abuse of taxacom?

Paraphyletic Plesiomorphs U6064523 at UCSVC.UCS.UNIMELB.EDU.AU
Thu Dec 9 13:53:40 CST 1993

We believe that requests for identification of organisms over a
listserver such as taxacom are an abuse of the system.  Correct
us if we are wrong, but we thought that taxacom was a forum for
discussion of topics of general interest to all taxonomists.  We
agree that there may well be plenty of people willing to help,
and who would be pleased to get these requests over taxacom, but
we think most people would not.

A better way to go about identifications would be to set up file
that could be browsed by a WWW program such as mosaic or
similar.  Anyone interested in identifying organisms could
search through the files of text and images listed by country,
date, type or any other category.  If that person believes they
can identify the organism, they can e-mail their answer to the
person requesting the identification.  This could be a very
powerful system, especially for identifying things from
different regions of the world.

Until such a system is in place, then perhaps the only outlet is
through taxacom.  If there is only an occasional request for
something that is indeed very difficult to identify, then we
think it would not be too troubling.  However, continued
requests may prompt someone to set up a system along the lines
that we have suggested.

P.S.  We can not identify the fish and want to know how did you
clean your scanner?  Also, is the fish scanned at life size
(needs a scalebar perhaps?).

Yours in taxonomy,


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