LONDON — Scientists at a top British research unit embroiled in a row over climate research were cleared of dishonesty on Wednesday but their lack of openness was criticised.

Climate change sceptics claimed hacked emails showed the scientists had manipulated and suppressed key data to support a theory of man-made climate change.

The row was sparked when hundreds of emails were hacked from the servers of the University of East Anglia (UEA) in eastern England and posted online.

But the concerns were largely dismissed by the report.

The Independent Climate Change Email Review found nothing in the emails to undermine reports from the United Nations' climate change panel.

"On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt," the review concludes.

But the review into the "climategate" affair found the scientists at the university's climatic research unit (CRU) had not been sufficiently open about their studies.

"There has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness," the review concluded, pointing out that scientists had failed to meet requests made under Britain's Freedom of Information legislation.