Monthly Archives: May 2006


'Results management' — detection and diagnosis using Benford's Law 25

Can the fabrication of research results be prevented? Can the peer review process be augmented with automated checking? These questions become more important with automated submission of data to archives. The potential usefulness of automated methods of detecting at least some forms of either intentional or unintentional ‘result management’ is clear. Benford’s Law is a […]


Niche modeling — what is it? 14

There are a number of ways to answer this question. There are a rich diversity of methods to predict species’ distribution and they could be listed and described. Alternatively, the biological relationships between species and the environment could be emphasized, and approaches from population dynamics used as a starting point. A more general approach to […]


Geographic models with R and netpbm 5

Geographic information is a major component of niche modeling in any spatial science such as ecology. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are the tool of choice when the main purpose is managing geographic information. As in the previous chapter when R was used as a relational database, R can be used to perform simple spatial tasks. […]


Database system for niche modeling using R 11

In this section we show how to use R as a stand-alone database for niche modeling. Even though R is a vector programming language, R has powerful operations that replicate relational database operations including select and join. Using R in this way avoids the need for setting up and for analysis and interacting with an […]


Niche model basics in the R language 9

Successful modeling relies heavily on a few basic concepts in mathematics and statistics. This post summarizes the major areas you need to know for ecological niche modeling, illustrated with examples in the vector language R. Elements We assume that readers have a basic knowledge of mathematics. For people not familiar with the R language, it […]


Google Earth Gets Avian Influenza Data 6

How many years have I been waiting for a fast, powerful, networked geospatial client with an open data format? Maybe this time. Google Earth could wipe other suitors off the proverbial map. Nature magazine features an article on a dynamic map of Avian Influenza developed by Decalan Butler whose blog is here. Here is a […]


For Science's Gatekeepers, a Credibility Gap 5

Readers of this blog were alerted early to the gathering storm with the post “Peer-censorship and scientific fraud.” Now the influential New York Times has a Health editorial on the topic entitled For Science’s Gatekeepers, a Credibility Gap. Virtually every major scientific and medical journal has been humbled recently by publishing findings that are later […]


Random numbers predict future temperatures 27

Previously “A New Temperature Reconstruction” used random data with long term persistence (LTP) to illustrate the circular reasoning behind the ‘hockey stick’ reconstruction of past temperatures. This one shows the potential for false positives due to the statistics used in the ‘hockey stick’. The dynamic simulation below shows future temperatures predicted using a random fractional […]