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Wegman ‘Hockey Stick’ report in the news

Earlier this week I reported on a significant report that may be hard to find and preserve (Senate Anatomy Of Financial Collapse). Here is another example of a prominent government report that may be hard to identify and preserve.

  • Wegman, E.J., Scott, D.W., Said, Y.H., 2006. Ad-hoc Committee Report on the ‘Hockey Stick’ Global Climate Reconstruction, “A Report to Chairman Barton, House Committee on Energy and Commerce and to Chairman Whitfield, House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations: Paleoclimate Reconstruction.” (PDF, 1.5 MB), 91pp (missing page 1) [citation based examination of item and on a footnote in the Computational Statistics & Data Analysis article listed below.]

This report is in the news this week because a scholarly journal has withdrawn a paper based on the report.

Based on information in another USA Today story, (Retracted climate critics’ study panned by expert, By Dan Vergano, USA Today, May 19, 2011), the retracted paper is, apparently, this one (still available as of this morning from ScienceDirect):

  • Yasmin H. Said, Edward J. Wegman, Walid K. Sharabati, John T. Rigsby, Social networks of author-coauthor relationships, Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Volume 52, Issue 4, 10 January 2008, Pages 2177-2184, ISSN 0167-9473, DOI: 10.1016/j.csda.2007.07.021.

A hearing before the same committee, from 2006, with testimony by Wegman is available from FDsys:

Because climate change is a contentious political issue, it is easy to find on the web lots about the original “Wegman report” and the retraction of the journal article. It is not easy to find citations to the article that has been retracted (one citation in USA Today was apparently built from a Google Scholar search and breaks). Copies of the report with the missing first page are available at a number of web sites, but I could not find it in FDsys. The only “official” copy I found (linked above) was buried on the Committee web site.

One wonders if this report will be easy to find and attribute and authenticate in a year or ten years or fifty years.

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