[Taxacom] ITS, Species 2000,[Scanned]

Roderic Page r.page at bio.gla.ac.uk
Mon May 28 01:42:24 CDT 2007

My own view is that this community spends rather too much time on  
"standards", often overlooking previous solutions in areas outside  
it's immediate are of interest (the problems of identifying and  
linking to digital literature, and of describing bibliographic  
metadata are not unique to taxonomy).

Anybody who thinks agreeing on standards should the foremost in our  
minds might benefit from reading the article Why can't I manage  
academic papers like MP3s?" (see http://iphylo.blogspot.com/2007/05/ 
itunes-and-citation-metadata.html for details).



On 28 May 2007, at 01:13, Weitzman, Anna wrote:

> Hi Mary,
> Thanks for being a TDWG member (either past or present).  TDWG has  
> gone through many changes (for the good, I believe) over the last  
> few years, and I hope many will consider joining or renewing their  
> membership.
> I did not mean to imply that everyone should attend all meetings  
> that interest us.  None of us have an unlimited financial or time  
> budget for meetings (I don't currently have any financial budget  
> for meeting attendance), and I certainly did not mean to imply that  
> we all need to go to TDWG.  We all have to pick and choose what is  
> most important to us given available time and money.  I was only  
> trying to encourage taxonomists to take a more active role, if they  
> can.
> That said, it takes time and effort from the community to agree  
> upon standards.  GBIF and other organizations (including NBII, EoL,  
> and others) have asked TDWG to take the lead in coming to a  
> community consensus on standards for biological (mainly taxonomic)  
> information.  There are many standards organizations in other  
> communities and many in our community doing things (or at least  
> protyping applications) using what I would call 'potential'  
> standards (some of which Rod has referred to).  There are many of  
> these, and some 'compete' with others, while others may work  
> together in concert.  Not all areas of taxonomic interest have  
> agreed upon as TDWG standards AS YET, though we are actively  
> working on priority areas and taking as many differing ideas as we  
> can into account as we work to agree upon and provide standards to  
> the community.
> It is also important to note that TDWG does not provide  
> applications using standards--these are also built by people in the  
> community or in the case of the GBIF/NBII workshops in the US, the  
> applications were built by GBIF (with substantial ground-work from  
> Univ. of Kansas).  In some cases, applications and, as you suggest,  
> workshops ARE required before most of us will be able to use these  
> standards (without another degree (or the equivalent) and a whole  
> LOT of time that we don't have).  Again, time and money are needed,  
> and we are doing our best with what we have.
> Progress does take time, unfortunately, but I assure you, while you  
> are working hard to provide the best grass taxonomy possible and  
> update annotations on specimens, so there are a group of us trying  
> to provide standards and tools to meet your needs (and a few of us  
> do that while trying to keep up a taxonomic program as well :-)).   
> Please be patient, we are all working toward the same goal, and I  
> believe that, as a group working together, we can get there.
> Finally, as the convener of the TDWG Literature standards interest  
> group, I encourage anyone, such as yourself, with an active  
> interest in the standards and how to bring the pieces (such as BPH,  
> TL2, ISBN/ISSN, DOIs, GUIDs, BHL legacy content, Floras, Faunas,  
> monographs, etc) together to join us in the online discussions that  
> are about to accelerate to get the standards needed ASAP.  Anyone  
> who is interested should let me know off list and I'll make sure  
> that you get on the list for the group and are invited to  
> participate in task groups as they are set up.
> Cheers,
> Anna
> Anna L. Weitzman, PhD
> Botany and Biodiversity Informatics Research
> National Museum of Natural History
> Smithsonian Institution
> 202.633.0846
> weitzman at si.edu
> ________________________________
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu on behalf of Mary Barkworth
> Sent: Sun 27-May-07 7:39 PM
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] ITS, Species 2000,[Scanned]
> I do not know about others but I am, or have been, a member of  
> TDWG.  I
> suspect I need to pay up. I do pay some attention to what goes on;
> obviously it is not my major interest. I do not expect you to attend
> sessions on grass systematics but ultimately, it is such information
> that we are talking about sharing. I spend minimal time attending
> sessions where there are discussions about standards. So far as I can
> see, most end up in finding there is need for further discussion.  
> Almost
> like taxonomy. Another point of reality - my institution, which is  
> more
> generous than some that I know of, contributes up to $500 per year for
> conference attendance. This means being very choosey about the  
> meetings
> that I attend - the funding that I have had recently (for  
> completing FNA
> 24) explicitly excluded travel.
> My comment about the tutorial and workshops was prompted by Rod's
> comments that there are standards that can be used. If there are, then
> surely someone could be a missionary on how ordinary taxonomists can
> implement them, to the greater good of all? NBII had workshops on  
> how to
> get on to GBIF - and now more institutions are providing data (though
> not nearly as many as might). I would prefer workshops at the meetings
> that I attend for the systematicy stuff because that way I do not have
> to dig so far into my pocket. My guess is that others are the same  
> way.
> Back to annotating.
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Professor Roderic D. M. Page
Editor, Systematic Biology
Graham Kerr Building
University of Glasgow
Glasgow G12 8QP
United Kingdom

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