I requested data from the University of Western Australia……..

I requested data from the University of Western Australia……..

…so that I could submit a comment to the journal of Psychological Science. I wrote to Professor Maybery (email below) but instead I received this  stunning response from the Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson, (my bold) I have been trying to resolve this very specific issue through the ‘proper channels’ for a considerable length of time now.

This email response has also been discussed at Climate Audit and Watts Up With That

From: Paul Johnson

Sent: Friday, March 28, 2014 8:08 AM

To: barry woods Cc: Murray Maybery ; Kimberley Heitman

Subject: request for access to data

Mr B. Woods

Dear Mr Woods,

I refer to your emails of the 11th and 25th March directed to Professor Maybery, which repeat a request you made by email dated the 5th September 2013 to Professor Lewandowsky (copied to numerous recipients) in which you request access to Professor Lewandowsky’s data for the purpose of submitting a comment to the Journal of Psychological Science.

It is not the University’s practice to accede to such requests.

Yours faithfully,

Professor Paul Johnson,

Vice-Chancellor

 

I wrote to Professor Maybery to report and error in a paper and to request the raw data to verify whether I was right or wrong.  I had previously written to the lead author and co-authors of the paper (and to the journal Psychological Science) to report the error to them and suggest ways that the paper may be corrected, and to request the raw data for the paper. The lead author had referred me to UWA for this request.

In his email to me Paul Johnson (VC) copied the University’s lawyers, which I felt was a bit intimidating, as mine was a purely academic request to the Head of the School of Psychology (Professor Maybery)

So I will put my emails to Professor Maybery and Professor Lewandowsky in the public domain. I sent each of them a polite reminder after 2 weeks of no response, then I contacted  the university’s concerned to verify if they had received my emails. As I did not want to claim to have ‘contacted them’ without being sure they had received it..

From: barry.woods
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 1:54 PM
To: murray maybery
Cc: headschool-psy
Subject: Data Request – to allow a comment to be submitted to the journal Psychological Science

Dear Professor Maybery

I am writing to you, (in your role as Head of the School of Psychology) to request the raw data for an academic paper undertaken at UWA and to bring to your attention a major factual error in the same paper.  I am requesting this data so that I may better submit a comment to the journal of Psychological Science.

It was my expectation that, as it was a purely factual error in the methodology, that the author and the journal would verify the factual error reported to them and then reanalyse and correct the paper accordingly.

However, the authors and journal have not done this and I have been referred by both the chief editor of the journal and the lead author to contact the University of Western Australia.

The paper in question is:

NASA faked the Moon Landing, there for [climate] science is a Hoax – An Anatomy of the motivated rejection of Science by Stephan Lewandowsky, Klaus Oberauer, Gilles Gignac – Psychological Science [LOG12]

I identified a purely factual error in the paper over 1 year ago now, (pre-publication press release circulation) this error impacts on a number of key claims of the paper. Following the eventual publication of the paper in Psychological Science, (several months after the press release) I was able to more formally bring the errors and implications of it, to the attention of the journal in question and to the authors of the paper.

The Chief Editor of Psychological Science (Prof Eric Erich) has suggested that I should submit a comment to Psychological Science. I formally reported the error to the lead author (and co-authors) in September 2013 and also requested the raw data for the paper and survey from the lead author at the same time (and had previously in July 2012).
The lead author has referred me to the University of Western Australia (as he is now at Bristol University) with respect to the error and any data requests.

The factual error is:

The LOG12 methodology states that the survey was posted at the SkepticalScience website, when in fact the survey was not posted at the Skeptical Science website.

This has the following implications for LOG12, which will require corrections to the paper:

  • The methodology of LOG12 states that the survey was posted on the website http://www.SkepticalScience.com (1 of 8 websites) This claim appears to be falsified.
  • The methodology also states that the survey was potential visible to 390,000 visits from readers, including 78,000 sceptical visits at the http://www.SkepticalScience.com website. This is a key claim of the paper that the survey was potential viewed by a large, broad audience, (with a 20% sceptical audience) representative of the wider general public. As the survey never appeared at the http://www.SkepticalScience.com website this claim is falsified
  • Additionally, the content analysis of http://www.SkepticalScience.com is used to assert that there was a diverse representative audience across the other 7 blogs that linked to the survey. As the survey was never show at http://www.SkepticalScience.com the claim of diverse and wide readership for the whole survey, based on a content analysis of http://www.SkepticalScience is now unsupported by the evidence in the supplementary material. New content analysis will be required for the other 7 blogs, including readership traffic volumes as well

So that I may submit my invited comment to the journal of Psychological Science, may I request from the School of Psychology:

1 The raw Kwik Survey data for the LOG12 survey

2 Evidence that the survey was held at the Skeptical Science website –
(please note the Wayback machine archive, shows that it is impossible for a survey to have been held at Skeptical Science, to match the LOG12 paper claimed content analysis. Also a Skeptical Science contributor/author and moderator at the time, Mr Tom Curtis has stated publically that the survey was not held at Skeptical Science. Mr Tom Curtis has also publically stated that he contacted the authors prior to the paper publication in the journal to inform them of this error.)

3 The exact Start date/time and End date/time for the Content Analysis performed on the comments at Skeptical Science.

4 The rating criteria used by John Cook (founder of Sceptical Science) to classify the comments as sceptical or (this is not provided in the Supplementary Material for LOG12.

In the first instance:

Items 1 and 2 should quickly establish, (item 1 and 2 being archived data for the paper) the error of fact, beyond any doubt.
The raw Kwik survey data would have presumably captured, the referring domain url of each participant in the survey.
(the website address of where each participant saw the survey to take part and clicked on a link from, for example the websites, Deltoid, Tamino, Hot Topic, etc)

In my email correspondence with the lead author (appended), you will see that I noticed the missing Skeptical Science survey and requested items 1 & 2 from him, in July 2012.

In the second instance:

Items 3 and 4 will allow me to perform the same content analysis on the 7 blogs that were actually surveyed, and to submit my comment using the same methodology used in LOG12.  Where I can discuss the impacts on the paper due to the non inclusion of Skeptical Science in the survey and present a new content analysis based on the actual surveyed blogs.

I am sorry to have to contact you unannounced like this, my expectation has always been that the authors and journal would simply verify factual error in the methodology, and take it on themselves to correct the paper accordingly.

Best Regards

Barry Woods

I have appended my email reporting the error to the authors below:

Since I reported the error to the authors, Mr Tom Curtis, has written in an additional article, that the LOG12 survey was not held at Skeptical Science

http://bybrisbanewaters.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/skeptical-science-and-lewandowsky-survey.html

I have also attached the paper and supplementary material that is available, for your convenience

[Formal Email to the authors of the 'NASA Moon Hoax' paper]
—————————————————

From: barry woods
Sent: Thursday, September 05, 2013 12:32 PM
To: stephanlewandowsky
Cc: k.oberauer; direktor; gilles.gignac; murray maybery ; public-relations; j.noyes

Subject: Substantial Factual Error in the methodology of LOG12 – Psychological Science, requiring a correction – the LOG12 survey was not posted at Skeptical Science.com

Dear Stephan

I wish to formally report to you (as lead author and contact) a substantial factual error in the methodology of one of your papers – “NASA faked the moon landings – Therefore [Climate ]science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science” by Stephan Lewandowsky, Klaus Oberauer, Gilles Gignac – Psychological Science [LOG12]
I have also reported this factual error to the Chief Editor of Psychological Science.

The factual error is:
The LOG12 methodology states that the survey was posted at the SkepticalScience website, when in fact the survey was not posted at the Skeptical Science website.

This has the following implications for LOG12, which will require corrections to the paper:
The methodology of LOG12 states that the survey was posted on the website http://www.SkepticalScience.com (1 of 8 websites) This claim appears to be falsified.

The methodology also states that the survey was potential visible to 390,000 visits from readers, including 78,000 sceptical visits at the http://www.SkepticalScience.com website. This is a key claim of the paper that the survey was potential viewed by a large, broad audience, (with a 20% sceptical audience) representative of the wider general public. As the survey never appeared at the http://www.SkepticalScience.com website this claim is falsified

Additionally, the content analysis of http://www.SkepticalScience.com is used to assert that there was a diverse representative audience across the other 7 blogs that linked to the survey. As the survey was never show at http://www.SkepticalScience.com the claim of diverse and wide readership for the whole survey, based on a content analysis of http://www.SkepticalScience is now unsupported by the evidence in the supplementary material. New content analysis will be required for the other 7 blogs, including readership traffic volumes as well.

Tom Curtis a Skeptical Science regular author and contributor (like yourself) appears to have established beyond doubt that the survey for LOG12 was not posted at the Skeptical Science website. Tom Curtis wrote to Steve McIntyre (who had made a similar analysis ) publically confirming this in April 2013, following the publication of LOG12 in the Psychological Science journal.

To put the importance of Skeptical Science into context, the Skeptical Science website, is by far the most well known, with the highest traffic of the all blogs surveyed.

If you recall, I requested evidence that the survey had been linked at Skeptical Science on July 31st 2012, and at the time you stated to me that you had had the url for it, but had lost it, and perhaps that John Cook had deleted it, (this would also be against UWA policies for data retention I believe)

From: Stephan Lewandowsky
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 11:00 AM

Hi Barry, the survey was done about 2 years ago, and I don’t have the link to SkS: I worked with John Cook directly at the time and he posted it (and I made a note of it), but I don’t have the actual URL to the survey dating back to the time when he posted it. I suspect he removed it when the survey was closed because then the link would have been dead.

Regards Steve

John Cook has since rather ambiguously stated that he did post the survey (to Geoff Chambers), but can provide no evidence for the survey ever being posted at Skeptical science. Tom Curtis (also from SkepticalScience) has publically completely contradicted this, as does the evidence in the Wayback machine web archive for the Skeptical Science website. It appears John Cook merely tweeted it from his personal twitter account (at a time when he had a mere 1000 twitter followers) and these tweets did not appear at the Skeptical Science website.

This is a substantial factual error in the methodology of the paper and not a simple matter of scientific debate or interpretation, the survey was either posted at Skeptical Science website or it was not. I suggest that the authors now confirm the fact that the survey was not linked at the SkepticalScience website this for themselves by checking with the owner John Cook.

I then expect that the authors will then seek to quickly issue a correction to the methodology of paper. This will presumably require new content analysis for all the seven remaining blogs, as the Sceptical Science website content analysis cannot apply, due to the fact that the survey was not posted at the SkepticalScience website

I do believe this situation originally arose due a simple innocent error in email miscommunication between yourself and John Cook in August 2010, where you believed that John Cook was going to post it on the Skeptical Science website.

I do think it is in the best long-term interests of the journal and authors, (due to the fact that the paper has seen wide media attention), if they were seen to quickly make the relevant corrections to the paper, following formal reporting of this substantial factual error about the papers methodology to the authors and journal.

Best Regards

Barry Woods

(Tom Curtis has publically stated that he contacted the authors and John Cook about this issue via email in September 2012 (see Tom Curtis writes, link below) but he did not state whether his emails had been acknowledged)

I have also raised this error with Chief Editor of Psychological Science in more detail, but it simply comes down to whether the survey was posted at SkepticalScience website or not.

ref:

http://climateaudit.org/2013/04/03/tom-curtis-writes/

http://climateaudit.org/2013/03/28/lewandowsky-doubles-down/#comment-408051

http://climateaudit.org/2012/09/14/the-sks-link-to-the-lewandowsky-survey/

http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/13716/

http://pss.sagepub.com/content/24/5/622.abstract#aff-2

I attach a copy of the paper and supplementary material for convenience.

Authors & Contributors at Skeptical Science:
Stephan Lewandowsky – http://www.skepticalscience.com/posts.php?u=2541
John Cook – http://www.skepticalscience.com/posts.php?u=1
Tom Curtis – http://www.skepticalscience.com/posts.php?u=3591

The Skeptical Science Debunking Handbook – John Cook, Stephan Lewandowsky

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Debunking-Handbook-now-freely-available-download.html

[Copies of all my previous correspondence with Professor Lewandowsky]

(Note: I had never heard of Professor Lewandowsky, prior to reading the July 2012 Guardian article)

From: Stephan Lewandowsky
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2012 11:00 AM
To: barry.woods
Subject: RE: Links to surverys – Skeptical Science – Guardian Article about you recent paper.

Hi Barry, the survey was done about 2 years ago, and I don’t have the link to SkS: I worked with John Cook directly at the time and he posted it (and I made a note of it), but I don’t have the actual URL to the survey dating back to the time when he posted it. I suspect he removed it when the survey was closed because then the link would have been dead.

Regards Steve

From: barry woods

Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 5:00 AM
To: Stephan Lewandowsky
Subject: Links to surverys – Skeptical Science – Guardian Article about you recent paper.

Hi Stephan

sorry to approach you one more time.

I cannot find the link to Skeptical Science survey, this is probably the most high profile blog with the most media/public recognition (i.e. won awards) of the ‘pro-science’ vs. the “Skeptical” blogs

(I’m guessing Climate Audit, WUWT, Bishop Hill & maybe The Air Vent (ie Condon) and Jo Nova ;-) )

I’ve found six of the links to the opinion surveys, and the range of comments on the blogs are quite interesting as well, did you consider this feedback in the research?

but, I would expect that Skeptical Science would have the most comments and opinions and probably the largest readership.

Can you send me the link to the Skeptical Science blog article/comments?

And was the survey able to capture the referring blog, as this might also give indicators of relative popularity of the blog, does the survey break down by referring blog and are these figures available?

Best Regards

Barry

rather than lots of questions, if you have the supporting data, etc in an easily accessible package (without too much trouble for yourself) could you send that as well.
If not quickly to hand, that’s fine please don’t waste any time, as I’m mainly just curious on the couple of point above.

there were the links I found:

http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2010/08/counting-your-attitudes/

http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/opinion-survey-regarding-climate-change/

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/29/survey-on-attitudes-towards-cl/

http://hot-topic.co.nz/questionnaire/

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/survey-says/

http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/take-a-survey/

I’m missing this blog survey link as well.

http://www.trunity.net/uuuno/blogs/

From: Stephan Lewandowsky
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2012 10:23 AM
To: barrywoods

Subject: RE: Guardian Article about you recent paper.

Barry, that is correct—the links were in the public domain at the time and hence you can talk about the blogs which posted the links. Steve

From: barry woods
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2012 5:21 PM
To: Stephan Lewandowsky
Subject: Re: Guardian Article about you recent paper.

Many thanks

Adam Corner has a blog – Talking Climate and is also posting soon a discussion article on a ‘sceptic’ blog with a sceptic as these survey were in the public domain on these blogs, I assume I could discuss these blogs with Adam and others.

Best Regards

Barry Woods

From: Stephan Lewandowsky
Sent: Sunday, July 29, 2012 9:58 AM
To: barry. woods

Subject: RE: Guardian Article about you recent paper.

Hi Barry, thanks for getting in touch.

The blogs who posted the links were:

http://www.skepticalscience.com

http://tamino.wordpress.com

http://bbickmore.wordpress.com

http://www.trunity.net/uuuno/blogs/

http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/

http://profmandia.wordpress.com/

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/

http://hot-topic.co.nz/

I am reticent to release the names of the ‘skeptic’ blogs because they were approached via personal correspondence, in which case a presumption of privacy likely applied.

Given that the identity of those blogs couldn’t possibly have an impact on the results or conclusions, I prefer to act on the presumption of privacy and keep the names of those folks out of the public arena. They were under no obligation to post the link, and declining to do so should not entail a later public ‘outing.’

Regards Steve

From: barry.woods
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2012 9:34 PM
To: Stephan Lewandowsky
Subject: Guardian Article about you recent paper.

Hi Stephen

I have just read Dr Adam Corner’s Guardian article that refers to this paper.

http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/documents/LskyetalPsychScienceinPressClimateConspiracy.pdf

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/jul/27/climate-sceptics-conspiracy-theorists?commentpage=all#start-of-comments

I would be very interested to know the names of the eight blogs that allowed your survey link to be shown, and the names of the five blogs that rejected your link to the survey.

Very Best Regards

Barry Woods

About these ads
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to I requested data from the University of Western Australia……..

  1. tallbloke says:

    Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    .
    Replicability lies at the heart of the scientific method, but not in the heart of the vice chancellor of the University of Wetsern Australia it seems.

  2. Jon Jermey says:

    I also emailed the Vice-Chancellor commenting on this issue, and received no response. Clearly politeness towards the taxpayers who provide his salary is ‘not the University’s practice’ either.

  3. Pingback: Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson of the University of Western Australia refused my request for Professor Lewandowsky’s data – my response | Unsettled Climate

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s