[Taxacom] Species Pages - effort required

Charles Hussey c.hussey at nhm.ac.uk
Mon Feb 2 08:00:46 CST 2009

So how do we (as a community) move things forward? We all know that you can (if you are good at writing grant proposals) get money to build infrastructures, thematic networks, etc. whilst it is almost impossible to get money for building content or maintaining content. Given that there are lots of people putting lots of effort into biodiversity informatics and not being paid for it ( 60,000 people involved in biological recording in the UK), how can we begin to put a value on this, so that the amount of effort can be demonstrated in a way that the bureaurocrats can understand?


From: Mary Barkworth [mailto:Mary at biology.usu.edu]
Sent: Mon 02/02/2009 13:04
To: Charles Hussey; Taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Species Pages - effort required

One hour assumes that all the bits and pieces have been assembled. Until
you factor that in, such estimates are meaningless - and
counter-productive because, once again, it is suggested that we promise
far more than can be done and that we are a bunch of whining layabouts
if we are not willing to do so. And those volunteer hours? I wonder how
many people on this list are not already finding more than enough
opportunities to "volunteer" time on things that relate to what they are
interested in. And then there are the many taxonomists who are not on
the list.

Sorry - I have just completed a grant proposal in which almost all the
money will go for infrastructure because we need it to put our stuff up
efficiently. It has to be done - but the only way we are going to make
the resource useful is by finding people to volunteer the time (possibly
with credits) to put the useful information in that will make the
infrastructure useful. Until we get the information in, the
infrastructure will be an empty, or almost empty shell.

BTW, I cannot speak for the whole world and all organisms, but I think
in countries where botanists have frequent, reliable, and free internet
access at work, there is information on the Web about most of the
categories of organisms you speak about. In fact, for many of them there
are several pages because agencies see them as useful.


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