releasing rare sp. localities

Charlie and Marg Baker cmbaker at TELEPORT.COM
Sun Dec 8 08:06:41 CST 1996

Subject:     Re: releasing rare sp. localities
Sent:        12/7/96 7:46 PM
To:          Robin Panza, panzar at CLPGH.ORG
             Multiple recipients of list TAXACOM,

Marg wrote:
>>taxonomists. If the curator of a collection chooses to limit the
>>information available on any particular database, I would hope that a
>>very simple means could be devised for someone with a legitimate need for
>>the data to obtain it. It can then be withheld from redistribution if

Robin wrote:
>Exactly.  We fully intend to continue to make data available, on precise
>localities and on other aspects of our specimens that are not going to be put
>on the net.

Hi Robin, will there be any way to know that additional information is
available, without imposing randomly and routinely on the staff time of
an understaffed herbarium?

>This is no different from how we treat our specimens--we reserve the right
>to control access.

Using your example, I do think there is a distinct difference between a
physical specimen that can be irrepairably damaged and 99.9% of all
information. Why shouldn't raw data be treated more like a lending
library? Our work happens to add information about meteorology to the
overall knowledge about a species, and once added is available for others
to use. Others may be able to contribute something from their particular

I think professionals should remember that over the years, interested
amateurs, while they may have been annoying, <VBG> have made some
significant contributions. Why aren't "professionals" eager to enroll the
often enthusiastic support of relatively knowledgable outsiders? It is
often interested "amateurs" who generate public interest in supporting
public funding for research and collection maintenance.

>If John Q. Public brings the kiddies to the museum and
>expects to wander the collections, well, sorry, we don't have the time.  And
>if we can make the time, we're not leaving them unsupervised to play as they

Of coarse not, was there any suggestion of that? I am sorry to see you
imply that all non-professional users of information are children that
need supervision even over their use of  data. Is this really the way you
feel? I sincerely hope not.

Sincerely, Marg. Baker

Charles and Margaret Baker, Portland, Oregon USA (cmbaker at
"Orchid Species Culture" Timber Press.
Vol-1 Pescatorea, Phaius, Phalaenopsis, Pholidota, Phragmipedium, Pleione
  Hardcover ISBN 0-88192-189-0   Paperback ISBN 0-88192-208-0
Vol-2 Dendrobium (all 1250 +/- species) in press
  Hardcover ISBN 0-88192-360-5   Paperback ISBN 0-88192-366-4  (progress

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