06 December 2008

Finally: News on Twin Papers

I started this blog after Eli Rabett had pointed out to me that the reply to my rebuttal of a climate-sceptic paper had been published in duplicate in two journals. This highly unusual and suspicious event triggered me to blog about strange things going on at the fringe of science.

As a more direct response, I asked the editors of the involved journals (Environmental Geology and Energy Sources) if they were aware of the twin papers and what they intended to do about it. After a long wait, I finally got an answer.

The editorial office of Environmental Geology explained that their Editor in Chief had been informed about the second publication and had approved it. So there is no plagiarism, everything was officially sanctioned. The core of the explanation in detail:

"Due to the backlog of manuscripts, printing of the paper copy of Chilingar's comments was delayed for several months. In the interim, Dr. Chilingar contacted Dr. LaMoreaux and asked permission to "reprint" parts of his comments in the journal Energy Sources, where he serves on the editorial board. Dr. LaMoreaux gave Dr. Chilinger permission to quote from his comments to your rebuttal originally published in Environmental Geology."

Great. I am relieved. I will not stop this blog, though, as there are still enough questionable things going on within and around the scientific literature. A really funny example will follow soon...


  1. They didn't reprint parts, they reprinted the whole thing. A typical go away letter, however, your comments and mine form part of the record of this nonsense.

    arXiv is the answer to publication delay anyhow.

  2. This is not typical editorial-department behavior as I understand it. Two journals, not owned by the same entity, are found to have accepted the same paper, and one says to the other, "Go ahead and publish; ours won't come out for a few months yet."

    Would Science do this for Nature?