By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow
Note that our press release and research papers hit a raw nerve with alarmists who did not really meaningfully argue the data or science but challenged the claim it was ‘peer reviewed’ (in the sense they have defined and controlled the peer review process through what have become advocacy journals).
The traditional peer review often can be compared to the TSA boarding card approval process. If you are not on any no fly list, after a review of a photo ID and/or passport, you get a stamp and move on. With journal submissions, if you have the politically correct credentials, you get the stamp and are published. The journal ‘no-fly’ list it appears includes those deemed to be skeptics. For the review, there is often at least one reviewer ‘gatekeeper’ responsible for ensuring you don’t board the plane or in this case get your paper in the journal no matter how impressive your CV and content-rich your paper.
Our research reports are not traditional journal articles. The reports follow the approach used frequently in industry often for their own internal use. They were prepared by highly qualified authors using the best available data and understanding of the scientific factors, analyzed properly by the very best statisticians/econometricians. The reviewers who endorsed them are chosen to be highly qualified to evaluate the work. The individuals quoted in fact checker reviews like on Snopes are simply enforcers of orthodoxy, unable or unwilling to understand the processes applied and the science.
You must know that the traditional journal peer review process is broken. It is failing in a lack of robustness in the statistical analysis and widespread inability to replicate results. This is true in both the Medical and Scientific areas. See examples here and here.
This story in Forbes by Henry Miller says “A number of empirical studies show that 80-90% of the claims coming from supposedly scientific studies in major journals fail to replicate”.
Another recent paper in Nature showed 70% of the papers in medical journals had studies that could not be replicated, many not even by the original authors. See an example of one such falsified report that the author worries is a part of an epidemic of agenda-driven science by press release and falsification that has reached crisis proportions here.
Other reports show an alarming number of papers having to be retracted. For example hereSpringer is retracting 107 papers from one journal after discovering they had been accepted with fake peer reviews.
Result-oriented corruption of peer review in climate science was proven by the Climategate emails.
In the journals, there are a small set of gatekeepers that block anything that goes against the editorial biases of the journals. Conversely, these journals and their reviewers do not provide a thorough due diligence review of those that they tend to agree with ideologically. They are engaged in orthodoxy enforcement.
Indeed, Henry Miller wrote: “Another worrisome trend is the increasing publication of the results of flawed ‘advocacy research’ that is actually designed to give a false result that provides propaganda value for activists and can be cited long after the findings have been discredited.” A prime example of this is the hideously flawed but endlessly repeated “97% of climate scientists” paper by Cook and Lewandowski. EPA’s own Inspector General found that EPA’s Endangerment Finding was never properly reviewed, yet it is the basis of all EPA GHG regulations that imposed hundreds of billions in costs on the U.S. economy.
The scientific method requires the data used be made available and the work must be capable of being replicated. This should be required of all journals (in virtually all cases, as shown above, it is not). Peer review has become pal review with gatekeepers that prevent alternate unbiased data analyses and presentation but rush new papers that support their ideology or view on the science.
In our research reports, we identify the reviewers, who have lent their names to the conclusion, and provide full access to the data for others to work with and either refute replicate, with and instructions on the analytical methods used.
Our team chose to apply the same research report procedures used in industry, which is to assemble the most qualified authors with the skills required to compile the data and rigorously perform the correct analysis. They draft a report and share the draft with a team of experts chosen for their expertise in this field to provide feedback. Almost no journals require that and their failure and rejection numbers speak for themselves.
Wegman et. al suggested one of the common failures in climate papers is the lack of necessary statistical expertise. For our research reports we assembled the highest qualified data experts, econometricians/statisticians and meteorologists/climatologists to draft the research project, do the rigorous statistical/econometric analyses, and then submitted their work to the best qualified scientists/econometricians for review. Attempts to discredit this report are now of course being made because it raises critically important questions about the quality and trustworthiness of the global surface temperature data sets.
The facts and statistical reasoning of this paper cannot be refuted merely by carping peer review. Instead, demonstration of a factual or logical error is required.
This release and research study was covered by Michael Bastasch in the Daily Caller and picked up by Drudge.