USA Today is reporting that the allegations of plagiarism made against Edward Wegman have hit their mark. Said et al, a paper describing the uncomfortably close relationships between cliques of climate scientists has been withdrawn after it was shown that elements of the paper were plagiarised.
The journal publisher's legal team "has decided to retract the study," said CSDA journal editor Stanley Azen of the University of Southern California, following complaints of plagiarism. A November review by three plagiarism experts of the 2006 congressional report for USA TODAY also concluded that portions contained text from Wikipedia and textbooks. The journal study, co-authored by Wegman student Yasmin Said, detailed part of the congressional report's analysis.
As far as I can tell, nobody is disputing the paper's findings though.
Somebody is taking issues with the findings here. The chief objection appears to be that the data is not well-documented:
Compared to many journal articles in the network area the description of the data is quite poor. That is the way the data was collected, the total number of papers, the time span, the method used for selecting articles and so on is not well described.
They don't seem to particularly object to what was said though:
Is what is said wrong? As an opinion piece - not really.
Is what is said new results? Not really. Perhaps the main "novelty claim" are the definitions of the 4 co-authorship styles. But they haven't shown what fraction of the data these four account for.
Keith Kloor says I'm twisting myself into contortions over this. I think he's overdoing it a bit. It seems to me that in logic the presence of somebody else's material in a paper cannot tell you anything about the truth or otherwise of the contents of that paper. It can raise your suspicions about the quality of the work, for sure, but it proves nothing.
I also think I'm consistent on this. It was necessary to examine Mann et al 2008 and argue the merits (or otherwise) of the paper. It could not be falsified by reference to the goings-on over the Hockey Stick.