[Taxacom] European Virtual Library of Taxonomic Literature - Requirements Survey

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Fri May 4 07:14:48 CDT 2007

Some quick comments:

This survey suggests the potential for a project that, in my opinion,  
is far too big and unwieldy. I suggest focussing on a core set of  
functions, and leave the rest to projects that do this sort of thing  
much better. I think the two most important things this project could  
do are:

1. provide an OpenURL service that will resolve a bibliographic  
citation (or a GUID)

2. provide GUIDs (e.g., SICIs and BICIs) that cost nothing for  
articles, books, and book chapters, and provide a resolver for these  

3. provide a service to parse bibliographic citations (along the lines  
of Paratools).

If you have 1, then you have a web service that people can use. For  
example, Connotea users can specify an OpenURL resolver to try and find  
an article online. By default it is CrossRef's service, which relies on  
DOIs. Imaging having a service that also supports literature that uses  
other GUIDs (such as Handles and SICIs).

If you have 2, then everything in this project has a URI and therefore  
exists on the web (or, at least it's metadata does). This is one of the  
motivations behind the bioGUID project.

If you have 3, then you have a service that would be useful in  
automatically integrating bibliographies from a range of sources (e.g.,  
parsing lists of the literature on the web, or in bibliographies of  

In terms of a portal, etc., in an age of Connotea this seems wasted  
effort -- they do this sort of thing well, why duplicate effort?  
Community tagging, etc., relies of communities, and Connotea already  
has one.

The other lesson to learn from Connotea is that relies on existing web  
services, such as CrossRef's OpenURL resolver (to extract metadata  
associated with a DOI), and NCBI's PubMed service. By using these  
services, the developers could concentrate on other things. What I an  
arguing is that if you develop services, the "portal" (or whatever)  
becomes either (a) easy, or (b) largely irrelevant because you can use  
existing tools.



On 3 May 2007, at 17:08, Charles Hussey wrote:

> The European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT) is a Network of
> Excellence project, funded by the EU for 5 years
> (http://www.e-taxonomy.eu/). One of the deliverables of the project  
> will
> be a Bibliographic Resource to be known as the European Virtual Library
> of Taxonomic Literature (E-ViTL).
> This part of the project is being managed by the Natural History  
> Museum,
> London and we are in the process of defining detailed specifications  
> for
> such a service. We are keen (naturally!) to ensure that the service  
> will
> meet actual user needs and so, if this is an area dear to your heart,
> you are warmly invited to participate in an online survey at:
> http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?A=193016818E830 (the survey will  
> close
> at midnight on 11th May)
> This will ensure that your views are taken into account.
> NOTE: E-ViTL is likely to be a resource discovery tool rather than a
> repository of full text articles. It could, however, point users to
> repositories, such as the Biodiversity Heritage Library
> (http://bhl.si.edu/), online journals and other sources.
> There is some debate over whether E-ViTL should attempt to provide
> reference management functions, in addition to providing access to
> literature. Also whether it should be a repository for reference lists,
> rather than a portal to search distributed repositories. However, the
> purpose of this survey is to gather user requirements and, although it
> is unlikely that E-ViTL will be able to incorporate all possible
> requirements, your views will provide a useful pointer for future
> development.
> Yours sincerely,
> Charles Hussey,
> Science Data Co-ordinator,
> Data and Digital Systems Team,
> Library and Information Services,
> Natural History Museum,
> Cromwell Road,
> London SW7 5BD
> United Kingdom
> Tel. +44 (0)207 942 5213
> Fax. +44 (0)207 942 5559
> e-mail c.hussey at nhm.ac.uk
> Species Dictionary project: www.nhm.ac.uk/nbn/
> Nature Navigator: www.nhm.ac.uk/naturenavigator/
> _______________________________________________
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> http://mailman.nhm.ku.edu/mailman/listinfo/taxacom
Professor Roderic D. M. Page
Editor, Systematic Biology
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QP
United Kingdom

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