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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Searching for Climate Patents?

A recent peer-reviewed paper "Expert credibility in climate change" was published in the PNAS, apparently demonstrating the computer illiteracy of it's authors and PNAS reviewers. Their "results" were obtained by searching Google Scholar using the search terms: "author:fi-lastname climate". By default Google Scholar is set to search both "articles and patents" yet no mention of searching only for articles is in the paper. So why were they searching for climate patents and how is a patent that contains the search word "climate" a relevant "climate publication"?

1 comment:

Karl said...

There are much bigger problems with the paper than this, such as the authors using an arbitrary benchmark of 20 publications to be considered a climate researcher by the study:

"To examine only researchers with demonstrated climate expertise, we imposed a 20 climate-publications minimum to be considered a climate researcher, bringing the list to 908 researchers (NCE = 817; NUE = 93)."

So someone who publishes 10 papers isn't an expert?

*raises eyebrow*

This whole thing is just another exercise in fallacious statistics to keep alive the myth of scientific consensus.