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Re: Ceratops analyzed in the Sampson et al. (2010) matrix
> Instead, the reason I wouldn't publish this is first, I'm not a
I became a lissamphibian researcher _by_ publishing... have been cited
over 50 times now.
I don't follow the literature closely, as is shown by me only
noticing yesterday that Mojoceratops shouldn't have been named. If
there are subtleties to the characters or Ceratops' morphology (and
there usually are), they'd go right past me.
Then spend a couple more weeks reading papers about ceratopsids before
writing the draft. And pay attention when the peer reviews come in. :-)
Just as important, there was basically no work involved. Anyone
could look at Hatcher's monograph and plug in a few codings.
Maybe people didn't do it because they _thought_ it would be too much
work. That happens all the time.
It was more a demonstration that analyzing Ceratops could be done,
that Ceratops does indeed fall out most parsimoniously as a
ceratopsine ceratopsid and that it's not obviously undiagnostic. As
such it was a counter to the assertion Ceratops can't be placed
phylogenetically within Ceratopsidae and Ceratopsinae and would
create a polytomy, so shouldn't be used as an internal specifier.
While I think I accomplished that goal satisfactorily, just plugging
a taxon into a pre-existing matrix isn't really publication-worthy,
even if it is an important genus.
Then at least present this at a conference; but I still think a
quick-and-dirty publication (I did say Short Communication) is
warranted. Do you really think I'm happy with the phylogenetic analysis
of the Short Communication in the latest JVP (online-only so far) of
which I'm the third author? I first tried to code almost all varanopids
(resulting in fairly big polytomies) till Reisz told me they're being
redescribed, and I added several basal sauropsids (*Coelostegus* for
example) in an attempt to get better resolution and a more orthodox
topology till that turned out to be futile (I'd have had to turn it into
a full-fledged amniote analysis, and, well, that would have been an
entire thesis; note for instance the complete absence of, uh,
anapsids/parareptiles/proganosaurs in the matrix). The analysis does
demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that *Apsisaurus* is a varanopid,
and that's worthy of publication.