Specimen examined lists & databases

Gary Noonan carabid at CSD.UWM.EDU
Fri Jul 28 16:01:18 CDT 1995

        I wish to ask colleagues their recommendation about providing
specimen examined data in monographs.   Should printed monographs contain
lists of specimens examined (localities, dates, numbers of specimens, etc.)
when such specimen information will also be put onto the Internet?
        In previous monographs of groups of insects I've followed the
convention of  given below.

 "      Maps with symbols indicate regions from which I saw adults. Each symbol
may represent one locality or two to many adjacent localities. The maps
collectively summarize distributional data for all species. The presentation
of more detailed locality records is a compromise between the ideal
situation and economic practicality. It would be desirable to list all
localities from which specimens were seen because such listing provides data
useful to biogeographers and to collectors, but because of lack of funds I
have provided detailed locality data only for species represented by 300 or
fewer nontype specimens. The rationale is that such species are rare (at
least in collections) and that detailed information will help other workers
obtain and study specimens.    "

      The reason for asking your opinion is that I'm proofreading  my
completed (except for any possible listing of specimen data) monograph on
the nominate subgenus of Anisodactylus (Insecta: Coleoptera: Carabidae). The
monograph is a study of 21 species that occur primarily in wetlands and is
based on examination of 20,491 specimens. When I used the RESEARCH INTERFACE
to generate a conventional type of specimens examined list for all 21
specimens, the list ran to approximately 100 pages in WordPerfect. The list
for specimens known by only 300 or less adults would of course be shorter,
perhaps 20 published pages.
        With current computer technology I wonder if any listing of specimen
data (except for new species) is needed. The monograph will have
distribution maps and a brief text description of the distribution of each
species. I plan to put onto the Internet a specimen database constructed
with the RESEARCH INTERFACE. It will go onto a forthcoming World Wide Web
home page at the Milwaukee Public Museum and might also be put onto various
FTP sites. People will be able to search the database and possibly to
download it. Thus complete specimen data will be available. People could
even get a copy of the database and the RESEARCH INTERFACE and produce
reports about specimens, lists of specimens, etc..

        Your comments will be appreciated. Many thanks.

  * Gary Noonan, Curator of Insects, Milwaukee Public Museum  *
  * 800 W. Wells,  Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233 USA             *
  * and Adjunct Associate Professor of Zoology, University of *
  * Wisconsin-Milwaukee carabid at alpha1.csd.uwm.edu            *
  * voice (414) 278-2762  fax (414) 223-1396                  *

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