[Taxacom] ITS, Species 2000,[Scanned]

Paul Kirk p.kirk at cabi.org
Sun May 27 03:58:12 CDT 2007

ITIS might have 8% of publication references which will link to DOIs but what use are these links if the full text is sat behind pay-to-view resources like JSTOR ... fine in the ivory towers of Glasgow which presumably has a subscription but about as useful as an inflatable dartboard to many who use the CoL in most of the rest of the world who, like me, would find such a situation rather frustrating. Far better to wait until these references are free (BHL ... please lets have resolvable URL to the page images OUTSIDE the human interface) than spend time building these links to inaccessible resources.
p.s. Index Fungorum has about 12000 (4% of names) linked to page images (in a open archive) where original descriptions of names can be read and about 40% to the entry in the various printed indexes (50% of these with the original description and other data).


From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of Roderic Page
Sent: Sun 27/05/2007 08:59
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] ITS, Species 2000,[Scanned]

Mary Barkworth wrote

> We do ourselves a disservice by presenting opinions as facts. I also
> dislike the idea that we are, de facto, being told that there is a 
> body
> that will make the taxonomic decisions for the world.  At least state
> real sources for a taxonomic judgement, which I hope are published
> treatments, not the faceless ITIS - which Outlook keeps wanting to 
> make
> "IT IS" ;-).

I agree, and have grumbled about how the Catalogue of Life handles 
literature (http://iphylo.blogspot.com/2007/05/catalogue-of-life-
openurl-and-taxonomic.html) -- basically they've rendered the 
available literature links nearly useless. Databases such as CoL and 
ITIS would be of greater value if they linked to original literature 
explicitly. AS an exercise I mapped publications in ITIS to DOIs, and 
around 8% can be linked to DOIs (the full list is here: http:// <http:///> 
linnaeus.zoology.gla.ac.uk/~rpage/itis/ ). I suspect a lot more names 
in ITIS could be linked to original sources.

Rich Pyle wrote:

> Wouldn't if be cool if all of these datasets were interconnected in 
> a way
> that not only allowed the algorithmic analysis I described in my 
> previous
> post to alert these "meta-authorities" when one of their 
> declarations about
> synonym or classification deviated substantially from the collective
> literature, but also exposed the data in such a way that made it 
> very easy
> for taxonomists to provide instant feedback?  I bet we could 
> develop such an
> infrastructure -- it would probably take about ten years and cost 
> about $50
> million; but DAMN it would make my job as taxonomist much easier! 
> We just
> need to think of a catchy name, with a simple three-letter acronym....

I don't think this needs anything like $50 M. A simple start is to 
take uBio RSS feeds (http://www.ubio.org/index.php?pagename=ubioRSS), 
extract literature linked to names, and for each name in a database 
flag whether it has been mentioned. By itself this would be a start.

I've always felt that one of the simplest things the taxonomic 
community could do would be to assemble a central bibliography of 
taxonomic works, each assigned a GUID (DOIs, Handles, or persistent 
URLs), and where ever possible linked to an electronic version of the 
paper. Sounds a monumental task, but I suspect it is easier than 
people might think.



Professor Roderic D. M. Page
Editor, Systematic Biology
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QP
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 141 330 4778
Fax: +44 141 330 2792
email: r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
web: http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/rod.html
iChat: aim://rodpage1962
reprints: http://taxonomy.zoology.gla.ac.uk/rod/pubs.html

Subscribe to Systematic Biology through the Society of Systematic
Biologists Website: http://systematicbiology.org <http://systematicbiology.org/> 
Search for taxon names: http://darwin.zoology.gla.ac.uk/~rpage/portal/
Find out what we know about a species: http://ispecies.org <http://ispecies.org/> 
Rod's rants on phyloinformatics: http://iphylo.blogspot.com <http://iphylo.blogspot.com/> 
Rod's rants on ants: http://semant.blogspot.com <http://semant.blogspot.com/> 

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