James Francis Lyons-Weiler weiler at ERS.UNR.EDU
Thu Dec 11 08:31:11 CST 1997

On sharing data

        I think it would be most useful if all phylogenetic data could
        be archived in a manner that was easily archivable and for
        which contributors would be have a account through which they
        could update files if corrections needed to be made.  The
        problems with current option (GenBank and TreeBase, for instance)
        is that data from genbank are not aligned as the authors
        used them, and the trouble with TreeBase is that it is
        archivable only through word searches.  One should be
        able to browse through all the submitted data files that
        represent actual alignments used for any phylogenetic
        data generated using tax dollars.  Editors at journals that
        publish papers based on phylogenetic data should insist
        when the paper is submitted for review, the data already be

        I hope to create a host site to fulfill these needs when I
        settle down.  That could be a while.



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On Thu, 11 Dec 1997, Mary Barkworth wrote:

> 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
> 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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