Preprint For Accepted Papers

It has finally happened. My first paper has been accepted! Look forward to seeing “A novel method of estimating pterosaur bone mass using computed tomography scans” published in the Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology sometime next year. *sigh* I was (perhaps naively) hoping for the paper to be published soon, but hey, it’s now officially “In Press”, which means I can put it on my CV! Super excited about that.

I’m thinking about putting it somewhere on a preprint server like PeerJ, or ArXiv. Does anyone have any advice about this? Or know anything about it? If a paper has been accepted, and copy edited, but isn’t going to be officially published for a while, is it ok to put it somewhere like this? Do journals have policies against this? I’d appreciate any information or advice, because I’m not sure what I should do! I need to run any ideas past the other author as well, but I wanted to have all the info first.

EDIT: Since posting this, I have found out that preprint is not an option for JVP. Unfortunately, it looks like I’m just going to have to wait and get it out there the old fashioned way instead. I’m a bit annoyed that the journal says the average time from acceptance to publication is 3 months on their website, but since being accepted, I have been told it’s more like 8 months. Gr.

BUT because I can, here it is:
Martin, E. G., and Palmer, C. In Press. A novel method of estimating pterosaur bone mass using computed tomography scans. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

EDIT 2: Since I’m not allowed to put it online anywhere and it won’t be published for a while, here is the abstract for a talk I gave on the same topic at SVPCA 2012. If anyone wants to know more about it, let me know!

A novel approach to estimating pterosaur bone mass using CT scans 
Elizabeth Martin & Colin Palmer 
University of Bristol 

Body mass estimation in extinct animals can provide information about ecology and biomechanics of the animal and is vital for flying animals as it determines its ability to take off, land, and indeed, fly. However, existing mass estimation methods for pterosaurs produce a wide range of values, especially in the larger animals. This hinders our understanding of their flight capabilities and indicates a need for a more accurate method for estimating body mass. A novel approach has been developed that uses CT scans of pterosaur wing bones to determine the volume of bone material and thus the bone mass. Results show much larger masses for some bones than previous methods, which indicates that a reassessment of methods for estimating total mass in pterosaurs is required. 


One thought on “Preprint For Accepted Papers

  1. Hello, Liz.

    First: congratulations on your accepted paper!

    It is really sad that there is still an ingrained culture against pre-prints in biological sciences. I am in the physical sciences, and a lot of people here feel strongly that preprints are important for the rapid dissemination of ideas and the open progress of science.

    Myself, I have a consistent policy of posting *all* manuscripts in the form of preprints, at the the time of *submission* to a journal, and updating the preprint after revisions. In fact, a factor in deciding which journal to submit to is their arXiv policy.

    The reason I found your blog is because I'm teaching a class for engineers about animal flight and students in my class recently studied several of the controversial topics on pterosaurs, including mass estimation. Hence the topical Googling that drove me here.

    I'm currently posting some of my students' work as “Student guest blog posts” — would love to have your comments on some of the posts, if you have time:

    Lorena Barba


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