A few months ago, Matt Wedel (of SV-POW! fame) lamented the lack of measurements in most contemporary scientific papers. As a real numberhead, his post resonated with me. It got me thinking. Despite the shortcomings of some papers, there are a lot of measurements out there in the literature already. With measurements, you can do science. Potentially some really cool science. But how could I collect all of these data? This could take years!
The gears in my brain started turning. One idea led to another. A plan was forming. Something crazy. Deeply, insanely crazy.
So what happened next? I teamed up with SV-POW's Matt Wedel and Mike Taylor to create a research project in dinosaur paleontology that anyone can participate in. The Open Dinosaur Project. We (yes, "we" includes you) will comb through the literature (which, thanks to a number of open access publications and archives, is quite data-rich) and pull out measurements for further analysis. The process - from data collection to analysis to publication - will be completely open. Every step of the way will be blogged. And. . .all contributors are invited to join us as co-authors. The project: look at the evolution of the limbs in ornithischian dinosaurs.
Thus was born The Open Dinosaur Project. Consider this your invitation to join us. Read more about it at the project blog!