[Taxacom] Species Pages - effort required

Dr. David Campbell amblema at bama.ua.edu
Mon Feb 2 15:50:52 CST 2009

If a compilation relies on people with little knowledge of the 
taxonomic group, then it would take very long to get it right.  
Ultimately you will need someone who knows the group to check over it, 
even if non-experts help with the compilation.  However, it would be 
possible to produce unreliable pages relatively quickly by 
indiscriminately compiling whatever stuff is already out there on the 
Web.  If an online taxonomic compilation is to be useful, it needs to 
have good data checking.
> The ideal situation would IMO be that species pages (and pages for  
higher-level taxa) ARE completed as an integrated part of a systematic 
or taxonomic revision. If intellectual credit is given to the author
(s), not only from fellow researchers, but also from university and 
museum administrators, I see no reason why species pages couldn't be 
written by professional systematists and taxonomists.<

In addition to the problem of getting contributions to an online data 
set recognized as legitimate professional activity, there is the 
problem of having relatively few funded positions for systematics 
relative to the number of poorly-known taxa.  

The amount of effort required for a thorough systematic revision is 
considerably higher in poorly studied taxa.  There are also some 
organisms for which proper survey of the literature is more daunting 
than in others.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections Building
Department of Biological Sciences
Biodiversity and Systematics
University of Alabama, Box 870345
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0345  USA

More information about the Taxacom mailing list