elect. publ.

Robin Panza panzar at CLPGH.ORG
Sun Mar 23 10:50:14 CST 1997


>the study, and then thrown away. The only data that show up in the
>final publications are statistical data (means and ranges) referring
>to populations. Would not it be great if specimen measurements and
>descriptions could be made available to all, after the new/modified
>names are published in conformity with the Codes?

I can see some value in this, but not a tremendous amount.  I assume Renaud
would like to check the data to see if they support the conclusions.  How many
of us truly have the time to redo all the calculations, on top of all the
reading and research (and other responsibilities such as teaching or curating)
that we are currently doing?

Also, checking the data is only part of the answer as to whether to accept the
writer's conclusions.  We still would have no way to check the accuracy
(compared to our own, which is always excellent <G> ) of such things as color
designations or any qualitative traits that might actually show some variation.
Just how large is a large projection?  Just how "clearly" different are these
two shades, and do the differences change with changing light conditions?

And then we have no way of knowing whether data were thrown out because "that
one is obviously aberrant so I won't use it", or "that one's just too messed
up to bother scoring", or (even worse) "that one's pretty messed up but I need
to increase my sample size so, I'll estimate".  There's still a lot of room for
the author to fudge or get sloppy that won't show up in the data, so I don't
see that re-checking his calculations is such a great improvement in accepting
the veracity of the author.

Robin K Panza                   panzar at clpgh.org
Section of Birds, Carnegie MNH
Pittsburgh  PA  15213  USA




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