Palaeontology and Open Science roundup: December, 2018

Welcome to your usual roundup of interesting stuff that happened in the last month from the worlds of Open Science and Palaeontology! Enjoy, and let me know if I’ve missed anything out. Previous time.

Palaeontology News

  • Averianov and Efimov: The oldest titanosaurian sauropod of the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Silvestro et al: Closing the gap between palaeontological and neontological speciation and extinction rate estimates. 
  • Watanabe et al: Are endocasts good proxies for brain size and shape in archosaurs throughout ontogeny?
  • O’Connor et al: Medullary bone in an Early Cretaceous enantiornithine bird and discussion regarding its identification in fossils.
  • Frederickson et al: Niche Partitioning in Theropod Dinosaurs: Diet and Habitat Preference in Predators from the Uppermost Cedar Mountain Formation (Utah, U.S.A.).
  • Xing et al: Ornamental feathers in Cretaceous Burmese amber: resolving the enigma of rachis-dominated feather structure.
From Xing et al. (2018). Beautiful.
  • Hone et al: Evidence for the Cretaceous shark Cretoxyrhina mantelli feeding on the pterosaur Pteranodon from the Niobrara Formation.
  • Talori et al: Winged forelimbs of the small theropod dinosaur Caudipteryx could have generated small aerodynamic forces during rapid terrestrial locomotion.
  • Calvo and GonzalezBaalsaurus mansillai gen. et sp. nov. a new titanosaurian sauropod (Late Cretaceous) from Neuquén, Patagonia, Argentina.
  • Hofmann et al: Diversity partitioning in Phanerozoic benthic marine communities.
  • Fu et al: An unexpected noncarpellate epigynous flower from the Jurassic of China.
  • Dal Sasso et al: The oldest ceratosaurian (Dinosauria: Theropoda), from the Lower Jurassic of Italy, sheds light on the evolution of the three-fingered hand of birds.
  • Farke and Yip: A juvenile cf. Edmontosaurus annectens (Ornithischia, Hadrosauridae) femur documents a poorly represented growth stage for this taxon.
  • Dean et al: Aragonite bias is expressed spatially in the late Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway, North America.
  • Pates and Bicknell: Elongated thoracic spines as potential predatory deterrents in olenelline trilobites from the lower Cambrian of Nevada.

Open Science news

  • The Open Science MOOC smashed through its first milestone of 100 enrolled participants.
  • XKCD did this hilarious comic about arXiv.
  • Education International is targeting Elsevier in a new Open Access campaign.
    • Education International describes Elsevier—the world’s largest academic publisher—as “one of the greatest barriers towards public access to research and education” in a set of unpublished recommendations for members that it sent to Research Europe. “Through a combination of aggressive pricing strategies and political lobbying [Elsevier] is doing all that it can to stifle the advances of sustainable open access,” the paper said.
  • Till et al: Who is pirating medical literature? A bibliometric review of 28 million Sci-Hub downloads.
  • Max Planck Society discontinues agreement with Elsevier; stands firm with Projekt DEAL negotiations.
  • The Hungarian Consortium cancelled their agreement too with Elsevier shortly after.


Stuff I’ve done

  • Created a new video for the Open Science MOOC, Module 5, Task 3: How to integrate Git with RStudio.
  • Gave a webinar with the e-learning team at the Technical University of Denmark, introducing the Open Science MOOC (see below).
  • A webinar I gave with Figshare on ownership of research and the development of the Open Science MOOC is now online!