“Nielsen-Gammon interviews North and others on Wegman – plagiarism may be related to a cultural misunderstanding by foreign exchange student“ (May 19, 2011). Anthony Watts decides it still might be worth trying to claim that the plagiarism scandal embroiling Dr. Wegman and his co-authors are all just a misunderstanding. After all, his associate Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon is trying to talk himself into believing it.
Says Anthony, sagely;
I’m surprised too, at the reaction of North and others. They may have a point.
Here’s the problem, Anthony: The clear plagiarism shows that the authors were operating outside of their expertise. This undermines everything they wrote. They couldn’t even correctly summarize the relevant bodies of knowledge in their paper! Their statistical criticisms were fundamentally irrelevant to the result they were trying to undermine (Dr. Mann’s 1998 historical temperature reconstructions often called “the Hockey Stick“) and their loopy cronyism accusations were unsupported.
Perhaps this has an uncomfortable echo for you, Anthony.
1) The foreign student thing is bogus. Denise Reese is a MITRE employee in her 40s/50s, I think. An offhand opinion propagated widely as such are wont to do.
2) Said, et al (2008) was the attempt to create a “peer-reviewed” version of the equivalent cronyism meme in the WR [Wegman Report], to claim that bad peer review occurred. It said nothing of the other big WR meme, that the statistics were wrong in a way that mattered.
3) Plagiarism per se disproved neither meme, but one set of evidence disproves the statistics meme and another set (of expert opinion and mentions of literature by experts, not novices) whacks the bad peer review meme.
Sorry, if you name is on a peer-reviewed article, you are responsible. Good scienctists are always most critical of their own work and one might assume that that would apply to statisticians as well. I don’t understand what kind of professor would “out-source” the writing of articles to third-parties and then not be fully knowledgeable about what they contain. This would have to be someone willing to destroy his or her own credibility.
[Perhaps Wegman thought he’d found a shortcut. – Ben]