James Gentle and Karen Kafadar take over at WIREs Computational Statistics

There has been a big change at WIREs Computation Stats.

In a stunning (but welcome) development, James Gentle of GMU and Karen Kafadar of IndianaUniversity have been named editors-in-chief, joining  remaining original editor David Scott.

I last discussed WIREs Comp Stat back in July, when Edward Wegman and Yasmin Said were quietly dropped as editors. I outlined the problems that apparently led to their summary dismissal.

Wegman and Said also penned two major overview articles for the WIREs Comp Stat journal. [In 2011], I documented extensive copy-and-paste scholarship in Color Theory and Design and, even more shocking, in Roadmap for Optimization, the featured article in the journal’s inaugural issue. That continued a pattern of dubious scholarship seen in the Wegman Report itself, as well as in a followup paper on climate science social networks that was retractedtwice!

Wiley received complaints concerning both WIREs articles, and dealt with them in a most peculiar way: Wegman and Said were allowed (or allowed themselves) a complete “do over” of each article in turn. Dozens of citations were added, while all traces of previously evident copy-and-paste were scrubbed away.

James Gentle is particularly well placed to restore GMU’s and Wiley’s tattered reputation.

First of all, Gentle is clearly GMU’s real computational statistics expert. He’s written a text book on the subject for Springer, and also served as an editor of the Handbook of Computational Statistics.

Second, Gentle is a stickler for rooting out plagiarism.

Academic honor

Each of my students must assume the responsibilities of an active participant in GMU’s scholarly community in which everyone’s academic work and behavior are held to the highest standards of honesty.

Make sure that work that is supposed to be yours is indeed your own.

With cut-and-paste capabilities on webpages, it is easy to plagiarize. Sometimes it is even accidental, because it results from legitimate note-taking; nevertheless, it is plagiarism and it is illegal.Although the likelihood of “getting caught” should not influence your ethical standards, you should be aware of the fact that web searches can often identify plagiarism, and that there is even specialized software to facilitate such searches. Whenever I encounter phrases in a student’s work that seem to be inconsistent with the usual language that the student uses, I routinely search the web for documents containing those phrases.

These latest moves can be seen as an implicit acknowledgment that much was amiss at WIREs Computational Statistics . Wiley clearly experienced an egregious breakdown in process, and still hasn’t properly owned up to the clear cover up that was attempted by Wegman and Said. Nevertheless, we welcome WIREs Comp Stat back to the fold of credible journals.

[h/t John Mashey]


4 responses to “James Gentle and Karen Kafadar take over at WIREs Computational Statistics

  1. Ted Kirkpatrick

    “Nevertheless, we welcome WIREs Comp Stat back to the fold of credible journals.”

    Indeed. Good to see some housecleaning at Wiley. And welcome back to you as well, DC!

  2. “within a month”
    I wonder which month! I’ve been visiting this site every few days since mid April. I do look forward to the continuing saga. (I hope and pray all is well with ‘Deep Climate’.)