In a thought-provoking and reasoned commentary that asks the question, “Is climate change controversy good for science? Craig Idso examines a comparison between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Non-Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) Reports. (Disclosure: I contributed material to the NIPCC Report). Idso’s article is a review and analysis of an article with the same title in Scientometrics, Jankó et al. (2017). Idso wrote,
Another interesting finding is seen in their examination of who each organization was citing. In-text analysis of the IPCC’s AR5 report revealed that 19 out of the 20 most frequently cited authors in that report were directly involved in the compilation of it. And though the remaining person, J. Hansen, was not officially involved in producing AR5, he participated in the production of at least one prior IPCC report (Third Assessment) as a Contributing Author. Similar analysis of the AR4 report revealed that 14 out of the 16 most frequently cited IPCC authors were involved with the writing of that report. Yet, here again, the remaining two individuals were directly involved in the production of the IPCC’s preceding Third Assessment Report. Such findings indicate the IPCC report authors are most intent on citing their own work, thereby promoting their own interests and findings above the work of others.
Just as Idso did with revealing Janko et al’s conclusion, I am going to save the denouement to the end.
This type of incest is no surprise to many involved in academia. One of the few intelligent things Prince Philip is reported to have said is that universities are the only truly incestuous organizations in our society. Almost everybody teaching in a university is…