I'm interning right now for research electrical engineer something something and he's got me gathering data for him. One thing he wanted is for me to get a bunch of breakdown voltages for HTS dielectrics. Fine good I've gotten some. Now he plops down this new list of polymers with nano composites and all I have is papers written on these things. So this one paper has nothing but a small small plot of the Weibull Distribution for these things. The paper isn't about the breaKdown voltage specifically, it's about other stuff. This information is ancillary. I told him that the paper doesn't have any real data and he tells me that he expects me to grab a ruler and a sharp pencil and mine the data out of the 2"x2" plot :surprised . He tells me that that is how it is done but I can't believe it. That's so imprecise it's ridiculous. So then I asked him if getting in contact with the guys who published the papers might help and he said that not likely because as soon as you publish you throw out the data???? This can't be true. So fellows the two 13$ questions are: are people seriously expected to mine data from silly graphs and will contacting the writers be of no avail?