Open Data and Analysis: from morphology to evolutionary patterns Workshop at the Annual Meeting of the Paläontologische Gesellschaft 2019 - a PeerJ Collection

A key aspect of scientific research is reproducibility. This is also the case for paleontological research focusing on evolutionary or morphological patterns in deep time. Particularly relevant meta-data including sample size, qualitative and quantitative morphological information, stratigraphic and taphonomic context, as well age constraints can be crucial in ground-truthing scientific studies and making them reusable for further research.

There is an increasing number of possibilities to make data and research available, ranging from large-scale database and novel publication opportunities to platforms which allow storing large data volumes. Two of them, Morphobank and Paleobiology Database, will be presented in the keynote by Dr. Melanie Hopkins. In cases where competition might be an issue, such platforms also allow embargoed access during initial research or peer review with a code of conduct. There are additional opportunities allowing publication of preprints (before and after peer-review) and one of them, PCI Paleo, will be presented in detail. Among other advantages, preprints may be a way to preserve valid scientific data which led to negative or inconclusive results that would not get published otherwise.

The focus of this workshop is to highlight the importance of new methods to improve scientific reproducibility and discuss best practices in sharing research. We invite contributions concerning the methods and tools fostering data sharing and reproducibility, positive and negative case studies, and all voices and opinions concerning the current obstacles and potential solutions in palaeontology. We plan to close our workshop with a joint discussion on the future of Open Data and Analysis in our field.

Also available to other groups