[Taxacom] Species Pages - purpose

murrellze murrellze at appstate.edu
Tue Feb 3 10:38:47 CST 2009

I disagree with Dallwitz’s portrayal of species pages as “simplified and 
attractive information about taxa easily available to casual users”. If 
done appropriately, species pages can provide information that can be 
corrected and/or confirmed by experts and then used by other scientists, 
students of science, corporations, decision makers and “casual users”. 
The WWW provides us with a way to convey vast amounts of information, 
but with more than 10 billion websites, it is difficult to know what is 
“good” information. It is up to the scientific community to provide 
quality information. This quality information can then be used in 
various efforts, from conservation to helping inform the direction of 
future research.

Zack Murrell

Mike Dallwitz wrote:
> In brief, to make simplified and attractive information about taxa easily 
> available to casual users?
> Mary Barkworth wrote:
>> -For taxa that people often ask about - because we get asked questions and 
>> it is easier to point them to a page with an answer - but that kind of page 
>> might not be the same page as we would make available to colleagues.
>> -To provide ourselves with easy access to information away from our offices.
>> -Make information to others more cheaply.
>> -Make highly illustrated information about taxa available at low cost and 
>> in a place where more people are going to see it than if it is published 
>> in a journal.
>> -To show off what we have done.
>> -Funding sources like it.
> Mike Dallwitz wrote:
>> What purpose do species pages serve? In the original posting (Species 
>> Pages - where are the online descriptions?), Roger Hyam suggested that 
>> they might be used to confirm identifications, but they are clearly not 
>> very suitable for that purpose.

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