James P. Bennett jpbennett at MACC.WISC.EDU
Wed May 6 14:22:41 CDT 1998

I would like to clarify my comments yesterday regarding the Taxonomic
Toolbox. As I said then, I have ordered this product because I have used
Kartesz's printed version for years and have been frustrated that it was not
available electronically. I have even analyzed part of the printed version
and used it in a recent publication (1997 Rhodora 99: 241-251). I am
actually looking forward to getting the electronic version, and have been
disappointed that it has not been shipped even though it has been advertised
as available.

In any scientific endeavor, it is considered wise to crosscheck data
whenever possible, and I apply that practice to anyone's data, not just
Kartesz's.  I have used the printed version of Kartesz (1994) for years, and
have discovered that not all the names in the data are accepted by experts.
Kartesz's books contain validly published names, but that doesn't mean that
they are necessarily used.  So I don't always use the names in his book, and
that is one of the problems I referred to.  Some judgement is called for
when consulting this reference, as others have alluded to on this list.  In
addition, on occasion I haven't been able to find a name in either volume.
This could be due to any number of reasons, and I turn to other sources when
this happens.  The absence of a name in Kartesz does not mean that the name
you are looking up is not an accepted name or synonym.

I would not hesitate to recommend buying Kartesz's Toolkit to anyone.  It
was never my intention to criticize the product, and I look forward to
seeing the electronic version as soon as possible.  Perhaps some of my
concerns above have been addressed in the new version, and I would be
delighted if they are.

Jim Bennett

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