You may be justifiably wondering where the heck your feckless leaders are. The sad answer is that we’re temporarily swamped. Andy and I have been caught up in the end-0f-school-year activities at our respective institutions, and Andy leaves today for a round-the-world research trip that will take him to China, Madagascar, Kenya, and England. Mike is consumed with day-job responsibilities, and I am gearing up for summer teaching.
This is part of the ebb and flow of academic and professional life, and we knew it was coming, which is why we originally planned to try to get a manuscript off before the storm hit. Obviously that didn’t happen, and it’s not going to happen in the next couple of months, so we (Andy, Mike, and me) are going on hiatus for a bit. We’ll get moving again toward the end of summer.
So, thanks again, from all of us, to everyone who has contributed. It’s been a great thrill for us to see that the ODP is actually working, and we’re sorry to have to bow out for a bit. But fear not, we will be back, and the project will go on to completion. In the meantime, the data are available for further tinkering, and we’ll leave the comment fields open in case you have any brainstorms.
Have a great summer, and we’ll see you on the other side.
Should you be looking for something to whet your appetite for the return of the ODP, there’s a good article on citizen science projects in the August 5th edition Nature. (Better still, it’s free!) I kept hoping for an ODP mention that never came, but an interesting article nonetheless. Here’s the direct link if you want to check it out, you can nab it here:
Click to access 466685a.pdf
When will things be starting up again this fall?
Not 100% sure. As far as I know, Andy is back from his summer field-work, and will likely be in a position to get up and running again reasonably soon, but for any more detail than that, I’ll have to let him speak for himself.
I have a bit of good news for ODP folks:
I just submitted a manuscript in which I cite the ODP, including this website and Farke et al’s 2009 Nature letter. My article has nothing to do with dinosaurs – it’s on butterfly mobility. We used a type of crowd-sourcing for data collection, and I added a table reviewing various fields of biological research in which crowd-sourcing, expert opinion surveys, and similar methods have been employed. ODP was an example of an evolutionary project using these methods.
I submitted the manuscript to Biodiversity and Conservation. Whether and when the journal publishes my manuscript is out of my hands. If the ODP PLoS One paper gets published first, then I would revise my manuscript to cite that ODP paper.
I like dinosaurs, but the main reason I got involved with the ODP was its method of crowd-sourcing. I think this is an under-utilized and potentially powerful way to conduct science, and break down some of the barriers between scientists and the public. It has been a pleasure to experience first-hand how Andy et al manage such a project. I know from my experience with the butterfly project that managing these projects with so many people can be simultaneously rewarding and frustrating. I have great respect for Andy, Matt, and Mike for their management, and for everyone else for your generous contributions.
Thanks, Jay, that’s great news! Your kind words are appreciated.
There’s this also, which was interesting:
Must have David E. Shaw thinking…
David, I don’t have access to this article. Does it cite the ODP?
Mike, It was more directed towards Jay. Nothing about ODP. In this case they crowd sourced protein folding problems using a video game.