[Taxacom] "Why would you waste your time editing Wikipedia?"
una.smith at att.net
Sun Sep 21 15:38:18 CDT 2008
Jim Croft wrote:
>Coming back to your Wikipedia example, conceptually there should be
>nothing wrong with citing a specimen as a reference, for example,
>"Found forming large understorey populations in open Eucalypt forest
>(Brown 3452 in herb. CNS)". It could be argued that specimens are
>quite a bit less evanescent than a databse record or a website.
I agree. But most Wikipedia editors, like people in general, have
no idea that "Brown 3452 in herb. CNS" refers to a physical specimen
in a herbarium, akin to a book or manuscript in a library.
On Wikipedia there is a general reluctance to accept a database record
or website as a reliable source. Those sources are too evanescent.
On the other hand, there is also reluctance to accept an unpublished
document held in a library, on the grounds it is too difficult to see
and verify ... and there is the unlikely possibility the library will
send its holdings to a landfill. Never will happen, right? We know
how some herbarium and museum collections *have gone* into landfills.
Every wiki has its own culture. Wikimedia Commons accepts original
research in that you can deposit a photo there with your own ID on it,
without providing a reliable source for the ID. And Wiktionary does
accept Usenet as a reliable source of quotes documenting usage.
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