Thursday, January 21, 2016

I publish in Nature, sez Bartleby @wattsupwiththat...Oh yeah? Pull the other one!

Sou | 2:32 PM Go to the first of 51 comments. Add a comment
You know how deniers at WUWT like to make out they know it all? Well, here's a comment you'll appreciate. It's from a pseudo-scientist who calls themselves Bartleby, who was protesting a Letter in Nature Climate Change. He or she wrote that the article was a mere letter, not a refereed article (or so Bartleby thinks)!
January 20, 2016 at 5:47 pm (my emphasis)
That was my first criticism Gary, but then I noticed the article was published in Nature.
I publish in Nature. Members of my family also publish there. I have to express strong disappointment with Nature’s editorial staff. In their defense, I’ll make note of the fact this was a “letter” rather than a refereed article. I suppose that should carry some weight, but I’ve also noticed an editorial bias towards publishing absurd psuedo-scientific flapdoodle like this.
Personally? I’m disgusted and will never submit a paper to Nature again.
Bartleby has clearly never even looked at the table of contents in a Nature journal, much less submitted a manuscript.

PS There's nothing wrong with not knowing that to have a Letter published in Nature is something that many budding scientists hope they can achieve once in their career. It's his woeful attempt to bignote himself with the illiterati by pretending familiarity with a journal he's never looked at, that makes Bartleby the fool.


  1. "Personally? I’m disgusted and will never submit a paper to Nature again."

    Well if true, that will improve the quality of Nature :-)

    1. WUWTers can't wait to bash out their silly, empty thoughts on their keyboard. If there's a press release about science, most of them can't make head or tail of it. That's one reason why you rarely see people like Bartleby comment on the work itself. They are incapable (they take after Anthony Watts in that regard).

      However they really, really want to see their words in cyberprint on their computer screen. It gives them the illusion of feeling important for a few minutes out of their dreary day.

    2. I presume from now on Bartleby will be submitting his papers to the journal of the OAS, which we were informed by our heroes at WUWT would be the terror of the scientific establishment.

    3. "terror of the scientific establishment" - though not for the reasons they think.

  2. Bartleby's imaginary boycott is Nature's imaginary gain.

    WUWT has the usual mix of clowns, with a brave poster or two trying to shovel sh... stuff against the tide.

    In copying the news release accompanying the paper, Watts failed to paste some text characters properly (CO₂ with a subscript '2' and coauthor Ramón de Elía with accented vowels). Instead of fixing them, he inserted [sic] after them, which is the convention used when requoting original errors verbatim. No point in trying to correct the weatherman... where would you start, and where would you end?

    Anyway... looks like an interesting paper marred by the poor choice of the common dark blue to dark red rainbow color scheme to illustrate temperature changes per unit carbon, not really appropriate when almost the entire map of the world is warming.

    1. The news release from the university has it right, so yeah, it's just typesetting from whatever third or fourth party source WUWT copied and pasted it from. (As usual, there's not link to their copy and paste. Could be Eurekalert. I doubt they translated the French version.)

    2. Thanks Magma, I could not understand the [sic]'s.

      @ Sou
      They may even have copied from the press release. Copying from html to html and even more from a pdf or Word often means that one loses the subscripts etc. (See Wegman and the crew who seemed to miss that in some plagarism, err paper.)

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Letters to Nature are claimable by Australian tertiary education institutions for HERDC. There would be many authors, Heads of School, DVCRs and VCs who would be surprised and shocked to discover that Letters to Nature are mere, erm, small 'l' letters...

    And believe me, if they were "just letters", the federal Department of Education would be all over the dozens of institutions that submit Letters to Nature in their HERDC claims. It doesn't, because it knows that they are bona fide high calibre scientific papers.

    I've actually had a discussion with our local Elsevier rep on their classification of Letters to Nature. Usually these papers get a Scopus citation type 'Article' (abbreviation 'AR') but sometimes they are labelled as 'Letter' ('LE') which Elsevier admits is incorrect and is intended for the scientific correspondence type of submission. They are working to address this issue.

    Another clue for the clueless (yes, Bartleby, I'm talking to you...) is that Nature has an actual separate 'Correspondence' section for contributions that are letters. Further, if Bartleby and his family had actually ever contributed* to Nature they'd know the hugely difficult task of getting a LtN manuscript prepared, reviewed, and accepted compared to writing a letter for the correspondence section.

    The word 'Letter' in 'Letters to Nature' is a historic quirk. It is a linguistic fossilisation of a previous usage, but it does not diminish the great importance of the works reported under this title.

    [*A quick perusal of Scopus shows no Bartleby has ever published anywhere in the scientific literature, so he most certainly did not do so under that name. Given his ignorance of the standards for publishing in Nature, though, I doubt that Bartleby has ever published anything more than ignorant tripe on a two-bit denialist blog...]

    1. From Nature itself:

      " Original research (submissions welcome)

      In Nature journals, original research is published either as an Article, Letter, Resource (presents a large dataset of broad usefulness, interest and significance) Brief Communication or Technical Report.

      Nature does not publish the Brief Communication, Resource or Technical Report format. In Nature, there are fewer Articles published per week (typically around 3) than there are Letters (typically around 17). Some, but not all, Articles and Letters are published online before they appear in the print edition of the journal (AOP, or Advance Online Publication). The Nature guide to authors provides detailed information about these categories.

      In the Nature monthly journals, research is published as Articles, all of which are published online ahead of the print editions. Some, but not all of the monthly journals publish research in Letter, Resource, Brief Communication or Technical Report format. Each journal describes the content type it publishes in its own guide to authors.

      Compare and contrast with:

      "Opinion and comment

      Nature and most of the Nature research journals publish Editorials: opinion articles written by the editors about topical issues of the day concerning science, particularly its interface with wider society. Because these articles represent the voice of the journal, they are unsigned. Sometimes, these Editorials announce and describe a new or amended editorial policy. These policy announcements are collected in the relevant parts of the editorial policies section of the authors & referees @ npg website. Contributions are not considered for Editorials.

      For Nature, Opinion by readers is published in the form of short Correspondence (unsolicited submissions are welcomed by email to correspondence@nature.com ), or longer, more rounded Opinion articles (commissioned by the editors). Nature does not consider unsolicited suggestions or submissions for Opinion articles.

      Some other Nature journals publish Commentary, Opinion or Correspondence, but others do not. To save their time, potential authors are advised to read the relevant journal's guide to authors before submitting.

      Readers of Nature news can comment on articles at the journal website.

      Readers' technical comments on scientific research published in the Nature journals are not published in the opinion sections, but must be submitted to the journal for formal peer review (see the relevant journal's guide to authors for details).

      Increasingly, Nature Publishing Group is publishing informal opinion in the form of reader comments on its blogs (weblogs) and at Nature Network.

    2. That's weird Sou. I just posted extracts from Nature's descriptions of its different publication types, but the post has evaporated...


    3. Sorry Bernard. Blame Google. It does that from time to time for no reason I can fathom. I've fished it out of the spam folder and put it back where it belongs :)

    4. "no Bartleby has ever published anywhere"

      I wonder if the name Bartleby isn't a hint that its a Poe delivered by a student of American literature.

      the narrator hears a rumor that Bartleby had worked in a dead letter office

  4. I played lead guitar for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on their last world tour but never again. I have recently found out that Bruce has swallowed whole all that BS Climatism and so I've sworn a solemn oath to never tour with him again.

    1. I cannot however speak for my family. My wife has just informed she will be replacing Max Weinberg as planned.

    2. She just wants to look at "The Butt" :-)

    3. PG - for anybody else, that would be an incredible story.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. It’s actually a rather poignant post I think. One can readily imagine Bartleby perched in a shack, newly cleared “runway” in front of him, awaiting word from John Frum and the arrival of cargo.

  6. There's an entertaining thread on there with one "caitiecaitie" holding off the "attack-dogs".

    1. In that thread richardscourtney loses it with "caitiecaitie" because she doesn't seem to show enough respect to another poster:

      "Phil’s Dad has repeatedly commented on your posts. He is not a scientist but is a member of the UK government (i.e. a Conservative MP)."

      Bloody hell I hope this is not true. I really dont want my government gleaning their science from Tony and his mates.

    2. I've just added this....

      Welcome to the alternative universe.
      Indeed you are correct - the only insults have come from others towards you, whilst you have been commendably restrained in response - especially considering the beyond patronising "warning" from courtney merely for posting science they don't agree with.
      But don't you see? they don't tolerate "warmist" views (for too long), and if you persist, as you have WITHOUT resorting to ad hominem, then they will either goad you into it or just plain accuse you anyway.
      Been there and got the T-shirt and observed how they treat the likes of Mosher, Twinotter and Brandon, amongst others.

      Denizens - you could have a pure echo-chamber here, but what's the point?

      BTW: A Troll (wiki) is ....

      ".. is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement"

      None of the above applies to caitiecaite.

    3. Should be fun to see the response.

    4. MarkW thinks you're delusional. Richard S Courtney has two replies stuck in moderation, lol. The entire thread was a lot of fun. [tips cap to catiecatie]

    5. Fun to watch, but I wasn't very impressed with catiecatie. Too much 'I learned that in high school' and 'I can't be bothered to look that up' (like the relaxation time of excited CO2 molecules: I Googled 10 microseconds, in a couple of minutes). And she made one major, if irrelevant, blunder: 'you understand that ice is less dense than water right? i.e. a container more than 90% full of ice will spill?' The attack dogs were on that forever, and she never bothered to say 'Oops, my mistake.' Her valid points got thinner as the attacks piled up and she lost patience.

    6. I'm impressed by anybody who can maintain polite behaviour while being trolled by the WUWT crowd (and being accused of being the troll). I think the Church might consider using the experience as training for the priesthood.

    7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    8. Brandon:

      "MarkW thinks you're delusional."
      What I expected - as I said - an alternative universe.
      So QED.

      I have this MO with the likes of courtney - that is to get in there and hit em hard then leave until the next thread. You can't reason with them and the others will pile in anyway.
      I'm doing that with painter on Spencer's (because he deserves it), and they don't hunt in packs there.

    9. This comment has been removed by the author.


    10. If I comment on denier blogs or climate change threads on other forums, I make it clear early on that I am posting for the benefit of the lurkers - not really in response to the deniers

      You simply can't argue with them - it is like debating with creationist

      I read a study that said every blogs as a similar ratio of active / semi active posters and Lurkers

      The lurkers making up 80 to 90% of any blog/thread

      I think some sense does get though - I have certainly found it really helpful

      Ps I read a recent thread on Spencers blog and thankyou Tony for responding to the lunatics like mpainter - you have my thanks and respect

    11. treesong,

      caitiecaitie did actually correct her ice density blunder:


      January 20, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      @gnomish oh you’re 100% right, thanks for the correction XD oops!
      of course, the point at hand is that ice locked up in the caps and elsewhere, won’t be locked up there if they melt. As I said above, the actual density is irrelevant – even if it was backwards XD


      Tough one to walk off especially against such a hostile crowd. I completely blew one the other day that was much less obvious, but still embarrassing and I ate a very generous amount of crow over it.

      She does swagger more than I'm comfortable doing, and yes, could stand to do more research and cite more references. No two ways about it though, she was entertaining to read.

    12. Tony Banton,

      I have this MO with the likes of courtney - that is to get in there and hit em hard then leave until the next thread. You can't reason with them and the others will pile in anyway.

      I think there's wisdom in that strategy. What I try to do is handle substantive rebuttals to my original point -- which is often not complete, but intended to provoke thought and/or start a conversation even though WUWT is a place generally bereft of both. Where I typically fail is with the likes of mpainter or Courtney the Elder who simply stonewall by answering my response with endlessly repetitions their original assertion and/or chasing squirrels and upon me rebutting those, accusing me of being the one tossing out red herrings. Hence, me staying engaged plays into their strategy to obfuscate and distract.

      Somtimes though, drawing them out a bit just gives them more of their own shoelaces to tie together. A semi-representative example is from the Monday's Mirth Josh cartoon, wherein he rebuts the "How reliable are satellite temperatures" video with a drawing of Michael Mann holding a Hokey Schtick. Now comes ...

      Richard S. Courtney: But you say that the “calculated ±0.01 K confidence interval for HADCRUT4 … is ±0.03” and for this the “units are K/decade”. So what? If the decadal error is ±0.03 K/decade then that confirms that the indication of the graph – which I stated – is an error for individual years of less than ±0.01K.

      He actually thinks that a trend uncertainty expressed in K/decade implies that the annual uncertainty of an individual year is ±0.03 K/decade * 0.1 decade/year = ±0.003 K/year. I'm finding it very difficult to walk away from this one.

    13. You can probably guess what my suspicions are about the WUWT attack dogs. I think they are dishonest. I think they know full well their climate denialism is nonsense.

      Are they trolls? Yes. One definition of trolling is the troll engages in identity deception. They try to pass themselves off as a legitimate participant. The attack-dog's agenda is to harass, not participate in a discussion.

    14. Brandon writes:"He actually thinks that a trend uncertainty expressed in K/decade implies that the annual uncertainty of an individual year...."

      Not much different than their overall understanding of math (or physics or statistics or etc., etc). How many times have we read that you can't have an uncertainty in the hundredths or thousandths of a degree when the thermometers only read to a tenth?

      I just call them ignorant and tell them to go read a book on the subject. Throw in a couple of links to papers or webpages that explain the actual subject. Then repeat calling them ignorant. Then repeat calling them ignorant. And if necessary repeat calling them ignorant :)

    15. Harry Twinotter,

      You can probably guess what my suspicions are about the WUWT attack dogs.

      You can probably guess that I have the same suspicions. When I'm there, I try to stick to what I can demonstrate with evidence from sources I consider reliable, or falsify by pointing out a logical flaw in their argument. Here and other places I'm less ... reserved ... which many of them know and attempt to use against me.

      I decided a few years ago that trying to "win" was a fool's errand, and that the best I should strive for is to not "lose".

      The attack-dog's agenda is to harass, not participate in a discussion.

      We are in complete agreement.

      Kevin O'Neill,

      How many times have we read that you can't have an uncertainty in the hundredths or thousandths of a degree when the thermometers only read to a tenth?

      I've surely lost count, I was just struck by it this time since I'd imagine that Courtney's self-proclaimed expertise (and dbstealey's touting of him as a peer-reviewed published author) would preclude him from making such a fundamental statistical error. [1] As Harry says, he almost certainly knows better.

      And if necessary repeat calling them ignorant :)

      At one point, "wilful ignorance" was a phrase I used there frequently, especially after I'd cited the relevant references demonstrating their poor grasp of the relevant concept. I eventually decided that attempting to impute motive was a rhetorical device best left to them, so I dropped the qualifier.


      [1] It's not like I haven't stuffed it on basic stats. Latest one was forgetting that a 2 sigma error estimate only covers one half of the distribution, and that the full 95% confidence interval covers a range approximately equal to 4 standard deviations. But then, I don't claim to be an expert, just an interested layperson.

    16. Brandon R. Gates.

      It is only possible to win a fair fight. Unless there is an impartial judge or moderator, this is never going to happen on a Conspiracy Theory blog.

      I do fondly hope from time to time any honest lurkers will realise the attack dogs are usually talking nonsense.

      I only go slumming on such blogs from time to time to see what they are up to. Know Your Enemy, as they say.

    17. Brandon, Harry,

      The hanging onto the UAH/RSS data is something that bugs me particularly. (disregarding the plainly delusional "scamming" bollocks).
      The hypocritical reliance on them and Curry's "best data out there' reasoning. What?
      I find it amusing that UAH my well have scored an own goal in v6.0 to align with RSS. Looking at the Ratpac data something has gone awry since ~2000. Very probably with the new new AMSU on noaa15. Also uncertainty is never plotted and must be large. Reliance on models - the hypocrisy - It goes right over their heads if you show them how/where the TLT measurement is done/taken from. They think that surface temps "can't" possibly sample the Earth, and/or it's fiddled warmer. Whilst they can trust UAH/RSS because they trust Christy & Spencer .... Yet (recently) one of the usual (stealey/hoffer/courtney) said (paraphrase) that Mears had "discredited himself ages ago" !!
      Able to hold several self contradictory themes together into a logical thought pattern, eh??
      It's a definite psychosis.

    18. Tony Banton.

      If they honestly believe the UAH/RSS data is "better", it is just confirmation bias.

      If they are Conspiracy Theorists (which I believe) the data or evidence is irrelevant to them. Supporting their Conspiracy Theory is the only thing important to them, evidence is only used when it is convenient. Just look at how they turned on BEST when it did not support the conspiracy theory.

    19. Brandon:

      "MarkW thinks you're delusional."
      What I expected - as I said - an alternative universe.
      So QED.

      I have this MO with the likes of courtney - that is to get in there and hit em hard then leave until the next thread. You can't reason with them and the others will pile in anyway.
      I'm doing that with painter on Spencer's (because he deserves it), and they don't hunt in packs there.

    20. Harry Twinotter,

      It is only possible to win a fair fight.


      Know Your Enemy, as they say.

      Same for me, though I have previously supposed that I know them a little too well for my own good.

      Tony Banton,

      Yet (recently) one of the usual (stealey/hoffer/courtney) said (paraphrase) that Mears had "discredited himself ages ago" !!

      It was Stealey, and I nearly soiled myself when I first read it. Yes, DB, Mears discredited himself when UAH rolled out v6.0beta, which was aeons ago for folks with short memories and/or compartmentalized beliefs.

  7. Paper Letter or correspondence letter? :-)

  8. He must be publishing in Natures's special publication "Clowns & Charlatans"

  9. Has anyone politely pointed out on WUWT that Bartleby the Scrivener hasn't published anywhere? He can't even spell 'pseudo'. The distinction between 'Letter' and 'letter' may be beyond the skeppos' comprehension, but 'published' and 'silly liar' should be understood. I'd look for myself, but I'm afraid my eyes would bleed.

  10. Bartleby, the poor lonely scrivener, does not publish in Nature because he would rather not.

  11. "Come on, Bartleby, if you've been published in Nature, give us a citation."
    "I would prefer not to."

  12. Granted, it's a bit of a fine point, but I don't think our Bartleby even appreciates the fact that Nature and Nature Climate Change are two separate journals. NNC is a sub-journal of Nature, launched in early 2011.

  13. Perhaps someone else already posted this link ...

    The "Peer-review policy" section begins on page 26 (of 45) ...

    "The following types of contribution to Nature journals are peer-reviewed: Articles, Letters, Brief Communications, Communications Arising, Technical Reports, Analysis, Reviews, Perspectives, Progress articles and Insight articles. All forms of published correction may also be peer-reviewed at the discretion of the editors."

    "Other contributed articles are not usually peer-reviewed. Nevertheless, articles published in these sections, particularly if they present technical information, may be peer-reviewed at the discretion of the editors."

    Note the uppercase letter at the beginning of each word.
    Note the absence of "News and Views" or "News & Views" in that section.

    Even an ordinary letter from Joe Sixpack to Nature that is published might be peer reviewed (based on its content), but all Letters to Nature are in fact peer reviewed.

    The hubris and DK of the denier in question. Something 'might' get a letter published in the News and Views section without peer review, but a Letter in the Letters section most certainly gets a full on peer review.

    The aforementioned paper is in the "Letters" section it is not in the "News and Views" section ...




    What a moran.

  14. When my superiors sent a paper to Nature. They were asked to split it into two papers. This was unheard of!
    If you want to do a search. Key words are Neuraminidase Structure and Inhibitor Ab Initio Design.

    My name is in there somewhere. Bert

  15. So, I guess this is Bartleby the Sniveler?

  16. See Pseudoskeptics are not skeptics.

    People with Sauron-class Morton's Demons are totally protected from facts they don't like. Dishonesty is unneeded.


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