GISS No Longer Provides Free Access to Peer-Reviewed Papers

As the rest of the world is moving toward open access to scientific publications via the internet, GISS has moved in the other direction.  There might be a logical reason, but I can find no mention of it, so I can’t say if this is a temporary or permanent change in policy.  Could it be caused by the recent problems with the GISS webserver?

Many readers will recall that the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) was very open with access to the peer-reviewed scientific papers authored by its employees.  That is, copies of employee papers in pdf format were available directly from the GISS website.  In fact, I have copies of 16 papers (74MB) authored by James Hansen residing on my old desktop.  Trust me, I would not have paid for those papers.  Many of you probably have copies of many more papers from Hansen and other GISS employees.

Unfortunately, GISS is no longer offering free access to those scientific papers. The GISS website now provides links to Journal webpages.  There, a paper might be free or it might be hidden behind a paywall.


The following address used to provide access to the 2007 Hansen et al paper “Climate simulations for 1880-2003 with GISS modelE”.

That link now brings you to the GISS 2007 Publications webpage.

There you can find a link to the GISS webpage with the paper’s abstract and links:

A draft of the paper is available from GISS, which GISS describes:

A smaller draft version is available, but with low-quality graphics and some uncorrected typos and other minor errors.

But a lot can change between a draft and the published peer-reviewed version.

Following the Go to journal webpage link from that GISS webpage brings you to the Springerlink page for the paper. I’m glad I already have a copy, because I would not spend $39.00 for a paper about computer-modeled speculation.


A lot of work went into changing the links on the existing GISS webpages. Because it would be a high priority for GISS to have links available to the documentation of its research efforts, this change might be caused by the recent problems with the GISS server. If that’s the case, why is a copy of a draft available from GISS? Has anyone seen a notice from GISS advising why their papers are no longer available for free from the GISS website?  Is this a temporary response to a webserver problem or permanent change in policy?

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
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2 Responses to GISS No Longer Provides Free Access to Peer-Reviewed Papers

  1. kim2ooo says:

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings and commented:

  2. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt, Bob, until their software issues are resolved.

    Reto did send me a copy of one paper I needed, without any hassle.

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