I had a feeling it was worth numbering these blogs!
GWCT say: Step 1 – We became aware that this paper had been made publicly available on Swansea University’s website.
I ask: How? Did you just trip over it by accident or were you told it was there? And when was this?
GWCT say: Step 2 – Out of courtesy we emailed the author and asked if this version was supposed to be in the public domain – they confirmed it was.
I ask: bit of a slip up there guys: ‘the author’? There are 10 authors of the paper and I’m guessing that you contacted the eighth author. Bit odd? ‘They’ confirmed it was – do you mean ‘he’? Do you know whether or not the author was speaking for all the authors? And when did this happen?
GWCT say: Step 3 – We drafted a blog post and emailed it to the author for comment. Revisions were minor and were included before the blog was posted online.
I ask: ‘the author’ again? There are 10 authors of this paper. When did this happen? When on 8 March was the blog posted online?
GWCT say: Step 4 – Later that day the Royal Society rang to say the paper had been put in the public domain in error and asked us to remove the online link to the paper. We complied immediately.
I ask: When did this happen?
GWCT say: Step 5 – We have remained in contact with both the authors and the Royal Society – neither have asked for the blog post to be taken down.
I say: You, GWCT, should have taken the blog post down without being asked. The authors should certainly have asked for it to be taken down. The Royal Society should certainly have asked for it to be taken down as they are now, rather peculiarly, and according to you, complicit in the breaking of the embargo of their own journal.
GWCT say: Step 6 – The authors have suggested we should wait until the Royal Society publish the paper in May, before discussing it further – a request we are happy to respect.
I say: Well, it is unlikely that this issue will disappear without some truthful informative answers about how the paper emerged into the dim murk of the GWCT blog and into The Times newspaper. We’re not discussing the paper here – we’re discussing whether it was or wasn’t leaked in a highly political manner in contravention of the embargo. That’s what I am trying to get to the bottom of. Your evasion is shoddy – it never looks good to evade questions for which there might be perfectly reasonable answers, or perfectly unreasonable ones.
And let’s just point out that GWCT have evaded answering the following questions from my earlier blog:
- Did you download the embargoed paper from the University of Swansea website?
- If so, when exactly?
- How did you become aware that it was there?
- When precisely did you send out your newsletter to members and supporters highlighting your blog which at the time had a link to the embargoed paper?
- In what way was sending out this paper to your members compliant with ‘Any person downloading material is agreeing to abide by the terms of the repository licence.’ as attached to the download of the paper?
How many is that? Errr!
All of them!