[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Mosasaur bone structure and growth rates



Gray literature is not useless literature. If a report, dissertation, or whatever contains useful information relevant to a publication I think it should be cited because it brings that information to the attention of the scientific community. Would it be better if it remained unknown? Surely gray literature is no more difficult to access than an old journal that is no longer in existence or an obscure current journal that is quite difficult to find copies of. One could always write the author(s) and ask for a copy of the gray literature in question. Pdfs can make gray literature more accessible than ever before.

Maybe the biological community doesn't do this, but that is to their detriment it seems to me.

Dan


On 6/15/2011 3:52 AM, Jaime Headden wrote:
Mike Taylor wrote:

<There has never been a taboo on citing non-reviewed publications. We all do it 
all the time. When a non-reviewed source is where the point to be cited was made, we 
just go ahead and cite it -- it's better than leaving it out, and a heck of a lot 
better than pers. comm.>

   I would regard there being a general taboo against citing "grey literature." 
Generally, dissertations are not cited in biological literature, and most work -- if not 99.9% of 
it -- is from the formal literature, to the point that works in popular magazines, even when they 
present useful visual data (e.g., _National Geographic_), are not cited (save in the historical 
context). They are not data. That they are in geological work (as in historical and 
anthropological) should not be to their credit: We should be able to track the work of reported 
material back to its very source, without having to do the legwork again -- that's the POINT of the 
literature! As for pers. comm.s, I argue that they should not be used at all, as well as citing 
"in press" work, as it cannot be followed or tracked at the time. It IS better to leave 
it out. Can we not include work that readers and students cannot follow without forcing them to 
unusual or torturous paths? Every author should have read a
  nd examined each work he or she cites (in the case of multiple authors, each 
person including the citation should have at least read the work in question 
_bar none_), and every potential reader should have access to that work; if one 
cannot reasonably be allowed access, you should not cite it, use information it 
exclusively carries, etc..

<Also I've been pleasantly surprised recently how open journals are becoming to 
citing blog posts -- for example, SV-POW! articles have recently been sited in the 
Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, Acta Palaeontologia Polonica and the Journal of 
Zoology.>

   Mike, what papers other than work you, Matt Wedel or Darren Naish have 
published have cited your blog in formal citation? I'd think that work citing 
blogs (especially how I can edit any of my posts at any time to say anything) 
should be reprehensible in that is defies the value of the citation: A 
permanent, indelible work to be referenced. Unless you are citing a cache 
object of a specific edit, I cannot see how that should have been able to pass 
editorial or peer review. If you WANT to do this, then creating PDF objects 
with embedded datestamps and some external verification and linking them to 
blogposts, then citing THOSE, would work better.

<If the dissertation discusses the material and the dissertation author has not superseded 
his own work with "published" versions, then working on the material entails citing 
the thesis -- it's the only honest thing to do.>

   No, it's the only LAZY thing to do while still citing something. You could 
always do the bloody legwork involved to get the thing published, either by 
cajoling the author or by finding a way to formalize the dissertation. Barring 
that, you can just restudy the material and note the historical value of the 
dissertation, but not citing it for discussion unless there was a permanent and 
accessible form of it available for review (i.e., any reader of the 
paper/manuscript).

Cheers,

Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)
http://qilong.wordpress.com/

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)


"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 
Backs)





----------------------------------------
From: mike@indexdata.com
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 09:57:34 +0100
Subject: Re: Mosasaur bone structure and growth rates
To: qi_leong@hotmail.com
CC: j.falconnet@gmail.com; Dinosaur.Mailing.List@listproc.usc.edu

On 15 June 2011 09:46, Jaime Headden  wrote:
Many universities, most of them European, embargo their dissertations. These 
are often treated as formal and published works which can be cited, but tend 
not to be because other nations (the US is an example) treat their 
dissertations more openly, but do NOT consider them published. They are grey 
literature, and typically do not carry embargoes on their contents.
Yes. This is precisely what I am saying should change.

I am thus in a double-blind: Either I must work from material that even 
interested parties may not be able to see, no matter how polite they are to me 
or my governing university, or I work from material that is available, but is 
taboo to cite because it lacks (say) peer review.
There has never been a taboo on citing non-reviewed publications. We
all do it all the time. When a non-reviewed source is where the point
to be cited was made, we just go ahead and cite it -- it's better than
leaving it out, and a heck of a lot better than pers. comm. (Also
I've been pleasantly surprised recently how open journals are becoming
to citing blog posts -- for example, SV-POW! articles have recently
been sited in the Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature, Acta
Palaeontologia Polonica and the Journal of Zoology.)

That the work reanalyzes material from a dissertation is irrelevant: Such material 
should be published on first to create a citable framework which itself can be 
examined. I would be curious if the work in question (Houssaye&  Bardet) could 
have performed their work based solely on the published discussion, or by working 
from the material directly, and never reference the dissertation? If so, then using 
the dissertation as a source becomes pointless.
If the dissertation discusses the material and the dissertation author
has not superseded his own work with "published" versions, then
working on the material entails citing the thesis -- it's the only
honest thing to do.

-- Mike.



Cheers,

Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)
http://qilong.wordpress.com/

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)


"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 
Backs)





----------------------------------------
Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 09:28:24 +0200
From: j.falconnet@gmail.com
To: qi_leong@hotmail.com
CC: bh480@scn.org; dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Re: Mosasaur bone structure and growth rates

... but you obviously didn't read the paper. If you had had done so, you
would have see that the authors reanalyzed the rib sections available in
Sheldon's PhD (1995) and partly published later (Sheldon, 1997; Sheldon
&  Bell, 1998). Hence the citation of Sheldon's original work (provided
by the author, btw). Also, even if the abstract is quite ambiguous
("available in Sheldon's PhD thesis" referring to the reanalysis or rib
sections ?), the actual paper is not.

I don't see any problem in reusing data available in a PhD dissertation.
There is no nomenclatural, taxonomical, or moral issue here. Should we
refrain from using measurements from dissertations because they are not
published ? Reference to unpublished reports regarding quarries,
borehole, or geological exploration in general is very common in local
geology, for instance (e.g., BRGM for France, GSA for US, ...).

Cordially,
Jocelyn

Le 14/06/2011 20:40, Jaime Headden a écrit :
I call foul. The paper is citing a thesis for a source, and not just that but 
it's in the ABSTRACT, too.

Cheers,

Jaime A. Headden
The Bite Stuff (site v2)
http://qilong.wordpress.com/

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)


"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 
Backs)





----------------------------------------
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2011 12:56:22 -0400
From: bh480@scn.org
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
Subject: Mosasaur bone structure and growth rates

From: Ben Creisler
bh480@scn.org

Another new paper about mosasaurs:

ALEXANDRA HOUSSAYE&  NATHALIE BARDET (2011)
Rib and vertebral micro-anatomical characteristics of hydropelvic
mosasauroids.
Lethaia (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1111/j.1502-3931.2011.00273.x
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1502-3931.2011.00273.x/abstract

Mosasauroids are squamates secondarily adapted to an aquatic life that
dominated the sea during the Late Cretaceous. Mosasauroids display distinct
types of morphologies illustrating steps in the adaptation of this lineage
to increasing obligatory habits. Hydropelvic mosasauroids (sensu Caldwell&
Palci) were the most highly adapted to an open-sea environment. Contrary to
plesiopelvic forms, they are considered to have relied on a hydrodynamic,
rather than hydrostatic buoyancy and body trim control strategies. This led
previous authors to consider that these taxa would favour bone lightening
(osteoporotic-like condition) rather than bone mass increase. Although an
osteoporotic-like state was indeed described in Clidastes and Tylosaurus,
bone mass increase was reported in Platecarpus. As a matter of fact, the
new analysis of vertebral thin sections of various taxa combined with the
reanalysis of the rib sections available in Sheldon’s PhD thesis in a
micro-anatomical perspective reveals the absence of both bone mass increase
and bone lightening in these organisms. These taxa in fact display a
vertebral micro-anatomy much peculiar within squamates. It
characteristically corresponds to a true network of thin trabeculae whose
tightness varies between taxa, probably as a result of both species and
individual size differences, particularly the latter. In addition, analysis
of the pattern of vascularization as observed in hydropelvic mosasauroids,
which is unique amongst squamates, suggests that large size in hydropelvic
mosasauroids would mainly rely on protracted rather than faster growth
rates.


--------------------------------------------------------------------
mail2web - Check your email from the web at
http://link.mail2web.com/mail2web