From card catalogs to computers: Databases in vertebrate paleontology

Mark D. Uhen, Anthony D. Barnosky, Brian Bills, Jessica Blois, Matthew T. Carrano, Marc A. Carrasco, Gregory M. Erickson, Jussi T. Eronen, Mikael Fortelius, Russell W. Graham, Eric C. Grimm, Maureen A. Oleary, Austin Mast, William H. Piel, P. David Polly, Laura K. Säilä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Data, whether images, measurements, counts, occurrences, or character codings, are a cornerstone of vertebrate paleontology. Every published paper, master's thesis, and doctoral dissertation relies on these data to document patterns and processes in evolution, ecology, taphonomy, geography, geologic time, and functional morphology, to name just a few. In turn, the vertebrate paleontology community relies on published data in order to reproduce and verify others work, as well as to expand upon published analyses in new ways without having to reconstitute data sets that have been used by earlier authors and to accurately preserve data for future generations of researchers. Here, we review several databases that are of interest to vertebrate paleontologists and strongly advocate for more deposition of basic research data in publicly accessible databases by vertebrate paleontologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-28
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Vertebrate Paleontology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Palaeontology


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