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Re: Life Beyond the Cladogram

Paul, etc.

    I was going to post that my information was that most journals nearly
require a cladogram for publication.  Paul, you and I and Jeff, Tom, and
Mary spoke with Ted Daeschler at ANSP when you were here in Philly - and you
, Ted, and Jeff agreed that it was getting difficult to get anything
published in paleo without a cladogram.  (Someone suggested copying an old
cladogram, just to meet the publisher's standards :-)).

    Happy Holidays to all.

            Allan Edels

-----Original Message-----
From: Dr Paul Willis <pwillis@ozemail.com.au>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Wednesday, December 30, 1998 5:56 AM
Subject: Re: Life Beyond the Cladogram

>>        In this vein, I just submitted a paper on a new sphenosuchian
>>which, during review, was implicated as making "too much of nothing" since
>>the specimen is diagnostic both as a sphenosuchian and as a new taxon, but
>>isn't well-enough preserved to be useful in any sphenosuchian phylogenetic
>>analysis.  My co-authors and I submitted it regardless because we believe
>>the specimen is useful in elucidating basal crocodylomorph evolutionary
>>trends, diversity and paleoecology.  I would have been happy to have
>>plugged the new taxon into extant data matrices for basal crocodylomorphs
>>to see where it fell out (and if it, by some chance, straightened out the
>>otherwise confusing and disagreeable state of basal croc systematics), but
>>such wasn't possible.  Does that mean the paper shouldn't be published, in
>>a day and age when more than half of the paleo papers published seem to
>>require a cladogram?  I don't think so...I too agree that there are other
>>equally interesting aspects of the study of fossils than just their
>I'ld like to see it published! And I've come across similar problems with
>papers I have wanted to get published. This is a problem of matching the
>paper to the journal. From my experience, don't even think of submitting a
>paper to JVP unless it has a cladogram. On the other hand Paleontology and
>JP are less committed to having cladograms and many museum journals are
>happy with any description provided it is competantly written. I have to
>agree that there would seem to be plenty of scope for papers that are
>descriptive without having a phylogenetic analysis, but some editors would
>think otherwise.
>Dr Paul M.A.Willis
>Science Broadcaster and Palaeontological Consultant
>(02) 9456 2930