Mary Barkworth stipoid at CC.USU.EDU
Thu Dec 11 08:56:39 CST 1997

The actual sending of this message to Taxacom is an indirect response to
Jim Beach's request, but I have also made it orally to several individuals.

At present there appears to be a number of institutions that are developing
authority files for general use.  Living in the US, I think of the name,
cytology, and collectors files being developed at MO and GH, but I am sure
that other institutions are engaged in similar activities.

I suggest that each such institution develop a form that would enable
taxonomists to submit relevant data themselves, somewhat in the manner that
molecular taxonomists submit data to the genebank (which I know about only
through hearsay), rather than assuming full responsibility for finding and
entering the appropriate data.  It would also be helpful if the
institutions involved would give a high priority to sharing such data so
that, if I submitted information about myself as a collector or a name I
have published to GH, that information would automatically be shared by all
such banks.

Such a system would be not only reduce the responsibility such banks
currently assume for tracking all literature, but also should speed up the
development of the lists (and hence their utility), and provide a visible
example of collaboration rather than competition among plant taxonomists.
Yes, I am aware that there are concerns about verifying information, but I
am sure that we would all be willing to provide feedback when we saw an
error on a list.  Again, I would ask the "bankers" to share the correction
message with each other.


Mary Barkworth, Intermountain Herbarium
Department of Biology, Utah State University,
Logan, Utah 84322-5305
Voice: 435-797-1584
FAX: 435-797-1575

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