So now it’s time to start thinking about some of the big tasks we’ll need to do in preparation for the paper. In no particular order, these include:
- Construct a composite phylogeny of all ornithischians (and our outgroups) for use in the quantitative comparative analysis. This will need to be in some sort of format readable by Mesquite or a similar program. This phylogeny will need to be tied to the (preferably recent) literature. It shouldn’t be necessary to run a matrix from scratch – instead, we should focus on just melding trees from various papers together into a single global phylogeny.
- Compile a list of what all of the museum abbreviations mean (institution, city)
- Obtain reasonably accurate age ranges for all of the taxa in the database (probably down to the stage – e.g., Maastrichtian, Bathonian, etc.). One of our analyses (as Randy Irmis will detail in a future guest post) will look at ornithischian limb morphology over time.
- The PLoS ONE reference format uses abbreviated journal titles – but most of our titles aren’t abbreviated yet. We’ll need to get all of our references into a PLoS ONE-friendly format.
- Anything else that should be on the list?
These are the sorts of things that anyone can work on – and many are tasks that could/should be handled by multiple individuals. Any takers?