Getting GRLed

Getting GRLed” (2011-09-27). Did you know that Geophysical Research Letters editor Noah Diffenbaugh is a thug? According to Anthony Watts it’s true! You see the denialist’s favorite economist Roger Pielke Jr. submitted a paper on tropical cyclones (they’re not worse!) and it was rejected (it the sense of being told to resubmit), simply because the two reviewers wanted revisions! This is clearly more bullying by “the Team”. And also a conspiracy.

Summarizes Anthony, who knows scientific oppression when he sees it (emphasis mine):

It came back with two reviews, both with some corrections, one reviewer suggesting publication without major caveats [originally spelt “caeats”], the other grudgingly [originally spelt “grudingly”]suggesting publication to the editor, Noah Diffenbaugh, and asking for revisions. So far so good (you’d think).

The ever-stringent Anthony opines that the paper “seems straigh[t]forward enough”, but you’d think that Roger Jr.’s claim that “increasing damage around the world over the period(s) of record can be explained entirely by increasing wealth in locations prone to TC landfalls” might need some supporting analysis and not simply rest on what seems a mere assertion.

Perhaps Richard Tol’s comment on Anthony’s post gets to the real heart of the matter:

The decision for major revision was justified as the original paper oversold its results.
Instead of revising the paper, Pielke Jr decided to pick a fight and was told to FO.

Turns out this is all normal boilerplate editorial communication but the thin-skinned Roger Jr. will not revise (ie improve) his paper. He’s chosen to stomp away in a huff shouting about bad faith. The JGR is dead to him! Seems the bad faith lies with Roger Jr. unless you listen to Anthony’s followers. In which case Roger Jr.’s taking a noble stand against a fifth-rate “Team” journal’s bullying. Considering the years of complaining about scientific journals, both Anthony and his reader’s ignorance of how journal submissions work is quite stunning.

Tip to Anthony: look before you leap and pause long enough before posting to run spellcheck. Otherwise your posts look hasty and ill-considered. What? They’re supposed to be?

8 thoughts on “Getting GRLed

  1. Pingback: Jim e la farfalla » Ocasapiens - Blog - Repubblica.it

  2. Thank goodness “skeptical” scientists have a “No more tears” journal like like Energy & Environment to publish the right answers in.

  3. As someone who has edited, written and reviewed many peer reviewed papers (inlcuding over 1,00 reviews for over 30 journals), here is how just about everyone handles requests for revisions.

    1. Thank the reviewers for their input.
    2. Revise the paper. If you disagree with the reviewer on specifics, you now have chance to make your case stronger and clearer and so do that. If you have overstated your results, it’s always good to be more cautious. Scientists love understatement.
    3. Include a detailed commentary on revisions with the revised manuscript. Papers are almost always accepted when an author carefully considers the reviewer’s and editor’s suggestions.

    [Nonsense! A reviewer should make all the corrections for the author! – Ben]

  4. This is coming from a master’s student who has published only one paper (in GRL, how fitting).

    As BillD said, the revisions are the chance for you, the author, to bolster a claim you are making with: more evidence, more supporting citations, another method of analysis that brings you to the same conclusion, and so on.

    The reviewers are there to call attention to the weak points in your paper. They want to help you make the strongest case you can, and the editor wants to ensure that the papers (s)he allows to be published are well-polished. Whether or not the author is a prominent researcher or a budding grad student, challenges or supports the consensus: if your paper is not up to snuff, it is not getting published until you make revisions.

    The point of peer review is to account for the fact that we have difficulties seeing the flaws and weaknesses in our own work.

    Some of us, apparently, are too childish to accept this.

  5. If……….the major peer review journals were deliberately discriminating against worthy skeptic climate science papers…

    Then……….these worthy skeptic climate science papers would eventually be published in the scientific journals that will accept them.

    There……….these papers may get less immediate respect, but they still lay claim to a scientific position.

    If……….as the deniers insist, the consensus papers are biased or fraudulent, then eventually truth will out, and the worthy skeptic papers will rise to the top.

    So……….while imagining this situation to be on a bell curve, shouldn’t there be a few skeptic papers that were originally rejected by the major peer reviewed journals that are now being recognized as mainstream science.? Why don’t the the skeptics name them?

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