[Taxacom] a Standard for Taxonomic Verification Qualifiers

Ginzbarg, Steve sginzbar at biology.as.ua.edu
Fri Jun 16 17:32:30 CDT 2006

At UNA we're are examining our AL specimens for the AL vascular plant
checklist and atlas. When the current determination has been confirmed
by herbarium staff, a pencil check mark is written on the collection or
determination label. A check box in the record for the determination in
our database is also checked. (We don't have the time to annotate all
the specimens where we concur with the current det.) Material deemed
inadequate to make a positive determination, e.g. a sterile specimen,
does not receive a check and is not considered a voucher for the
checklist and atlas. We have a program that displays the AL county
records. If the determination of a specimen from a county has been
confirmed by the staff of the institution where it is housed a black dot
is shown in that county. I there is a specimen with a current det but
the det has not been confirmed by staff it shows as a grey dot. If there
were an element VerifiedByInstitution in DarwinCore ("Y" if the
determination has been confirmed by the staff of the institution in
which it is housed) we could supply GBIF with this information.

Some institutions do not provide the most recent determination to GBIF
but rather the most recent determination that the herbarium staff
accepts (determined by an expert). While I personally would want to be
very confident in my own determination before disagreeing with an
expert, I would not want to judge which determinations UNA should
provide to GBIF on the basis of name recognition of the determiner.
Experts can make mistakes. 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu 
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of 
> taxacom2 at achapman.org
> Sent: Thursday, June 15, 2006 5:26 PM
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: [Taxacom] a Standard for Taxonomic Verification Qualifiers
> I am currently examing the possibility of establishing a TDWG 
> Standard for Taxonomic Verification Qualifiers and am seeking 
> information from anyone currently using such qualifiers.  If 
> you are using one (or have suggestions for one), I would 
> appreciate a copy, which can be sent to me off-line.
> Later, I hope that we can start a WIKI discussion on the tdwg 
> Web site (http://www.tdwg.org), and a presentation is 
> proposed for the TDWG meeting in St Louis in October.
> I am currently aware of three standards that are in use (see 
> attached file):
> 1. from Herbarium Information Standards and Protocols for the 
> Interchange of Data (HISPID) Vers. 3 
> 2. A similar one based on this and used by the Botanic 
> Gardens community International Transfer Format for Botanic 
> Gardens Plant Records (ITF) Vers. 2.0 
> 3. One used by the Australian National Fish Collection
> In the Data Quality Document I prepared for GBIF lat year, I 
> suggested a two level standard that I would like to see some 
> discussion on. I believe that none are entirely suitable, and 
> possibly an incorporation of all four would be the best.
> Chapman A.D. (2005). Principles of Data Quality. Report for 
> the Global Biodiversity Information Facility 2005. 61pp. 
> Copenhagen: GBIF. 
> The reasons for such a standard I see as
> 1. The need for improved documentation of quality with the 
> increasing distribution of primary species data 2. The 
> introduction of privacy legislation in many countries that is 
> beginning to restrict the distribution of people's names, 
> including the names of determiners of specimens.  If we 
> cannot exchange the name of the determiner, we need some 
> other method to reliably document the confidence we have in 
> the identification.
> I look forward to your responses.
> regards
> Arthur D. Chapman
> Australian Biodiversity Information Services Toowoomba, Australia

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