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Skeptical Science Housekeeping: flags, printable versions, icons and links... lots of links

Posted on 22 April 2010 by John Cook

The business of upgrading and developing Skeptical Science continues slowly but surely. The most significant update is a new page listing the latest climate articles. This displays all the most recent links from the Global Warming Links directory. The page lets you customise which links to view. You can view just the last week, month or year (I'll extend this later to include all time and paginate the results). You can narrow it to either skeptic or pro-AGW links. And what I find most useful - you can view only certain types of links such as mainstream media or peer-reviewed. So this allows you to check out all the skeptic peer-reviewed papers published in the last month. Or if you want to keep up with current views, check out the skeptic articles published in mainstream media over the last week.

Of course, the list isn't as comprehensive as I would like. I've been setting aside regular time to add new peer-reviewed papers but there is only so many hours in a day. So please feel free to submit any climate links you happen to come by - especially mainstream media articles and peer-reviewed papers. Note with the peer-reviewed papers that you enter the correct year of publication. Plus I've begun adopting a convention with all paper titles that I add (Author Year) at the end of the title - this isn't necessary but offers useful context when perusing paper titles. The peer-review database is growing steadily.

Most of you have probably noticed a long line of flags now adorning the top of the website header. This was an excellent suggestion from Richard Hawkins who thought all the translations should be more prominent and accessible. Considering the huge efforts by all the volunteers who are translating the skeptic arguments into other languages, I heartily agree.

I've reshuffled the left margin, compressing all the various social media buttons and feeds into a single line of icons (another worthy design suggestion from Richard Hawkins). The iPhone app/donation button are a little unbalanced but this will balance out better once the Android app is released (which apparently is not too far away - more on this soon).

Lastly, I've added a printable version of the entire list of skeptic arguments and the short rebuttals (thanks to Anna Haynes for the suggestion). Something useful to carry around in your pocket if you don't have an iPhone :-)

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Comments

Comments 1 to 20:

  1. The 'skeptical papers' bit is a little weird.

    'Is the basin-wide warming in the North Atlantic Ocean related to atmospheric carbon dioxide and global warming?' is hardly 'skeptical', unless you think that 'skeptical' means 'doesn't think EVERYTHING is CO2 related'!

    They conclude that CO2 warming contributes ~half of Atlantic warming - I don't see how this makes them a 'skeptical' paper, they're simply adding to a body of evidence on AMO & climate...
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  2. I am assuming that the paper you are referring to was listed as a "skeptics paper" because it is one that could be used by the deniers given their tendency to re-interpret peer reviewed research to fit their preconceived notions. In the case of the above referenced paper, the deniers could reinterpret the findings along the lines - "because this paper shows that CO2 warming can not account for a significant amount of the observed warming, the models must be wrong and none of the warming is caused by increased CO2 levels."
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  3. Wow! I thought this site was pretty good when I first came across it. Now I am pretty much blown away by how much detail and depth of resources are here. Thank you again John for putting this all together, and thanks to those who help with the features of the site and to all those who contribute to the discussions. It has given me a much better understanding of just what is happening. Though some of the discussions are way out of my league I appreciate the effort to make this site comprehensible to all knowledge levels.
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  4. "So this allows you to check out all the skeptic peer-reviewed papers published in the last month. Or if you want to keep up with current views, check out the skeptic articles published in mainstream media over the last week."

    Both the links are to the same (mainstream media) list.
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    Response: Oops, fixed, thanks!
  5. Looking forward to the Android app.

    The peer reviewed feature is great, though I notice that the classification isn't 100%. For instance, one of the 'peer reviewed pro-AGW' items is a BBC blogger sounding off about how the 'evils of Climategate' are being whitewashed.

    On the flags, I'd suggest translating the tooltips into the relevant languages. "View skeptic arguments in Portugese" isn't much help to someone who doesn't speak English and might not recognize the flag of Portugal, but speaks the language... like say, most of Brazil.
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  6. I notice that of the 18 "skeptic" articles or media stories from the last month, over half (10) are from Fox News(3), Daily Telegraph(3), Daily Mail(2) and the Washington Times(2).

    These organisations have a well-known political tilt. Two other organisations share that tilt, the Wall Street Journal and the Australian, which published 1 "sceptic" story each.

    Now, can anyone tell me if these were balanced with "positive" stories about climate science?

    I thought so.
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  7. VoxRat, you have to set the three search parameters at the top your self.
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  8. John, I might be missing the obvious but how do you find these links from the main page? Its not obvious to me. I would have expected this under Links (Resources) page, but no go. Is this just failing eyesight?
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    Response: The navigation system needs a serious overhaul - hopefully the next housekeeping effort will include a bunch of navigation dropdowns drilling directly to all these hidden nooks and crannies.
  9. There was one thing I was missing. You used to have a good set of links to useful websites and such in the "Links" page but now it just contains the argument links. I just noticed that in the bottom of the Links-page there is a link that says "Links" which leads you to the old Links-content. That should be more visible somehow, I think.
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    Response: I'll add it to the navigation drop down. Am going to have to come up with better names for everything - I can't call all these different pages "Links".
  10. Also, the "Latest climate articles & papers" could use an "all" option to all search parameters.
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  11. Do the dates refer to the date the article was added to the database, or the date the article was published?
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    Response: Published. It automatically prefills it with the current date but you can manually update it. It's not that big a deal for recent blog posts or mainstream media posts but for peer-reviewed papers published in previous years, good to get the year correct.
  12. John -

    Thank you very much for the collated links to peer-reviewed papers. This is a valuable service and it will be very helpful for students and others less familiar with the list of reputable journals to find appropriate material. Don't worry too much about the skeptic, neutral, pro-AGW classifications, we can figure it out. Although I would probably fall in the 'pro-AGW' camp, I definitely am not really pro-AGW. It actually would be much better if the deniers were right and we had nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, we definitely do.
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  13. Now that we don't have that "skeptical article of the week" anymore, how's the argument ranking position defined?
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    Response: On the latest articles page, they're ranked by date from latest to earliest.

    If anyone misses the Skeptic of the Week feature, I can easily add that back in - I just commented out the code.
  14. This repository is awesome.

    Can you publish statistics on the number of articles published in each "camp" for comparative purposes? For example a plot of number of articles in a category for each month, with the option of comparing graphs side by side.

    Also, it would be helpful for the Peer Reviewed articles if it listed the actual journal/conference it was published, not just springerlink.com, which could be any number of journals.
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  15. Would it be possible to do an RSS feed of comments for the site?
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    Response: It's already available - look for the RSS icon in the left margin with 'Comments' below:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/comments.xml
  16. Sorry, but I'm afraid a bit more housekeeping is needed. The ampersand character in this post's title is not being escaped properly in the RSS feed: feedvalidator.org which breaks it for my feed reader (RSSOwl).

    Sorry also if this is a duplicate of a recent similar report here. I know I've seen a problem very like this recently but can't remember where.

    Whatever, the programmer who wrote the feed generator needs a bloody good talking to - XML's been around long enough that this sort of basic mistake should not be being made any more.
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    Response: "the programmer who wrote the feed generator needs a bloody good talking to"

    That would be me :-) Every little bit of Skeptical Science was built from the ground up - no pre-packaged blog scripts at all - so inevitably it's a little unpolished. With only so many hours in the day, I tend to take a 'bare minimum policy' - do whatever programming is required to get the job done. As Doug Bostrom said when he helped me improve the website's security, my code is 'idiosyncratic'.

    I'll look further into escaping non-XML compliant characters.
  17. Ah, right, err, sorry. Maybe that should have been "any professional programmer who writes a feed generator like that needs a bloody good talking to". Still, generation of markup, whether it be HTML or XML, needs a bit of care with this sort of thing - there wouldn't be so many cross-site scripting loopholes if everybody got it right.
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  18. It might be an idea to put the source code for SS up in a version control repository somewhere. That way you can get your code autited, and members of the community might want to add features.

    Good work on the site by the way.
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    Response: Being a novice at the whole open source community, my initial question to this is wouldn't it also be an opportunity for hackers to peruse the code looking for vulnerabilities?
  19. The "Post a Comment" box does not appear for the most recent post which is "Why are there fewer weather stations and what's the effect?" I'm logged in OK and obviously the Post a Comment box appears in this article otherwise I would unable to post this comment! Can someone check/fix it? Thanks!!
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    Response: Now fixed. The last comment had some dodgy HTML.
  20. For some reason, neutral links aren't showing up on the resource pages.
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    Response: The reason was because I hadn't programmed it to show neutral links yet. I've just remedied that and while I was in there tinkering with the code, I added a feature I've been wanting myself for a while - a "peer-reviewed" link so while you're in there looking at links for a particular argument, you can select to narrow it down to purely peer-reviewed papers.

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