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On Nature's data policy

Eli Rabett has challenged my post about Phil Jones claim that publication of his data was prevented by confidentiality agreements. I said that Nature requires authors to make their data available on request.

Eli's says that Nature only instituted this policy in 1997, and that previously the policy was only that:

Nature requests authors to deposit sequence and x-ray crystallography data in the databases that exist for this purpose.

If so then I stand corrected. I'm not sure that it changes anything very much though, because, as we know, CRU have been unable to produce any agreements that would prevent publication, we know that release would have been required under both FOI and EIR, and we know that they distributed data quite happily to scientists who they saw as onside.

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Reader Comments (173)

Bishop Hill

Don P

I think Squarespace had a denial of service attack five or six days ago. Perhaps something to do with that?

I assume you are answering me, but there is another whom you can be referring. It happened two days ago, not five or six. You have a problem with them. Why, I can not say. They are your problem. Please ride them. Until recently, life been good here.


As a Ph. D. in psychology, I can unqualifiedly say that you either have or are faking the symptoms of a schizophrenic paranoid. If you are the former, please take the meds you have been given, and if you are not under medical treatment, please seek it. There are meds that will help. If you are faking it, you are very tiresome and I suggest you go way.

And we thought ZDB was bad. Jezzus! What do they crawl out of?

Nov 20, 2010 at 10:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

I was not able to post here for almost the whole day, quite sometime back too.

Nov 20, 2010 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Don Pablo

Please forgive me; do not be angry, but this doesn't sound like you at all:

I assume you are answering me, but there is another whom you can be referring. It happened two days ago, not five or six. You have a problem with them. Why, I can not say. They are your problem. Please ride them. Until recently, life been good here.

Is it you?

Nov 20, 2010 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

@BBD. You say, "Joe Romm worries me. Or rather I worry for him and his general health. It is, I understand, very dangerous to maintain a high pitch of aggression and anxiety for prolonged periods. Bad for the heart."

My theory is: if you lived next door to Joe, you'd think he was a nice bloke, as long as you never discussed anything but sports. On second thought, better not mention ice hockey, either. Nor curling. Weather is right out.

Nov 20, 2010 at 11:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar


Please forgive me; do not be angry, but this doesn't sound like you at all:

Sí, soy yo. ¿Por qué se duda de quién soy yo? Y usted, verdad?

Nov 20, 2010 at 11:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Indeed ;-)

Nov 20, 2010 at 11:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD


I was replying to jorgekafkazar and we crossed.

I am sorry but don't speak or read Spanish.

I can see that you are asking a question, or asking me why I question you but beyond that, I am stuck.

Nov 20, 2010 at 11:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

The machine translation is:

Yes, I am. Why doubt of whom I am? And you, truth?

I try to tell the truth, as do we all.

Nov 20, 2010 at 11:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Yer Grace

Your links to the sites on your blog roll weren't working either. I had go via my browser bookmarks. Today the links work!

Nov 21, 2010 at 12:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterE O'Connor


This was on the day of the anniversary!

Nov 21, 2010 at 12:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterE O'Connor


I was following the comments on this thread with great interest until the appearance of some frankly incoherent posts by Steve2. I use "incoherent" not as a personal attack on Steve2 but as a technical description of the content of several of his posts.To me, they were real "head scratchers" ( I'm sorry, Steve2 but that is the way I see it).

BBD obviously noted the same thing and made a polite enquiry seeking clarification. That set Steve2 off and soon dragged poor BBD into the kind of slinging match which is always an unedifying, if all too frequent, occurence on blogs. The worst of it is that this completely derailed the ongoing discussion. There had been a lot of comments earlier about "trolls" which have now ramped up to questions of hacking or DOS.

One way or another this has certainly scuttled an interesting thread.

Nov 21, 2010 at 12:11 AM | Unregistered Commentertertius

Elmer asks "where is that pesky wabbit?".

Nov 21, 2010 at 12:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterElmer Fudd


Ahem! Sorry.. approaching pantomime season here in the UK!

It's normal for a thread to get off-track once in a while. I wouldn't sweat it. Sometimes we bite, sometimes we're bitten, and always we're at the mercy of our intentions, implicit or explicit, being incorrectly inferred.

While we're all in large part responsible for the way others perceive us, few of us have The Bish's skills in the art of written communication. If we are all Seekers After Truth, we are all friends.

So, Shub, ol' buddy, ol' friend.. giz some Truth!

Nov 21, 2010 at 1:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

It's a rare event, to be sure, when the Good Bishop's thread unravells, but it's not unprecedented!
And, I suspect, it will happen again. Makes not a jot of difference to me.
Notwithstanding the curious translocations of our beloved trolly-dolly or, more recently, the linguist contortions of an apparent newcomer, this is now my first point of call for matters, of a climatogical nature, to which I turn to on a daily basis. And that is because of the excellence of the majority of posters.
By all means, feed the pests for as long as they provide entertainment. But,when they become a sufficient nuisance, don't neglect to bait the traps!

Nov 21, 2010 at 2:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterRoyFOMR

When the issue was raised at Climate Audit I researched the Spanish Agreements as I read Spanish (however badly).

The agreement posted here by "Spanish Climatologist" was not the agreement that was signed by Phil Jones. The "original agreement" was much smaller and far less restrictive. I speculated that that more legalistic agreements were actually solicited to forestall sharing. Additional research has not changed my viewpoint.

Check the various threads at Climate Audit and you can find links to the documents -- including the original request for the Spanish Met data filed by Phil Jones.

Nov 21, 2010 at 4:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterWillR

Is this what you're looking for, WillR?

Nov 21, 2010 at 7:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

By the way how are the MET Office getting on with reconstructing the HADCRUT temperature datasets?

Have they experienced problems with confidentality agreements, and will they be able to release the data into a public depository?

Nov 21, 2010 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Don Pablo, is this apparently rhetorical question actually a quote from somewhere?

Sí, soy yo. ¿Por qué se duda de quién soy yo? Y usted, verdad?

Sorry if I'm missing the obvious, but as I say, I don't read Spanish, so I wouldn't 'get' the reference.

Nov 21, 2010 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

"slinging match which is always an unedifying"

I find the new word "slinging" as very edifiying - i.e. it builds- it increases - it helps accrete knowledge.

I never really knew that Philip Bratby contibuted to a site that thinks 9/11 was a Bush inside job, and the moon landings never happened. And when, pushing people in a 'kin drunk way I see there are shed loads of no nothings with nowt to say: I say bye bye, HSI is great but I think 170 plus comments on a page I intervened on is pretty much indicative of how boring, predictable and stupid
a lot of you contributors are ...

Nov 21, 2010 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve2

That's ok Steve2,
I already knew I was stupid. Good luck.

Nov 21, 2010 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

Harold W. (Nov 21, 2010 at 7:05 AM)

That was the document. On page 4 of 8, at the bottom, the Spanish translates loosely (as we might write it) as...

The signature below undertakes (agrees) to use the information requested only for the ends (fines -- ends/uses) specified in this request (or letter -- solicitud) and the origin of the same (data) will be cited in each publication or project (trabajo - work/project) each time we use it.

(El abajo firmante se compromete ...)


FECHA Y FIRMA (Date and Signature)

This is quite different than the rather legalistic document later organized (and posted as a reference here...)

Nov 21, 2010 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterWillR

To the Bishop
I've emailed you - in case both emails have gone into the spam once again.

Nov 22, 2010 at 2:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Remember that Jones (with the assistance of the Met Office), in December last year, requested permission from the individual countries to release A VERSION of the countries' data, AFTER CRU ADJUSTMENT, while describing it as the countries' OWN RAW data.

Apart from waiting several months - until AFTER Climategate - to even try to get permission to release the raw data to meet FOI requests, Jones' intention was STILL to mislead. Describing adjusted data as raw data is, as far as I'm concerned, data falsification.

And, incidentally, I believe that using interpolated, arbitrarily adjusted data to fill in an otherwise uncovered grid plot in CRU's gridded product is effectively data fabrication. YMMV.

Nov 22, 2010 at 2:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

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