Wegman Paper Retracted for Plagiarism

Mon, 2011-05-16 08:10Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Wegman Paper Retracted for Plagiarism

The journal Computational Data and Statistics Analysis (CSDA) has withdrawn a paper by George Mason University Professor Edward Wegman and his student Jasmin Said for plagiarism, USA Today has reported.

The newspaper quotes CSDA editor Stanley Azen (who is denying responsibility for what appeared to be a rushed, one-man review of the Wegman/Said paper), saying the journal’s legal team has decided to pull the study because of the evidence of plagiarism from Wikipedia and textbooks.

The Wegman work is part of a flurry of “analysis” (at least one expert derides this particular paper as “an opinion piece”), that Wegman and Said conducted on behalf of U.S. Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas), who was using the material to attack the climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann.

Barton commissioned an earlier and similarly problematic report for a Congressional hearing in which he argued that Mann’s iconic “hockey stick” climate reconstruction was statistically unsound. Wegman and Said went on to author the CSDA report, using what they called a “network analysis” to argue that Mann and a small group of climate scientists were short-circuiting the publication process by getting friends to peer-review one another’s studies. That puts Editor Azen in an awkward position. A friend of Wegmans, who was himself an editor of CSDA, Azen has no record of anyone other than himself reviewing the Wegman/Said paper, and Azen has no particular expertise in the relatively new field of network analysis.

Although “broken” in the mainstream news by Dan Vergano at USA Today, credit for this story must go to blogger DeepClimate, who was the first to document Wegman and Said’s plagiarism. Several others, notably John Mashey and the Simon Fraser University Professor Ted Kirkpatrick, also launched complaints to CSDA and George Mason University about Wegman’s shoddy work. GMU has yet to respond.

Comments

Wrong name on the photo?

Sorry it just appears that way when you open the link.

Does it get any uglier? Will GMU do anything? Do the Kochs hold a veto over academic discipline processes there? Curious people want to know!

being hoisted on one’s own petard!

How sweet it is!

BTW, the climate denier bloggers are going bonkers on the comment thread to the USA article.

Do read this by the USA Today reporter:

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2011/05/retracted-climate-critics-study-panned-by-expert-/1

Curiouser and curiouser…

when we need him?

Shouldn’t he be suing the heck out of Wegman, right now?

Virginia’s Attorney General Cuccinelli is not interested in enforcing the law; he is interested in persecuting climate scientists under the color of law. He has turned the A.G.’s office into a KGB—as the sword and shield of the Denialist Party.

Cuccinelli’s father is a career lobbyist for the natural gas industry.

What is wrong with these people? I never really thought CSDA can have those kind of people… Well, we can’t judge him for we do no know what really happened that he had really committed plagiarism…
But, is it really needed to make a big fuss of this event on the news? We all do make mistakes and I guess this matter could have had been discussed within the walls of CSDA… It’s not just Wegman’s reputation that will be ruined but also CSDA’s for having such person in their team… :/

Jan
ALDAX MOULDS http://adax.com.au

What is wrong with these people? I never really thought CSDA can have those kind of people… Well, we can’t judge him for we do no know what really happened that he had really committed plagiarism…
But, is it really needed to make a big fuss of this event on the news? We all do make mistakes and I guess this matter could have had been discussed within the walls of CSDA… It’s not just Wegman’s reputation that will be ruined but also CSDA’s for having such person in their team… :/

Jan
ALDAX MOULDS http://adax.com.au

CSDA is generally a credible peer-reviewed journal, as best as I can tell, its articles have been of reasonable quality over the years. I am afraid Azen made a mistake. See Vergano again, in post that just didn’t fit in the print version.

In any case, fairly soon much more detail will be known about this strange tale.

I am not quite sure why Mashey is still obsessing over this? It feels a bit redundant. Plagiarism is considered taking a paper and or something off the web, coping it down, and saying it is your own work. I do not believe that this is what happened here. Common knowledge does not have to be referenced because it is in fact, common knowledge. Why is it that all of a sudden, common knowledge needs to be referenced, otherwise it is considered plagiarism? I believe that Mashey should just move on and wash his hands of this.