More GBIF questions (was: ITIS)

Doug Yanega dyanega at UCR.EDU
Tue Jun 29 18:39:27 CDT 2004

Nico Franz wrote:

>And I wonder why they also have enough cash to
>put it on-line for years and years...
>Taxonomists have conceeded so much power in the publishing process that at
>the moment only publishers and a few (perhaps governmental, perhaps
>private, rarely museums) have the sort of economic oomph that's needed to
>create a sustainable on-line platform for taxonomy. In my view it's much
>less important how that platform looks like than it is to know that
>someone who "does business" can make it last. If it'll last, then it makes
>sense for taxonomy to puts its legacy there, and continue it. If it won't
>last, of well, I guess my revision will land in old, may unfair, yet save

This is why I have explicitly suggested that we look at Genbank as
either a working model or even as a potential collaborator; Genbank
(the archives in it, at least) will *never* run out of funding, nor
be rendered obsolete by new data storage technology, nor be destroyed
by hackers, or every molecular biologist in the world would be
"stranded". It has made itself indispensable. I do believe, given
this clear evidence, that if we had a single resource that processed
and archived all the world's taxonomy, then we would have the
critical mass needed for that resource to be indispensable, and
therefore permanently funded. If people don't think taxonomy could go
it alone, why not talk to the folks running Genbank and see if we
could ride their coattails? We would not NEED publishers any more
than Genbank does, nor any sort of for-profit parasites - it would be
under the control of the taxonomists.

Is that not a "long-term sustainable socio-ecomonic model" we could follow??


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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