Everyone has an unfinished project. Most of us have at least a half dozen. Those partly finished manuscripts, paintings, data sets, and preparation projects. Oh, we started out with good intentions. Maybe we even poured a productive week into it. But then, the honeymoon glow faded. Something else got in the way. The field season, or teaching duties, or another more pressing project, or a grant deadline, or just plain old life circumstances, interrupted us.
Luckily, all of that work doesn't have to go to waste. Why not finish up that project? What are you waiting for? Heck, what am I waiting for?
Regular readers of this blog may remember that Dave Hone and I instituted the "Paleo Paper Challenge" (PPC) last year, in an effort to shame all of us into cleaning our (figurative) research plate. We had pretty remarkable success - although not everyone (including ourselves) were able to finish everything we wanted to, most folks made some major progress. Some papers even made it into publication, in venues like Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology and PLoS ONE. Not too shabby.
Not wanting to rest on our laurels, it's time to kick things off for 2010. This year, Dave and I want to pursue a "bigger tent" approach. Why limit the PPC to just academic research? Let's open it up to all paleo enthusiasts! Preparators, artists, researchers, bloggers. . .after all, paleontology does not survive on publication alone. Thus, we are happy to kick off:
The Paleo Project Challenge
Do you have a paper that just needs the finishing touches before it heads off to publication? Is there some half-prepped fossil sitting in a cabinet in the lab? Have you started and finished a big blog post half a dozen times, but never pulled the trigger? Is that masterpiece rendering of a live Tylosaurus still sitting on the easel? Stop sitting around, and finish it!
Here are the rules:
1) Indicate your willingness to participate in the Paleo Project Challenge (PPC) in the blog comment section. You should at a minimum indicate the category it falls under (paper, blog, art, or whatever), and the project (if you can - we totally understand the need for secrecy in some cases!).
2) Do the work! You have until December 31, 2010. Remember, we're all watching.
3) Once you're done, celebrate!
You can read more about it from Dave's perspective here. Now, let's get to work!
1) Write up the ODP results.
2) Finish a long-running paper on ceratopsian anatomy.
What are you going to do? Chime in below in the comments section!