[Taxacom] dissapearing data

M. Alexander Smith salex at uoguelph.ca
Fri Nov 7 11:34:54 CST 2008


Long term archiving of websites and supplementary data are hardly a problem unique to molecular biology. 

M. Alex Smith PhD
Biodiversity Institute of Ontario
579 Gordon Street
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
N1G 2W1
phone - 519-824-4120 ex 52007
fax - 519-824-5703

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Grehan" <jgrehan at sciencebuff.org>
To: "TAXACOM" <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
Sent: Friday, November 7, 2008 12:14:32 PM GMT -05:00 US/Canada Eastern
Subject: [Taxacom] dissapearing data

Here's where things are getting tricky with accessing original molecular
data. I just tried to access the aligned data used for Castresana (2001)
Mol. Biol. Evol. 18, 465-471. Two web sites were given:
http://www.molbiolevol.org <http://www.molbiolevol.org/>  and
http://www.embl-heidelberg.de/!castresa Neither page worked, and the
authors email address on the article did not work either. I would be
surprised if a morphological systematist could publish analyses based of
character descriptions that were just posted on web pages and then might
eventually disappear like this. If ephemeral web sourcing of molecular
data becomes widespread then there is the danger of independent
testability of original data being impossible, and once that happens the
matter is no longer science.


John Grehan


Dr. John R. Grehan

Director of Science

Buffalo Museum of Science1020 Humboldt Parkway

Buffalo, NY 14211-1193

email: jgrehan at sciencebuff.org

Phone: (716) 896-5200 ext 372




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