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Stovepiping is a term originating in the intelligence community to describe a process by which raw data is funneled directly to high-ranking officials or the media.


An example of stovepiping intelligence would be the formation of the Office of Special Plans (OSP), a Pentagon unit in use from 2002-2003 to stovepipe raw intelligence from Iraq to the upper echelons of the Bush administration. The unvetted intelligence that administration officials received could then be cherry-picked to present the most sensationalist claims regardless of their accuracy.[1][2]


The term is sometimes applied in a scientific context to refer to journalists presenting as scientific fact a claim from a source that hasn't undergone proper peer review. In many cases, someone with a pet theory will side-step the peer-review process to present unpublished research to the media.

An example of scientific stovepiping occurred in the "Leakegate" affair in which the Times of London journalist Jonathan Leake published an article with claims made by a denialist blogger while ignoring counter-claims by scientists.[3]

On wikis[edit]

For the policies particular to RationalWiki, see RationalWiki:What is a RationalWiki article?

Wikipedia has specific policies to limit the number of fringe or minority or untested claims. For instance, the following policies are in place there to discourage stovepiping:

See also[edit]

External links[edit]