WEB-BASED TOOLS PROVIDE AN EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO TRADITIONAL METHODS FOR MAKING SPECIMEN MEASUREMENTS
We compared the precision, accuracy, and efficiency of gathering measurements using this web-based approach against measurements of the same figures taken by hand using digital calipers. The precision of measurements taken through the applet was generally on par or better than measurements taken by hand. The difference in mean measurements suggests no consistent bias in the measurements taken by either method. The time spent per figure was also reduced, accelerating data collection. This applet provides a level of transparency that cannot be met by traditional methods. For example, the position and orientation of each measurement were recorded, so that potential outliers could be easily identified and assessed. These results highlight just some of the benefits of integrating web tools into the workflow of data collection. Furthermore, this framework can easily be used for crowd-sourcing data collection. Based on these findings, I encourage the development of tools like this to improve the efficiency and transparency of high-throughput data collection.