burningbloggate - the facts

HeatherLast week I wrote a blog on heather burning which, as those that have read it will know, explains that the journal of the Royal Society are going to publish an opinion paper on the need for informed, unbiased debate on heather burning. This has caught the attention of Mark Avery (ex-RSPB Conservation Director) who has raised a number of questions on his blog. I thought it would be helpful to clarify the facts for you:

Step 1 - We became aware that this paper had been made publicly available on Swansea University’s website.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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