Check out the newest peer-reviewed article written by members of the FOSSIL Project team! Download the PDF here: Crippen et al., 2016
This study sought to define the attributes and practices of organized fossil groups (e.g., clubs, paleontological societies) as amateur paleontologists, as well as those of professional paleontologists, and explore the potential for these two groups to work collaboratively as a formalized community. Such an investigation is necessary to develop design principles for an online environment that supports this community and encourages communication and shared practice among individuals with different backgrounds in paleontology and who are geographically isolated. A national survey of fossil group representatives and professional paleontologists was used to address the research questions. The results provide a rich description of the attributes and activities of both groups and are discussed in terms of three design principles for supporting the two groups in a form of collaboration and fellowship via a coherent shared practice within an online learning community.