the website might entail.
Go to Stephan’s post for additional links and a much richer context and history of this bone-headed move by Frontiers and the climate science denialists.