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Re: Abstracts & Illustrations



        Mickey Mortimer wrote:

>*Should* be followed by a better publication, but will they?  Do you
>think that by 2020 we'll have an in-depth description of Scipionyx,
>Protarchaeopteryx or Shuvuuia?  I hope so, but my gut feeling
>is "no".  I know research takes time, but it should take less than a
>decade to put together even the most in-depth descriptions (like
>Sinraptor dongi).

        Ok, Mickey, I feel that you are crossing a line here. I don't know
if you have ever done research, but it does take a long time. Most workers
have extensive outside responsibilities, such as teaching, administrativa,
or curatorial duties which significantly impair their daily productivity.
This, and acadmeic repsonsibilities, such a lecturing, advising graduate
students, running educational programs. This does not include one's
personal life, which has usually suffered from years of neglect during
one's efforts to "make it." Most people in academia seem to regard museum
jobs as "cherry," because some of these responsibilities are lessened.
Indeed, museum-oriented workers like Carpenter and Currie tend to be VERY
productive. However, if you look at the supervisory and literary
repsonsibilities of these individuals, you realize that their productivity
may be more of a personal trait than any more tangibel advantage.
        Also, research takes money. My thesis has been delayed for over a
year now for lack of funds, and that's a #&*$^*&# M.S. Many professors
take outside projects to make ends meet, and this will further delay their
work.
        Describing a specimen is not all that time-consuming, although it
take a lot longer than you might think. Illustrating takes a long
time, even if you have a professional to do it for you (you still
have to supervise). Simply accumulating the literature can take
forever, as you well know, and processing it can be a hassle. Then,
of course, there is every one of your colleagues hammering you to
"see the specimens..." it can be pretty complicated. Never mind that each
and every worker in the field is laying his professional reputation on the
line every time he publishes.

        Upshot: The animals have been dead for millions of years, a few
more years of obscurity won't kill you, will they?

        :)

        Wagner

P.S. I notice that, as with most people on the list, you seem to want
in-depth descriptions of theropods. These seem to take even more time
(having living representatives of the group, and being so #$*(&(
popular).