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Climate Hustle

Help make our coverage bias paper free and open-access

Posted on 14 November 2013 by Kevin C

Earlier in the year, Skeptical Science ran an appeal to fund the publication of the Cook et al Consensus Project paper. The required funds were raised in less than a day, a powerful example of citizen-science in action. Our new paper 'Coverage bias in the HadCRUT4 temperature record' is somewhat different from the consensus paper: it is not a Skeptical Science project, and the primary audience are the users and providers of global surface temperature data. Nonetheless the results of the paper are also of significant relevance to the public discourse on climate change.

Our aim has always been to get the best possible information into the hands of the public. To this end we have already made all the data and methods available. However to best enable others to investigate this area, to build on, improve, correct and if necessary refute our work, we would ideally like to provide free, open access to the paper as well.

As a spare time project neither Robert nor myself have academic funds which can be legitimately contributed to making this paper open access. In the light of your generosity last time, we would like to ask you to help crowd-fund making our paper open-access and freely available to the general public.

The publication costs are as follows:

Open access $2400-$3000
depending on RMS membership conditions
Printing charges £0-700
depending on colour and layout

If we reach the first goal, the paper will be made open access. Donations will continue to be accepted to offset the remaining publication costs, which we will otherwise bear out of own pockets. If the final goal is reached we will remove the donation button and the excess will be set aside to fund publication costs of future papers.

Thank you again for all the varied contributions that you make to the dissemination of climate information and for providing engaging discussion and feedback on issues related to climate science.

Kevin Cowtan and Robert Way


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Comments 1 to 28:

  1. I donated £50 ... £50 * 60 =  £3000 ...
    (or more donating less, or less donating more).

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  2. For those of us in the USA, $1 buys ~£0.62 as of this minute, so if you're thinking of a nice, round number of $100 then submit accordingly to the donation tool, upon which the sun never sets. :-)

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  3. The Paypal account has a £1900 limit, which by chance is just about right assuming I get the member rate. (My RMS membership may be too recent).

    So if it stops accepting donations during the UK night time then that means we've reached out target. (On the other hand Paypal might lift the limit overnight, because I've provided the paperwork.)

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  4. The CC form requires an entry for county selected from a pull-down menu of British counties.  No way to donate from the US - no way to enter the state and it won't accept contribution if county left blank.

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  5. Donated, I want to read this (wish I’d thought of it).

    Did you consider PLoS one?

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  6. @rocketeer (#4)

    I donated from the US (District of Columbia) with no problem.  Maybe because I used Paypal.  Or maybe something in your browsing history makes the payment system think you're in the UK.   Better luck next attempt.

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  7. Paging Al Gore and Michael Mann to tweet this.... 

    I just tweeted them.... Let's see what comes of it..

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  8. Donated £20, well worth the many hours it will take me to even begin to understand it.

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  9. I had the same experience as rocketeer (#4) and cannot donate.  Even though "United States" is listed in the pull-down menu, the web site still requires a UK county.  

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  10. I was able to contribute from the US.  I didn't have to specify country/county.

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  11. I should have mention in #10 I used paypal.

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  12. Worked for me too in the U.S. using PayPal

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  13. Yes, PayPal works easily in the USA.

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  14. I ended up contributing through PayPal.  The county/state issue is only a problem for CC donations.

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  15. I seem to have been able to make a donation by credit card from Italy without problem. The first thing I did was changing the country. That changed the whole form to Italian with Italian provinces etc. Maybe the CC problem only occurs for non-UK English-speaking countries?

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  16. Thank you to everyone for the generous donations so far. We're at about £1200.

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  17. Thomas Huld - Thank you for the clue.  Although changing the country menu directly to United States did not work, changing it first to Francce and then changing it again to Etats-Unis brought up a menu with fields appropriate for U.S. donors.  Others in the U.S. who doi not have PayPal accounts may want to try this.  

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  18. Worked fine from Australia!


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  19. We're currently at £1400, which is almost enough to cover open access if I qualify for RMS discount. I'll contact the journal on Monday.

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  20. I put in 20 pounds in retaliation for my employer who won't support any publishing cost.

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  21. Now at £1500. I've just been through the Wiley website, and while I do qualify for the RMS discount, the prices don't include VAT. So it's going to be $3000 unfortunately.

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  22. hm.

    I think, I'll throw in another £40 (roughly about 50€). That would be the sum I'd give to SkS and John Cook for this great website this year - but I really believe that free access to scientific papers is necessary. There are still far too many papers not accessible to everyone.

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  23. I've put in the Open Access payment, although we're still about £300 short of covering costs. Hopefully QJRMS will update the paper status today.

    Thanks again to everyone who has contributed!

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  24. Still in progress...

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  25. OK, it looks as though my card has been charged (on the second attempt), so hopefully we're getting there.

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  26. I've just asked the publisher for an update on the open access process. Hopefully I'll have more information tomorrow.

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  27. Wiley are disputing the payment has been made. I've got the payment tracking details from my bank though, so they've got no legs to stand on.

    Sorry about the delay, I'm escalating this as fast as I can.

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  28. OK, it's all sorted. Paper is available here.We'll have a blog post up in the next day or so, but in the mean time a big thank you to everyone who conributed!

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