More GBIF questions (was: ITIS)

Faunaplan at AOL.COM Faunaplan at AOL.COM
Tue Jun 22 04:43:03 CDT 2004

On 21.06.04 22:49:15 (MEZ), Richard Pyle wrote:
>> ....To me, the next step is clear, and it comes back to the issue of
GUIDs.  The time has CLEARLY come to coordinate these efforts, synergize the work
that has already been done, and prevent the future duplication of effort.
Furthermore, for the benefit of scientific progress, the time has come to
transition these efforts from closed, in-house projects with the pie being sliced up
among various taxonomic groups and/or competition between different groups; to a
broadly collaborative and cohesive effort that the entire taxonomic community
can directly benefit from, and rally behind. Central to such an effort would
be a robust feedback system that would allow essentially anyone to submit
corrections (and get credit for those corrections).  Sort of a global peer review,
if you will. (Well, not sort of -- *exactly* a global peer review.) ... <<
Thanks for such encouraging words!

On a side note, two questions:
1.) Obviously, since the Rio Convention there have been increased efforts
(GBIF, Species2000, UBIO, etc.) to address and solve the 'names problem' (part of
the 'taxonomic impediment'), but it seems to me that the logic central role
of the Codes (IZCN, ICBN, etc.) has received too little attention, so far.
In Coleoptera Carabidae, I have to deal with more than 60.000 names (without
counting secondary generic combinations) for 34.000 species, and I encountered
more than 1000 names problems that cannot be settled on the basis of the
current ICZN Code (4th ed.). Obviously there is an urgent need for several
important amendments in details of the Code (see also recent discussions on the
How do GBIF& allies deal with this part of the 'names problem', which - it
seems to me - could be reduced  to an unavoidable minimum if the International
Commissions would receive more support from those who have an interest in
building global web-based databases, name servers or search engines (even incl.
'Google' etc.).

2.)  >>... The time has CLEARLY come to coordinate these efforts, synergize
the work that has already been done... <<
My impression is that a lot of funding is going to IT solutions while
potential content providers are asked to contribute for free to everyone's advantage
(see previous discussions).  Any encouraging news on that issue?

Best wishes,
Wolfgang Lorenz, Tutzing, Germany

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