Tree Ring Data Release

I am sorry folks, but the purpose of scholarship is all about sharing knowledge.  Collecting the data could just as easily be done by a trained technician working on a government contract.  That it was done by the scholar actually lends to its acceptability and creditability but it is still data that deserves to be written up and published even if it is on a private site.

Keeping it out of the hands of other scholars is usually heard about when it is lost.

In fact this data is important and it needs to be available to all able to provide interpretation.  That is to sort out discrepancies and the like and to annotate the data.

I simply do not think anyone is good enough to get it all right.

It is unfortunate that a skeptic needed to actually get a court order.  We are now going to have whatever assumptions have crept in brought into question as they should and likely a burst of unwelcome acrimony.

Of course, in the real world, most data is at best uncompelling.  Welcome to the world of mining exploration.

By the by, this is likely important data for mapping the impact of Icelandic eruptions.  It needs to be out there and I think anyone would be pleased to be constantly cited.

Belfast ecologist forced to hand over tree-ring data describes order from information commission as a ’staggering injustice’
by Fred Pearce The Guardian, Tuesday 20 April 2010
The Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, must hand over 40 years’ worth of data on 7,000 years of Irish tree rings. Photograph: Ron Sachs / Rex Features/Rex Features
An arch-critic of climate scientists has won a major victory in his campaign to win access to British university data that could reveal details of Europe’s past climate.
In a landmark ruling, the UK Information Commissioner’s Office has ruled that Queen’s University Belfast must hand over data obtained during 40 years of research into 7,000 years of Irish tree rings to a City banker and part-time climate analyst, Doug Keenan.
This week, the Belfast ecologist who collected most of the data, Professor Mike Baillie, described the ruling as “a staggering injustice … We are the ones who trudged miles over bogs and fields carrying chain saws. We prepared the samples and – using quite a lot of expertise and judgment – we measured the ring patterns. Each ring pattern therefore has strong claims to be our copyright. Now, for the price of a stamp, Keenan feels he is entitled to be given all this data.”
Keenan revealed this week that he is launching a new assault. On Monday, he demanded the university also hand over emails that could reveal a three-year conspiracy to block his data request.
Keenan has become notorious for pursuing a series of vitriolic disputes with British academics over climate data. Two years ago, he accused Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia of “fraud” over his analysis of data from weather stations in ChinaJones recently conceded he may have to revise the paper concerned.
The latest ruling comes from Graham Smith, deputy information commissioner, who in January said information requests to CRU from climate sceptics were “not dealt with as they should have been under the legislation.” In the Belfast case, as well as insisting the university hand over the data, Smith has accused the university authorities of “a number of procedural breaches.”
The case goes back to April 2007, when Keenan asked Queen’s University for all data from tree-ring studies by Baillie and others. The data covers more than 7,000 years. They contain upwards of 1m measurements from 11,000 tree samples, mostly of oak. The university turned down Keenan’s request, citing a range of exemptions allowed under both the Freedom of Information Act and the European Union’s environmental information regulations. Keenan appealed to the information commissioner.
more at the Guardian
It will be interesting to see what independent analysis shows.

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