WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 (UPI) -- A 2006 congressional report criticizing global warming research contains material plagiarized from textbooks, Wikipedia and other sources, experts say.
Three plagiarism experts examining the 91-page Wegman report found numerous passages lifted word for word and repeated instances of only thinly disguised paraphrases, USA Today reported Monday.
While claims of plagiarism don't affect the report's basic conclusion, that climate scientists had used unreliable data in two widely disseminated papers on global warming, they come at an awkward time for some in Congress urging more investigations of climate scientists involved in the global warming debate.
"It kind of undermines the credibility of your work criticizing others' integrity when you don't conform to the basic rules of scholarship," Virginia Tech plagiarism expert Skip Garner says.
"The report was integral to congressional hearings about climate scientists," Aaron Huertas of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington said. "And it preceded a lot of conspiratorial thinking polluting the public debate today about climate scientists."
The report was requested in 2005 by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, then head of the House energy committee.
Lisa Miller, a spokeswoman for Barton, said the congressman still supports the Wegman report, saying it "found significant statistical issues" with climate studies.