2012-03-05 14:00:38Page allowing crowd sourcing of missing abstracts
John Cook


I've finished a new TCP page that lists all papers missing an abstract:


There are ~80 papers left without an abstract (originally there were over 200 but Jim Powell tracked down many of them, I've tracked down a few too). The reason why this is important is because this was one of the original nitpicks of Oreskes' 2004. Here is Monckton's repeating of Peiser's criticism:

Dr. Peiser used “global climate change” as a search term and found 1,117 documents using this term, of which 929 were articles and only 905 also had abstracts. Therefore it is not clear which were the 928 “abstracts” mentioned by Oreskes, and Science did not, as it would have done with a peer-reviewed scientific paper, list the references to each of the “abstracts”.

So to head off possible future criticisms of TCP, it's a simple enough matter for us to go that extra mile and track down any missing abstracts. As our analysis is based on the abstract text, for any papers where we simply cannot find the abstract, I suggest we omit those papers from the analysis and explicitly state so in the paper. 

Note also - for many of these papers, ISI didn't provide a link. If you do track down the paper and obtain a URL, also enter that when editing the paper so we have a direct link to the paper - this will be quite useful information for future reference.

2012-03-05 16:16:24What about abstracts in another language than English?


Yesterday, while looking for more emails, I happened upon a link to an abstract which looked to be either Chinese or Japanese, so not really much use for us. What should be done in these cases? Add "foreign language" in the email-field or is there a means to flag these elsewhere?

2012-03-05 16:23:19
John Cook


Am tempted just to leave these as is and send the TCP email to all scientists' emails. Even for foreign language papers, the author may speak English, hence we get the rating.

Otherwise, it adds extra complexity to the system. I say that not because I'm a lazy programmer looking to avoid work - I'm thinking of you guys. Honest! :-)