[Taxacom] Fw: AnimalBase in danger

Fabio Moretzsohn fabio at falcon.tamucc.edu
Fri Jun 23 18:21:50 CDT 2006

Dear all

I was not aware of the project below, but it sounds like a worthwhile one. 
Please read more about it, and write a note directly to Francisco 
Welter-Schultes (fwelter at gwdg.de) to provide support for this project.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bernd Sahlmann" <b.sahlmann at GMX.DE>
Sent: Friday, June 23, 2006 5:15 PM
Subject: AnimalBase in danger

> Dear conchlers,
> I recently received a letter from Francisco Welter-Schultes from 
> AnimalBase,
> who asks the
> scientific community for assistance in the endangered survival of the
> AnimalBase project.
> If you would like to help the project, please read the text below and send 
> a
> message to:
> fwelter at gwdg.de
> Since 2003 the Library of Goettingen University has been digitizing
> early zoological literature in cooperation with the Zoological
> Institute. Nearly the complete zootaxonomically relevant literature
> between 1551 and 1770 is now available to the public.
> The genus and species level taxa described between 1757 and 1770
> (some 10,000 taxa) were entered into a database (AnimalBase).
> Digitized literature and taxa can be found online at
> www.animalbase.org.
> It is now sceduled to digitize more literature from between 1771 and
> 1800, and to enter some 50,000 taxa described in these works. The
> project was financed by the German Science Foundation (the most
> important public source for financing science in Germany). Now they
> are asking themselves whether the project is useful for scientists
> and should be continued for the period after 1770. Preliminarily they
> have rejected our motion, based on reviewers who seemed to be
> biologists, but did not even know the difference between genus and
> species. Now reviews are demanded by persons who are able to give a
> professional opinion.
> It would be of great help if you could write a short review about
> this project (not more than half a page, or 250 words), explaining
> shortly in your own words whether the project makes sense or not. The
> following points should serve as a guide.
> 1 - Is the AnimalBase project of Goettingen University for my own
> work useful and necessary, and why? Is the project an enrichment for
> science?
> 2 - Does it make sense to digitize such old literature? Is this
> literature of any present-day significance, or outdated?
> 3 - Had it been sufficient to digitize the literature without
> programming the AnimalBase database, and would specialists find
> the literature also without AnimalBase?
> 4 - Does it make sense to enter the old taxa described
> until 1800 directly from the original sources into a database, and to
> provide links to the original literature?
> 5 - Does AnimalBase work properly? Is it possible and easy to find
> animal names and literature in the database? Has the database been
> correctly arranged for the intended functions?
> 6 - Academic position, city, and field in which I am specialized.

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