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RE: Mosasaur bone structure and growth rates



  There's a misunderstanding here on my position:

  1. I do not think that dissertations as they stand today (for the reasons 
I've stated before) are equivalent to published material. Treating them the 
same is erroneous and misleading.

  2. Dissertations are often embargoed or contain embargoed material, which 
prevents discussion when cited as this material cannot readily, even to the 
best of us, be used in discourse or verified.

  There is an ideal that dissertations should be published or made available as 
publications, either solution would be useful and require institutions to 
individually support. Any one of these would dismiss my arguments save for the 
issue of embargoed material. A result of this would be that the ICZN would 
either have to drop dissertations from its restrictions, or that taxonomy in 
dissertations would compete, be _nomina nuda_ (which they aren't today, despite 
some people's ideas to the contrary), etc..

  My desire is that dissertations should not be cited so long as they are not 
considered formal publications in the sense of a journal or bulletin. Peer 
review is just a part of this personal ideal. This has nothing to do with 
incompletely discussed or described material in formal publications (such as 
Mickey's attempt to apply Russell and Dong, 1994 to my argument), which is 
really a red herring or misunderstanding of my position on Mickey's part. I 
both want to be able to cite previous worker's study, but think that 
dissertations with their various restrictions and inhibitions prevent them from 
being _valuable_ to Science. To verify the work, I must examine the original 
work to begin with, as most of us must, and at that point simple describing it 
anew becomes easier, especially if the previous work is erroneous, faulty, or 
limited do to the scope of the work (as occurs with most dissertations).

  I'd also like to think that as long we are going for ideals (like citing 
dissertations do to laziness or restrictions), restricting yourself to 
verifiable work others can follow should be higher. If I am in the clouds on 
this, you've buried your head in the muck of your preconceptions. It works both 
ways.

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 14:11:47 -0700
> From: mickey_mortimer111@msn.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: RE: Mosasaur bone structure and growth rates
>
>
> I agree with Mike and Dan that dissertations should be citable.  Your view of 
> what kind of work constitutes "data" is hopelessly narrow and outdated.  Why 
> not cite a photo in National Geographic?  It's a perminent record archived in 
> thousands of libaries no doubt.  To think that we can "track the work of 
> reported material back to its very source, without having to do the legwork 
> again" for all or most peer-reviewed literature in standard journals is 
> simply naive.  Do you realize how many specimens out there are lost or in the 
> case of the older literature, not reported in enough detail to track down 
> again.  Ditto for localities.  If you're consistant, I expect you to not 
> mention most of Alxasaurus' morphology in the future for instance (or include 
> tortuous digressions on how loathe you are to depend on such unverifiable 
> work, as you recently did on your site for the privately held tall-crested 
> oviraptorid skull), because most of the major bones are missing (Zanno, 
> 2010).  The truth is that most every fact reported in the literature depends 
> on other facts which are either in other papers or in material which when not 
> lost still takes a lot of resources to verify.  THAT is the point of the 
> literature- to accumulate data.  If some data begins as pers. comm. or a blog 
> post, so be it.  If we use your definition of "reasonably ... allowed 
> access", I can tell you blogs and US dissertations will rate above many 
> foreign journals.  Finally, to claim that not publishing someone else's 
> thesis data yourself, somehow getting them to publish sooner or mysteriously 
> "finding a way to formalize the dissertation" is lazy is insulting.  Or "just 
> restudy the material", because it's so easy!  We all have infinite resources 
> to study any material we want in depth enough to write a dissertation-quality 
> paper on it obviously, and it's not a waste of time to redo someone else's 
> work.  Seriously Jaime, you need to get your head out of the clouds and join 
> us in the real world where we use what data we have, however imperfect it is.
>
> Mickey Mortimer
>
> ----------------------------------------
> > Date: Wed, 15 Jun 2011 03:52:24 -0600
> > From: qi_leong@hotmail.com
> > To: mike@indexdata.com; dinosaur@usc.edu
> > Subject: RE: Mosasaur bone structure and growth rates
> >
> >
> > Mike Taylor wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> > 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 and 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..
> >
> >
> >
> > 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.
> >
> >
> >
> > 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
> > > >> >>
> > > >> >>
> > > >> >
> > > >> >
> > > >>
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> >
>